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MS in Science & Technology for Innovation in Global Development

WPI’s new global MS in science and technology for innovation focuses on global technology and development and combines your passion for technological and scientific innovation with cross-cultural design thinking to address pressing challenges and create change that will impact people and communities around the globe.

This master’s in global technology and development program will change the way you consider problem-solving approaches to challenges in your home community or in communities around the world. In a world where social concerns have a global reach with local implications, identifying sustainable solutions that promote resilience are more complex than previously thought. Whether you have a BA or a BS, this degree program offers opportunities to create change that makes a positive difference in people’s lives.

Science and Technology for Innovation in Global Development MS

As a student in the global development masters program and with the Institute of Science & Technology for Development, you’ll be part of a revolutionary, transdisciplinary team of researchers and scholars that works to create change using specialized technical and focused social and business expertise. Each project is driven by people who are passionate about advancing the frontiers of knowledge and developing communities of today and tomorrow. Gathering teams that use varied professional expertise and methods, life experiences, and cultural wisdom and beliefs, you’ll become a facilitator of change as you collaborate to define and develop responsible, sustainable, and culturally appropriate solutions to great global problems.

The global MS program thus educates professionals who want to be innovators in the production of purpose-driven basic and applied knowledge, technological development, technology transfer, program management, program development, or activists. Our approach is one that promotes self-sufficiency as it pushes beyond the transactional concept of end user to the more pluralistic concept of community co-designer who understands the social responsibilities and implications attached to design solutions

No one technology, discipline, or individual can resolve today’s urgent problems in global technology and international development—it takes all of us to marshal the ideas and resources. Whether you have a BA or a BS, your skills will apply to the MS in science & technology for innovation in global development degree program.

A WPI Student’s Perspective: Science & Technology for Innovation in Global Development

A Student Perspective of this Degree

Hear Meron Tedasse ’20 BS and a current MS candidate in the Science and Technology for Innovation in Global Development program discuss the personal and global value of this degree.

Curriculum for an MS in Science & Technology for Innovation in Global Development

The MS in science & technology for innovation in global development is a 30-credit hour global MS program. You’ll personalize your course of study by choosing electives that follow a logical path for deepening your understanding of one area. Program requirements will vary based on the concentration, but all include thematically related coursework and research.


Areas of Concentration

  • Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Economics
  • The Business School
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Interactive Media and Gaming
  • Clark University IDCE Courses


Requirements for the Global Development Master’s program

  • Core Coursework Requirement (15 Credits)
    • A Design Boot Camp, which begins in mid-August each year, is required.
  • Graduate Qualifying Project/MS Thesis (3–9 Credits)
  • Areas of Concentration (9–12 Credits)

The BS/MS and BA/MS degree with a Graduate Qualifying Project can be completed in 12 months. The thesis option will typically take one-and-a-half to two academic years. If you plan to add a language to your study, the program will take two years.


Students in the master’s in global technology and development will find their research performed in classrooms at WPI and in places as close as WPI’s hometown of Worcester to one of more than 50 global project centers around the world.

At WPI, we have rethought the design process for responding to interventions in community development, the environment, product design, policy making, and education. Because of that broad approach, the global master’s program will prepare you for careers in business innovation and development, government, policy, nonprofit organizations, foreign service, foundations, or academia.

You and your committee will choose three core fields of study, one of which is technical, and show their relationship. This degree will give you the global technology and development skills and knowledge you’ll need to

  • show a broad understanding of critical design thinking and how it applies to your work;
  • assess the suitability of different research methods for a range of socio-technical problems;
  • demonstrate cultural competence in at least one area; and
  • work with different disciplines that operate at the nexus of global innovation development.

Research and scholarship are often done through WPI’s Development Design Lab. The research strives to improve the human condition using the expertise and life experiences of diverse scholars who work across disciplines to develop social change and supportive policy development.

Interested in degrees similar to the global MS in science & technology for innovation in global development? Explore our Science, Technology & Policy (BS) where your studies will put you at the intersection of society and technology and how those influence global issues.

Faculty Profiles

Emmanuel O. Agu

Emmanuel Agu

Professor-Computer Science

Emmanuel Agu is currently an associate professor in the computer science department at WPI having received his Masters and PhD in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His research interests are in the areas of computer graphics, mobile computing, and wireless networks. He is especially interested in research into how to use a smartphone as a platform to deliver better healthcare.

Laureen  Elgert

Laureen Elgert

Department Head


Laureen's interest in environmental studies grew as she traveled through Southeast Asia and South America, noticing that local resource users' idea of environmentalism often bore little resemblance to familiar interpretations. She has since been particularly interested in the environment-development nexus, examining how politics shapes global environmental policy that can, and often does, have profound impacts on local livelihoods.

Glenn R. Gaudette

Glenn R. Gaudette

Affiliate Professor

Glenn R. Gaudette, PhD, is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from SUNY – Stony Brook. He has over 75 publications, co-edited a book on Cardiovascular Regeneration, has 4 issued patents and founded a company based on the technology developed in his laboratory. His research, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, aims to develop a treatment for the millions of Americans suffering from myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular diseases.

Robert  Krueger

Robert Krueger

Head of the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies, ad Interim

Robert Krueger is a human geographer whose scholarship and teaching focus on creating sustainable, socially just, improvements to development projects in the global north and south. His work has taken him around the world. He has worked in countries in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, on issues of economic development and institutional change. His scholarship and teaching challenge conventional notions of economic development, economy-environment relationships, and social change.

Geoffrey  Pfeifer

Geoffrey Pfeifer

Associate Professor of Teaching

Professor Pfeifer’s research focus in philosophy is on contemporary continental philosophy, social and political philosophy, global justice, and development ethics. He teaches philosophy courses, international studies courses, and for the Great Problems Seminars program. In addition to a number of chapters in edited collections, Professor Pfeifer's work can be found in journals such as Human Studies, The European Legacy, Crisis and Critique, Continental Thought and Theory, and Current Perspectives in Social Theory.

Anita Elaine Mattson

Anita Elaine Mattson

Professor & Department Head-Chemistry & Biochemistry

Research in the Mattson Group is a combination of catalyst design, methodology development, and complex molecule synthesis. Our catalyst design program is focused on the synthesis and study of new families of non-covalent catalysts, including boronate ureas and silanediols, that are able to promote new reactivity patterns. The catalyst design and associated reaction development programs are currently geared toward the synthesis of enantioenriched nitrogen and oxygen heterocycles that frequently appear in naturally occurring bioactive compounds.

Pratap M. Rao

Pratap Mahesh Rao

Associate Professor-Engineering

My research is aimed at discovering, understanding and developing advanced materials for a range of applications including solar energy conversion, catalysis, printed electronics, sensors, and functional coatings. Our lab specializes in the synthesis of nanostructured thin film materials using scalable processes. Students and researchers in my lab can expect to work on highly interdisciplinary projects at the intersection of materials science, mechanical engineering, solid state physics, and thermal sciences.

Jennifer  Rudolph

Jennifer Rudolph

Professor-Arts, Communications, and Humanities

Jennifer Rudolph's main area of research is modern Chinese political history.  While her first book dissects institutional change in late imperial China, in her second, she explores identity politics in the Taiwan Strait. In it, Rudolph explores co-optations of a 17th-century pirate-merchant Zheng Chenggong. Through the centuries, Zheng has lived on, with regimes ruling, or desirous of ruling, Taiwan portraying him as a traitor, Confucian god, Chinese nationalist, Japanese nationalist, and the Moses of Taiwan.

Elke A. Rundensteiner

Elke Rundensteiner


As founding Director of the interdisciplinary Data Science program here at WPI, I take great pleasure in doing all in my power to support the Data Science community in all its facets from research collaborations, new educational initiatives to our innovative Graduate Qualifying projects at the graduate level.

Aaron R. Sakulich

Aaron Sakulich

Associate Professor-Engineering

Replacing our crumbling national infrastructure with conventional materials would be only a temporary solution to a critical problem. My research focuses on developing new, more durable materials for use in infrastructure, which will lead to a lowered maintenance burden, improved user safety, and a reduced environmental impact. Personally, the part that I like most about this subject is the chemistry.

Alexander D. Smith

Alexander D. Smith

Associate Professor

Alexander Smith’s research focuses on altruism, trust, cooperation and honesty. In particular, he is interested in learning how behavior relates to beliefs about the actions of others and how psychology can be used for promoting pro-social behavior. These areas of research provide a better understanding of the factors underlying real-world pro-social behaviors such as volunteering and charitable giving. In essence, they provide insight into how to make the world a better place.

Steve  Taylor

Steven S. Taylor


My research is focused in two areas: Organizational aesthetics takes seriously the idea that management is as much an art as it is a science, and applies art-based scholarship and practice to management and organizations. Reflective practice is the ability to analyze our own actions and learn from that how to be more effective, ethical, and artful as managers and leaders. At the heart of my work as a researcher and teacher, is my own practice as a playwright. My plays have been performed in England, France, Poland, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, and the USA.

Yunus Dogan Telliel

Yunus Doğan Telliel

Assistant Professor- Anthropology & Rhetoric

I am an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Rhetoric. Before joining WPI, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. My work is animated by an intellectual curiosity with how ideas travel across time and space, and generate diverse practices of acting, seeing, and being in the world. I am especially intrigued by situations in which people come to ask new questions about themselves and others, in ways that require reconsideration of past experiences and imagining of future possibilities.

Pamela  Weathers

Pamela Weathers


Prof. Weathers is an internationally recognized expert on Artemisia annua and artemisinin, having worked with the plant and its phytochemicals including the antimalarial drug, artemisinin, for >25 years. She is a Fellow of AAAS and SIVB, won many awards, given many national and international presentations, reviews manuscripts for many journals and proposals for many national and international funding agencies. She is an Associate Editor for two journals. Her lab was the first to genetically transform A. annua.

Craig E Wills

Craig Wills

Professor and Department Head

My research has primarily focused on Internet application performance and measurement with more recent work examining issues related to Internet privacy. This work has led to a number of research publications and presentations as well as visibility in venues such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and NPR Science Friday.

Are You Considering Which BS to Take before the MS in Science & Technology for Innovation in Global Development?

The BS in Science, Technology & Policy sets the stage for the career you want. You’ll learn to analyze and communicate the complexities of contemporary policy decisions to help policymakers, scientists, and technologists understand the issues and make the most effective decisions.

Looking for a Bachelor’s Degree to Build Your Expertise in Environmental Issues First?

WPI’s BA in environmental & sustainability studies offers the kind of hands-on, project-based research to get you out into the field. You’ll understand the technological and social solutions to help mitigate the human-induced environmental change, among other issues.