Global Development and Social Justice, Master of Arts

33 Credits
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


The M.A. in Global Development and Social Justice is a two year Distance Learning and on-site program comprised of 33 credits (6 credits First Summer in Rome, 24 credits Distance Learning Fall – Spring, 3 credits Final Summer in Rome).  Three courses in total are taught in a classroom setting.  Two courses, MGD 100: Models of Intervention in Global Development, and MGD 120: Information Resources for Global Development and Social Justice practices are taken at the St. John's University Rome Campus in the beginning of the program.  All of the other courses are taught online.  When students return to Rome, after two years of study, they take MGD 200: Integrating Seminar & Capstone Project, the final course, which is also completed in a classroom setting at the St. John’s University campus.

The M.A. in Global Development and Social Justice, aims at best practices and leadership in global development. Our mission of social justice and human rights advocacy, grounded in Catholic Social Teaching, is reflected through our innovative online methodology.  We seek to provide education, especially to those lacking economic, and/or social means. This innovative multidisciplinary program is chaired by the Director of the Center for Global Development.  It combines classroom instruction with online learning to offer students the flexibility to pursue in-depth research in a broad variety of critical areas related to development and social justice that can be accessed worldwide.  Furthermore, our committed faculty and support staff teach students how to search out the causes of poverty and social injustice and encourage them to explore and identify solutions which are adaptable, effective, and concrete.

Back to top


Back to top


Who Should Apply?

International development professionals, social service providers (including those who may already hold advanced degrees in their areas of specialization) as well as those who seek careers in the varying fields of sustainable development and social justice will find that the M.A. in GDSJ will serve to expand their horizons and provide a solid theoretical and practical foundation for their future work.  Students who are interested in sustainable development, international relations, nonprofit management, and human rights are also encouraged to apply. 

Admission Requirements:

  • An accredited bachelor’s degree or its equivalent
  • Proficiency in English (written and spoken).  Applicants whose native language is not English, or whose secondary and post-secondary education was not in English must take the (1) Test of English as a Foreign language [TOEFL] or (2) International English Language Testing System  [IELTS] - More information on the TOEFL or IELTS can be found on page 7 of the St. John's University Graduate Bulletin within General University Information.  The TOEFL code for St. John's University is 2799. 
  • Two letters of recommendation from persons qualified to evaluate the applicant’s ability to succeed in a graduate program of study
  • A statement of personal and professional goals relevant to the applicant’s interest in the concentration in Global Development and Social Justice

Application Deadline:

The application deadline is March 1. Students who apply now will begin the M.A. in the Summer semester in Rome. The application fee of $70 is waived for all of our applicants. Contact the Director of Graduate Admission, Robert Medrano at, to ensure that your fee is waived.

  • In the online application, you will be asked to choose your major and "College and Campus" on the drop down menu. You will need to choose "St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Queens)."  Then under the next drop down menu to select your major you will need to select "M.A. Global Development and Social Justice. Select "Summer"term.
  • Applicants will also need to send official transcripts, two letters of recommendation and, if necessary TOEFL scores to the address below.

    Graduate Admission Processing Service Center
    St. John's University
    PO Box 811
    Randolph, MA 02368-0811

Due to the distinctive nature of the program, we do not accept transfer credits.


Full and Partial Scholarships
A number of both full and partial scholarships are available for applicants who demonstrate the following: academic excellence; experience in development or related field; potential for continued work in the field of development; demonstrted capacity for leadership in the field of development; record of effective public service; and appreciation for models of Integral Human Development.

Pope Paul VI Scholarship
The Pope Paul VI Scholarship is a 50% tuition reduction available to students who have already been formally accepted to the M.A. in Global Development and Social Justice and whose names are in the United Nations Blue Book. There is no scholarship application. To apply, students should have their supervisor write a letter verifying their employment and interest in the scholarship. The letter should be signed by the supervisor and sent to Maryanne Twomey in Financial Aid at Along with the letter, a copy of the UN Blue book, where the student’s name appears, should also be submitted to Maryanne.

Back to top

Career Outcomes

The need for professionals with an education in global development and its varying fields is currently higher than ever, completion of the program will present students with a vast range of career opportunities within national and international organizations, and governmental and non-governmental organizations as well.  Through its multidisciplinary approach and dedicated faculty, the M.A. serves to educate and train students with the necessary skills to become creative and compassionate leaders in their fields and participate in the global market.  The use of state of the art technology for Online Learning courses and communication proves a high value and market advantage for students in the M.A. program.

Upon completion of the program students will be prepared to seek work within national and international organizations, and also governmental and non-governmental organizations. Graduates will have the tools to seek employment through academic research, and with, for example, agencies of the United Nations such as UNFEM, UNEP, UNICEF, FAO, and others including IMF and the World Bank.  They will be qualified to work within multinational corporations, international media, law firms, emergency relief and development efforts, and diplomatic missions, too.

Back to top