Frequently Asked Questions

Applying to the MDP Program

The application fee for degree-seeking domestic applications is $85, international applications are $95, and domestic, non-degree seeking applications is $45. 

Application fee waivers are not available. One exception is for students who are already affiliated with certain specific funders; during the application process, you will see a drop-down menu and can check there whether you may be eligible.  

Proof of English proficiency is required for any international applicant from a country where English is not the official languageExemptions may apply to applicants who have completed a bachelor's or master's degree at an institution where English is the language of instruction.  

Acceptable English Proficiency tests are: 

Test of English as a Foreign Language (link is external) (TOEFL) - minimum score of 79 iBT or 550 PBT 

International English Language Testing System (link is external) (IELTS) - minimum composite score of 7, with no subject area below a 6 

Pearson PTE Academic (link is external) - minimum score of 60 

Funding & Costs

The Arizona MDP program is one of the most cost-effective MDP programs in the United States. For the latest information on fees, tuition and other associated costs, please the Graduate College Costs and Fees page. 

Note:

  • Tuition is subject to change at any time.  

  • Some courses may have additional course fees or course related expenses. Refer to the Schedule of Classes for details. 

  • The University of Arizona reserves the right to change the fees, policies, procedures, rules, regulations, requirements for graduation, course offerings and any other contents of this web site at any time. 

  • "Tuition" includes a number of different fees, such as for library access. 

  • Travel to Arizona from places outside the state or the country is an additional expense; 

  • Expenses related to processing visas or other necessary activities may be an additional expense; and 

  • Travel and living expenses related to the summer field practicum experience may be an additional expense. 

  • Exact costs vary and may be more for international and out-of-state students. 

We encourage Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to apply through the Coverdell Program. 

There are numerous sources of funding available for completion of the Master's in Development Practice (MDP) at UA. These include external funding sources, internal funding sources, and opportunities for paid Graduate Assistantships of different types.  

U.S. residents, make sure that you file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Apply as early as possible for financial aid and make sure your funding is spread across the entire program (i.e., fall, summer, and spring semesters). For a list of competitive graduate funding opportunities, please consult the Pivot and GRAPES databases.  

International students, there are a number of awards available to fund, on a competitive basis, graduate education in the U.S. One useful listing is provided by Swarthmore College. To learn more about funding for international students, please contact us at MDPAdmissions@email.arizona.edu

The Arizona Board of Regents provides a Qualified Tuition Reduction (QTR) and Educational Assistance Program (EAP) that enables eligible active and officially retired employees, their spouses, and dependent children to enroll in courses of study at reduced tuition rates. You can read more about QTR on the University of Arizona Educational Benefits page

The Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows Program allows Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to attend the University of Arizona with reduced expenses while serving in an internship that benefits an underserved domestic community. For more information about this program and to apply, please visit the UA Coverdell Program. You can also read more about the current Coverdell Fellows in the MDP Program.   

Each student will work with his or her adviser to secure a summer practicum. We have agreements with several organizations who will have openings for students who meet their requirements. Many students try to find a practicum that matches the type of organization they eventually hope to work with. 

The host organization, in many cases, pays for room and board. Some students have been able to negotiate stipends and airfare; however, these are on a case by case basis. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for grants when applicable. Some students apply for paid internships that meet the practicum requirement. 

The program fee goes toward funding professional development opportunities and activities for students (conference attendance, guest speakers); support for student summer field practicum experiences; membership in the Global MDP network; dedicated administrative support and advising for students; and financial support for students in the form of need and merit-based scholarships.  

Curriculum

It is highly recommended that you have taken a basic statistics course. If you have not, you should consider taking an introductory statistics course (at the undergraduate level) before starting the program. This can be done through your current university, through a community college or through an online course. You will take classes that assume you have this background. 

The program requires 48 units over 2 years. Students take between 3-5 classes per semester.  

Beyond core courses, students may enroll in electives. It is recommended to take elective units across the areas of Natural Resources, Global Health, Social Sciences, and Management so as to maintain a balance of the program areas. Electives are taken with the permission of your adviser but generally can be any course you qualify to take (e.g., for which you meet any pre-requisites) and will further skills necessary for your chosen specialty. 

No, although some elective courses may be offered online. Most classes, however, will be in-person. 

Research Opportunities

We do not offer them. However, some students are able to arrange their own. Most of these are on a semester to semester basis, and so there is not a guarantee that if you were able to secure one for the first semester, you would have it for the entire year. You can contact faculty through the School of Geography and Development.

Benefits and Career

The MDP is a practical degree and gives students a broad foundation to understanding the links between some of the world biggest global challenges. Students will be prepared for a range of careers and professions both domestically and internationally. You can learn more about the degree and its benefits below: 

Article: "Is a master's degree in international development for you?"  

Article: "What recruiters think of your education" 

Article: "How Important is a master's degree to your global dev career?