Address complex questions of poverty and development

The Evans School’s International Development Certificate (formally the International Development Policy and Management Certificate program (IDCP)) offers students a foundation for addressing complex questions of poverty and development. The IDCP “transcriptable” certificate has been earned by UW graduate students from 14 departments and Schools, and allows students to study current topics in international policy, management and economics in a disciplinarily diverse classroom.


The certificate requires that students complete 9 credits of core course material and two electives (6-8 credits) that cover areas or methods focused on international development.

1. Three core courses (9 credits total).

  • PUBPOL 531: Development Management and Governance (Autumn Quarter; 4 credits) examines the characteristics of development policy and aid institutions and explores the ethical and practical considerations of managing development projects at the national and local levels. Sample syllabus
  • PUBPOL 533: Economics of International Development (Winter Quarter; 4 credits) critically examines the most common economic development indicators of poverty, growth, and inequality, and provides an overview of, and basic economic literacy around, international macroeconomic topics including debt, aid, trade, and financial markets. Sample syllabus
  • PUBPOL 598: International Development Certificate Portfolio (Spring Quarter; 1 credit) A portfolio and short analytic paper developed by each student, reflecting upon the key learning experiences of the program. The portfolio will consist of a set of papers completed through the ICDP courses, while the analytic paper will act as a reflective analytic summary of the portfolio, coursework, and student learning in the IDCP program.

2. Two elective courses (6-8 credits total) that cover areas or methods focused on international development, chosen from a list of approved electives.

Completion of the International Development Certificate will be acknowledged on the student’s official UW transcript.

Students are encouraged to review the UW Graduate School policies on certificate programs, noting in particular the following: “The overlap of coursework applied towards both programs [certificate program and degree program] must not exceed 6 credits and is limited to elective coursework in each program.”

Eligibility and Admissions

All students currently enrolled in graduate programs at any University of Washington campus with a minimum 3.0 GPA are welcome to apply. For most master’s degree students, the certificate coursework may be taken across one academic year, alongside coursework in their degree granting department. Ph.D. students are welcome to complete the program over multiple years. Only current UW graduate students are eligible to apply for this certificate.

The application for 2021-2022 will open in Autumn 2021.

The application includes:

  • A coversheet that includes your name, contact information, and a list of the documents submitted
  • A short letter of application with the following four sections, each between 100–200 words:
    • A narrative introducing yourself, your background, areas of interest, professional and academic experience, strengths, and future intentions.
    • A description of your professional experience, internationally and/or domestically, including what you did, where you were, what you learned, relevant technical and language skills, and other accomplishments or experiences.
    • A description of your areas of interest within relief and/or development and how you would contribute to the diversity of disciplines, perspectives, regions, and experiences of your cohort class.
    • An explanation of how this certificate program will help you meet your academic and professional goals, answering the question, “Why does it make sense for you to earn this certificate?”
  • A current resume listing both educational and professional experience.
  • University of Washington transcript (unofficial is fine; minimum GPA 3.0)

For more information, contact

*Please note, effective 2017-18:  the International Development Certificate Program is primarily designed for UW graduate students outside of the Evans School.  Evans School MPA students interested in pursuing a transcriptable option in international development are encouraged to pursue the International Development Program Option, which may be completed within the 72 credits required for the MPA degree.  Evans School MPA students may apply for the International Development Certificate Program, however, completion of both the MPA and certificate program will require 84 or more total credits (as no more than 6 credits can be shared between one’s degree program and certificate program).  Evans School students are encouraged to consult with Student Services staff with any questions.