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.


Undergraduate study

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 concentration within the Minor in Public Policy. For more information on these options, contact IDG Program Group Head Professor Chris Zegras. For more information on Course 11 Major and Minor requirements, see the general DUSP web site.



Master's study


Each IDG student in the Master’s program is required to take the following courses:

  • Gateway: Planning Action
  • Planning Economics
  • Microeconomics (or test out)
  • Intro to Spatial Analysis (or test out)
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Statistical Methods (or test out)
  • Introduction to International Development and Planning
  • 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.

Elective Classes

IDG offers a wide range of elective classes that allow MCP students the opportunity to focus their work around specific themes and issues. While IDG does not require MCP students to formally commit to a sub-specialization, students are advised to build a cohesive course of study based on a specific body of knowledge. Possible areas of focus include Governance and Globalization; Housing and Human Settlement Policies; Income Distribution, Employment, and Poverty Alleviation; Infrastructure and Transportation; Institutional Approaches to Development; or Regional and Urban Economic Theory. A current list of IDG core and elective courses can be found on the Subjects page.



Doctoral study

At the Ph.D. level, IDG aims 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, and offers flexibility in the design of special areas of study. Joint student-faculty research and teaching is also encouraged.