University of Florida - Master of Sustainable Development Practice (MDP) Program

  • FL


470 Grinter Hall
PO Box 115560
United States

About Us

The Master of Sustainable Development Practice Program is a graduate program administered jointly between the Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida. Initiated in 2009 with a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, the MDP Program is part of a Global network of 24 programs worldwide.

The MDP Program at the University of Florida is a professional, interdisciplinary program designed for individuals aspiring to pursue work in international development. Coursework is combined with hands on field experience to provide the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for a career in a wide range of development organizations and institutions. The overall MDP Program curriculum integrates the social sciences, health sciences, natural/biological sciences, and management skills into a holistic approach to sustainable development. Applicants to the program may possess a degree in any discipline participating in development processes directly or indirectly. Students from all regions of the world are encouraged to apply. The program spans four academic semesters and a summer field practicum. Students take eight core classes during their first two semesters. Next, students undertake an intensive 10-12 week field practicum over the summer, during which they apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the first academic year to address specific development challenges identified by governments, communities and/or organizations in different parts of the world.

We train students to become skilled practitioners who are able to:

  • Intellectually and culturally address complex sustainable development challenges by working across disciplinary boundaries and bridge scholarship and practice
  • Analyze and communicate multi-dimensional development problems (such as poverty, weak governance, and climate vulnerability) at the interface of the environment, health and development.
  • Plan, manage and monitor development interventions.
  • Acquire the knowledge and skills for assessing or managing organizations, staff and teams