University of Waterloo


Larry A. Swatuk, Director (

Janine Dietrich, Program Administrator (

John Abraham, Field Placement Coordinator (


Waterloo’s Master of Development Practice (MDP) program is a 16 months professional course-based program that positions graduates as global development professionals. The program prepares students to better identify and address the challenges of extreme poverty and sustainable development through excellent course offerings. With a focus on sustainable development, the MDP offers courses from four intersecting areas: health, natural, social, and management sciences.

Field Placements are a critical component of the Waterloo MDP program. Waterloo has an ever-growing network of partners available at grassroots organizations to international institutions. Click here for more information on field placements.

Experiential learning is recognized as an important approach to enhance learning, build capacity and skills. Our students are exposed to a wide range of (paid) off-campus experiences during their studies, such as field trips, networking, and panel discussions and conferences. Check out our Waterloo MDP blog page maintained by our students on their experiences, or follow tweets by ‎@MDPWaterloo

Program description:

Year 1

  • Fall/Winter: Students complete 9 required courses
  • Spring/Summer: Students depart for field training abroad

Year 2

  • Fall: Students complete 3 electives that may or may not be in one area. Some of the electives are offered in an online environment and may be completed off-campus