The Emory MDP curriculum consists of a dynamic pedagogical process, which enables the program to address students' specific interests and needs as well as to capitalize on the many learning opportunities at Emory University. An example of the core courses and other curricular requirements for the two-year program may be found below. The actual sequence of courses may vary from year to year, depending on the availability of Emory and visiting faculty.

In addition to academic courses, several modules and workshops are integrated into the curriculum to equip students with programmatic and practical skills. These modules range in length from a single day to a couple of weeks of intensive training and are taught by experienced development professionals. Examples of such skills are participatory approaches, qualitative data analysis, monitoring and evaluation, organizational leadership, communication for development, and GIS.

The Emory MDP curriculum is informed by guidelines formulated by the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice.

Main Components of MDP Program

Core Requirements

Students take core courses in the heath sciences, natural sciences, management and research methods. In each semester there is at least one core course providing opportunities for integration among academic disciplines and across academic learning and practical training


Students may select a concentration that combines courses on specific sectors of themes of interest. The concentration that a student pursues depends on the individual’s past training, experience and career goals and is decided in consultation with MDP faculty and advisors.

Field Training

Students participate in intensive, "hands-on" field practicum abroad for two successive summers (10 weeks each) after their first and their second academic year. The field practicum provides students the opportunity to gain experience with innovative development approaches and practice in real-world settings. In addition to the international field practicum, students have the option to engage in service learning with community-based organizations that work with underserved populations in the Atlanta area during their first academic year at Emory.

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