Master of International Development Policy

The Master of International Development Policy (MIDP) degree is awarded by the Sanford School of Public Policy through the Duke Center for International Development (DCID).

At the Duke Center for International Development, faculty, staff, and students are driven by a shared vision: development that promotes peace and prosperity for all people. Through rigorous education for mid-career professionals, training programs for policy makers, and engagement informed by timely research, DCID is working to make this vision a reality.

Degree and Certificate Options

Traditional Degree: 48.0 course credits completed over two academic years. Requires a final master’s project and a summer internship usually completed during the summer between the first and second year of study.

Accelerated Degree: 30.0 course credits completed over three semesters. The accelerated degree program can be completed within one calendar year if the student chooses to enroll in a sufficient amount of credits over the summer semester. Requires a final master’s project. To qualify for application to this program, applicants must have completed at least one year of graduate-level coursework and have a strong background in market-based economics.

Nondegree Certificate: 24.0 course credits completed over one academic year, culminating in a nondegree certificate. Master’s project and internship are not required.

Concurrent Graduate Certificate: 15.0 course credits. This certificate is offered to students studying in other graduate programs at Duke University and in neighboring interinstitutional universities. Students interested in this certificate may enroll to complete it concurrently with their degree program. For those who enrolled in full time Duke graduate and professional programs before Fall 2020, the 12-credit model is required. Students who entered Duke in Fall 2020 or after are required to enroll in the 15-credit model.

Areas of Focus

Fellows in the MIDP may self-select into one of the following informal areas of focus, which serve to facilitate the course selection process and to assign students to the appropriate academic advisor. These focus areas do not appear on student transcripts or diplomas.

Applied Economics. This concentration emphasizes the economic policy aspects of development—including issues of international trade and competitiveness, public finance and evaluation of public expenditures, banking and financial sector management, privatization, external debt management, and international capital markets.

Development Management and Governance. This concentration covers a broad area of international development issues allowing fellows the greatest flexibility to choose classes corresponding to their interests. Students may focus on issues such as development project management, not-for-profit management, public and private partnerships, civil society and governance, decentralization, media policy, aid coordination, science and technology policy, regional planning, or other sector development issues.

Social Policy. This concentration focuses primarily on education and health policies as well as on issues of gender, ethnic and economic inequality, and social entrepreneurship. Those interested can choose to pursue a graduate certificate in health policy or global health.

Environmental Management and Policy. This concentration emphasizes international environmental and energy policy, security, and institutional development. MIDP expertise is complemented by the resources from the Nicholas School of the Environment in areas such as natural resources economics, tropical ecology, and eco-tourism.

Peace and Conflict Resolution. This concentration aims at grooming future leaders who will promote greater tolerance, cooperation and peace among people. The area focuses on democracy, negotiation, and conflict resolution, and the promotion of effective cooperation in international development. Those interested may pursue a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill certificate in peace and conflict resolution offered to two-year MIDP fellows through the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This area of focus draws on Duke’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative and its pioneering leadership in policy and social entrepreneurship education. It aims to further enhance fellows’ abilities to explore the I&E ecosystems and complexities and to develop innovative and entrepreneurial methods to address local and global challenges. Fellows will gain the ability to apply knowledge across disciplines to turn ideas into actions, making a tangible positive impact on society.

Other DCID Training Programs and Activities

Executive Education

Executive Education programs are offered to organizations in need of training directly related to their regional and professional needs. The content of the programs are adapted based on the needs and professional experience of the participants and organizations. The programs may be held in-country, on the Duke campus, or both as needed and vary in length from one week to a full academic semester. Recent programs have been held for organizations such as Oxfam and the US Military.


DCID faculty and affiliates conduct diverse scholarly activities, from field studies and randomized control trials, to research-backed policy advising in countries around the world. In addition, DCID faculty, fellows, and alumni publish academic articles in a wide range of journals.