Emory University

Program Director: Carla Roncoli, PhD, carla.roncoli@emory.edu

Assistant Director: Hilary King, PhD, hbking@emory.edu

Website https://web.gs.emory.edu/mdp/


Emory MDP builds systemic, integrated, contextual understandings of development through its small class-size (15-18 students per cohort), rigorous, cross-disciplinary curriculum and applied learning through academic year internships and two summer practicums. The program’s approach enables customized learning and personalized mentoring by Emory University faculty and development practitioners.

The curriculum consists of 50 credit hours of coursework in 6 competency areas, including social, natural, health, and management sciences, research and applied methods, and social justice and diversity. Students may pursue up to two concentrations in areas such as global health and wellbeing; sustainable livelihoods and environments; water sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); corporate social responsibility; gender justice; monitoring and evaluation; and program management.

MDP students take courses in top-ranked schools of Emory University, such as the Rollins School of Public Health and the Goizueta School of Business, as well as in the departments of social environmental sciences of Emory College. Emory Law School provides training in human rights related issues and the Candler School of Theology offers training in ethics and equity, interfaith relations, and peace building.

In addition to academic courses, experienced development professionals teach skill-based modules on topics such as participatory research methods; qualitative data analysis; social network analysis, monitoring and evaluation, GIS and spatial analysis; organizational leadership. MDP and other Emory units also offer professional development workshops and resources.

Practical training is a central component of the Emory MDP curriculum. Students engage in two summer field practicums (about 8-10 weeks each), working as “embedded practitioners” within one of the many development and humanitarian organizations that are part of the Emory MDP network. In most cases, summer field practicums are conducted in the Global South: in a typical summer, Emory MDP has students serving in 20+ countries. Summer field practicums in the US may also be allowed in response to individual students’ interests and external circumstances, such as COVID19.

Most Emory MDP students also engage in internships during the academic year with partners based in the Atlanta area. These may be large NGOs, – such as CARE, the Carter Center, Habitat for Humanity, and the Task Force for Global Health – or locally-focused community organizations focused on refugee assistance, food systems, environmental justice, health disparities, economic empowerment, and voting rights.