About the Program
The UC Berkeley Master of Development Practice (MDP) is an interdisciplinary, professional degree program designed to prepare leaders to tackle the local, regional, and global challenges of the coming decades. Graduates go on to careers “with meaning” in non-profit, business and government organizations. Attracting experienced, engaged, and entrepreneurial students from around the world, its rigorous curriculum provides core scientific knowledge; skills in problem-solving, design and management; analytical and decision-making tools, and integrative perspectives. The program’s foundational core curriculum is supplemented by individually customized specialization, drawing from the unparalleled breadth and depth of the world’s top public university. The Berkeley MDP’s focus is on practice with hands-on, experiential learning infused throughout the program. It emphasizes peer learning, enriched by a student cohort diverse in education, profession, and culture. Students come with backgrounds across the sciences and humanities; 40-50% of each cohort has been from outside the US, with alumni representing 26 nations.
The Berkeley MDP is a member of the Global Association of MDP programs — thirty-seven graduate programs in twenty-seven countries — sharing a common approach and designed around a set of core capabilities developed through a year-long consultative process supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Admission to the University
Minimum Requirements for Admission
The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:
- A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
- A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
- If the applicant has completed a basic degree from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
- Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.
Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree
The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without the need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.
Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.
Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.
The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:
- Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
- Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.
Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.
Required Documents for Applications
- Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
- Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants who have completed a basic degree from a country or political entity in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to institutions from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
courses in English as a Second Language,
courses conducted in a language other than English,
courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
courses of a non-academic nature.
If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be sent electronically from the testing center to University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Division, Sproul Hall, Rm 318 MC 5900, Berkeley, CA 94720. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.
Where to Apply
Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page.
Admission to the Program
Berkeley offers admission to applicants who appear to have the highest potential for graduate study and who, with the benefit of a graduate education, are the most likely to contribute substantially to their academic or professional fields through teaching, research, or professional practice.
International applicants must demonstrate English proficiency by taking one of the following exams:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Selection criteria for the master’s program will include the applicant’s talent, academic background, work experience, leadership experience, vision, involvement in critical issues or new areas of research (such as poverty or climate change) and/or proven entrepreneurship. Applicants oriented towards developing managerial skills, improving public policy, and increasing interdisciplinary capacities as development practitioners will receive priority.
In addition to technical backgrounds and leadership potential, we will aim to establish diverse cohorts seeking balance among gender and ethnicity. We expect a highly competitive selection process leading to a mix of qualified international and domestic students. UC Berkeley requires a minimal level of mathematical and statistical skills that will be augmented by the Boot Camp, which will aim to ensure that students have the necessary computer skills and a basic understanding of economics, sociology, and business concepts.
Master's Degree Requirements
|Summer Boot Camp: Intro to Program, Basic Skills Training|
|Science Requirement: Take At Least 2 Courses (All 3 Recommended):|
|DEVP 221||Climate, Energy and Development||3|
|DEVP 227||Principles of Natural Resource Management||2|
|DEVP 232||Foundations of Public Health||2|
|Interactive Seminar: Taken Each Fall/Spring Semester|
|DEVP 239||Interactive/Multidisciplinary Seminar (Each Semester)||2|
|Additional Core Courses:|
|DEVP 222||Economics of Sustainable Resource Development||3|
|DEVP 228||Strategic Planning and Project Management||3|
|DEVP 229||Quantitative Methods and Impact Evaluation||3|
|DEVP 233||Law, Politics, and Policymaking||3|
|DEVP 237||Leadership, Conflict Resolution, and Community Development||3|
|DEVP C253||International Economic Development Policy||3|
3 units of coursework in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Product Development, and/or Marketing.
4 units of Independent Study (298/299) for Final Project/Thesis.
8+ units of elective coursework (100/200 level)
Faculty and Instructors
+Indicates this person is a member of the MDP Executive Committee.
+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.
Jennifer L. Bussell, Associate Professor. Comparative politics and political economy of development and governance in South Asia and Africa .
+ Alain De Janvry, Professor. Agricultural & Resource Economics, Agriculture, poverty and inequality, quantitative analysis of development policies, impact analysis of social programs, technological innovations in agriculture, management of common property resources .
+ Daniel Farber, Professor. Constitutional law, public choice and public law .
Louise Fortmann, Professor. Natural resource sociology, agriculture and community natural resource management in east and southern Africa, conservation and environment, political ecology, property, and democratizing science.
+ Paul Gertler, Professor. Impact assessment, poverty alleviation and economic growth .
Wayne Marcus Getz, Professor. Population modeling epidemiology and resource wildlife management.
+ Michael O'Hare, Professor. Arts Policy, Quantitative Methods, Environment, Public Management.
Isha Ray, Associate Professor. Water and development, Gender, water and sanitation, technology and development.
Thomas Reardon, Professor. Supply/value chains in sustainable development .
+ Arthur L. Reingoldc, Professor. Epidemiology, emerging and re-emerging infections and vaccine preventable diseases in developing countries and the US .
David Roland Holst, Adjunct Professor. Economics related to environment, development, agriculture, and international trade .
George T. Scharffenberger, Lecturer, MDP Program Director. MDP Interactive Seminars.
Sofia Berto Villas-Boas, Associate Professor. Marketing & innovation.
Glenn Yago, Senior Fellow & Founder, Milken Institute. Financial innovations for sustainable development -- capital markets, emerging and frontier markets, and environmental finance .
+ David Zilberman, Associate Professor, MDP Faculty Director. Agricultural and environmental policy, the economics of innovation, risk, marketing, water, and pest control, biotechnology and climate change, political economy .
Omar Romero-Hernandez, Lecturer. Project management.
Susan Carpenter, Lecturer. Dispute resolution practitioner and conflict resolution .
Mark Coopersmith, Senior Fellow Lecturer. Entrepreneurship.
John Danner, Senior Fellow Lecturer. Entrepreneurship.
Neil Popovic, Lecturer. International and environmental law .
Frank Schultz, Lecturer. Business and social sector strategy.
Development Practice Program
311 Wellman Hall
David Zilberman, PhD
337 Giannini Hall
311B Wellman Hall
Director, Career & Student Services
311A Wellman Hall
311C Wellman Hall