Master of Development Practice to join Goldman School of Public Policy

June 30, 2021

Effective July 1, 2021, UC Berkeley’s Master of Development Practice program will move its administrative home to the Goldman School of Public Policy after nine years in the Rausser College of Natural Resources (RCNR).

According to Vice Provost for Graduate Studies Lisa García Bedolla, the move will strategically expand the Goldman School’s international presence and interdisciplinary offerings. “The Goldman School is the number one U.S. public policy school and MDP's largely international focus will solidify and enhance Goldman's standing. This move is good for the program, good for the campus, and above all, good for the students,” she said.

The Master of Development Practice is a two-year degree program based on an interdisciplinary curriculum offered by a graduate group that includes the natural sciences, management, economics, systems thinking, quantitative and qualitative methods, and a hands-on, experiential learning approach. Students build upon the core foundation of knowledge, skills, and tools to customize their learning experience through electives drawn from across the UC campus. The program prepares professionals to contribute to solving global and local challenges related to sustainability – including food security, climate change, energy, global health, environmental decline, migration, poverty, and inequality.  Graduates go on to careers in the non-profit sector, government, international organizations, business, and social enterprises. 

Working with MDP faculty, Rausser College successfully launched and nurtured MDP as it grew from an initial cohort of 15 students in 2012 to an expected fall 2021 enrollment of 60 students, representing 16 nationalities. RCNR Dean David Ackerly credited the program’s success to the leadership of Faculty Director David Zilberman, its ability to attract faculty from across campus, and its students’ commitment and engagement. “We look forward to a continuation and a strengthening of RCNR’s involvement in MDP and to the new opportunities for RCNR-GSPP collaboration to which this move will undoubtedly give rise,” said Ackerly.

Welcoming MDP and its students, GSPP Dean Henry Brady pointed to the synergies that motivated the move. “At GSPP, MDP fits squarely into our expanding focus on global issues and challenges – issues such as climate change and border-spanning environmental, health, and security concerns. We see this program as a bridge among GSPP, RCNR, and other campus units as we develop collaborative initiatives in these areas.”