The International Development Group is open to students of all degree programs in the Department. Applications for the MCP and PhD degree programs are made to the Department. For information on admissions and financial aid and instructions on how to apply, please visit the Admissions page.
All Masters’ students take the basic MCP Gateway classes. The Gateway curriculum has been designed to familiarize students with the evolution of major theories, concepts, applications and ongoing debates within the field of urban studies and planning. For doctoral students, the program of study is developed jointly with the student and the student’s advisor, under guidelines and course requirements set by the Department’s Ph.D. committee.
Concentration in International Development
The Undergraduate Program in Urban Studies and Planning offers students the opportunity to pursue either a major or a minor degree in Course 11. Within this rubric, students may develop a concentration in international development, a path that would entail enrollment in 11.005 (Introduction to International Development) and an array of other courses taught by IDG faculty totaling 57 units to form the stream of concentration for majors or minors. Students also can take a series of Course 11 international development courses for a HASS concentration in Urban Studies, as well as an International Development concentation eithin the Minor in Public Policy. For more information on these options, contact IDG Program Group Head Professor Diane Davis or Undergraduate Program Group Head Professor Judy Layzer (or Acting Head Cherie Abbanat). For more information on Course 11 Major and Minor requirements, see the general DUSP web site.
Undergraduate students who concentrate in International Development can also take advantage of an array of curriculum and program offerings staffed or organized by IDG or DUSP faculty, including the SPURS/IDG Monday luncheon series, the i-House residential program and i-House seminar series, internationally-based practica like Cityscope Peru, and international development internships around the world including those offered by the Program on Human Rights and Justice (PHRJ) and the Public Service Center (PSC).
Each IDG student in the Master’s program is required to take the following courses:
- Gateway, Planning Action
- Gateway, Planning Economics
- Microeconomics (or test out)
- Planning Communications and Digital Media (or test out)
- Quantitative Reasoning and Statistical Methods (or test out)
- Introduction to Planning and Institutional Processes in Developing Countries
- One practicum (e.g. Mexico City Practicum, Sao Paulo Studio, etc.)
Many IDG master’s students also elect to take at least one additional economics or methods class. Ph.D. students do not normally take the MCP core, but fulfill their degree requirements with a slightly different array of required courses. Ph.D. students in IDG frequently take at least two from the intermediate economics or methods classes offered, e.g. Economic Analysis for Business Decisions Applied Macro- and International Economics.
The six areas described below fall beyond the MCP core, which broadly reflect the specializations of the faculty. While the IDG does not require MCP students to formally commit to a sub-specialization, they are advised to select courses based on their aggregate contribution to a specific body of knowledge, of which these six are merely examples.
- Governance and Globalization
To understand the way the in which globalization and late capitalism have transformed at different levels—from city, regional, national and global levels-- the exercise of political and legal authority.
The broad focus is on the role of institutions, politics, and law at all levels in the development process. More specifically, specific attention is paid to the changing role of the state, civil society, the impact of global trade and financial regimes, the politics of international institutions (such as the Bretton Woods institutions), specific policy components such as decentralization, anticorruption, rule of law and human rights, and the appropriate design of institutions for democratic management of the global economy.
- Housing and Human Settlement Policies
To analyze housing and human settlement problems and policies at national and local levels aimed at addressing them; understand their linkages with national development strategies, consider spatial arrangements required for optimal and equitable allocation of resources, and understand the role of housing as a productive investment in the development process.
Emphasis is on the role of national urban policies, city size distribution, municipal finance, and spatial decentralization policies. Analysis is of price and subsidy policies for housing; methods of land acquisition, taxation, and delivery mobilization of housing finance at national and local levels. At the local level, city forms, land-use regulations and urban management policies, design and implementation of housing projects, revitalization of housing in the city core; and review of rent control policies are all examined.
- Income Distribution, Employment, and Poverty Alleviation
To analyze problems of poverty and unemployment in Third World countries, the history of attempts to improve income distribution and alleviate poverty, and to review implementation issues regarding projects and programs in this area.
- Infrastructure and Transportation
To understand the urban support systems that function in networks (including transportation, water supply, sanitation, telecommunications, etc.), which tend toward monopoly, involve operation by or substantial control by government, and are basic to the function of urban settlements.
The planning of service systems and programming evaluation of infrastructure projects, pricing, and financing are included. Studies also encompass institutions for service delivery and choosing appropriate technologies. The broader questions of national allocation policies for infrastructure and the relationship of infrastructure to land development and economic development are covered.
- Institutional Approaches to Development Planning
To demonstrate competence in applying institutional analysis to a wide range of real-world planning problems in developing countries, in understanding the economic and institutional forces shaping third-world development, and institutional analysis of bureaucracies, non-governmental organizations, and community groups.
Topics include policy and institutional aspects of technology and industrial development, transformation of traditional agriculture, urbanization and urban economic development, regional economic development, labor and human capital, foreign aid, and public finance.
- Regional and Urban Economic Theory
Emphasis is on the spatial aspects of production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services, job creation and employment processes, economic restructuring, development finance, public finance, labor, capital, and goods flows, and accounts and techniques for analyzing urban and regional development. Currently, attention is focused on local, sub-national, and international issues related to public finance, regional and urban development, employment, economic accounts, economic and environmental impact analyses, economic and social networks, regional and industrial restructuring, and intra firm, regional, and global supply chains.
At the Ph.D. level, IDG's challenge is to heighten reflective practice and promote research that is both theoretically rigorous and innovative while also cognizant of the concrete obstacles people face in developing cities, regions, and nations. The doctoral program trains candidates for the research and teaching of development planning, emphasizing fundamental research competence. Our list of recent dissertation titles (left) demonstrates openness to flexibility in the design of special areas of study. Joint student-faculty research and teaching is also encouraged.