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BA International Development Studies

A major in International Development Studies at Portland State University prepares students to understand the challenges that developing nations face to achieve improved living conditions for their inhabitants.

Quick Facts

Full-time Duration: 4 years
Starting in: January, April, September
Tuition Fee: $29,706 per year
Location: Portland Campus (Portland, United States) / Blended

In our courses, we emphasize how development is shaped by the intersections of politics, economy, social and political power, and culture at global, national, and regional levels. Our majors acquire a critical understanding of environmental vulnerabilities and socio-economic inequalities in the developing world, grounded in an appreciation of global history.

The major in International Development Studies at Portland State University are well-prepared for further graduate education and to work in NGOs and state agencies alike.


A degree in International Development Studies prepares students for a wide range of careers in the nonprofit, private, and government sectors. Graduates of our program have found opportunities all over the world in:

  • Graduate programs in International Affairs, Business, International Development, Political Science, Urban Studies, Public Health, etc.
  • Private-sector employers, including international businesses
  • Aid organizations such as the International Red Cross
  • Nonprofits focused on issues ranging from health to education, food systems, gender rights, sustainability, and more
  • Business incubators and trade organizations
  • Government agencies and grassroots organizations, with a focus on international affairs
  • Journalism and media organizations

Courses Included

  • Environment and Development in Latin America
  • Commodity Chains: From Silver to Cocaine
  • Gender and Development
  • Amazon Rainforest
  • Modern Brazil
  • Post-Colonial Studies of Africa
  • Globalization and Forced Migration
  • Foundations of Global Studies
  • The United States and the World