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Global development and innovation (graduate certificate)

One of the greatest moral and political imperatives of our time is growing inequality in society. Are you interested in working for nonprofits, governments, foundations and research institutions? Gain a global development perspective that emphasizes knowledge and skills to realize transformative social change.

The graduate certificate in global development and innovation responds to the knowledge and skills gap that development practitioners often struggle with globally. It provides current and critical perspectives as well as analytical and practical skills to address some of today’s most pressing global challenges including inequality, sustainability and poverty.

Program graduates will acquire an understanding of the main debates in global development and will be able to engage in informed and critical ways with professionals from a range of development backgrounds.

At a glance

Global development and innovation (graduate certificate)

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View plan of study

Degree requirements

Required Core (6 credit hours)

GTD 501 Global Technology and Development (3)

GTD 511 Development Policy and Practices (3)

Electives (9 credit hours)

Students select nine credit hours from a restricted elective list. This list can change and increase over time as needed with unit director approval. Students may select a maximum of three one-credit courses toward fulfillment of the total of nine credit hours. Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives.

What are ASU’s online programs?

ASU Online offers programs like Global Development and Innovation (Graduate Certificate) in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year.

More information on the program is available directly from ASU Online.

Graduate certificate in global development and innovation (GDI)

This graduate certificate program responds to the knowledge and skills gap that development practitioners often struggle with, and it also connects with innovations that policymakers seek for more sustainable and resilient futures. It provides current and critical perspectives on innovation and development for overseeing and managing complex global challenges, while fostering cultural sensitivities and dispositions. The program graduates will contribute to improving development policy and practices through analysis, integration and incorporation of emerging insights and best practices, making them available to policymakers, practitioners and tech-innovators.

Degree information/program description

The urgency of charting pathways to sustainable and resilient global development is making ever greater demands on those in academia, governments, aid agencies, NGOs and markets. Pathways to sustainable development calls for innovation with excellence and affordability and urge development practitioners to integrate critical thinking and practical experience for meaningful solutions. As a trans-disciplinary certificate program, global development and innovation (GDI) responds to the knowledge and skills gap development practitioners often struggling with and also link to innovations that policymakers are seeking for more sustainable and resilient future. Without losing the sight of the diverse realities of people and their aspirations, courses offered through GDI cultivate intellectual debates about development as desired societal outcomes. Along with exposure to concepts and theories around global development, students will also learn a range of research methods that they will be able to use[JW1] in their work environment. The program caters ASU graduates and professionals from around the world seeking to complement their experience and skill set with critical perspectives on innovation and development for managing and overseeing complex global challenges. The certificate on GDI provide a solid grounding on theories and practices on how innovations emerge, how they diffuse across societies, and what impacts they have on policies and practices to sustainable development challenges.

The students will be equipped with the analytical and practical skills needed to engage critically in issues around innovation and development, debates from trans-disciplinary perspective, and to work across the intersections of innovation, development policy, research and practice. This unique program features: (a) a curriculum designed to meet the needs of both young scholars continuing their academic training and career professional motivated to deepen their expertise; and (b) a large faculty drawn from several academic units (SOS, and various concentration under Fulton School of Engineering) at ASU, with exciting research agenda and extensive experience in innovation and global development. We expect the size to be anywhere between 10-15 and the certificate will provide coherence and integration with other masters courses offered at SFIS. The SFIS faculty are leading researchers in both innovation and development fields and the course will be designed so that students benefit from knowledge of the cutting-edge research and methodologies associated with it.


The Certificate in Global Development and Innovation program requires the following: 

Total required credit hours: 15

Required core courses: (6 credit hours)

  • GTD 501 Global Technology and Development (3)
  • GTD 511 Development Policy and Practices (3)

Approved electives: (9 credit hours)

Students may choose from an approved list each semester from courses in areas such as Health, Business, Education, Public Policy, Community Development, and Sustainable Engineering.

Admissions policies

The School for the Future of Innovation in Society encourages applications from students of diverse backgrounds. Students are strongly encouraged to have prior relevant education, training, or experience in science or engineering.

Admission requirements are as follows:

All applicants must submit:

1. graduate admission application and application fee

2. personal statement

3. resume

4. official transcripts

5. two letters of recommendation

6. proof of English proficiency (if applicable)

Applicants must have earned a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an international institution that is officially recognized by that country.

GPA: Students must have a minimum of a 3.0 in the last 60 hours of a student’s first bachelor’s degree program.

International students that need an F1 or J1 visa will first need to be accepted into a master’s or doctoral program prior to being considered for the certificate program. International students residing in the USA on other visa types must provide a copy of their USA visa to be considered for admission.

English proficiency: If you are from a country whose native language is not English (regardless of where you may now reside), you must provide proof of English proficiency. Acceptable proof is as follows (or the most current requirements at here).

TOEFL score of at least 550 (PBT) or 80 (iBT)

IELTS overall band score of at least 6.5

Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of at least 60

No GRE or other exam is required.


Academic advising – certificate in global development and innovation (GDI)

The program will be housed in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS) and will be administered through SFIS, which has available one full time staff member for graduate program administration as well as a full time staff member who can act as the back-up for administration. The staff member will coordinate the student experience in the certificate program (admissions, advising, program development and other). The staff members will also be responsible for academically and administratively, and will be responsible for ensuring the availability of necessary course offerings.. This person will work with the GDI Programs Director, who will oversee the program.

Wendi Taylor, M.Ed.
Graduate Program Advisor
Interdisciplinary B, Room 366
Phone: 480-965-6584
[email protected]

Netra Chhetri
Associate Professor
Interdisciplinary B, Room 366B
Phone: 480-727-0747
[email protected]


The GDI would be relevant to development practitioners seeking to complement their skill and experience and/or to those interested in pursuing careers in international development agencies within and beyond government, as well as in NGOs and community organizations.