In the Field

The field practicum experiences are the cornerstone of the Emory MDP curriculum. Our “embedded practitioner” model envisions students to serve within global development and humanitarian organizations as professionals-in-training. As such, they work with their project teams and produce high-quality work, while building their own skillsets and networks.

MDP students complete two summer field practicums (8-10 weeks per summer), during which they contribute to the design, implementation, and evaluation of development or humanitarian interventions in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Projects focus on a wide range of sectors, including global health, disaster response, environmental conservation, water and sanitation, housing security, social enterprise, and gender justice. 

During the academic year, when students are on campus, they have the option of doing internships with globally- or locally-focused organizations based in the Atlanta area. In some cases students continue with the same project for their field practicum the following summer. While not required, this arrangement presents a valuable opportunity for students to become well acquainted with project operations and teams prior to going to the field, leading to more effective and rewarding practicum experiences. 

In a typical summer, the Emory MPD program has 30-40 students working with 15+ partner organizations in 20+ countries. Since the program's inception in 2010, we have faciliated over 300 field practicum experiences with 100+ organizations in 70+ different countries. 

Obviously, the 2020 and 2021 summers have been far from "typical". Due to the pandemic-related travel restrictions MDP students have engaged in virtual internships with about locally- and globally-focused partners, some even serving with two different organizations, including global NGOs and community-based organizations.

Learn more using our Fieldwork Locations Map.

Photo Contest

MDP students demonstrate the diversity of Emory MDP field practicum experiences through their photographs.

View Winning Images

Practicum Partners

Partner organizations provide MDP students with exposure to real-life, on-the-ground development practice.

Learn About Partners


Emory MDP takes the safety and security of its students very seriously. Emory University contracts with International SOS (ISOS) to provide travel security services. Students also enroll in STEP through the US State Department.

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MDP students and graduates benefit from a free Career Account with DEVEX, the world’s largest platform for global development news and jobs, serving over one million active users.

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