International Sustainable Development (BA)

Program offered
  • International Sustainable Development (major)

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 the field.

The International Sustainable Development major provides students with a firm theoretical foundation, as well as the professional and technical skills necessary for post-graduation work in the field. Students will examine development challenges and the means to resolve them from a Christian perspective and develop hands-on project management skills, while engaging with both hypothetical and real-world problems at the local and global levels.

The International Sustainable Development major equips students 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 a required placement with local and international development organizations.

Program distinctives

  • Global Learning: This major provides you with many opportunities to learn and apply your learning outside the classroom, including a study abroad option.
  • Annual International Development Event: The Global Development Association (a student association) annually invites a number of local and international development organizations to SPU’s campus to share insight and experience about development issues.
  • Practical Experience: Real-world learning is at the core of the International Sustainable Development major, which connects students with local and international organizations through internships, capstone projects, and career placement.   

Upon successful completion of the International Sustainable Development major, graduates will be able to:

  • Describe and critically evaluate the values, key theoretical approaches, and concepts in international development.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking in relation to international development policy and practice.
  • Evaluate the issues and challenges of international development through a variety of disciplinary lenses.
  • Understand and examine the roles and responsibilities of various international development actors.
  • Learn how to manage (design, plan, implement, and evaluate) international development projects through various methodologies.
  • Develop skills in various qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Gain knowledge about the ethics of development and the implications on doing international development work in diverse set of cultures and contexts.
  • Improve knowledge on some cross-cutting themes of international development such as gender and environmental sustainability and their effects on international development projects.
  • Effectively communicate and work in diverse environments.
  • Critically analyze the political economy of different contexts and their impact on international development outcomes.

Find out more about this program’s mission, vision, and learning outcomes.

International Sustainable Development (BA)

The International Sustainable Development major prepares you for vocations in international development through applied skills training and direct, cross-cultural experiences.

  • A minimum 68 credits are required for this major, including 48 upper-division credits.
  • This major requires that you complete an internship appropriate to nonprofit or social venture work.
  • Study abroad or additional language coursework can, with advisor approval, satisfy the Social Enterprise and Social Venture category.

Additional requirements

New majors dessert attendance

Newly admitted students of majors in Business; Accounting; Economics; International Sustainable Development; and Politics, Philosophy, and Economics are required to attend an orientation event typically held in February each year. Admission to the major is conditional upon attendance.

Entering and completing the major

In order to earn a degree, you must complete at least one academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, so if you change your mind about a major or minor, or want to include an additional program, you are able to do so, as outlined below.

Note that the University encourages you to enter your chosen major(s) and minor(s) by the start of your junior year. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should enter a major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you identified the International Sustainable Development major as your first choice on your application for admission to the University, you have gained entry to the major.
  • To change to or add a major or minor in this department, follow these instructions.
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements that are in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year you enter the major or minor.