The MIDP is a 48-credit degree program, divided into core courses, elective courses, a summer professional placement, and a client-capstone project.

  • Type of Degree

    Master’s Degree

  • Format

    On-Campus, Full-time

  • Length

    2 Years

  • Department

    MIDP Programs

Each semester, MIDP students have three core classes and one elective (an elective may also comprise two half-course modules). This highly-structured framework ensures that every MIDP graduate attains the necessary level of professional facility with the technical skills we emphasize

Other programs offer more flexible schedules, but the trade-off is that many, if not most, of their graduates do not acquire the functional technical skills that are needed to fully understand the importance of generating and using rigorous evidence of impact in the design of development policies and programs! By contrast, graduating members of the MIDP community possess a known set of skills and experiences that are highly prized by employers, skills that are centered around economics and quantitative research but also include management and leadership. 

MIDP students use their electives to supplement these core skills with coursework in topics of personal interest (e.g., labor policy, health policy, environmental policy) or to add to those core skills with additional research and data science skills. But regardless of their personal preferences, every MIDP graduate attains professional facility in our core analytical and management skills.

Core Courses Anchor

Core Courses

The core courses emphasizes analytical skills and core knowledge for designing and managing sound public policy.

Economics & Development Policy (12 credits)

  • PPOL 5103:  Intermediate Microeconomics for Development (3 credits)
  • PPOL 5104:  Public Finance in Developing Countries (3 credits)
  • PPOL 5105:  Social and Economic Development Policy (3 credits)
  • PPOL 5106:  Sustainable Development (3 credits)

Quantitative Methods (9 credits)

  • PPOL 5100:  Statistical Methods for Development Policy (3 credits)
  • PPOL 5101:  Regression Methods for Development Policy (3 credits)
  • PPOL 5102:  Impact Evaluation for Development (3 credits) 

Management and Institutions (9 credits)

  • PPOL 5108:  Management and Leadership in Developing Countries (3 credits)
  • PPOL 5109:  Ethical Issues in Development (3 credits)
  • PPOL 5107:  Political Economy in Developing Countries (3 credits)
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Capstone Project Anchor

Capstone Project

Each student completes a capstone project. This client-based group project gives students the opportunity to apply skills they are learning in the classroom to real world, real-time policy questions posed by clients from leading international development institutions. The capstone is a two-semester project completed during the second year of the program.

Past clients include: ARK, iDE, IFPRI, Mercy Corps, the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, Twaweza, and the World Bank.

  • PPOL 5110/PPOL 5111:  Capstone Project I & II (6 credits, 3 credits/semester)
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McCourt’s Foundational Skill Set Anchor

McCourt’s Foundational Skill Set

In 2018, McCourt organized a Curriculum Innovation Committee to review and modernize the core curricula of our Masters degree programs. Over the past three years, the committee worked toward a number of goals, including developing a set of core competencies for all McCourt degree programs.

After reviewing the core curriculum, benchmarking other policy schools, and speaking with employers, and alumni, the committee developed a set of core competencies which were discussed, voted on, and approved by the McCourt School faculty.

All McCourt students graduate with the following foundational skills:


  • Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking
  • Economic Analysis
  • Engaging with Bias
  • Ethical Leadership and Management
  • Evaluation
  • Policy Analysis
  • Political Analysis
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Strategic Communication
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McCourt Foundations Anchor

McCourt Foundations

In the fall of 2020, the McCourt School launched a new experiential learning program which seeks to lay the foundation for a McCourt degree. 

McCourt Foundations is designed to facilitate the transition to graduate school, introduce incoming students to a set of core leadership and communications skills, and catalyze equity-centered policy work and advocacy. An experiential program led by McCourt faculty, staff, and Leadership Fellows, McCourt Foundations builds the skills and confidence necessary to design, implement, and measure the effectiveness of policy, while introducing them to their new community. 

This course is mandatory for all MPP (including Evening Program), MIDP, and MS-DSPP students. Students working full-time are expected to take off of work in order to attend all 3 days, 9am-5pm with optional evening activities. 

McCourt Foundations is mandatory and a requirement for graduation. Any student not able to participate in all three days of Foundations will need to make up the course next year. 

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Electives Anchor


MIDP students expand on the analytical skills they attain in their core coursework with 12 credits of elective courses. Students have an array of elective courses from which to choose at the McCourt School and Georgetown University’s other top-ranked graduate schools. Our expert faculty teach a wide range of elective courses in today’s most relevant policy areas and methods.

Many McCourt students choose to align their elective coursework with their interests and career goals. Electives in areas of development policy, international economic policy, and methods are likely to be of particular interest to MIDP students. MIDP students may also elect to take classes that do not focus specifically on policy making in developing countries, but whose substantive areas may be related to their career goals.

Please see below for an illustrative list of electives that have been offered over the past two academic years that may be of interest to development policy students. This list is not exhaustive and additional courses can be found on the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes. McCourt students also have the opportunity to take electives in other Georgetown graduate programs as well as through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Please contact Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Nirmala Fernandes at for more information.



  • Development Policy including courses such as:
    • PPOL 6002: International Social Development Policy
    • PPOL 6006: Growth Diagnostics and Macroeconomic Development
    • PPOL 6252: Money/Finance in the Developing/Globalized World
    • PPOL 6007: History and Theory of Development
    • PPOL 6009: Monitoring & Evaluation for Development Programs
    • PPOL 6254: Global Migration Policy
    • PPOL 6012: Just Sustainability Transitions in Complex Economies
    • PPOL 6013: Innovative Program Design for Development
    • PPOL 6014: Economic Complexity & Development
  • International Economic Policy including courses such as:
    • PPOL 6000: Asian Economic Development
    • PPOL 6251: International Trade Negotiations
    • PPOL 6255: Latin American Economic Policy Challenges
  • Analytical Methods for Development including courses such as:
    • PPOL 6802: Data Visualization
    • PPOL 6803: Intro to Data Science
    • PPOL 6805: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Applications in Program R
    • PPOL 6009: Applied Monitoring & Evaluation for Development Programs
    • PPOL 6809: Game Theory & Public Policy
  • Political Strategy and Governance including courses such as:
    • PPOL 6605: Policy, Politics & the Media
    • PPOL 6624: Communications for Public Policy
    • PPOL 6620: Politics Is a Contact Sport: Practical Policy Making
  • Education Policy including courses such as:
    • PPOL 6301: Education Finance
    • PPOL 6302: K-12 Ed Policy Implementation
  • Health Policy including courses such as:
    • PPOL 6500: Health Care Quality: Recent Policy Issues
    • PPOL 6501: Health Policy & Politics
  • Technology Policy including courses such as:
    • PPOL 6707: Disruption, Innovation & Technology
    • PPOL 6814: Policy Issues of Big data & AI
    • PPOL 6617: Innovation in Public Policy
  • Environmental & Regulatory Policy including courses such as:
    • PPOL 6403: Natural Resources & Energy Policy
    • PPOL 6404: Climate Change Policy
  • Social Policy including courses such as:
    • PPOL 6351: Policy/Politics of Entitlements
    • PPOL 6623: Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship
    • PPOL 6612: Philanthropy, Power & Politics
    • PPOL 6361: Disability, Justice, Equity & Policy
  • Racial Equity and Social Justice including courses such as:
    • PPOL 4901: Faith, Race & Politics
    • PPOL 6356: Urban Inequality
    • PPOL 6612: Philanthropy, Power & Politics
    • PPOL 6359: Identifying & Undoing Bias in Public Policy
  • Management & Leadership such as:
    • PPOL 6602: Federalism/Intergovernmental Relations
    • PPOL 6603: Women and Leadership
    • PPOL 5312: Public Leadership
    • PPOL 6616: Negotiation
  • Public Management including courses such as:
    • PPOL 6604: Strategic Planning & Public Policy
    • PPOL 5312: Public Leadership
    • PPOL 6608: Risk Management
    • PPOL 6614: Administrative Burdens
    • PPOL 6615: Becoming a Policy Leader
    • PPOL 6621: Emergency & Disaster Management
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Course Sequence Anchor

Course Sequence

A typical course sequence for the MIDP program students appears below.

Year One: Fall Semester

  • PPOL 5103 — Intermediate Microeconomics for Development
  • PPOL 5100 — Statistical Methods for Development Policy
  • PPOL 5105 — Social and Economic Development Policy
  • PPOL elective

Year One: Spring Semester

  • PPOL 5101 — Regression Methods for Development Policy
  • PPOL 5104 — Public Finance in Developing Countries
  • PPOL 5108 — Management and Leadership in Developing Countries
  • PPOL elective

Year Two: Fall Semester

  • PPOL 5102 — Impact Evaluation for Development
  • PPOL 5107 — Political Economy in Developing Countries
  • PPOL 5110 — Capstone Project
  • PPOL elective

Year Two: Spring Semester

  • PPOL 5106 — Sustainable Development
  • PPOL 5109 — Ethical Issues in Development
  • PPOL 5111 — Capstone Project
  • PPOL elective
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