Global Human Development


The Master’s in Global Human Development is a two year, full-time master’s degree that encompasses an innovative and academically rigorous skills-based curriculum with built-in opportunities for experiential learning.

Reducing world poverty and promoting growth and development in poor countries are among the major challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Achieving these goals has become a major focus of world attention, and has never been more prominent in international debate, public discourse, and in the priorities of graduate students considering their future careers. The GHD program is designed to meet these challenges, and to train professional for a life of innovation and leadership in global development.

The program’s curriculum, designed to train students to become highly qualified development professionals, covers core courses including the economics of development, international political economy, program design and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, quantitative and qualitative methodologies, finance and budgeting, and management.  The curriculum combines study of major ideas and theories about development, current research results, and the practical knowledge and skills necessary to become a skilled practitioner in development.  Students pursuing the degree also declare a concentration in one or more of the specialization areas offered by the program and/or certificates administered through other SFS programs.  In addition to the curriculum, students have three opportunities to apply the skills and knowledge they are learning in the classroom to professional work experiences: the summer field project – a 2-3 month international work placement; a required internship at a relevant international development organization/agency for at least one academic semester; and the capstone project – a client engagement project emphasizing the analysis of a key decision, a critical policy, a new challenge, an emerging opportunity, or a new program or initiative.

Degrees Offered

  • Master’s in Global Human Development

Application Deadlines

Fall 2021

        January 15, 2021 (priority)

        April 1, 2021 (final)

Application Requirements

Please be sure to review the Graduate School Admissions How to Apply page.


Please be sure to review the program’s website for additional information on program application requirements.

Admission requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university (or the equivalent) with a record which shows promise of success in graduate studies.
  • Online application.
  • Application fee.
  • A Statement of Purpose essay, not to exceed two pages, that addresses the following two questions:- What motivates you to work in development?
    – Where do you think you will be and what will you be doing in 2030?
  • Resume or CV.
  • Transcripts – Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Visit our How to Apply (new window) page for additional details and FAQs.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • GRE scores are not require, but highly recommended
  • Demonstrated proficiency in a modern foreign language to pass a required oral examination. Applicants will be able to self-report foreign language skills in the online application. ​
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is required of all applicants who do not have an undergraduate or graduate degree from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction. No other exam or certificate may be substituted for the TOEFL or IELTS.  Both the TOEFL and the IELTS exams are given regularly throughout the world.- The minimum TOEFL score for admissions consideration is 600 (paper test) or 100 (iBT test). For additional information about the TOEFL click here.
    – The minimum IELTS score for admissions consideration is 7.0.  For additional information about the IELTS please click here.
  • Two courses in economics (one each in micro and macro principles) and one in statistics with a final grade of B or better.
  • At least one year of professional experience is required.  Strong preference will be given to applicants with two or more years living, studying and working in developing countries.

Degree Requirements

  • Sixteen three-credit courses (a total of 48 credits) and a summer field project over a two-year period.

If you have questions about the program please call (202) 687-5763 or email