What is DS?

Development Studies is an interdisciplinary social science concentration. The study of complex processes of social, economic, cultural and political development has theoretical, methodological, practical and ethical dimensions. As such, it calls on a wide range of academic disciplines. Development Studies concentrators are encouraged to develop the combination of skills and specialized knowledge that is best suited to their area of interest within the field. The study of development in a particular region or nation requires an intimate knowledge of internal factors, as well as an understanding of larger global processes.

The concentration emphasizes what is distinctive - both historically and culturally - about particular regions and the ways in which their development reflects general processes of socio-economic change. Thus, each individual program of study should include analytically oriented courses that cut across particular regions as well as courses that deepen local and historical knowledge.


Rie Ohta '13.5 meeting a Shaman in MongoliaRie Ohta '13.5 meeting a Shaman in MongoliaWhile the concentration is designed to produce graduates with expertise in the study of development rather than area specialists, the large majority of concentrators combine their course work with some kind of first-hand experience in the developing world. Most students have spent time in developing countries either by studying or conducting research for their capstone project abroad.

The main strength of the concentration is the concentrators themselves. They have achieved impressive results academically and have taken numerous initiatives in organizing activities on campus.