M.A. in Development, Management and Policy

***4/23/2018- Georgetown is concluding this MA program and is currently not taking any new applicants***

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Georgetown University (GU), in association with the School of Politics and Government of the Universidad Nacional de General San Martín (UNSAM) in Buenos Aires, Argentina offer a Graduate Program consisting of 18-24 months of coursework with additional time to complete a formal thesis leading to the joint degree of Master of Arts in Development Management and Policy (DEVM)/Maestría en Políticas Públicas y Gerenciamiento del Desarrollo (MPPyGD). Candidates for the M.A. in Development Management and Policy will have diverse educational and professional backgrounds. They may enter the program directly from colleges or universities, or from positions in the public sector, the business community, or non-governmental organizations. This program is offered in its entirety at the Universidad Nacional de San Martín in Buenos Aires. Course instruction, however, will be contingent on the faculty: GU faculty will, predominantly, teach in English; UNSAM faculty, in Spanish. For more information about UNSAM please look at:


***The DEVM program along with UNSAM's School of Politics and Government moved in May 2016 to new premises: Diagonal Roque Saenz Peña 832.***

Mission Statement

The twin goals of the DEVM program are to achieve academic excellence and to instill a sense of social responsibility. Substantively, these pillars seek to provide young professionals and aspiring academics with the instruments necessary for sound policy analysis, while also encouraging them to understand the normative and moral dimensions, which should shape policy choices. Institutionally, these pillars build on the traditional strengths of Georgetown University -- whose strongest programs stand precisely at the nexus of academic disciplines, policy studies and values. Our students will receive training in quantitative reasoning and policy analysis, along with a solid foundation in social theory, ethics, and research techniques. The program is designed to attract college and university graduates planning careers either in the public or private sector or in international organizations.

Students who complete the DEVM program will be able to:

  • Understand and explain the field of development policy, including historical and contemporary approaches, and the role of various public, private and civil societal actors in the development process.
  • Master theoretical and political approaches to development and policy and gain a deep regional knowledge of Latin America.
  • Develop effective techniques for data collection and analysis, as well as conducting original field research.
  • Write and formally defend a major scholarly project—the Masters Thesis.
  • Discuss complex theoretical and ethical ideas and apply them to a vast array of empirical contexts.

Learning Goals

In coursework, research and work/volunteer experiences students will:

  • Identify theories with scholars and schools of thought as appropriate to graduate study
  • Apply theories to various practical contexts, including subnational groups, contemporary national states, and non-governmental/international organizations.
  • Obtain and use data in an effective and ethical manner
  • Critique theoretical and empirical analyses in academic and policy arenas.
  • Be familiar with information sources in development policy including
    • Data on economic and social challenges: subnational, national, regional and international
    • Data on politics: electoral outcomes, budgetary disbursements, levels of corruption, campaign spending
    • Data on development spending and program outcome assessment
    • Data on public opinion
  • Be able to write scholarly papers that develop and defend a clearly articulated thesis
  • Be able to complete and defend successfully a Masters thesis.
  • Gain valuable hands-on experience through optional internships, jobs and volunteer work.
  • Achieve an ethical and responsible consciousness towards development and the impact of policy on individual citizens.

Recent Developments

New Scholarships

The Argentine Ministry of Education is offering a limited number of fellowships to Latin American citizens (not Argentines) who want to pursue our MA, among other Argentine MA programs. Recipients would be paid part of the tuition fee plus a monthly stipend. Please check out “Programa de Becas Roberto Carri” at http://www.me.gov.ar/dnci/becas_extran.html.

New Internships

A new formalized internship agreement came into force in 2010 with the municipality of Esteban Echeverría (a district in the Greater Buenos Aires area) that will allow teams of 4-6 students to combine classroom learning with internship practice in the fields of environmental and social politics in this municipality.

Program Accreditation

The DEVM program was commended for its work by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In his evaluation report, "Assessment Visitors' Report to Georgetown University of its Joint Master of Arts Degree in Development Management and Policy Offered with Universidad Nacional de San Martín," Dr. José Rivera, President of the University of the Sacred Heart, affirms:

"The M.A. degree program is congruent with the mission of both institutions and their academic units; it has clearly defined and Published objectives; is based on a recognized field of study; is of sufficient content and length; and is conducted at the appropriate levels of quality and rigor." "A definitive source of strength of this program is its faculty. Their resumes describe terminal degrees from distinguished institutions and an impressive list of research initiatives and publications. … When students were asked to identify the most valuable assets of the Program the response that was repeated once and again referred to the quality of the faculty and their unique mix (GU+UNSAM) of perspectives."

"I want to make a special statement as to the dedication and quality of the students interviewed. They evidence a very high level of commitment to their program and support of its goals and objectives. They are also complimentary of the mentoring services provided to them by the UNSAM faculty and the support of the staff."

Universidad Nacional de San Martín (UNSAM) The Universidad Nacional de San Martín (UNSAM), is a public research university which began with a strong commitment to the development of science and technology and now has a mandate to develop programs of excellence in the social sciences. Its emphasis in both arenas is intended to contribute to sustainable national development through strengthening the nexus between scientific research and public policy. In the natural sciences, one of the principal instruments for achieving this has been the creation of the Polo Tecnológico, a joint venture involving UNSAM, several large state sector enterprises, and a number of private business firms. In the social sciences, this effort has led to the creation of the Institute of Advanced Social Studies (IDAES) which offers four M.A. programs (Sociology of Culture, Sociology of Economic Institutions, Public Opinion, and Political Science).

The M.A. in Development Management and Policy will be coordinated jointly by the Georgetown's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and UNSAM's School of Politics and Government. Under the leadership of its Dean, Marcelo Cavarozzi (who holds a parallel appointment as Faculty Associate in our Department of Government at Georgetown), the Department of Politics and Government has hired an impressive group of young scholars whose Ph.D.s are from such major universities as the University of California, Cornell, Pittsburgh, MIT, the Universidad Complutense (Madrid), FLACSO (Mexico), and the University of Buenos Aires.

One of the distinctive characteristics of the School of Politics and Government program at UNSAM is the effort to combine theoretical perspectives from political science, political economy, and the administrative sciences with empirical analysis of Argentine and Latin American public policies. This blend provides students with the analytical tools they will need for exploring alternative political and administrative arrangements.

Georgetown University and UNSAM

The joint M.A. in Development Management and Policy between Georgetown University and UNSAM is timely. It seeks to train the policy analysts of tomorrow so they can contribute meaningfully to the reconstitution of the Argentine and Latin American states and the improvement of their administrative and social systems. The past two decades have been revolutionary for the region. Democracy has been effectively consolidated. The military have returned to the barracks and civilian control over the armed forces is now a fact. The bloated interventionist state of the past half century is no more. Privatization, liberalization of trade, and restructuring have dramatically transformed the political economy of the region--despite the recent return of more populist strains of politics.

Though positive in many ways, the collapse of the state-centered matrix has also had profoundly adverse consequences. It has decisively weakened the state both as a regulatory entity and as an arbiter of relations between markets and societies. The neo-liberal reforms have given new impetus to markets throughout the region, but they have also destroyed many social networks and dramatically shrunk state capacity. Much new wealth has been created and old, inefficient structures have collapsed, sometimes of their own weight, but the reforms have also had sharply detrimental consequences, increasing social inequality and marginality as well as fostering a great deal of corruption. Though few groups favor a return to discredited policies of the past (policies that produced huge external debts and high inflation), there is a growing consensus that a new public ethic and a strong, lean, and efficient state are crucial. Such a state should not seek to control markets or the economy, but it should provide a framework of strong and transparent legal and regulatory instruments and it should lead in the formation of effective networks for the protection of the poor. The presence of such instruments will not only rationalize domestic markets and thus reassure foreign investors; they will also create the conditions for more equitable and sustainable development.

Course of Study

The MA has a duration between 18 and 24 months of coursework, organized in 5 to 6 trimesters, plus and additional 6 to 12 months necessary for preparation and formal defense of the MA Thesis. Students are required to complete successfully 11 graded courses plus the thesis seminar. Of these 11, 6 (and the Thesis Seminar) are mandatory, while 5 courses can be chosen from a menu of elective options presented by the program and other postgraduate UNSAM programs. GU-enrolled students are required to take at least 5 courses (whether mandatory or elective) offered by visiting GU instructors at UNSAM.

While resident professors usually teach ten classes of three hours every week during a given trimester, the courses offered by GU faculty and some visiting professors have a different design.

Georgetown University faculty who teach in the DEVM Program typically teach their courses in an intensive two week-long seminar divided into 10 sessions of three hours each. Prior to the beginning of the first segment, Georgetown professors send the required reading material to UNSAM to be distributed to the students. Papers are typically due approximately one month after the intensive class sessions are complete.

The DEVM-MPPyGD Program also offers opportunities to participate in field research and/or professional consultancy-oriented teams, coordinated by UNSAM professors, in a variety of public policy sectors, including poverty alleviation, social policy, environmental policy and local development. The field work in these teams is credited as equivalent to an elective course.

The DEVM-MPPyGD Program ends with the presentation and public defense of an MA Thesis, based on independent and/or UNSAM research teams, directed by UNSAM and/or GU faculty, and tutored through the Thesis Seminar. The Thesis is expected to be a quality research paper on areas students are keen on developing in their future professional lives.