Heather Esper

MacArthur Foundation Announces Development of New MDP Programs

Individuals looking to return to school in order to prepare for a career working with the base of the pyramid often struggle in deciding which degree (MBA, MPH, MPA, MS) makes the most sense. In the past students have had to make a large investment in their education before truly knowing what sector is the best fit for them, others end up choosing to go the dual degree route. A Master’s in Development Practice (MDP), seems to combine many of the more traditional Master’s programs in order to allow students to think across fields and develop a broader spectrum of skills.

Yesterday the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced that it will be giving $5.6 million to ten universities in eight different countries to create MDP programs. The degree will include an education from a combination of numerous fields such as social, health and natural sciences, as well as management. These grants are the final set of a larger $16 million investment by MacArthur to create new Master’s programs in sustainable development. 400 graduates per year are expected by 2013.

The universities to create new MDP programs are:

  • BRAC University (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

  • The Institute of Political Sciences (Paris, France)

  • Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (Turrialba, Cost Rica)

  • Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia)

  • Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

  • University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, California)

  • University of California, Davis (Davis, California)

  • University of Peradeniya (Peradeniya, Sri Lanka)

  • University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada)

  • University of Winnipeg (Winnipeg, Canada)

LikLike the Columbia University’s Earth Institute and other MDP programs, the curriculum will be open-access with a focus on practical application, and include extensive operational experiences.