Global Development

"Poverty is the worst form of violence." -Mahatma Gandhi

The period 1995-2015 has been marked by unprecedented global prosperity but conversely coupled with economic inequality, poverty, social injustice and human rights violations. In addition, while some societies have surged ahead economically, others have become even more impoverished.

With the disparity between developed and less developed countries increasing, scholars and policy-makers have shifted their focus from the adoption model to one that critically evaluates the complex processes of social transformation within and across societies. With this mode of inquiry, a new interdisciplinary program in global development has emerged, transcending the confines of traditional academic disciplines.

Program Overview

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Major, minor

Global development is an interdisciplinary major program that investigates the causes, consequences, and the possible solutions to underdevelopment and poverty that is evident in developing countries. It employs an integrated set of theoretical perspectives from economics, political science, history and other disciplines to study the underpinnings of global development.

A major in global development prepares impassioned and innovative students to transcend national boundaries in tackling the complex issues of a globalizing economy, thereby becoming game-changers in global development. You'll consider a variety of local perspectives to understand development within socio-economic and political contexts, and wrestle with questions on how to make development work. Your aim will be to create an opportunity for future generations to increase their well-being without harm to others and the planet. As one of these resolute students, you’ll typically work in the context of the developing world, either on-site or through your analytical lenses.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is global development an up-and-coming major/career field?

Yes. Global development is a unique major; few universities offer similar degrees. The strengths of the degree are a solid core in economics, which avoids the risk of a major becoming so interdisciplinary that students lack a deep foundation, alongside a broad set of interdisciplinary options that ensure students are well versed in a complex field and are able to address challenging problems from multiple angles.

What sort of job can I get fresh out of college with a BA in global development?

Two types of jobs come to mind immediately: working as a researcher in global development or working for a non-profit to make a change directly. The structure of the major prepares students to be at a competitive advantage for these types of jobs since very few other universities can offer a degree that combines both the intellectual rigor of a solid disciplinary foundation along with focused work, including senior research, on a specific part of a development that is multidisciplinary. More broadly, a degree in global development from Stetson University serves students well as a strong liberal arts certification, which prepares you for work in many jobs, whether or not they are directly related to your major.

What internships should I be searching for to gain the necessary experience to be successful with a BA in Global Development?

Ideally, students in global development will do internships with NGOs or companies working in developing countries or working on development issues while based in the U.S. Both faculty advisors and the office of career services will help students to identify and secure excellent internships.

What does the career path for a global development major look like?

After graduation, you will be well prepared to follow one of two paths: job or graduate school. There are positions at NGOs and research groups/think tanks for people with a bachelor's degree and the combination of rigorous courses, multidisciplinary approach and research experience you'll have from Stetson University will make you competitive for those positions. Those same skills prepare you well for graduate work, which can be in development studies, or in political science, applied economics, public health, sustainability, environmental studies or more.


Our experienced and successful faculty will help guide you through the journey of our global development program.

In addition, the major is supported by faculty offering courses in sociology, public health, environmental science, history, international business and world languages.

Career Significance

Students interested in global economic development see themselves carrying their intellectual interests and passion beyond their undergraduate years, working on the central social, economic and political issues of their times in a variety of institutional settings, in government agencies, the nonprofit sector and private enterprise. Often, they work in developing countries.