Students at Western Michigan University planning to pursue careers in the public and nonprofit sectors in developing countries and in international development organizations can build a foundation of professional competence in the following classes offered by the Department of Political Science.
- Development theories such as those oriented to government action, economic markets and popular participation.
- History of the field where most core classes use case studies, so students gain a broad familiarity with practical issues specific to many professional areas and political environments.
- Methods such as cost-benefit analysis, monitoring and evaluation, the logical framework, stakeholder analysis and methods of political and institutional analysis.
- Skills such as budgeting, research and writing, human resource management and public speaking.
Recent classes have discussed programs and projects such as savings and credit, irrigation, jute mills, primary health care, small business development, tea estates, agricultural extension and retail cooperatives. Students have examined development policies and their implementation in many countries including Brazil, Egypt, India, Kenya, Mexico, Taiwan and Turkey. Other topics include legacies of colonialism, structural adjustment, poverty, corruption, technology, decentralization and economic topics such as inflation, exchange rates, monopoly and international markets.
Peace Corps Option
The Master of International Development Administration-Peace Corps option is designed for WMU students who wish to earn the MIDA degree and to carry out two years of service as a Peace Corps volunteer. This provides an opportunity to combine academic course work with practical field experience.
This option is only available to U.S. citizens as the Peace Corps only accepts U.S. nationals. Prospective students should apply for entrance into the Peace Corps and into the MIDA program concurrently. Rather than the 42 credit hours required for a standard MIDA, the Peace Corps option requires 36 credit hours and completion of Peace Corps service (30 credits are earned in the Department of Political Science and six credit hours are earned for a field paper researched and written during Peace Corps service). A student beginning on-campus classes in September might complete them in December of the following year. It is possible, however, to earn the 30credit hours in a rigorous 10-month course of study from September through June (four three-hour courses in the fall term, four in the winter, and two in the spring).
See special instructions for Peace Corp applicants in the application process. In the event that an applicant is accepted into the MIDA program but is deemed medically, legally or otherwise ineligible for Peace Corps service, the applicant has the option to transfer automatically into the standard two-year MIDA program.
See specific advising information pertaining to graduate students in the Department of Political Science at Western Michigan University.
The following links offer internship possibilities:
- Amnesty International
- Global Crossroad
- Global Service Corps
- IDB Winter Intern Program - Internship opportunities with the Inter-American Development Bank (applicants must be a citizen of one of the Bank’s member countries)
- Institute of International Education
- Intern Abroad
- International Cooperative Education
- Meridian International Center
- The World Bank
- Transitions Abroad
Students in the Master of International Development Administration program may want to consider these career options.
See a listing of placements for Master of International Development Administration students.