The concentration in African Development provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to address the challenges and opportunities presented by development issues in Africa. Students will learn both about the region, critical development policies, processes and capabilities and how to combine region-specific knowledge with cutting-edge skills to contribute to developmental advances in Africa.


In terms of both economies and populations, Africa represents the fastest-growing region of the world. At the same time, major structural issues challenge development in Africa – many of which are becoming exacerbated by global dynamics such as climate change, automation, corruption, a lack of democracy and the weakness of civil society. Advances in development in Africa require an understanding of the complex environment of developmental issues common to all developing countries and regions, in combination with topics unique to Africa resulting from the region’s history, geography, climate, culture and natural resources. Understanding how these two areas intersect offers insight into a unique set of regional challenges and opportunities. While there are certainly continent-wide attributes that apply to all of Africa, certain regions, such as Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Africa, have their own aspects that shape developmental needs and responses. Together, these factors combine to make African Development an especially interesting and potentially rewarding topic to address.


Students wishing to receive attestation certifying the depth of their specialization in this particular area will be required to successfully complete at least four of the courses from the list below.

Please note that this list will be reviewed from time to time depending on the available course offerings at any given time. Students should check the availability of these courses with the SIA academic adviser and the individual course instructors. Students should also determine if there are prerequisites for enrolling in a particular course.


  1. Water and Sustainable Development — INTAF 501 (3 credits)
  2. Science, Technology and International Policy — INTAF 502 (3 credits)
  3. Political Economy of Development and Growth — INTAF 504 (3 credits)
  4. Strategy, Conflict, Peace (Game Theory) — INTAF 505 (3 credits)
  5. Political Economy of Energy and Extractive Industries in Africa (Oil and Mining) — INTAF 534 (3 credits)
  6. Ethical Dimensions in Food and Agricultural Governance — INTAF 511 (3 credits)
  7. Economic Challenges of Africa — INTAF 597* (3 credits)
  8. Economic Development and the Environment — INTAF 597* (3 credits)
  9. Global Health Security — INTAF 597* (3 credits)
  10. Institutional Change and Development — INTAF 597* (3 credits)
  11. International Development and The Ethics of Development Assistance — INTAF 597* (3 credits)
  12. Property, Poverty and Development — INTAF 597* (3 credits)
  13. Energy, International Security, and the Global Economy — INTAF 810 (3 credits)
  14. Dynamics of International Economic Order: Law, Politics, and Power — INTAF 815 (3 credits)
  15. War and Peace — INTAF 816 (3 credits)
  16. North Africa after the Arab Spring - INTAF 897 (3 credits)
  17. Ethnic Conflict in Africa — AFR/PLSC 443 (3 credits)
  18. Extractive Industries in Africa — AFR/PLSC 464 (3 credits)
  19. Government and Politics of Africa — AFR 454 (3 credits)
  20. African Health and Development — BBH 402 (3 credits)
  21. Women in Developing Countries — CED 420 (3 credits)
  22. International Community and Economic Development — CED 425 (3 credits)
  23. Economic Growth and Poverty — ECON 413 (3 credits)
  24. Environmental Economics — ECON 428 (3 credits)
  25. The Winners and Losers from Globalization — ECON 438 (3 credits)
  26. Health Economics — ECON 445 (3 credits)
  27. Growth and Development — ECON 471 (3 credits)
  28. Development Economics — ECON 570 (3-6 credits)
  29. Social Entrepreneurship — ENGR 451** (3 credits)
  30. Projects in Humanitarian Engineering — EDSGN 452** (2 credits; HESE program)
  31. Design for Development Communities — EDSGN 453** (1 credit; HESE program)
  32. HESE Field Experience — EDSGN 454** (.5 credit)
  33. HESE Reflection and Research Dissemination — ENGR 455** (3 credits)
  34. International Business in Emerging Markets — IB 460 (3 credits)
  35. International Development in the African Context — IB 470 (3 credits)
  36. Labor in the Global Economy: U.S. and South African Perspectives — LER 475 (3 credits)

* Frequency and availability of Special Topics 597 courses will vary each semester.

** Courses are part of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program. EDSGN 452 and EDSGN 453 taken concurrently can be used toward the M.I.A. elective requirements. EDSGN 454 is an optional travel component to the course for .5 credits during the Maymester after successful completion of the two courses. Please note: the international experience during the Maymester semester in combination with ENGR 455 (HESE Reflection and Research Dissemination) for 3 credits can serve as a Capstone project (internship or master's paper). Students interested in the Capstone option should speak with the SIA director of career services.