Room 3356, Friedmann Hall
The Master of Development Administration (MDA) program is designed to prepare candidates for careers in international development and to meet the specialized needs of public administrators from the developing countries. The course of instruction has as its focus the political dimensions of development and democratization and includes a strong multidisciplinary component that draws from public administration, economics, computer science, business and management, social work, human resources and health delivery systems, and educational leadership.
The program is designed for two types of students: Public administrators and officials from developing countries who require additional training to meet new or increased responsibilities; and recent graduates from both developing and industrial countries, including the United States, who are interested in development–careers in the public sector, i.e., in government, non-governmental organization, or international organization.
The MDA program includes development administration theory and practice, exposure to development strategies, and the honing of skills. MDA students are guided in their work by established and experienced members of the academic community, all of whom are research scholars, and the majority of whom have lived and worked in the developing countries. Usually faculty have had experience with national and/or international organizations, or have worked with a variety of governments on development projects.
Two options exist—the standard MDA program and the Peace Corps option. The admission and program requirements for each option are listed below.
Standard MDA Program Option
Applicants must satisfy the requirements for admission to The Graduate College in order to be considered for admission to this program. An applicant must possess an undergraduate degree, preferably in the social sciences with either a concentration in political science or public administration, and should have some exposure to economics and/or statistics. Applicants with actual public administration experience may, under some circumstances, substitute professional attainments for undergraduate preparation.
A grade point average of 3.0 in all undergraduate work is normally a requirement for admission to the MDA program; however, where grading scales are computed differently, equivalencies will be determined. International students must obtain from and submit their applications to the WMU Office of International Student Services. American students should apply through the WMU Graduate Admissions Office. The Department of Political Science also requires three recommendations (using WMU Graduate Reference Forms), a one page statement of the student’s interest in the MDA program, and any other supporting data that can assist the Department’s Admissions Committee, which screens and judges all applications.
All students must demonstrate English proficiency (i.e., the ability to speak, read, and write in the English language) before entering the MDA program. A Career English Program is available for students whose English language capabilities are limited.
Students are encouraged to submit all required application materials by June 15 for the fall semester; by September 15 for the winter semester; and by February 15 for the spring session.