Skip to content

MITx MicroMasters® Program Pathway to the Global Development Practice Degree

Designed solely for students who’ve completed the MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Design of Policy (formerly known as the MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy), this degree pathway offers an innovative sustainability and social justice curriculum to complement the MITx curriculum. The pathway will help you gain the breadth and perspective necessary to lead development initiatives for your communities.

Harvard Extension School is a member of the Global Association of Master in Development Practice. It meets the association’s standard of core development practice competencies.

What You’ll Learn

Through the master’s degree in the field of global development practice you:

  • Develop a holistic understanding of policy instruments, social complexities, human health risks, ecological system dynamics, technological innovations, and financial models to advance sustainable development.
  • Engage with the global network of development professionals.
  • Employ state-of-the-art project management techniques.
  • Leverage local knowledge through global practice.

Required Courses

In this pathway, Harvard Extension School will credit four courses (16 credits) toward the global development practice program for earning the MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Design of Policy, leaving you with 8 courses (32 credits) to complete.

8 Graduate Courses (32 credits)

The degree field is offered online with 1 required course on campus here at Harvard University. Weekend options are available for the on-campus course.

The primarily asynchronous format offers the most flexibility for international students or those with variable work schedules.

Core Courses

  • ENVR 101 Proseminar: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Sustainability and Global Development 
  • DEVP 102 Global Development Theory and Practice
  • DEVP 110 Global Classroom: Foundations of Sustainable Development Practice
  • 1 global health course
  • 1 management course
  • 2 global development practice electives

Capstone Courses

  • Precapstone tutorial (noncredit)
  • The final capstone (on campus)

Search for Courses

The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) offers degree courses all year round.

  • You can study in fall, January, and spring terms through Harvard Extension School (HES) and during the summer through Harvard Summer School (HSS).
  • You can enroll full or part-time with most degree candidates, after qualifying for admission, choosing 2 courses per semester (fall/spring) and 1 in the January term as well as summer.
  • Most fall and spring courses meet online once a week for 2 hours, while January and summer courses meet more frequently in a condensed format.

To find degree courses in the DCE Course Search and Registration platform:

  • Under Search Classes, scroll to Harvard Extension Degree, Certificate, and Premedical Course Search.
  • Select Graduate Degrees
  • Choose Global Development Practice to explore program courses.

The Capstone Experience

You will engage in a consulting project to design and execute a development plan (DP) for a client. You are encouraged to select a client near where you live and align the project with local community interests. Client stakeholders may be located in any country.

On-Campus Requirements

You have two options to complete the on-campus capstone:

  • Accelerated on-campus option: as an online course with an intensive weekend on campus (spring term)
  • Standard on-campus option: as a three-week on-campus course through the Harvard Summer School

The Harvard Summer School (HSS) is ideal for those who want a more traditional on-campus experience. HSS offers housing, meal plans, and a prolonged on-campus experience here at Harvard University.

International students see below.

International Students Who Need a Student Visa

To meet the on-campus requirement, you choose the Standard option and study with us in the summer, completing the 3-week capstone. You can easily request an I-20 for the F-1 student visa through Harvard Summer School. For more information, see the important visa information on International Student Study Options.

Admissions and Getting Started

Earn Your Way In

Once you have earned the MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Design of Policy, you begin the admission process by simply registering—no application needed—for the following graduate-level course:

  • ENVR 101 Proseminar: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Sustainability and Global Development

Prerequisites: To register for the course, you’ll need to pass our online test of critical reading and writing skills. Alternatively, you can complete EXPO 42b Writing for the Social Sciences with a grade of B or higher at the undergraduate or graduate level to meet the proseminar registration requirement, but EXPO 42b will not count toward the degree.

Grade Requirements: The proseminar must be completed with a grade of B or higher, without letting your overall Harvard cumulative GPA dip below 3.0. You have two registration attempts to earn the minimum grade of B in the proseminar, which cannot be more than two years old at the time of application.

Eligibility: Prior to beginning this pathway, which starts with your first MITx course, you need to possess a four-year, regionally accredited US bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. You cannot already have or be in the process of earning a master’s degree in development practice or related field.

Submitting Your Application

During the semester that you are completing the proseminar, submit the official application to the program.

Don’t delay! It is critical to prioritize the degree course for admission and apply before completing subsequent courses. By doing so, you’ll:

  • avoid the loss of credit due to expired course work or changes to admission and degree requirements.
  • ensure your enrollment in critical and timely degree-candidate-only courses.
  • pay the standard versus delayed application fee.
  • gain access to exclusive benefits (see bottom of page).

Eligible students who submit a complete and timely application will have 7 more courses after admission to earn the degree.

For more details about eligibility, the application process, and application fees, visit Admissions.

MicroMasters Program Admission Pathway Policy

The MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Design of Policy must be earned prior to enrolling in any degree-applicable courses at Harvard. Further, the credential cannot be more than three years old at the time of application. Credit is only granted for the entire MicroMasters credential; Harvard credit will not be awarded for individual courses.

For more details about Harvard Extension School degree program eligibility and the application process, visit Admissions. If you have questions about the MicroMasters program, contact MITx directly.

Cost and Financial Aid

Affordability is core to our mission. You’ll find our tuition comparable to tuition at public universities. And when compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.

Our Tuition (2023-24 rate)$3,220 per course
Average Tuition of Peer Institutions$5,476 per course

After admission, you may qualify for financial aid. Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.

To Complete Your Degree

Required GPA, Withdrawal Grades, and Repeat Courses

GPA. You need to earn a B or higher in the proseminar course required for admission as well as DEVP 102 Global Development Theory and Practice and a B– or higher in each of the subsequent courses. In addition, your cumulative GPA cannot dip below 3.0.

Withdrawal Grades. You are allowed to receive 1 withdrawal (WD) grade without it affecting your GPA. Any additional WD grades count as zero in your cumulative GPA. See Academic Standing.

Repeat Courses. We advise you to review the ALM program’s strict policies about repeating courses. Generally speaking, you may not repeat a course to improve your GPA or to fulfill a degree requirement (if the minimum grade was not initially achieved). Nor can you repeat a course for graduate credit that you’ve previously completed at Harvard Extension School or Harvard Summer School at the undergraduate level.

Courses Expire: Apply on Time and Finish Your Coursework in Five Years

You have five years to complete the degree requirements. The five-year timeline begins at the end of the term in which you complete any one degree-applicable course at Harvard, regardless of whether or not you have been admitted to the degree program. Moreover, Harvard courses over five years old at the point of admission will not count toward the degree.

Potential degree candidates must plan accordingly and submit their applications to comply with the five-year course expiration policy or they risk losing degree credit for completed course work. Additionally, admission eligibility will be jeopardized if, at the point of application to the program, the five-year degree completion policy cannot be satisfied.

Graduate with Your Harvard Degree

When you have fulfilled all degree requirements, you will earn your Harvard University degree: Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Global Development Practice. Degrees are awarded in November, March, and May, with the annual Harvard Commencement ceremony in May.

Degree Candidate Exclusive Benefits

When you become an officially admitted degree candidate, you have access to a rich variety of exclusive benefits to support your academic journey. To learn more, visit degree candidate academic opportunities and privileges.