About IEDP

About IEDP

The IEDP was established in 1999 by the IPSA at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. It is a student initiated, three-credit program that serves as a forum for students to discuss the challenges faced by developing economies. IEDP participants engage in a seven-week course in the winter semester, extensively studying the country of choice, and then take a one-week trip to the country over Spring Break. During the trip, IEDP students conduct extensive interviews and discussions with policymakers, members of civil society, foreign development agencies and university students. So far the IEDP has visited 11 countries, including Ethiopia, Cuba, Morocco, China, Costa Rica, Peru, Jordan, Senegal and the Philippines. The country of study for 2011 is Grenada, the first country from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in the IEDP's history.

Q & A

General Information
What is the IEDP anyway?
The IEDP is a course and a trip that serve as a forum for students to discuss economic development policies, focus on the international challenges that developing economies face, and take a unique opportunity to examine the policies of a particular country through a visit over spring break. Past IEDP countries have included Ethiopia, Cuba, Morocco, Venezuela, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, and China, Peru, Jordan, Senegal and Philippines. The country of study for 2011 IEDP is Grenada, the first Caribbean country in the IEDP history.

Who organizes IEDP?
The IEDP will be organized by a committee comprised of the International Policy Students Association (IPSA) 2nd year Co-Chair, the IPSA Treasurer, two committee members, and a faculty adviser.

Who participates in IEDP?
Graduate students across the University of Michigan participate in the program, but the majority is from the Ford School. Other schools that have participated in the past: Law, Business, Public Health, SNRE, Urban Planning, and Economics, Political Science, and Sociology PhDs.

How do you select the country?
Students in the Ford School vote for the country. Please see IEDP Country Selection for more details.

Course Information
When is the course?
The course takes place during the first seven weeks of winter semester.

What time does it take place?
The time of the class will be announced before students register for winter classes. In the past, the course has met for a weekly three hour evening session.

Who teaches the course?
The professor for IEDP 2011 is Susan Waltz (Ford School of Public Policy). She will be overseeing the academic aspect of the course as well as helping with organizing the trip portion. 

What does the course focus on?
The course focuses on economic development issues. Topics will include, but are not limited to trade, food and agriculture, education, health, business development, government and institutions, history, and culture. Students will also have the opportunity to pursue other academic interests through the course.

Who takes the course?
Everyone who is accepted to the program takes the course. To go on the trip, you must take the course. The course is also open to other interested students in graduate or professional schools.

What is the final product of the course?
In the past each student was required to write a policy brief either individually or in a small group related to the specific topic they researched during the semester. Each student would also give a presentation during the course of the semester on their topic. 

Trip Information
When does it take place?
The trip takes place over the week of spring break. The exact dates of the trip will not be determined until the flight arrangements can be made. We cannot guarantee dates of travel, so there is a possibility that participants will miss a Friday or Monday of classes or travel on a Saturday or Sunday.

What do you do on the trip?
The group meets with NGOs, government organizations, and private organizations on issues related to economic development and other topics related to what is studied during the course.

Who goes on the trip?
25 students who are selected through the application process, plus one or two faculties.

What is the cost of the trip to students?
The IPSA board and students selected to go on the trip fundraise for the trip. In the past students have been asked to contribute up to $200-$300 for the trip costs. In addition, students are responsible for paying for their own food and other personal expenses in country and for visas.

Application Information
Who is eligible?
All students in University of Michigan graduate and professional school programs are eligible. The Ford School of Public Policy is the sponsoring school and provides the majority of the funding. Approximately 80% of the spots are allocated to Ford School students.

When are applications due?
Applications are due in early October (more info. forthcoming).

Where can I find an application?
We will send out application notification through emails. The application will also be available on this website.

What do I have to do to fill out the application?
Go online and download the application and follow the directions on the application. If you do not follow the directions, your application will not be reviewed.

What makes a good essay?
A well written essay shows interest in the selected country and/or economic development. In addition to what you know, reviewers look for what you will learn and contribute to the group.

What are the selection criteria?
Criteria for selection are demonstrated interest in the country and/or economic development. No previous experience is necessary. Approximately 25 students will go on the trip. Of those students approximately 20% will be non-Ford School Graduate Students. Among Ford School students, preference is given to second year students who have not already gone on other international trips sponsored by the Ford School.

Who reviews the applications?
A panel of anonymous readers reviews the applications. They read the applications without knowing who the students are that are applying.

Does the IPSA board have any say so in who goes? 

When and how do I find out if I am selected?
The selection process takes about 10 days. We aim to email students as to whether they have been selected before the Fall Break.