University of Arizona


Katherine Synder, PhD
Program Director


The Arizona MDP draws from an interdisciplinary pool of expertise and development engagement, reflecting Arizona’s deep, residing commitment to the broader global community. Consistent with the philosophy of the MDP network, the Arizona curriculum consists of four cornerstone competency areas. This approach of foundational knowledge and applied practice ensures that graduates are ready to make meaningful contributions in the field of development practice.

Over the course of 22 months, the degree requires students to complete 52 credits in development-focused coursework. Students take cohort based courses the first year, then a combination of cohort and electives the second year. Unique courses focused on development practice and specific to the program are taught in the following areas:

  • Global health, development, and nutrition
  • Culture, economics, and the social sciences of development practice
  • Natural systems and applications of natural resource management
  • Principles and methods for managing sustainable development practice
  • Integrated units on methods and approaches to sustainable development practice.
  • Elective tracks which offer students an area of specialization include:
  • Collaborative Governance
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Public Health

Other tracks are available with the approval of the program Director.

The program also features a summer field practicum which creates a structured opportunity for field-tested learning within ongoing development projects with either partners abroad or through an internationally renowned, Tucson-based development practice firm. In this core element of the Global MDP, students are closely mentored on an individual basis.

For more information on University of Arizona’s MDP program, please go here,