Why I Chose MID

Ann Marie Toccket

Anne Marie Toccket, MID '11
Penn State Alumna
International Studies

Master of International Development


MID students promote respect for human life and human rights, often working behind the scenes to bring real improvements to the human condition through hands-on careers in public service. They work face-to-face with underprivileged and vulnerable populations, in the front offices of aid agencies, and in international organizations dedicated to protecting those who need help most.

The 48-credit MID degree is designed to prepare students to make a difference locally, nationally, and globally by emphasizing intellectual rigor and practical skills. Students study development theoretically, but also learn concrete technical and managerial skills necessary to work in organizations that promote equality in the developing world. Graduates exit the program prepared for professional work in the United Nations, public aid agencies, and charities of all sizes. Often, they pursue work in the private sector, research groups, and prominent nongovernmental organizations.

Degree Requirements and Majors

Students must complete at least 48 credits in international development and may choose one of five majors: Energy & Environment, Human Security, Nongovernmental Organizations & Civil Society, Urban Affairs & Planning, or Governance & International Public Management. Students may also pursue a minor in any of these fields, or in any of the following fields offered by GSPIA’s other degree programs: Civil Security & Disaster Management, International Political Economy, Public & Nonprofit Management, Policy Research & Analysis, or Security & Intelligence Studies.

Prior to graduation, students must also complete a 300-hour internship with an approved public, private, or nonprofit organization anywhere in the world. Pittsburgh itself is home to nearly 3,000 nonprofit organizations, including important international relief agencies, refugee relocation services, and charities that maintain an important presence in global environmental preservation and human rights.

Joint Degree Options

MID students are eligible to pursue one of several joint degrees at the University of Pittsburgh, including a joint MID/law degree (JD), MID/Master of Business Administration (MBA), MID/Master of Public Health (MPH), MID/Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS), and MID/Master of Social Work (MSW). They may also pursue a joint master’s degree through the University of Geneva in Switzerland or the Graduate School of International Cooperative Studies at Kobe University in Japan. An accelerated, five-year bachelor’s/master’s degree program is available to select University of Pittsburgh undergraduates. Read more here.

Area Studies Certificate Options

MPIA students are eligible to combine their master’s degree with a graduate certificate from the University Center for International Studies, specializing in Africa, Asia, western Europe, eastern Europe, the European Union, Latin America, or Russia. Read more here.

Related GSPIA & University Research Centers

Ridgway Center for International Security Studies
Ford Institute for Human Security
Center for Disaster Management

University Center for International Studies
African Studies Program

Asian Studies Center
European Studies Center
European Union Center of Excellence

Center for Latin American Studies
Center for Russian & East European Studies

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260