Graduate Certificate in International Research

The Graduate Certificate in International Research allows graduate students already working towards a graduate degree to attain special recognition for work in international development. The specialization provides guidance in the choice of electives, course alternatives within the discipline, and thesis topics. It is designed to broaden students' academic experiences while enabling them to better face international challenges.

International Development is a process of improving the lives of people in developing countries. It has three components: education and training, collaborative research, and technical assistance. Development work is multidisciplinary in nature, often involving members of several disciplines working together to define a common goal. No single discipline can provide a thorough understanding of the development process. The Graduate Certificate in International Research encourages a multidisciplinary approach on the part of the student.

Admission Requirements

You must register no later than the last day to add courses of your last semester. Additionally, you must:

  • be accepted as a graduate student in an established academic department
  • have at least one faculty member with experience in international development on your graduate committee
  • have your application signed by your major professor
  • submit your program of study

Certificate Requirements

To receive a certificate, you must:

  • take at least three courses from the approved list
  • ensure that one course is outside your department, and one course is outside your college; cross-listed courses do not satisfy this requirement
  • write your major paper or thesis on a topic related to international development

Application Process

  • Fill out the Graduate Certificate application (PDF, 628 KB).
  • After obtaining the necessary signatures, return the original application to the Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown (campus mailstop 0325) and submit a copy to OIRED (campus mailstop 0378).
  • Fill out the OIRED form (PDF, 175 KB) and return it to OIRED along with your program of study.
  • Before graduation, submit an abstract of your thesis, dissertation, or major paper to OIRED.

Approved Courses

Alert: 4000-level courses are no longer accepted toward the Graduate Certificate in International Research. Our list of approved courses, below, has been updated to reflect this. If you wish to take a 4000-level course and have it count toward the Graduate Certificate in International Research, consult your academic advisor to see if an equivalent graduate course is available.

See a list of approved courses (PDF, 174 KB) for the certificate. Remember, you must take at least three courses from the list provided. In addition, one course must be outside your department, and another course must be outside your college.

Note: Independent and Special Studies as well as courses taken abroad are accepted but must be relevant to international development and are subject to approval by the Certificate Advisory Committee.

Theresa with kids.

Emily Van Houweling and several of her friends blow bubbles with children in a Tuareg camp north of Timbuktu, Mali.

“The Graduate Certificate in International Research will give my degree in urban and regional planning an international focus. Pursuing the certificate made a lot of sense and it should help me with my future ambitions of working for an international non-governmental organization.”

-Emily Van Houweling