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Politics & Government×

The New School Masters Degrees in Development Studies

We have 4 The New School Masters Degrees in Development Studies

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Named among the top international affairs programs by the Foreign Policy Association, the. Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs. Read more

Named among the top international affairs programs by the Foreign Policy Association, the Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs are distinctive in the New School tradition: critical, engaged, and iconoclastic.

The New School’s graduate programs in international affairs offer students unique opportunities to engage with global problems in the heart of New York City. Students develop a critical perspective on global issues and benefit from field-based learning, small classes, a distinguished faculty, and flexible study options. Students in the master’s degrees and graduate summer programs come from diverse academic backgrounds, from global and area studies to the social sciences and media studies.

Our 42-credit Master of Arts (MA) degree program is designed for students beginning their careers in international affairs. MA students select from five concentrations, enabling them to specialize in a particular area of international affairs. They also develop a wide range of tools and skills required to enter the international field and gain hands-on experience through our International Field Program and through other practice- and field-based learning opportunities in New York City and beyond. Students can pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time basis.

Students in the MA program can choose one of five concentrations:

  • Cities and Social Justice
  • Conflict and Security
  • Development
  • Governance and Rights
  • Media and Culture

Our innovative modular Master of Science (MS) degree allows early- to mid-career professionals to tailor their studies to their specific interests and career goals. The modular structure makes it possible to combine skills and substantive knowledge drawing from courses in international affairs as well as other New School programs in social research, design, media, and other fields. The MS can be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. To enter our MS, students must have at least three years of professional experience. Returned Peace Corps volunteers with two years of completed service and others with international work experience may be considered for the MS.

The MS curriculum allows students to focus on subject and skill areas that serve their personal interests and talents. Each student selects one of several Subject Modules and one of the Critical Tools and Analysis Modules. Potential combinations include: 

  • Humanitarianism + Geographic Information Systems
  • Global Advocacy + Media Production
  • Cities and Sustainable Development + Community and Participatory Development
  • Development Policy + Economic Analysis

Global Alumni Network

Our alumni community comprises a global network of over 1,400 graduates. SGPIA graduates work in public and government service, international organizations, NGOs and nonprofits, academia, the media, and the private sector. Recent SGPIA alumni hold professional positions at major international organizations such as: the United Nations, UNICEF, UNFPA, Women Deliver, Save the Children International, Oxfam America, US Department of State, Doctors Without Borders, and MSNBC.

International Field Program

The International Field Program (IFP) enables students to spend nine summer weeks working and conducting research with community-based organizations, NGOs, and government agencies around the world. They gain hands-on experience abroad while following a rigorous course of study, combining in-country seminars, professional internships, and independent research with faculty supervision. Since 2001, there have been IFP sites in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe, with new sites frequently developed.

United Nations Summer Study Program

The UN Summer Study program puts students on the ground in the UN and in New York City. The seven-week program goes beyond conventional security and diplomacy issues to investigate development, human rights, humanitarian action, peacebuilding, and environmental issues. Coursework prepares students to understand and engage with contemporary global governance, while practicums provide hands-on experience in UN consultancy work.

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Address urgent global issues, find just solutions for all communities. The New School is at the forefront of addressing global environmental issues, thanks to Milano's Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management (EPSM) program. Read more

Address urgent global issues, find just solutions for all communities.

The New School is at the forefront of addressing global environmental issues, thanks to Milano's Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management (EPSM) program. This program is designed to turn students' passion for environmental change and sustainability into careers with impact. Our students benefit from small, customized classes, a rigorous program of critical theory and practice, and close attention from a faculty engaged in research, scholarship, and cutting-edge professional practice. Our practice-based learning places students front and center alongside organizations working on the most pressing environmental issues of our time, from climate change and environmental justice to food systems and sustainable development.

Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management students also have access to the Tishman Environment and Design Center, a university-wide institute committed to bringing an interdisciplinary and environmental justice approach to contemporary environmental challenges. The Tishman Center's Student Scholars program provides a competitive grant that funds student-designed research and projects related to climate change, environmental, or sustainability issues. Students in the program also benefit from an array of courses and programs throughout the university, including the International Field Program, graduate courses across a variety of disciplines like economics and media studies, sustainable design at Parsons, and other Milano courses in management and policy.

Positive Real-World Impact

While studying in New York City — a global hub for major environmental and sustainability organizations — our students tackle real-world challenges at government institutions, corporations, small, innovative start-ups, companies, and nonprofits throughout the city. The EPSM program culminates in a capstone project in which students bring their knowledge and critical perspectives to a real-world challenge. For a sample of recent capstone projects, visit the Milano School blog.

Program Flexibility and Customization

Students customize their course of study in consultation with a program advisor, focusing broadly on either environmental policy or sustainability management. The program also offers further areas of specialization, including the option for students to create their own specialization by taking elective courses from across the university. The program is flexible and convenient for working professionals as well as recent college graduates. Students can study full-time and complete the program in two years, or study part-time for three to five years. There are numerous external scholarships available to graduate students with an environmental focus.

Career Paths and Professional Development

The EPSM faculty works closely with each student to provide mentorship and guidance as they explore their professional development goals. Faculty with extensive professional experience help students learn about environmental and sustainability careers and provide connections to networks of peers and professional organizations that can lead to future opportunities. The Milano School also has specialized career services staff that advise students and graduates as they search for internships, fellowships, and employment opportunities.

Students will be prepared to work in a variety of sectors, including government, nonprofits, advocacy and social change organizations, policy and research institutes, as well as and corporate and other private sector firms. EPSM graduates hold such positions as Director of Environment and Sustainability at Information Technology Industry Council, Sustainability Project Manager for the City of Orlando, Chief Sustainability Officer for the town of North Hempstead, NY; Green Business Support Specialist at the Center for Eco Technology; and Project Manager at the Sustainable Development Solutions Center. Others have started their own businesses or consulting firms, or have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees. See where some of our alumni are working. These alumni stay connected through a robust online Alumni Network group and the program hosts an annual on-campus Alumni and Student Mixer to strengthen the connections our students have with professionals pursuing their passion in the environmental field.


Internships enable students to acquire firsthand knowledge and skills that complement their degree. Full-time students who enter the program without related work experience and those planning a career change are required to complete a noncredit professional internship (400–900 hours).

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Students in our. Master's in Public and Urban Policy. program ask questions that challenge conventional policy definitions to rethink critical urban issues. Read more

Students in our Master's in Public and Urban Policy program ask questions that challenge conventional policy definitions to rethink critical urban issues. The New School's community of scholars examine today’s urban policy issues in real time and design creative solutions, all while working closely with policymakers in government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

We give you the opportunity to work on policy analysis in real-world settings, with a focus on social justice. Put theory into practice and apply your analytical and collaborative problem-solving skills as early as your second semester in our Urban Policy Lab. Our areas of specialization allow you to explore emerging fields of study, such as data visualization, global urban futures, food and environment, housing and community development, finance and capital markets, politics and advocacy, and many others.

The program's partnerships with Parsons School of Design and the School of Media Studies, and The New School’s commitment to design and social research as essential means of exploring the issues of our time, put you at the center of conversations around democracy, urbanization, technological change, economic empowerment, social equity, sustainability, migration, and globalization. The result is a challenge to the status quo and an opportunity for you to translate your passion into real-world policy initiatives that change people’s lives.

Set Your Own Pace

Do you want a program that is fast and focused? Or do you want to continue working full-time while you study? We offer three different paths toward your degree so that you can choose the right one for your academic and professional goals. Each combines the academic rigor, hands-on learning, and supportive and collaborative setting that are the hallmarks of the NASPAA-accredited Master of Science in Public and Urban Policy.

  • 16-Month Accelerated Option -- Take the fast track to change with this new, accelerated MS degree option. It offers the same courses, faculty, facilities, and support as the traditional path but takes just 16 months to complete.
  • Traditional Full-Time Path (2 years) -- Full-time is the traditional path for completing the MS degree, giving you time to immerse yourself more fully in internships, research, and other activities outside of the classroom.
  • Part-Time Path (3 to 3.5 years) -- Flexible and designed with working students in mind, the part-time path allows you to earn your degree in as little as three years.

Connection to New York City

New York is a global city and our local laboratory. We take advantage of the diversity of people and activities that the city attracts — from immigrant communities to Wall Street, from public schools and housing projects to meetings of world leaders — to explore the challenges faced by cities across the country and around the world. Our faculty and students work with local organizations (such as the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the Human Services Council, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice) and government leaders (such as the New York City mayor’s office and the New York City Housing Authority) to identify and understand policy alternatives that improve the lives of New Yorkers and design, advocate for, and bring about a better global urban future.

Career Paths

We prepare our students for fulfilling careers in government, international agencies, the private sector, think tanks, foundations, and nonprofits. Milano students and alumni pursue careers around the world in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors; in local, national, and international organizations; and in financial services. They support underserved constituencies by partnering with advocacy groups working on community development and housing. Many begin working in one sector and move on to another or work in organizations that build strategic alliances and partnerships across sectors. Milano degrees prepare graduates to succeed in many professions, rather than limiting them to narrow expertise. At graduation, every student has a professional portfolio and highly developed analytical and managerial skills in his or her field of study.

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Graduate students at. The New School for Social Research. ask the kind of questions that challenge the status quo across the social sciences and humanities. Read more

Graduate students at The New School for Social Research ask the kind of questions that challenge the status quo across the social sciences and humanities.

Guided by rigorous scholarship and a desire to apply academic discourse and discovery to current social problems, they critically examine interdisciplinary fields to become a force of new knowledge and ideas in the world.

All graduate programs at The New School for Social research can be completed full-time or part-time on our New York City campus. Competitive merit-based scholarships are available in all departments -- in recent years, 85% of master’s students have received merit scholarships at The New School for Social Research.

Change begins with a question. What will you ask?

Program Highlights

  • 30-credit MA, 60-credit PhD.
  • Study the relations and manifestations of power in contexts ranging from the family to the transnational environment, paying close attention to historical and contemporary movements.
  • Recent courses include Biopolitics; Conceptions of Democracy; and Privatization and Commodification.

Why the New School?

The New School for Social Research was founded in 1919 as a home for progressive thinkers, and housed the University in Exile in 1933, providing an academic haven for scholars persecuted in Nazi Europe. The school became the foundation for a comprehensive university – The New School – and continues the legacy of critical thought, civic engagement, and academic freedom today.

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