Jump to content

UC Berkeley vs AU for Masters in International Development

Recommended Posts

HELP! I've got a decision to make and I don't know what to do. I'm interested in working in Project Management in NGOs in Latin America.


I have been accepted into American University and Berkeley for Masters in International Development. I currently live in SF and really don't want to pack up and move but I want to try to make my decision based on the programs and not lifestyle.


AU is the 8th best program in the country for ID, it has been around for 35 years and is well established, has a huge alumni network and support system and is located in DC kind of the epicenter of development. The curriculum is very similar to that of Berkeley but is kind of more theory than practice focused which is something the school is currently changing. I would also combine it with 2 years in the Peace Corps so I don't think it would be too much of a detriment.


Berkeley's Masters in Development Practice is a new program only introduced last year and so there's not even a graduating class to discuss with. However there are thousands of Berkeley alums from different programs working in Development fields. The program is more practically based but because it is so new I'm worried. You can check the program out here: http://mdp.berkeley.edu/


I think American is more organized and has greater resources in place, but Berkeley is Berkeley. What should I do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would recommend sticking in SF with Berkeley. Just because their ID program might need some more organization, I think you will benefit from the strong economics and political science programs. Since you want to work on Latin American issues, I don't think there is much need for a DC based program, and the Cal name is more well known internationally. I'm not sure of your undergraduate degree, but I know my ID program at UCLA was relatively new and had a few kinks to work out, nothing major. I was able to take advantage of the strengths of all the departments that feed into the field. Development is such an interdisciplinary field anyway, I wouldn't worry about a lack of core courses or the newness of the degree. My two cents. Go with your gut, sounds like you'll be out there making a difference regardless of the name on your degree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.