MA in Sustainable International Development

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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MA in Sustainable International Development

MA in Sustainable International Development

Laying the Foundation for a World Without Poverty

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The Master of Arts in Sustainable International Development (SID) prepares students to meet the global challenges of environmental sustainability, social inequality, and long-term economic growth. These challenges are central to the new generation of sustainable development goals set by the United Nations as worldwide priorities for the international community.

Founded in 1994, SID provides its students with skills in critical thinking​, professional writing​, policy analysis​, quantitative and qualitative research​, ​organizational management, project implementation, monitoring and evaluation, ​and communications technologies​, enabling them to work with governments, nonprofits, and international organizations in the development sector.

The curriculum focuses on the core issues of development, such as improving livelihoods in poor communities, enhancing educational opportunities, and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change. The study of gender analysis and ethics provides students with cross-cutting frameworks for analyzing development problems and generating solutions.

SID Alumni at Work in the Field

A Holistic and Innovative Curriculum

SID offers an innovative two-year professional program that draws upon concepts of justice and social change and is based on a firm understanding of political and economic institutions, ecology, gender, human rights and ethics.  In the first year students take multidisciplinary core courses in each of these thematic areas, as well as skills-based courses in planning and implementation and monitoring and evaluation.  They also enroll in a wide range of elective courses offered at SID, throughout Brandeis and at other Boston-area universities.

In the second year, students apply their academic knowledge and newly acquired practical skills to real world problems, through field practicums with various development organizations around the world.  During the practicum, students work on a Master’s Paper in the form of a case study. This paper is presented at a Capstone event in the Spring of the student’s second year. To cater to the varied backgrounds and interests of our students, in the second year, students also have the option of pursuing a full year Advanced Study or a one semester practice focused specialization in gender, development management or conservation.

Overall, the SID Curriculum aims to train future development leaders who can combine theoretical, conceptual and historical knowledge about deep rooted poverty, inequality and injustice with practical skills to address current and future economic, social, health, educational and environmental challenges in the world’s poorest communities. 

A Distinct and Diverse Community of Practice

SID is among the worlds largest and most diverse development graduate training programs, reflecting a diverse global community of students from more than 60 different countries, speaking over 100 languages. This diversity provides an intellectually challenging and collaborative forum that facilitates learning across cultures, the exchange of ideas and the mutual recognition and respect of perspectives, experience and expertise from different countries and cultures.

Visit Heller

Visit Heller

Visiting campus is an excellent way to experience the Heller community and immerse yourself in a day of student life while learning more about your program(s) of interest. We're happy to set up an individual visit on a weekday of your convenience. This visit may include a course observation, and meetings with admissions staff, current students and faculty. Please notify us at least one week in advance of when you would like to visit. Request a visit online here.

"While I ran to war, she ran from it."

"While I ran to war, she ran from it."

The story of a US veteran and a Syrian expatriate. Phoenicia Lewis, SIDCO'16, and Wafaa Arbash, SIDCO'16, offer their unique perspectives on finding humanity amid the dust of war.
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We’ll always have Paris: My time with the UN, Alec Baldwin and five Heller-inspired insights on social change

We’ll always have Paris: My time with the UN, Alec Baldwin and five Heller-inspired insights on social change

image of the Equator Prize stage

Heller student Joshua Cramer-Montes, SID/MBA'16, offers insights on his participation in the recent UN convention on climate change, which he attended in his capacity as a communications and partnerships consultant for the United Nations Development Programme’s Equator Initiative. 

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Download Our Brochure

Download Our Brochure

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Philosophy and Ethics of Development

Philosophy and Ethics of Development

SID is the first development graduate training program in the world to present its curriculum in a global liberal arts and human development framework. Ideas have histories and cultures and are considered at SID for their potential to help solve development problems. Our goal is to broaden and deepen critical thinking skills and to assist students to consider the ethical dimensions of development theory and practice and how ethics influence their own work.

Knowledge Advancing Social Justice

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