MSID—International Development in Kenya

MSID—International Development in Kenya — Academics

Program Structure

Program Type Combine classes at an MSID study center with an extended internship or research project.
Program Level 3000–4000 level courses
Courseload You are required to take 16 credits for fall or spring semester; 32 for the academic year. Add 4 credits for optional language pre-session.

The MSID curriculum explores the theoretical and practical implications of international development and intercultural issues. Field experience is an integral part of all courses. 


Semester Program

Spend 7 weeks engaged in coursework in Nairobi, followed by 6 weeks working as an intern or conducting a research project with a local grassroots organization. 

Required Courses

MSID students enroll in 4 required courses, in addition to an internship or research project:

  1. International Development: Critical Perspectives on Theory and Practice

    Choose a track to focus your studies and prepare you for your internship or research project. See track descriptionsfor more information.

    • Arts and Cultural Studies
    • Education and Literacy
    • Entrepreneurship and Alternative Economies
    • Public Health
    • Social Service
    • Sustainability and the Environment
  2. Kenya Country Analysis

  3. Swahili Language

  4. Community Engagement in the Global South

Academic Year Program

Enroll in the four fall semester courses and continue spring semester coursework with an extended research project and internship.  

Optional Language Pre-Session

The Intensive Swahili in Kenya program is offered in August and in January for students who are interested in developing their Swahili language skills to enhance their ability to understad the media, newspapers, and to converse with the Swahili speaking populations. One language course is taught over 3 weeks and awards 4 undergraduate credits. Beginning and intermediate Swahili are offered.

Internships and Research Projects

The  internship and research experience is the cornerstone of the MSID program, and may be where you will learn the most. Your placement will be with an agency engaged in grassroots work related your selected track, and will immerse you in the social realities of the poorer strata of the population.

During the classroom phase, the on-site staff will review your interests and attempt to place you with an agency whose goals match your objectives. Most requests within a general field can be accommodated, but adjustments may be made based on availability. Details about the internship and research process are in the Program Handbook.

The internship or research objectives will be agreed to by MSID, the agency supervisor and you, and will involve at least 25 hours per week of work. 12 contact hours are incorporated into the classroom phase and provide specific training on research methodology to prepare students for their research or internship project. 

See a description of past internship and research placements for this MSID country.

Global Identity

Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future is an optional 1-credit online course that helps you process your overseas experience and apply what you've learned upon your return. The course assists you in reflecting on multiple layers of cross-cultural experience and marketing your study abroad experience for future goals.

Program Handbook Program Orientation Visa Information

I-UROP Scholarship

University of Minnesota students participating in a research project on this program may be eligible for the International Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (I-UROP) Scholarship

Fall Deadline Extended

The application deadline for Fall 2018 has been extended until April 15.