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M.A. in International Development FAQs

What makes the M.A. in International Development unique from other online master’s programs?
The Master’s in International Development from Saint Mary’s was designed by real-world practitioners, who developed the curriculum based on the needs of the current marketplace. The curriculum is tailored to provide students with domestic and international praticial and leadership expertise. Unlike many programs, the curriculum also allows students to focus on their area of passion by including a field study project. Therefore, students are equipped with the skills to thrive in their current position as well as prepare them for their next level, whatever or wherever that may be.

Will I learn practical skills in this program?
This program is an applied learning program, meaning you will learn practical and relevant skills as well as there is a field study project required. Therefore, you will gain real work experience, while still in the program.

Are there networking opportunities?
We know how important networking is, that is why many projects in the program are group projects. There is also a required field study project, to ensure you meet individuals outside in your area of passion.

Can I select my own field study?
Yes. We do not select the topic for you, that is your responsibility.

If I currently work in the international development industry, can I do the study on my place of employment?
Each field study topic must be approved prior to the start of class, but you are welcomed to select an area that relates to your current employer.

Where is this program accredited?
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Will my degree say that it is from an online program?
No. The degree you earn online from Saint Mary's University is identical to the degree offered on campus.

Is there a campus residency requirement, or is the program entirely online?
The program is fully online. You do not need to attend Saint Mary’s ground campuses.

How long does the program take?
The online M.A. in International Development program consists of 39 credit hours, or 13 courses of 3 credit hours each. The program typically takes about 2.5 years to complete.


Can I transfer credits from another university and graduate program?
You may transfer a maximum of six semester credits earned before admittance upon recommendation of your program director and with the approval of the dean. Your transfer credits are subject to both graduate school and programmatic criteria.

Will I be required to attend online classes during set times?
No. As long as you submit your assignments by the time they are due, you can work and study when it is most convenient for you.

I don't have an iPad. Is one required to pursue this degree?
All coursework can be completed through Saint Mary’s interactive website, but every online Saint Mary's University student is also issued his or her own iPad (included in tuition). You'll then have the world's most innovative online learning experience literally at your fingertips.

Is this a self-paced program?
No, these are instructor-led courses. While there are no set class times, there are assignments with set due dates.

What are the admissions requirements?
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, along with a GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.00. Further information about admissions requirements and the application process can be found on the Admissions Page.

What type of support is available to me? What if I have a question about homework or need help with a technical issue?
All of the support systems available to on-campus students at Saint Mary's University are available for online learners as well. From academic support to career counseling, a team of advisers is ready to assist. Professors are just a phone call or email away, and every online Saint Mary's University student is paired with a dedicated student services coordinator who will make sure your educational and professional goals stay on track. Technical support is also available to online students 24/7 at 877-308-9954 ext. 3.

Is financial aid available?
Yes. Many different types of financial aid are available to those who qualify. To discuss tuition rates and a number of different financial aid options, call 877-308-9954 to speak with an enrollment counselor.

How do I get started?
Your journey to a more rewarding international development career starts by calling 877-308-9954 to speak with an enrollment counselor, or you can request more information and we’ll reach out to you.