The certificate in development economics gives students a solid foundation of analytical skills that will enable them to better understand the challenges created by world poverty. They will learn how economics can be used to address the problems of poverty and the impact of globalization on growth and development. Students will focus on such issues as: the relationship between population growth and economic growth, the major debates about food self-sufficiency and food security, how child labor and gender discrimination limit economic development, and what environmental problems are posed by economic development.

The certificate in development economics is open to any undergraduate student enrolled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The certificate in development economics is open to any undergraduate student enrolled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In order to declare the certificate, the student must have successfully completed A A E 215, ECON 101 or ECON 111. Contact the advisor listed under the Advising and Careers tab for more information or to declare the certificate.

In order to declare the certificate, the student must have successfully completed one of the following:
Introduction to Agricultural and Applied Economics
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Economics-Accelerated Treatment
The certificate requires five courses.
Complete two core courses:
A A E/​ECON  474 Economic Problems of Developing Areas3
A A E/​INTL ST  373 Globalization, Poverty and Development3
or A A E/​INTL ST  374 The Growth and Development of Nations in the Global Economy
Select one course from the following:3
The International Agricultural Economy
World Hunger and Malnutrition
Globalization, Poverty and Development
The Growth and Development of Nations in the Global Economy
Latin American Economic Development
Economic Growth and Development in Southeast Asia
Agricultural and Economic Development in Africa
Select one course from the following:3
Sociology of International Development, Environment, and Sustainability
Sociology of Developing Societies/Third World
Survey of International Economics
International Trade
International Industrial Organizations
Economics of Growth
Environmental Conservation
World Regions in Global Context
International Business
Multinational Business Finance
Topics in Politics and Policy in the Global Economy
Political Economy of Development
Analysis of International Relations
International Political Economy
Select one additional course from any of the courses listed above3
Total Credits15
  • A student may combine this certificate with any other certificate and/or major. However, students with a major in Agricultural and Applied Economics, a major in Economics, or a major in the Politics and Policy in the Global Economy option in International Studies may count no more than 2 courses toward both their major requirements and the requirements for the certificate in development economics.
  • 50% of certificate coursework must be completed in residence.
  • Minimum average 2.000 GPA in all certificate courses.


This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

  1. Understand the impacts of global economic processes, such as trade foreign investment, and migration, on growth and development.
  2. Understand the contributions of private and public investments in areas such as agriculture, education, environmental resources, health care, industrialization, and technology adoption to growth and development, and the methods for measuring those effects.

For more information or to declare the certificate in development economics, contact:                                         

Linda Davis
Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics      
Schedule an appointment using Starfish.


Students pursuing the certificate in development economics are often interested in careers in international development. Depending on their major, they often find careers in policy analysis, consulting, or working abroad. They can find employment with a variety of employers such as nonprofit organizations, government agencies, cooperatives, or multinational firms. Many students pursue graduate degrees in economics, public policy, law, or other areas.


Barham, Bradford
Coxhead, Ian
Foltz, Jeremy
Phaneuf, Daniel (Chair)
Rutherford, Thomas
Schechter, Laura


Dower, Paul
Mukherjee, Priya


Davis, Linda


Many students declared in the certificate in development economics choose to study abroad. Study abroad programs offer students the opportunity to gain an international perspective and can prepare them to participate in today's global economy. International Academic Programs (IAP) serves as the primary study abroad office on campus, offering more than 200 programs in more than 60 countries around the world. IAP program offerings, available to all majors, range from short-term, faculty-led opportunities to intensive language study, internships, a semester or a year at a university overseas, service learning, and programs with special themes. There are also international programs offered through the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). Study abroad programs in CALS cover a variety of content areas such as sustainable development, food systems, agriculture, health and wellness, and community and economic development.