Second-Year Concentrations

SID students have the option to complete an approved second-year concentration in a significant field of development including gender, development management, and environmental conservation. All students who have completed the MA SID first-year in residence are eligible to take a second-year concentration, which can be completed through: (1)a summer practicum and two semesters of coursework in residence, or (2) a three-month practicum followed by a semester in residence; as summarized below.

MA-SID Second-Year Concentration Options

First Year

In residence at the Heller School

Second Year

Environmental Conservation, Gender or Development Management: Three-month practicum (fall or spring) (12 credits); one semester in residence full-time (fall or spring) (16 credits)

General requirements

Students must complete all required courses and 32 credits at Heller during the first year in residence.

Students must complete a program approved concentration in the second year that includes one or two semesters of accredited coursework at Brandeis, and a three-month practicum. Current concentrations are available in gender, development management, and environmental conservation.

Students must produce a Master’s Paper and Capstone presentation focused on a topic that contributes to the field of their concentration situated within the broader goals of sustainable international development.

Academic advising

The SID Program will appoint a faculty adviser with expertise in the area of the concentration who will provide academic support, advise on production of the Master’s Paper, and maintain contact in the field.


Graduation would normally be in May of the second year, although students who wish to spend more time on the Master’s Paper have the option of paying a continuation fee and graduating in August. In addition to the degree of Master of Arts in Sustainable International Development, students who satisfactorily complete a concentration will receive a certificate letter of concentration.

Curriculum for concentrations

Requirements for concentrations include a 16-credit minimum for one semester in residence; coursework is flexible and will be individually tailored for each student from a list of approved courses. Each course list includes a range of Heller and Brandeis courses. Independent study and consortium courses are also available, with a limit of one course per semester.