Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I get financial aid for a Summer Institute?

Please contact your financial aid officer for information on eligibility and specifics on financial aid programs.  There are no scholarships or tuition waivers available for the Payson Summer Institute.  You may apply for financial aid in the form of loans through your department.  If the student does not subsequently complete hours initially registered, said student may be liable for the immediate repayment of loan funds to the lender.

How do I pay my tuition for the program?

You will be billed for tuition via Accounts Receivable at Tulane.  Do not send tuition payments directly to the Payson Center.  Questions regarding your tuition bill should be directed to Accounts Receivable (504-865-5368 or 800-798-7633) or via e-mail (

How do I review my grades for the program?

Grades will not be posted prior to thirty days from the completion of the course. Once grades are received and posted at the end of the course, you will be able to access your grades via Gibson Online at  You can log in to Gibson Online using your Tulane username and password.  Select the Grades link to view your grades for the appropriate term.

How do I submit my deposit?

Please make out a check to “Tulane University” with the title of the program in the Memo area of the check.  You may bring it in or mail it to:

Payson Center for International Development,
Attn: Summer Institute
300 Hebert Hall
6823 St Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118


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.

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.

How will I know if I get in to the program? How long is the wait from when I apply to when I hear if I am accepted?

A confirmation email will be sent from the administrator, confirming enrollment and course selection, pending course admission, space availability, and receipt of deposit(s). 

I am currently applying to the Payson Center's International Development program, may I participate in the Summer Institute programs and apply them toward my graduate degree?

If you intend on joining our graduate academic program at the Payson Center, you should not take any courses in the Summer Institute until you have been accepted into the program.  Once you are accepted into the program, you may take our summer courses and they will apply toward your degree.  Unfortunately, if you participate in our Summer Institute courses prior to being accepted into our graduate program, you will NOT be able to apply the credits earned during the summer to your graduate degree at Tulane.

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.

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.


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