Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

The Institute’s Master’s in International Policy and Development (IPD) program provides our diverse community of students with an in-depth knowledge of policy processes and systems in organizational, national, and global contexts. Our graduates develop the knowledge, abilities, and skills needed to analyze, formulate, and assess policies linked to a broad range of issues including human security, human rights, migration, democratic governance, social justice, poverty reduction, gender and development, conflict resolution, and environmental sustainability.

These learning goals are woven throughout your entire IPD experience.


  • Understand linkages among policy, programs, projects, and people (i.e., primary target groups, secondary target groups, and those affected by unintended consequences of policies)
  • Understand the intertwining roles of actors from government, the private sector, and civil society in solving complex challenges
  • Understand contested development paradigms, theories, and practices
  • Understand why wicked problems exist, obstacles to their solution, and the trade-offs embedded in proposed policy responses

Specific Abilities

  • Effectively engage in all facets of the policy process (i.e., problem definition; policy research; goal setting; policy option generation; preferred option selection; policy implementation; and policy evaluation)
  • Build networks and partnerships with diverse actors to meet policy-related goals and optimally address complex problems
  • Communicate and negotiate effectively with diverse, multicultural stakeholder groups to achieve policy-related goals
  • Appropriately use a variety of social science research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, to inform policy-related decisions
  • Apply concepts and theories drawn from economics to policy-related decision-making lead individuals, teams, and Social Change Organizations (SCOs)

General Skills

  • Systemic planning to achieve policy-related goals
  • Political and power analysis
  • Research using primary and secondary sources
  • Data generation and analysis (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Critical self-reflection
  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Application of lessons learned and preferred professional practices to all facets of the policy process
  • Collaborative, productive engagement with colleagues and stakeholders