1997-98 University Bulletin Entry for:

Sustainable International Development Program

G = Objectives

Sustainable development considers the current state of world development and probes issues that may affect the interests of future generations. The SID program examines models of development for their achievements in reducing hunger and human inequality, raising quality of life, and conserving the environment. The program seeks fresh thinking about complex interrelationships, bridging areas of concern reserved traditionally to scientists or social scientists, policy makers, human rights advocates, or development practitioners.

The SID Master of Arts degree program aims to provide candidates with the knowledge and skills necessary to design and manage local, regional, and national or international sustainable development activities. The program particularly suits early to mid-career planning professionals who have responsibility for enterprise creation, poverty alleviation, environmental management, and regional development at governmental or nongovernmental levels. The program has an innovative professional curriculum which includes a year in residence studying with senior researchers as well as experienced field level development practioners, and a second year field project or internship applying and evaluating methods and models of development.

G = How to Be Admitted to the Graduate Program

The program is open to candidates from any country, especially from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the mid-East, and Eastern Europe. The program is also relevant to students from the U.S. and other industrialized countries who have a professional interest in sustainable international development. Brandeis University bases admission decisions for the SID Master's degree program on intellectual ability, academic preparation, work experience, and commitment. Applicants may offer evidence of these qualities with a first degree transcript, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and an account of relevant professional experience. Development agencies (e.g., a ministry of planning, UNDP, USAID, and nongovernmental institutions and enterprises) may nominate candidates.

S = Faculty Advisory Committee

Laurence Simon, Director


Andrew Hahn

(Heller School)

Attila Klein


Gary Jefferson


Jeffery Prottas

(Heller School)

Donald Shepard

(Heller School)

L = Faculty Associates

Gordon Fellman


David Gil

(Heller School)

Jane Hale

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

Robert Lange


Ruth Morgenthau


Wellington Nyangoni

(African and Afro-American Studies)

Shulamit Reinharz

(Sociology and Womenís Studies)

Dessima Williams


G = Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

Program of Study

Students typically complete the program in two years, including eight courses during their year in residence, plus a Masterís Paper based on their approved second year Masterís Project. In the first year, students receive individually tailored formal instruction through courses taught by senior researchers as well as field level development practioners drawn from international development organizations. From September through December students take core courses meant to introduce concepts of sustainable development and elective courses in a chosen subject area. Some students are placed on short internships during the break between fall and spring semesters. From January through May students take core courses meant to deepen understanding of the natural and societal factors of development planning and electives in their subject area. By midway into the spring semester each student presents to the SID Faculty Advisory Committee a proposal for a Masterís Project.

The core courses that are required for first-year students are: HSSW 352a, SID 245b, SID 250a and b,and SID 255b.

Residence Requirement

One year in residence as a full-time student.

Master's Project

Following completion of the first year course work students engage in either a field project in their home countries (U.S. students go abroad), a purposeful internship in a developmental organization, or in individualized study under mentorship of a faculty advisor. The Masterís Project results in the presentation of a Masterís Paper to the Faculty Advisory Committee.


Students work closely with a faculty advisor throughout their two years on planning a course of study, writing their second year proposal and Masterís Paper, and on other issues related to living at Brandeis and in the Boston area. An in-country advisor is appointed for second year projects abroad.

S = Courses of Instruction

SID 245b Case Studies in Sustainable Development

A critical examination of specific cases illustrating the policies and practices that affect sustainability. In specific areas, students analyze data (e.g., food production, natural resources, energy, demography, and health) and grapple with the decisions that confront planners. Usually offered in the spring.

Mr. Simon

SID 250a Masterís Seminar

Considers topics useful to students for informed decision making; may include modules on watershed management, public health, geographic information systems, gender, and participatory appraisal. There will be field visits. Usually offered in the fall.

Mrs. Morgenthau, Mr. Simon, and Staff

SID 250b Masterís Seminar

A continuation of SID 250a. Considers energy options, communications, and conflict resolution; selected field visits. Students prepare proposals for second-year field projects. Usually offered in the spring.

Mrs. Morgenthau and Staff

SID 255b Applied Ecology

Introduces basic principles governing terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem functions: population dynamics, community structure, and biodiversity. Achieving sustainable management of ecological processes by preserving and restoring biotic integrity is presented in case histories. Usually offered every spring.

Mr. Klein

SID 300a Directed Readings

Usually offered every year.


SID 350a Directed Research

Usually offered every year.


S = Cross-Listed Courses

L = Core Courses

HSSW 352a Economic Perspectives

Presents basic concepts from microeconomics, such as market mechanism, economic models of choice, and efficiency. We consider how alternative systems solve economic problems and offer illustrations of how economic concepts can be used in policy analysis. Usually offered in every fall.

Mr. Freedman

POL 280a Seminar: Comparative Institutions and Sustainable Development

Why similar policies using similar material resources, but different institutional paths, may lead to quite different outcomes. How different institutions (local, national, international, governmental, and nongovernmental) shape development performance, including production, poverty levels, and sustainability of the environment. Usually offered every year.

Mrs. Morgenthau

L =


The following courses are only a partial listing of the approved electives for the SID program. Not all courses are offered in any one year; therefore, the Course Schedule for each semester and your academic advisor should be consulted.

ANTH 133a

Tradition and the Contemporary Experience in Sub-Saharan Africa

ANTH 171a

Crosscultural Inquiry in Social Science


Organisms and the Environment

ECON 57a

Environmental Economics

ECON 136b

Managerial Economics

ECON 175a

Introduction to the Economics of Development

HSSW 253b

Leadership and Organizational Behavior

HSSW 255a

Management Information Systems

HSSW 326a

Race, Class, and Gender

HSSW 400a

Introduction to Statistics

POL 147a

The Government and Politics of China

POL 150a

Politics of Southeast Asia

POL 163a

Seminar: Human Rights and International Relations

SOC 101a

Quantitative Research Methods

SOC 107a

Global Apartheid and Global Social Movements

SOC 147a

Organizations and Social Change

SOC 171a

Women Leaders and Transformation in Developing Countries

SOC 203b

Field Methods

SOC 207a

Feminist Theory

WMNS 92a

Internship in Womenís Studies: Prevention of Violence Against Women and Children