International Sustainable Development Major

SPU Students Studying in Martin Square on Campus

The International Sustainable Development Major in SPU’s School of Business, Government, and Economics will prepare you to make a difference in the world by connecting you with global issues and giving you the tools you need for a vocation in global development.

About the International Sustainable Development Major

International Sustainable Development (ISD) is an interdisciplinary, pre-professional program that combines liberal arts classes in global development issues with applied learning from courses in economics, business, health science, environmental studies, and theology. The ISD major provides students with a firm theoretical foundation in sustainable global development and also professional and technical skills in global development management. The ISD major aims at bridging the gap between theory and practice through developing hands-on project management skills and engaging students with both hypothetical and real-world problems. You will understand global development challenges and the means to resolve them at both the local and global levels from a Christian perspective.

The ISD major equips you with a comparative understanding of development in both developed and developing nations through directed study, applied skills training, analytical research, and direct cross-cultural experiences including an internship experience with local and international development organizations.

The ISD curriculum consists of four categories: global development studies, supplementary disciplines, management skills, and research skills.

Degree Requirements

International Sustainable Development students are required to take a minimum of 68 credits, including an internship experience related to nonprofit or social venture work as well as the flexibility to participate in a study abroad program, additional language coursework, or Social Enterprise and Social Venture coursework. 

Career Opportunities

Sample Job Titles

  • Community Development Specialist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Global Health Specialist
  • Language/Culture Teacher
  • Researcher

Possible Job Settings

  • Government Agencies
  • Global Health Organizations
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Relief Agencies
  • United Nations
  • See More


The International Sustainable Development (ISD) Major requires students to complete at least 3 credits of internship in the field of global development. As an ISD Major, the students will have placement opportunities with some of our local and international partners that work on a range of global development issues such as poverty alleviation, healthcare, refugee resettlement, education, children support, and women leadership. ISD students will work on different aspects of global development project management including fundraising,  literature review, planning and designing projects, grant writing, monitoring and evaluation, financial management, and reporting. The ISD internship experience is built within the required course ISD 4940: International Sustainable Development Internship.

Umri Christian Hospital

Leadership Mission International

Western Washington World Relief

Alliance for Children Everywhere

Sattva Consulting

Faculty Contact

Mohammad Qadam Shah

Assistant Professor of Global Development
PhD, University of Washington

Phone: 206-281-2651
Office: McKenna Hall 214

SBGE Alumna Adrienne

Sustainability isn’t all about big ideas. It’s seeing the bigger picture, and realizing all of these little things contribute to that bigger picture.

Adrienne Elliott '17
Read More

PRME Champion School

SBGE was the first Northwest business school to participate with PRME in 2007, a program of the United Nations. This year, our school is one of a select group of PRME Champions. Learn more about this distinctive program that intersects with our own mission.