The Pearson Institute International Policy and Development Certificate

Develop a robust understanding of development issues and the tools with which to evaluate global challenges present across sectors and policy fields.
Develop a robust understanding of development issues and the tools with which to evaluate global challenges present across sectors and policy fields.


The International Policy and Development (IPD) Certificate focuses on two broad kinds of questions:

1. How to achieve economic and political development? These courses focus on why some people and societies are poor, unequal, unstable, or unfree, and what circumstances and policies promote wealth, equality, stability, and freedoms.

2. How to design and implement public policy globally? The courses focus on public policy issues in an international setting across a range of subjects, including: education, health, children, criminal justice, public finance, labor markets, elections, and so forth.

The IPD Certificate is designed to prepare students for careers in government, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, or multinational corporations.

Students who complete this certificate will be able to:

  • Assess key arguments advanced historically and currently in the arena of development

  • Understand whether and why an intervention is successful or not, whether an intervention is scalable and how to meaningfully measure outcomes

  • Seek data-driven solutions to development issues across multiple sectors, including economy, education, governance, energy, security, gender, health, and the environment

The certificate’s curated list of electives is designed to allow students to explore multiple academic approaches to understanding development, including from economics, political science, statistics, and psychology. In addition, we encourage students pursuing the certificate to participate in events sponsored by The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts.

Harris certificates function as areas of specialization within the degree. Certificates assume knowledge of the 6-course Harris Core and build upon that foundation with coursework in specific policy areas or technical skills.

Application Process

The certificate is open to any University of Chicago graduate student. Harris students please indicate your intent to pursue this certificate using the Harris Certificate Application Form. If you are a non-Harris student and intend to complete the requirements for the International Policy and Development certificate please submit the Harris Certificate Application for Non-Harris Students to indicate you are pursuing this certificate.

For certificate registration questions, please reach out to

Planning for the Certificate

For information on which quarter(s) each course will be offered see the Harris Courses page and filter by certificate. For courses offered by other divisions the typical quarter(s) offered has been indicated.

Certificate Requirements

The certificate requires completion of three certificate courses. Students must achieve at least a B- grade in each course. No certificate course may be taken on a pass/fail grading basis. The courses do not need to be taken in a particular order. Students should complete the formal signup process to indicate their intention to pursue the certificate.

The certificate will be awarded to students who complete any three of the qualifying courses; however, the following two courses are recommended as a fundamental sequence of the certificate:

The following courses also fulfill the requirement for the International Development and Policy certificate:

Certificate Contacts

Rebecca Wolfe, Faculty Administrative Director

Christopher Blattman, Certificate Director

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