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 is 36 credits:

  • 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 overseas with institutional partners. The overseas sites include a choice of two, and examples of possible sites are:
    • Universidad Espiritu Especialidades Santo (UEES) in Guayaquil, Ecuador
    • Universidad San Ignacio De Loyola in Lima, Peru
    • De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines
    • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
    • Center for Italian Studies in Siena, Italy
  • Students spend 12-20 hours per week in service in professional settings in New York and all the overseas locations.

This program will be offered in collaboration with IPSL (formerly International Partnership for Service Learning). IPSL is a 30 year-old mission-driven organization whose founders coined the term “service-learning.” IPSL’s experience in graduate education is characterized by learning through grassroots experience, where students gain leadership skills and capacities that international organizations need, and solve real problems in informed, responsible ways for communities in the U.S. and abroad.

The overseas sites are subject to change depending on factors such as student well- being, or global conditions. It is rare that a student may not be able to study abroad at their desired option (or in the semester they desire), but the College of Mount Saint Vincent and IPSL cannot guarantee the availability of any given site in any particular semester.

Sample Program

The IDS program requires 36 credits over 4 semesters. Students spend:

  • The first and fourth semesters in New York City
  • The second and third semesters at a choice of two different locations abroad
First semester College of Mount Saint Vincent, New York City
  • Field research training
  • Grounding in fields of social development and service
  • Learning professional roles
  • Strategic planning blueprints for student professional development agenda
  • Field service in one of the NGO capitals of the world.
Second and third
semester options*
Center for Sustainable Development Studies,
Hanoi, VietnamUniversidad Espiritu Especialidades Santo, Guayaquil, Ecuador 

Chiang Mai University,
Chiang Mai, Thailand


International Centre for Intercultural Exchange,
Siena, Italy


De La Salle University,
Manila, Philippines

  • Cultural immersion and exposure to diverse frameworks of social institutions
  • Grass-roots settings in international context and settings of scarcity
  • Field research, with opportunities for comparative and cross-national perspectives
  • Course offerings in social development and service, ranging by overseas location
Fourth semester College of Mount Saint Vincent, New York City
  • Completion of thesis
  • Preparation for transition into career track placement
Please note: *Overseas locations are subject to change. 

The Curriculum

Students are required to complete 36 credits to graduate, and may take up to 40 credits without extra charge.

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

  • Organizational Management and Decision Making
  • Business skills
  • Social 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 

Institutions and Society: Reflections 2 credits
Social Research Methods 2 credits
Art and Social Intervention 3 credits
International Economics 3 credits
Field service 12-15 hours/week

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

Institutions and Society 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

Institutions and Society: Reflections 2 credits
Sex Work, Trafficking, and Rescue in Southeast Asia 1 credit
International Relations of Southeast 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

Thesis completion 3 credits
History and Ethics of Service 3 credits
Grant Writing 3 credits
Social Media Marketing Seminar 1 credit

Total Credits – 38

Service Placements

A central pedagogical approach to the IDS program is service learning. The main concept is that if one wants to understand the needs of vulnerable and social development, then one must serve and listen to the vulnerable. Students are required to spend 12-15 hours per semester in service.

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