CATIE (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza)

The Master's of Science in Development Practice (MDP) is a program of 24 consecutive months in the graduate school at CATIE in Costa Rica. The first 18 months are dedicated to full-time study and residence on the CATIE campus in Turrialba, Costa Rica. In the last last six months, students undertake field training, also on a full-time basis, but located at a site chosen by the student in any country in Latin America and the Caribbean. The MDP is taught in Spanish but is open to professionals worldwide.

CATIE, established in 1946, is a regional research and education center in agriculture and natural resources. A regional organization with an academic mandate for Latin America and the Caribbean, CATIE is uniquely positioned to participate in the MDP program. CATIE programs are recognized for the multidisciplinary nature of their focus on crosscutting issues—various social issues and governance, climate change, competitiveness and value chains, and territorial approaches—that are important to agriculture and natural-resource management. A large proportion of CATIE’s graduates (more than 70 percent in a recent survey) occupy leadership positions in diverse institutions and so are poised to rapidly develop into an influential network of leaders and managers who are prepared to apply the concepts, approaches, and instruments of the MDP program.

CATIE’s educational program is intimately linked to its research and development program, which is implemented throughout Latin America. This link to on-the-ground realities provides students with a life-changing experience that integrates the academic, scientific, cultural, social, economic, and policy dimensions of issues in sustainable development.


Degree Awarded: 
MSc in Development Practice
MDP Program Specialization: 

Central and South America

MDP Director: 
Alejandro Imbach
24 months
Field Training Description: 

Students in the MDP program at CATIE complete one field-training session of three to four months in the second half of their second year. They may select a site in any country in Latin America and the Caribbean. In consultation with their advisory committees, students identify their field-training projects. At their conclusion, they present the results of their projects to the local stakeholders and collaborating organizations where their work was carried out.  An emphasis is placed on the field-training report that they present to the faculty and student body and that they defend in then presence of the advisory committee during a closed-door final examination.

Field Training Contact
Alejandro Imbach
Costa Rica

Tuition and Fees:  $18,760 total for two years


Cost of Living: 
$14,400 (single) for two years
Admissions Requirements: 

* Academic Credentials from your university and copy of diploma. * Have a minimum of 2 years of professional experience, principally in area that you are going to study. * It is preferred that the applicants have experience working with agricultural or natural resources sectors, universities or affiliated organizations.

Scholarships Available: 
Yes - highly competative
Partner University
Course Structure: 
Course Dates: 
January 4, 2011 - December 21, 2012
Due Date of Application: 
November 1, 2010
Date Application Decisions are Made: 
December 1, 2010