International Development Major

Be equipped to serve in the U.S. and around the world.

Houghton’s International Development program prepares you for a career in the social development of communities, nations and regions in the U.S. and around the world. As you are prompted by God’s leading, discover a variety of fields in which you can make an impact.

ClassesMeet the Faculty

Developing Community, Changing Lives

Houghton students, faculty and alumni conducted a preliminary study in a rural village of Sierra Leone. This study was used to seek funding and design development initiatives.

What will I learn?

By majoring in International Development, you'll be immersed in experiential learning opportunities as you:

  • Prepare for today’s multicultural world through rigorous theoretical study and hands-on learning
  • Gain practical experience in the field. This may be through an intercultural experience or an off-campus practicum in development
  • Travel the world through Houghton’s many off-campus study opportunities or internships
  • Integrate global engagement into every aspect of your education
  • Study with faculty who have extensive experience living, working and serving in cross-cultural settings around the world
  • Build an intellectual, spiritual and practical foundation to engage in the many forms of development in strategic and sustainable ways

124 Credits


Required Courses


Elective Courses and General Education

Degree Requirements

Tailored to Your Interests

International development majors pair their studies with another academic discipline and choose their field experience based on their individual career aspirations. You will choose a second major or two minors to develop a specific skillset. Areas of study for majors and minors include art, biology, business administration, communication, political science, sociology and religion. Other minors may include economics, education, environmental stewardship, linguistics, management, missions and public health.

Focused Field Experience

Work with Houghton faculty who have extensive experience in intercultural studies, missions, linguistics and development work. They will guide you to the best location and the right type of training for the work and service you desire most. You can do a formal overseas study program, an internship or a variety of other arranged programs.

With so many off-campus study opportunities, you might find it hard to choose just one. Many students study abroad several times during their four years at Houghton.

Global Engagement

As an international development major, field experience in development is required. Some of these opportunities may include:

  • Annual Faith and Justice Symposium sponsored by Houghton’s Center for Faith, Justice and Global Engagement
  • Journey’s End Tutoring (JET), a Saturday ministry to immigrants and refugees in Buffalo, primarily helping with teaching English
  • Faith and International Development Conference, Calvin College
  • Cornell Institute for African Development Conference, Cornell University

Program Outcomes

Students earning a BA in International Development from Houghton University are prepared for careers as:

Employment Expected to Grow 15%

SourceU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Application Requirements


Start Your Application

Complete the application here
Apply Now

Documents and Supporting Materials

You’ll be asked to provide your official high school transcript and your test scores (can be waived)
Testing Policy

Personal Statement

The personal statement portion of our application for admission is perhaps the best place to truly tell your story, to tell who you are and what is important to you.
Personal Statement

Have Questions?

Discover if earning your degree in International Development from Houghton University is right for you.