It is possible to complete this degree in as little as 16 months, provided students work with their advisor to ensure they complete a summer practicum and capstone in December. To get the most out of the program, students typically choose to lengthen their practicum and complete the program in 20 to 24 months.
During students’ nine months on campus, they complete a minimum of 28 credits. This comprises two required courses, totaling seven credits, as well as an additional 21 credits (minimum) of electives.
- Required Coursework (7 credits)
- Foundations in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management – 4 credits
- Practitioner Inquiry – 3 credits
- Electives (21 credits minimum)
Students in the self-designed MA program can take courses from SIT’s degree programs in conflict transformation, international education, and sustainable development, as well as other courses outside these degree fields. (Classes can vary from year to year.)
Examples of coursework chosen by recent students in the self-designed program include:
- Economics; Financial Management; Strategic Planning; Policy and Citizen Advocacy; Post-Conflict Reconstruction
- Training Design; Program Planning; Training for Social Action; Project Design and Planning; Financial Management
- Marketing; Training Design Theory; Conflict and Identity; Youth Program Leadership; Practice of International Education
Students can satisfy the program’s elective requirement in a number of ways, including by attending SIT courses offered in Vermont; participating in field courses offered around the world (most recently in Bangladesh, Mexico, and Turkey); or pursuing independent study. Students can also choose to take a course at a local institution and transfer the credit to SIT. Please note that in this situation, the course must be at the graduate level and the institution must be accredited.
- Area Specializations
Students may also choose a six-credit sequence of courses that constitute a specialization in one of the following areas:
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- Social Innovation and Management
- Policy Analysis and Advocacy
- Reflective Practice (12 credits)
This portion of the program is a structured approach for students to apply coursework learning to a related professional activity. During this phase (minimum six months), students receive course credit for documenting the integration of their knowledge and skills, working in a professional context in the field while remaining engaged with faculty and other students on the program. Students can complete the practicum in the US or abroad.
- Capstone Paper and Seminar
Students demonstrate, assess, and synthesize their learning through preparation of a capstone project and participation in a one-week capstone seminar held multiple times each year on SIT’s campus in Vermont. Researching and writing the capstone paper takes students deeply into the experiential learning cycle, where they explore the meaning of the practicum experience, integrate theory and practice in written and oral presentations, and make a contribution to a professional field of study. Review past capstone papers submitted by students in the self-designed program.
Students have five years from the time they enter the program to complete all degree requirements. (For any student who, because of special circumstances, studies part-time during two consecutive on-campus academic years, the program entry date is calculated from the beginning of their second on-campus year.) A student who does not complete all degree requirements (including the language and culture proficiency requirement) within five years of the entry date will be withdrawn from the program. A student with extenuating circumstances must apply to the dean of the program for an extension.
All students must fulfill a Language and Culture Proficiency Requirement before they are eligible to graduate.