A key program feature is the built-in overseas fieldwork research project, undertaken in small teams during the summer between students' first and second year of study. Students work closely with their faculty advisors to set up research projects and experiments with partner institutions and organizations around the world for the summer field research requirement.

Past Student Theses

    • Bosnia
    • Colombia
    • Congo
    • Egypt
    • India
    • Italy
    • Jordan
    • Kenya
    • Mexico
    • Philippines
    • Senegal
    • Solomon Islands
    • Uganda

Read Student Research Stories

Theory to Practice: Bryce Everett’s IDEC Experience

headshot of Bryce Everett

Into the Unknown: A month-long immersion into India

When I was an economics student at UCLA, I decided development economics was the path I wanted to take for my educational and professional future. Upon seeing USF’s IDEC program, I fell head over heels for the program. Being able to travel abroad for field research and finishing my degree with a thesis seemed like a great opportunity.

Students at Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula

The Value of Relationships: Lessons Learned While Working With Tzeltal Mayan Coffee Farmers in Chiapas, Mexico

Ever since I read Dr. Bruce Wydick’s book, “The Taste of Many Mountains”, during my final quarter at Seattle Pacific University, I’ve been obsessed with coffee; not just as a beverage, but as a topic for economic development.

Coffee tree

Lessons on Healing and Trauma: Working with Former Abductees in Northern Uganda

Before attending USF, I had only two overarching career goals. Firstly, to have a job that would allow me to travel, and secondly, to work directly with people. I was still navigating how exactly to make a career out of this but was slowly finding a very fulfilling niche that would allow me to do both.

The research team in Kitgum