The certificate in international development is available to all graduate students (masters or doctoral) currently enrolled at UNC. The certificate is issued to students upon meeting all requirements and is noted on their official transcript.

The goals of this certificate are for students to:

  • Step outside of the U.S. perspective when focusing on development; research and coursework and must therefore have significant international content.
  • Foster interdisciplinary approaches to development.
  • Engage in peer learning, especially through the spring workshop.


  1. Enroll in four graduate courses (total of 12 credit hours) on a topic related to international development and social change. At least two of these four courses must be external to the student’s home department or school.
    Important: Only up to 4.5 credit hours of these four courses can be double counted toward both the certificate and the degree the student is pursuing.
  2. Participate in a bi-weekly workshop organized each spring by the Center. This workshop is guided by the interests of enrolled students who suggest readings for discussion and present their own work. There is no grade or credit associated with this workshop. To enroll, submit an application form to the Center prior to the beginning of the spring workshop.
  3. Submit to the Center a written piece of work (masters thesis, dissertation, or major seminar paper) on a topic related to international development and social change. This piece can be work you have already written for other purposes; in other words, you do not need to write a separate work to earn the certificate.
  4. Demonstrate relevant language skills, international experience, or technical training.


  1. Apply by December 1 if you wish to participate in the spring workshop. (See step 3 to apply.)
  2. Design and execute a plan for meeting the course requirement in consultation with a relevant member of the Faculty Steering Committee. The course plan must demonstrate thematic integrity and intellectual coherence. Independent study and language courses do not count toward the certificate. To help design their plan, students can consult the list of suggested courses, but note this list is not exhaustive or regularly updated so please consider other courses as well..
  3. Complete the application form and submit it to the Center prior to the beginning of the spring workshop.
  4. Submit the written work (masters thesis, dissertation or major seminar paper) to the Center upon its completion, which may be upon completing the workshop or later in your academic training.


Niklaus Steiner, Director
Center for Global Initiatives

Faculty Steering Committee

Simon Alder, Economics
Deb Aikat
, Media and Journalism
Ron Bergquist, Information and Library Science
Yong Cai
, Sociology
Larry Chavis, Business
Erica Johnson, Global Studies
Thomas Kelley, Law
Rain Masa, Social Work
Layna Mosley, Political Science
John Pickles, Geography
Rohit Ramaswamy, Public Health
Rune Simeonsson, Education
Meenu Tewari, City and Regional Planning
Colin West, Anthropology