MITx MicroMasters® Program Pathway to the Global Development Practice Degree

Designed solely for students who’ve completed the MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy, this degree pathway offers an innovative sustainability and social justice curriculum to complement the MITx curriculum. The pathway will help you gain the breadth and perspective necessary to lead development initiatives for your communities. 

Harvard Extension School is a member of the Global Association of Master in Development Practice. It meets the association's standard of core development practice competencies.

Key Learning Outcomes

Through the master’s degree in the field of global development practice you:

  • Develop a holistic understanding of policy instruments, social complexities, human health risks, ecological system dynamics, technological innovations, and financial models to advance sustainable development.
  • Engage with the global network of development professionals.
  • Employ state-of-the-art project management techniques.
  • Leverage local knowledge through global practice.

Required Courses

In this pathway, Harvard Extension School will credit four courses (16 credits) toward the development practice program for earning the MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy.

To earn the master's degree, you complete the following eight courses (32 credits).

8 Graduate Courses

Courses can be completed online or on campus. At least one three-week capstone must be completed on campus. 

Core Courses

Capstone Courses

  • Precapstone tutorial (noncredit)
  • The final capstone (on campus)

Find global development practice degree courses

The Capstone Experience

You will engage in a consulting project to design and execute a development plan (DP) for a client. You are encouraged to select a client near where you live and align the project with local community interests. Although more challenging, the client stakeholders may be located in any country. The outcome of the capstone experience includes an optional presentation at the International Conference on Sustainable Development​.

On-Campus Requirements

International students who require a student visa complete the on-campus capstone course during the three-week summer term, where housing is available for an additional fee. If residing in the United States, students have the option to complete the on-campus capstone during the three-week summer term or during the 15-week fall or spring semester.

International Students Who Need a Student Visa

To meet the on-campus requirement, you study with us in the summer. You can easily request an I-20 for the F-1 student visa through Harvard Summer School to complete the three-week capstone. For more information, see the important visa information on International Student Study Options.

How to Apply

Earn Your Way In

Once you have earned the MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy, you begin the admission process by simply registering—no application needed—for the following graduate-level course:

Prerequisites: To register for the course, you'll need to pass our online test of critical reading and writing skills. Alternatively, you can complete EXPO 42b with a grade of B or higher at the undergraduate or graduate level to meet the proseminar registration requirement, but EXPO 42b will not count toward the degree.

Grade Requirements: The proseminar must be completed with a grade of B or higher, without letting your overall Harvard cumulative GPA dip below 3.0. You have two registration attempts to earn the minimum grade of B in the proseminar, which cannot be more than two years old at the time of application.

Eligibility: Prior to beginning this pathway, which starts with your first MITx course, you need to possess a four-year, regionally accredited US bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent. You cannot already have or be in the process of earning a master's degree in development practice or related field.

Submitting Your Application

During the semester that you are completing the proseminar, submit the official application to the program. 

Don't delay! To achieve academic success and meet your expected graduation date, it is critical to prioritize the degree course for admission and apply before completing subsequent courses. By doing so, you’ll avoid the delayed application fee and gain access to exclusive degree candidate privileges.

If you submit a complete and timely application—which includes your MITx MicroMasters Program credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy as well as the required Harvard course, grades, and cumulative GPA—you’ll be admitted, after which you’ll take seven more courses to earn the degree.

For more details about eligibility, the application process, and application fees, visit Admissions.


MicroMasters Program Admission Pathway Policy

The MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy must be earned prior to enrolling in any degree-applicable courses at Harvard. Further, the credential cannot be more than three years old at the time of application. Credit is only granted for the entire MicroMasters credential; Harvard credit will not be awarded for individual courses.

For more details about Harvard Extension School degree program eligibility and the application process, visit Admissions. If you have questions about the MicroMasters program, contact MITx directly.


Affordability is core to our mission. Our 2020–21 graduate tuition is $2,900 per course; the total tuition cost of earning the graduate degree is approximately $23,200. 

There are a number of financial aid options available once you’re admitted to the program.


Completing Your Degree

Maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or Higher

Earn a B or higher in the proseminar course required for admission as well as Introduction to Sustainability and Environmental Management and a B– or higher in each of the subsequent courses, but be sure to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher. You are allowed to receive one withdrawal (WD) grade without it affecting your GPA. Any additional WD grades count as zero in your cumulative GPA. See Academic Standing.

Finish Your Coursework in Five Years

You have five years to complete the degree requirements. The five-year timeline begins at the end of the term in which you complete any one degree-applicable course at Harvard, regardless of whether or not you have been admitted to the degree program. Moreover, Harvard courses over five years old at the point of admission will not count toward the degree.

Potential degree candidates must plan accordingly and submit their applications to comply with the five-year course expiration policy or they risk losing degree credit for completed course work. Additionally, admission eligibility will be jeopardized if, at the point of application to the program, the five-year degree completion policy cannot be satisfied.

Graduate with Your Harvard Degree

When you have fulfilled all degree requirements, you will earn your Harvard University degree: Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Global Development Practice. Degrees are awarded in November, March, and May, with the annual Harvard Commencement ceremony in May. 

Degree Guidelines and Policies

For information about special academic opportunities, student privileges, and policies, see Completing Your Degree.