The Arizona Difference
Social injustice, economic inequality, climate change and environmental degradation all pose significant obstacles to achieving sustainable development across the globe. The MDP program at Arizona provides students unique opportunities to engage with these issues around the world and in the US/Mexico borderlands region. The pool of expertise among faculty and students is broad and gives MDP students the chance to explore such development challenges as managing natural resources among diverse stakeholders, improving adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, developing new models of agricultural production, and improving health services for poor and marginalized communities.
Four Cornerstone Competency Areas
Consistent with the philosophy of the Global MDP network, the Arizona curriculum consists of four cornerstone competency areas:
- Public health
- Social sciences
- Natural sciences
In approaching these core areas, the Arizona MDP draws from an interdisciplinary pool of academic expertise and development practitioners, reflecting Arizona’s deep, residing commitment to connecting local issues with global networks of knowledge.
Students have the option to gain a Certificate of specialization as they work toward completion of their MDP degree. There are two existing certificate tracks:
- Collaborative Governance from the School of Government & Public Policy
- Public Health from the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
Students can also work with their adviser to develop their own specialization.
Degree Requirements and Courses Overview
Over the course of 22 months students complete 47 credits of development-focused coursework. Students take required foundational courses with their cohort 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
Global Community Involvement
The MDP program also features a summer field practicum which creates a structured opportunity for field-based learning within ongoing development projects. Students can undertake this field practicum with international partners or with local projects situated in the Southwest/borderlands region.
The Arizona MDP is proud to partner with Tango International, an internationally renowned, Tucson-based development practice firm with projects all over the world; JustHope, a sustainable community development organization in Nicaragua; and World Fish a CGIAR affiliated research institute working to reduce hunger and poverty through promoting fisheries and aquaculture.
The Arizona MDP is also a proud member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network