Development and



About the Program

To offer a generalist master’s program based on an interdisciplinary approach to international sustainable development. The aim is to build upon shared expertise in the Department of Development and Sustainability (DDS) and offering an academic program that has a broader scope than current academic offerings, which are very specialized. A broader and less specialized program will be especially attractive to institutions looking for managers with a broad knowledge of development issues, and candidates who may not want to narrow their academic and research skills but rather get a broader understanding of development issues in the region.


The program also responds to the needs for capacity building regarding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Asian region and beyond in ways these other programs do not since the concept of sustainability calls for expertise in both the environmental and social dimensions of long-term development.

Why Study in the DS program

The main aim of the program is to target development managers and practitioners who need a broader understanding of development issues, and a more interdisciplinary learning experience, than the current program offerings allow.


More specifically, a broader program in Development and Sustainability would be appealing to government employees and managers, international organizations, NGOs and private research institutions, as well as academics working in development studies.

Coursework and Research

The DS program currently offers a Master of Science (thesis or research study options) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD). 

The course credit requirements for each program are as follows:

Total CreditsDetail


  • ED52.03: Introduction to Development and Sustainability (2 credits)
  • 4 credits of DSP (ED84) courses
  • 2 credits of DW** (ED52) methodology course


  • Other DW or DSP courses
  • Minimum 2 credits and maximum 5 credits from each program out of DPMI / GDS / NRM / UIS *
  • Maximum 3 credits from any other courses, including SET / SOM / IWC***

Special Study

  • Progress defense
  • Final defense (small research based on a literature review)


(2 semesters)




Research Study (RS) + Minor or Exchange

RS or Internship (I)


(8 credits)

·        2 credits ED52.03 – Introduction to Development and Sustainability

·        4 credits of DSP (ED84) courses

·        2 credits of DW* (ED52) methodology course


Other DW* or DSP courses

Minimum of 2 credits and maximum of 5 credits from each program out of DPMI, GDS, NRM, UIS **

Minimum of 2 credits and maximum of 8 credits from each program out of DPMI, GDS, NRM, UIS

Maximum 3 credits from any other courses, including SET / SOM / IWC ***

Maximum of 6 credits from any other course, including SET / SOM / IWC

Total 18 credits

Total 16 credits

Total 28 credits

Minor or Exchange




Thesis, RS or I





(4 semesters)


Total CreditsDetail


  • One of the DW* (ED52) methodology courses (2 credits)
  • One 1-credit course (e.g., IWC ***)


(4 semesters)

Total CreditsCourse (Credits)

Elective Courses

(GPA >= 3.25)

  • Minimum 2 credits of DSP (ED84) courses
  • Minimum 2 credits of DW* (ED52) methodology courses
  • Minimum 2 credits and maximum 5 credits from each of minimum 2 programs out of DPMI, GDS, NRM, UIS**
  • Other DW (ED52) or DSP (ED84) courses
  • Maximum 3 credits of Special Study


  • Advancement-to-candidacy (ATC) examination
  • Publication
  • External examination
  • Final examination
(7 semesters)
84Total number of credits for Ph.D. Degree

* DW = Department-wide

* * Development Planning Management and Innovation (DPMI), Gender and Development Studies (GDS), Natural Resources Management (NRM), and Urban Innovation and Sustainability (UIS)

*** IWC = Institute-wide course

Courses offered in the department tend to use a practical approach to learning. This includes lab and team work and exercises, group presentations, seminars and discussions, and field trips. We also offer the possibility of taking an internship (usually with international organizations or NGOs) which can provide up to 3 credits of coursework equivalent. Finally, there are several opportunities for student exchange programs.

For the master’s degree, research work for the thesis option normally requires one year, while research work in the research study option requires 4 to 6 months. The research study option requires 38 credits of coursework while the thesis option requires 26 credits of coursework. The thesis option is usually intended for those who will pursue careers in research work or continue towards doctoral studies.

Research Opportunity

Students can conduct their research work under the supervision of any faculty member from the four core programs (GDS, NRM, RRDP, UEM). A thesis or research study advisor will be selected based on the proposed topic of research and the related expertise of faculty members

Research proposals should include a development-related problematic and address either
(or both) social and environmental components of sustainability

Field trip to Mae Sot for a course related to migration
Field trip to Chanthaburi for a NRM course

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Scholarships/Fellowships Available

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