Degree Requirements

The M.S. Degree in International Development and Service Program Structure

The M.S. in International Development and Service is four semesters and requires completion of 36 credits (although students can take up to 40 credits with no additional cost):

  • The first and fourth semesters will be completed at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York City
  • The second and third semesters are completed in two different overseas locations. Geared toward the individual interests, the sequence of overseas study and field sites are made by the student in consultation with their advisor. The overseas sites include a choice of two, and current program sites and specializations include:
    • De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines (specialization: Political Science, Development Economics)
    • Universidad Espiritu Especialidades Santo (UEES) in Guayaquil, Ecuador (specialization: nonprofit management and grassroots field service)
    • Institute of South East Asian Affairs, Chiang Mai, Thailand (specialization: colonialism, labor, migration, trafficking)
    • Center for Italian Studies in Siena, Italy (specialization: migration, EU policy, intercultural communication)
  • Students spend 12-20 hours per week in service both in field and professional settings while in New York City and overseas locations
  • During the fourth semester, and in consultation with their advisor, students complete a thesis. Experience suggests this feature of the Mount Saint Vincent program is a powerful culmination of student study and service. The thesis is a crucial and distinctive aspect of the Mount Saint Vincent program that is a clear point of pride and transformation. Graduates emerge from the program as skilled, knowledgeable experts.

The Curriculum

Students are required to complete 36 credits to graduate, and may take up to 40 credits without extra charge. Eighteen of these credits are made up of required courses offered at Mount Saint Vincent:
  • Reflections: Perspectives and Practice (6 credits)
  • Social Research Methods (3 credits)
  • Economic and Social Development (3 credits)
  • Anti-Poverty Work in the Developing World (3 credits)
  • Building and Sustaining a Community Organization (3 credits)
  • Comprehensive Project (3 credits)

The remaining program credits are made up of courses taken at study abroad sites, as well as electives taken at the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

The IDS program offers coursework and field opportunities to pursue various different avenues for professional development and classroom learning. They include:

  • Community Organizing
  • Assessing Program Effectiveness
  • Organizational Management and Decision Making
  • Business skills
  • Development Policy
  • Field Techniques in Service
  • Arts as Social Intervention
  • Arts in Appealing to Public Goodwill
  • Global Health and Disability
  • Environmental Perspectives
  • Education and Youth Development
  • Migrants, refugees, and marginalized labor
  • Sex work industry

Sample Program

M.S. in International Development and Service 

Semester 1 – College of Mount Saint Vincent, New York 

Reflections 2 credits
Social Research Methods 3 credits
Anti-Poverty Work in the Developing World 3 credits
Economic and Social Development 3 credits
Field service 12-15 hours/week

Semester 2 – International Center for Intercultural Exchange, Siena, Italy

Reflections 2 credits
EU Development Policy 3 credits
Issues in African Development 3 credits
Field service 15 hours/week

Semester 3 – Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Reflections 2 credits
Sex Work, Trafficking, and Rescue in Southeast Asia 1 credit
International Relations of Southeast Asia 3 credits
Where Are All the Women? Religion and Social Change in Asia 3 credits
Field service 12-15 hours/week

Semester 4 – College of Mount Saint Vincent, New York

Comprehensive Project 3 credits
Building and Sustaining a Community Organization 3 credits
Elective Course 3 credits
Social Media Marketing Seminar 1 credit

Total Credits – 38

Service Placements

Central to the IDS program is an active engagement in service – working with communities and organizations to build power and achieve their social justice goals. Students are required to spend 12-15 hours per semester in service during the first three semesters of the program. This field service requirement cultivates professional skills and also provides rich material for the Comprehensive Project. Many students opt to continue with service placements during their fourth semester as they work to complete the thesis project.

Service Placements have included:

  • United Nations in New York
  • New York Coalition Against Hunger
  • Girls Inc.
  • The New York Foundling in New York
  • Animal Welfare Organizations
  • Organizations caring for Stateless Children in Thailand
  • Organizations in Cameroon assisting kids with incarcerated parents
  • Adult Education programs in Philippines
  • Clinical settings in Ecuador
  • All Volunteer Ambulance Corps in Italy
  • Sisters of Charity Office of Peace, Justice, and Integrity of Creation