Distance Learning

I still have questions that have not been answered on the Website, can I contact some current students or alumni?

Yes, please call 504.865.5240 or email us and we will put you in touch with somebody who can answer your questions.

My job requires frequent travel, can I still attend your program?

Yes! Many courses meet only once a week and all core courses are available in a technology-assisted, distance learning format enabling you to do your course work while traveling, provided you have access to a computer and Internet. Payson requires that 50% of your courses be completed onsite, the remaining 50% can be completed online. This allows for greater flexibility from semester to semester for working professionals.

Do you offer any study abroad programs?

We have offered summer programs in Geneva, Rome, Kenya, Thailand and Uganda. However, please bear in mind that these countries and corresponding programs are subject to change. As Payson develops relationships in other regions, additional programs may become available. Payson's Summer Institutes are open to any graduate-level and non-degree-seeking Tulane students.

I am looking at similar programs offered by other universities. What makes the Payson Center’s graduate program unique?

The MS and PhD programs at Payson Center are integrated and interdisciplinary, drawing upon related fields including political science, sociology, economics, public health, disaster management, and resilience and leadership in disaster response. Practical and analytical, the courses develop problem-solving skills based upon a sound understanding of the development process. Perhaps best of all, the degree program is flexible, allowing you to design your own concentration by working in conjunction with a faculty mentor.

What core skills and competencies are taught in the ID program?

To function as an effective development professional you will need to have a variety of skills. These include the following:

Analytical skills ranging from

  • Application of theory to analyze a real world problem,
  • Application of statistical knowledge to unravel a complex situation on which quantitative data is available, and
  • Presentational skills using multimedia and computer.

A person who has the knowledge and the skills to apply that knowledge will develop competencies in critical areas such as

How long has the International Development program at the Payson Center existed?

The Payson Center started awarding MS degrees in 1996 but has a longer history as a development studies program. The MS program grew out of the Development Studies Program (DSP) of USAID that was designed to train mid-career professionals for the Agency. Tulane has taken the best of the DSP, added new courses and material and developed one of the very best international development programs available in the world. Building on the success of the MS program, the Payson Center expanded its program to include a Ph.D.

For whom is the International Development (ID) program best suited?

It is ideal for people who want a graduate degree in International Development (ID) that is interdisciplinary and will provide the required knowledge, skills and competencies to function as development professionals. All of our core curriculum classes are offered online (as well as on-site), making the program especially appropriate for those who cannot attend classes at set times on a regular basis.

How many credits will I earn for my Summer Institute coursework?

Students may register for one or more sessions in one or more modules, earning up to nine (9) graduate hours in the summer. Each institute session is worth three (3) credit hours.

Can foreign students apply?

Yes, international students are encouraged to apply.  International students should be proficient in the English language (please provide TOEFL scores where applicable) and will follow the same protocol as other non-Tulane students and professionals for applying to our programs.

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