Degree Chair: Marco Tavanti, Ph.D.
The Master of Science in International Public Service (MS-IPS) educates professionals to the field of international development and global humanitarian affairs. It provides the essential competencies and skills for managing international projects and leading international nongovernmental organizations. The curriculum offers a balanced education in international leadership (ethical, theoretical and practical), project management (for organizations, sectors, institutions) and evaluation (assessment, monitoring and impact analysis). Through study abroad programs, international internships and applied research projects with nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations, the IPS degree is required for a professional career in international development.
The MS-IPS program is designed for young and mid-level career professionals and students with a background in development studies, international studies, foreign languages, sociology, anthropology, political science, public policy or other general and specialized undergraduate majors relevant to a career in international development and global policy analysis.
The reviews of the applications carefully consider the candidate’s academic background, career perspectives, international experience and interests, language capacity and other professional experiences. Completed applications require the following documentation:
1. A completed DePaul online application;
2. Official transcripts from all colleges and/or universities attended;
3. A two-page personal statement describing your educational and career goals in relation to international public service. You should also highlight your relevant international or intercultural work or volunteer experience. Please clarify any special circumstances affecting past or prospective academic performance;
4. Current resume or curriculum vitae
The International Public Service degree integrates management science courses of the School of Public Service with international specific courses in the area or international sustainable development, international NGO management, international conflict management and others. In addition, the program requires students to gain experiential and professional experiences through an international or intercultural internship and the participation in a study abroad program. The IPS degree requires demonstrating intercultural competence through an intercultural diversity management course and a foreign language exam or course.
Like other Master programs in the School of Public Service, the Master of Science in International Public Service requires 13 graduate courses for 52 required credit hours. In addition, it requires the completion of an international management practicum (internship), demonstrating intermediate proficiency in an approved foreign language (Modern Language Placement Test), and the participation in an international experience such as a study abroad short-term immersion.
To graduate, a student must successfully complete a minimum of 52 credit hours of graduate credit. Each course carries four credit hours. Required core courses account for 40 credit hours and electives account for 12 credit hours. There are currently 84 students enrolled in the IPS degree program. In addition to the 9 full-time professors, IPS program instructors are accomplished international professionals and public service professor with a rich background in a variety of fields.
How long does it typically take to complete the program?
52 credit hours are required to complete the program. The length of time varies according to student need. Some students pursuing the degree full-time (2 courses per quarter) finish in two years. Others take one course a quarter and complete their program requirements in three to four years. Students often switch between full and part time status throughout their academic careers at SPS, dependent on their personal and professional duties.
In 2013, the most recent year in which graduation rates were reported to NASPAA, for the cohort of students that began their MPA degree five years earlier, 29% graduated in 2 years, 55% graduated in 3 years and 71% graduated in 4 years.
Program Mission Statement
The Master of Science in International Public Service educates ethical leaders to work in international organizations in the US and abroad and emphasizes understanding cross-sector relations. We believe that leaders need practical skills and first-hand experiences in solving global problems. We are committed to strengthening local communities and reducing disparities throughout the world, by building capacity through sustainable development. We promote compassion for marginalized communities and service to all people with sensitivity, professionalism, accountability, transparency and justice.
Program Learning Outcomes
The MS-IPS offers a curriculum and program requirements designed to give candidates the essential skills, perspectives and capacities to succeed in an international development, global policy or other managerial positions in any other intercultural contexts. The program has four interrelated overall learning goals and six essential competencies acquired throughout the courses and program requirements:
1. To educate effective leaders and managers for sustainable development (Goal 1)
2. To educate ethical leaders to serve in international organizations (Goal 2)
3. To instill compassion for marginalized groups and grassroots communities and reduce global disparities (Goal 3)
4. To provide our students with first-hand experiences and practical skills (Goal 4)
1. Theoretical and practical knowledge of international organizations, international relations and human rights law.
2. International development theories and practices for sustainable, secure and interconnected communities.
3. Intercultural communication for cross-cultural relations, management of international human resources management and the development of international partnerships development.
4. Management of projects, programs and nongovernmental organizations for sustainable capacity development.
5. Monitoring and evaluation techniques (M&E) in relation to development, participation and rapid assessments.
6. Working knowledge of at least one foreign language recognized by the United Nations (French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian) or other relevant foreign language in line with a specific career in international public service.
International Public Service Program Requirements
The IPS program requires a successful completion of the courses enlisted below with a minimum of 52 credit hours. Students with specific career interests should carefully plan their degree in dialogue with the Academic Advisor, their assigned Faculty Mentor and the Degree Chair. The program offers some course choices and flexibility purposely designed to maximize student’s learning, aligning the program with their international career, and instilling more practical and experiential capacity into their studies. At the end of their degree program, IPS students should have developed a substantial portfolio of research papers and applied works relevant to their international academic and career interests. The capstone or thesis project should also clearly align with the student’s international / intercultural focus area. In addition to the course requirements, IPS students should demonstrate completion of three essential elements: international internship, foreign language, and study abroad.
1. International Professional Internship
International Public service students must complete a credit bearing substantial professional experience in an international or intercultural setting. This is an important step toward the international development career and should be carefully planned with the internship coordinator. The experience is structured along a course (MPS 610) that integrate online reflections with professional services to a selected international / intercultural organization or program. The selected partnering organization could be located in Chicago, USA or abroad.
Applicants with extensive professional experience abroad may request a waiver by submitting a complete waiver application demonstrating the management and international relevance of their past experience. In this case, students choose an alternative four-credit hour course with the director's approval. Visit the internship page for more information.
2. Foreign Language Proficiency
The International Public Service Program requires proficiency in a foreign language. This is in line with DePaul University’s accordance with the University’s Learning Outcomes and Goal #4: Intercultural & Global Understanding. A second language is essential for a successful career in international public service and for become culturally intelligent global citizens. International Public Service students aspiring to a long-term international career should demonstrate proficiently in English and a foreign language appropriate to the student’s field or geographical interests. The preferred foreign languages are the United Nations official languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish (or English for Foreign Students). Students interested in fulfilling the requirement with different foreign languages will submit a written request clearly stating how the selected foreign language align with their career perspectives in international public service.
Students will fulfill this requirement in one of the following ways:
1. By taking a language placement test at DePaul Modern Languages Department.
2. By being in possession of an undergraduate major in a foreign language.
3. By passing the TOEFL Internet exam with a score of 96 or above (for foreign students).
4. By passing a 103 level (or above) language course in an accredited institution with a grade of C or better.
The language exams that are available at DePaul University for Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish (and Italian, Polish, Japanese, German) are available at no extra for students. Alternatively and for additional languages, external services can be arranged with a fee. For the online exams students must score at or above the low-intermediate level (104 level class). Students should take the exam or fulfill this requirement within their first year in the program. Consider taking addition credit course with DePaul’s Modern Language Department. Besides demonstrating this minimum working knowledge in a foreign language we recommend acquiring advanced or professional level as it is often required in international competitive careers.
3. Study Abroad Participation
Students in the IPS program are required to participate to at least one study abroad program. The one to two week study abroad programs are designed to give students a real world experience in international development, global policy and related subjects. Foreign students and students with more than two years study or work experience abroad are eligible for a waiver for this requirement. Click HERE for study abroad options.
4. Degree Course Requirements
Introductory Courses (take these in your first two quarters)
MPS 500 Introduction to Public Service Management
MPS 501 Cross Sector Analysis
MPS 510 International Dimensions of Public Service
International Required Courses:
MPS 610 International Professional Internship (or substitute)
MPS 615 Management of Cultural Diversity
International Specific Courses: (Choose two)
MPS 511 Sustainable International Development
MPS 611 Management of International NGOs
MPS 612 International Political Economy
MPS 613 Comparative Public Policy
MPS 614 International Organizations Seminar
MPS 616 International relations and conflict management
Public Service Required Course:
MPS 594 Ethical Leadership in Public Service
Public Service Optional Courses: (Choose two)
MPS 513 Volunteerism in America
MPS 514 Government Financial Administration
MPS 515 Nonprofit Financial Administration
MPS 516 Management of Information Technology
MPS 519 Resource Development
MPS 521 Leadership & Management
MPS 522 Fundamentals of Human Resources
MPS 524 Marketing for Service Organizations
MPS 525 Group Dynamics for Leaders
MPS 535: Issues in Health Care
MPS 537: Comparative Health Delivery Systems
MPS 546 Advocacy and Lobbying
MPS 529 Strategic Planning
MPS 542 Policy Design and Analysis
MPS 563 Law and Public Policy
MPS 573 Urban and community development
MPS 575 Seminar in Administration
MPS 597 Public Service Fellows Seminar
MPS 600 Independent Study (TBA)
MPS 604 Special Topics (TBA)
Students interested in courses not included in this list but that may be included in study abroad or in line with their international career may request to have ONE course counted in their curriculum plan by submitting an elective substitution form.
Research Sequence Course Options:
Option 1: Preferred for international development managers (Monitoring and Evaluation)
MPS 588 Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics for Management (pre-req. 501)
MPS 589 Advanced Research Methods and Statistics for Management (pre-req. 588)
MPS 593 Integrative Seminar (pre-req. 589)
Option 2: Preferred for global policy analysis (Comparative and Quantitative)
MPS 586 Research Methods I, Introduction to Applied Research and Statistics (pre-req. 501)
MPS 587 Research Methods II, Advanced Applied Research and Statistics (pre-req. 586)
MPS 593 Integrative Seminar (pre-req. 587) OR
MPS 598 Thesis Research (Pre-req. 3.5 min, GPA; commission approval; IRB approval)
Based on our 2013 IPS survey, here is a list of current or most recent job titles our graduates held:
Regional Grants Officer - Asia
Special Assistant, Office of Citizenship, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security
Inclusive Development Advisor
Program Development Coordinator
Social Media Specialist
Client Service Associate
Fundraising and New Business Manager
Service & Justice Coordinator
Dean of Student Affairs
Research Project Manager
Presidential Campaign Organizer
Associate Director, Global Initiatives
Department Director of Stabilization Services
Associate Director of Admissions
Research assistant, program development officer
Housing Policy Analyst
Employment Counselor for World Relief
Director, Legal Services and Client Data Systems