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Global Development and Social Justice, Master of Arts

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


The M.A. in Global Development and Social Justice at St. John’s University 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 especially to provide education to those lacking economic and social means.

This innovative multidisciplinary program combines classroom instruction with online learning, offering you flexibility to pursue in-depth research in a broad variety of critical areas related to development and social justice. Our committed faculty members and support staff will help you understand the causes of poverty and social injustice throughout the world, and encourage you to develop adaptable, effective, and concrete solutions.

The two-year distance learning program is comprised of 33 credits delivered fully online.


Who Should Apply?

If you are an international development professional, a social service provider (who may already hold an advanced degree in your area of specialization), or simply seeking a career in the fields of sustainable development and social justice, you will find the M.A. in Global Development and Social Justice serves to expand your horizons and provide a solid theoretical and practical foundation for your future work. If you are interested in sustainable development, international relations, nonprofit management, and human rights, we encourage you to apply to this program. 

Admission Requirements:

  • An accredited bachelor’s degree or its equivalent
  • Proficiency in English (written and spoken).  If your native language is not English, or if your secondary and post-secondary education was not in English, you 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 individuals qualified to evaluate your ability to succeed in a graduate program of study
  • A statement of personal and professional goals relevant to your interest in the Global Development and Social Justice program

Application Deadline:

The application deadline is March 1. If you apply now, you can begin the program in the next summer semester in Rome. The application fee of $70 is waived for all of our applicants. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admission at 718-990-1601 or [email protected], 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.
  • You 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.


Career Outcomes

The need for professionals with an education in global development and its varying fields is currently higher than ever. Completion of this master’s degree program will present you with a vast range of career opportunities in national and international organizations, and governmental and non-governmental organizations as well. You may seek employment in academic research, or with agencies of the UN such as UNFEM, UNEP, UNICEF, FAO, as well as the IMF and World Bank. You will also be qualified to work for multinational corporations, international media organizations, law firms, emergency relief and development efforts, and diplomatic missions.

Through its multidisciplinary approach and dedicated faculty, the M.A. will provide you with the necessary skills to become a creative and compassionate leader in your field and to participate in the global market.  Online Learning courses and communication will also give you experience in state-of-the-art pedagogical technology.

Online Learning

Earn Your Degree Online
Pursue your St. John’s degree entirely on your computer. Our fully accredited Online Learning programs allow you to take courses electronically. Log in at your convenience to enter our virtual classrooms, learn from our accomplished faculty, and engage with classmates.

Our online courses offer the same high academic quality that students experience on campus. Professors deliver lectures and post assignments via Blackboard, our electronic course management system. Students use it to attend virtual classes, share documents, take exams, and exchange ideas with faculty and classmates.

A Fully Academic Experience
You also enjoy the outstanding services available to all St. John’s students, for example:

  • Eligibility for scholarships and financial aid
  • Tuition and fees identical to those for on-campus courses
  • Access to library collections, career services, mentoring, and other academic resources.

Contact us for more information about online learning at St. John’s.

Additional Information

Pope Paul VI Scholarship
The Pope Paul VI Scholarship began in 1965 and is available to students pursuing a Master of Arts in Global Development and Social Justice who are diplomatic personnel from Permanent Missions to the United Nations (UN). Eligible candidates must be listed in the UN Blue Book entitled Permanent Missions to the United Nations. These partial scholarships cover 50 percent of tuition for the M.A.

Program News

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A unique, multidisciplinary program that reflects St. John’s University’s mission of social justice and human rights advocacy—grounded in Catholic Social Teaching and the Vincentian tradition—the...