Students, alumni, and faculty describe SIT's Sustainable Development degree.

SIT’s master’s in development in Washington, DC, is designed to significantly advance students’ leadership capacity, practical skills, and networking channels, particularly within the areas of sustainability, social justice, and entrepreneurship.

Students earn their degree in just one year while benefiting from the resources available through SIT’s parent organization, World Learning—a global nonprofit— and the broader marketplace of development organizations headquartered in the US capital. The program is designed for professionals from across the globe with some relevant work experience.

The program is distinguished for its emphasis on:

  • Social innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Local leadership and community ownership
  • Global collaboration
  • Respon­sible action and service
  • Integration of theory and practice

There is strong synergy between the program’s coursework delivered in the classroom; the hands-on, real-world learning acquired in the field; and its emphasis on each student’s career interests.

SIT Graduate Institute Washington, DC CenterStudents on the program can expect to:

  • Learn firsthand from some of the most innovative development organizations in the world
  • Acquire a specialization in a specific professional area: monitoring, evaluation, and learning; policy analysis and advocacy; or social innovation and management
  • Take intensive field courses—abroad or in the US
  • Attend World Bank and IMF training on civil-society engagement
  • Benefit from the program's innovative new Sustainable Solutions seminar series, bringing together leaders from across sectors and policy levels to discuss sustainable interventions and solutions
  • Be connected with leaders, actors, and institutions that are addressing educa­tion, health, gender, environmental, and civil society problems—at grassroots and senior-policy levels.
  • Gain unique, inside access to World Learning staff working in the fields of international development and exchange
  • Be placed in a structured, full-time practicum with a development or impact-investing organization.
  • Attend valuable networking events, including receptions with practicum partners.
  • Benefit from small classes and a cohort-based learning format.

Students receive sustained career mentorship, including through the development of an online professional portfolio, through the program’s career coach and other staff.

Degree Sequence

On-Campus Coursework, Two Terms (6 months) (23-29 credits)

  • Summer Term: May–August
  • Fall Term: September–December

Practicum, One Term (3 months) (9 credits)

  • Three months working full-time with an organization

Capstone Paper and Presentation (2 credits)

  • Final paper and presentation on campus

Join a global network of development projects and professionals.

SIT Graduate Institute has been preparing international development professionals for 45 years. As the higher education institution of World Learning, SIT provides students with unique opportunities and resources to build their careers worldwide.