The School of Foreign Service announced Tuesday that it will introduce two new Master of Arts degrees in hopes of giving students an edge in changing industries.
The Global Human Development and Asian Studies degrees will both begin to enroll students next fall and will be awarded for the first time in 2014.
The Global Human Development graduate program, which was approved last summer, will be open to 20 students.
“The program is trying to look forward [to] what the development challenges are going to be over the next 40 or 50 years,” Ann Van Dusen, interim director of the Global Human Development degree, said.
The program intends to help foster the practical skills needed for global development.
“It is a very applied and practitioner-oriented degree, which distinguishes it from many others,” Van Dusen said.
She added that she believes that businesses will begin to view an understanding of global development as crucial to success.
“It is going to be a relatively quick change from businesses looking at work in developing countries as sort of corporate responsibility — one step beyond charity — they are moving from that to seeing this as part of their business strategy,” she said.
The requirements of the program include courses in the economics and politics of development, project design and evaluation, financing, management and technology.
According to Van Dusen, one of the unique features of the degree, which is targeted at those who already have professional experience in development, is the required international work project between a student’s first and second year in the program.
“It will build [students’] skills as well as their networks,” she said.
The Master of Arts degree in Asian Studies will be housed at the National Resource Center for East Asia, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Victor Cha, the director of the new degree, believes the university can benefit from reaching out to China. University President John J. DeGioia has also made outreach to the region a priority.
“Georgetown is very interested in expanding its national and international profile on Asia,” Cha said. “The best way to do that is by having a serious graduate degree program.”
According to Cha, the curriculum will give students a broad knowledge of Asia in addition to a focus on one or two of three specializations — politics and security, political economy and business or history and society.
Students will also learn Chinese, Japanese or Korean and, if they choose, a sub-regional specialization.
Cha believes the new degree is long overdue.
“So many people were coming here for years surprised that we didn’t have a graduate program on Asia,” he said. “We’re very happy to get this through the university.”