About the Programme

The Master of Arts in Gender and Development (hybrid) is a graduate programme that offers critical knowledge in gender studies in its intersections with development studies. In addition, this programme equips students with the required soft skills for a successful international career in this field.

The programme is offered in a hybrid format (online + face-to-face on the UPEACE campus in San Jose, Costa Rica). Students can also participate in optional field visits to Geneva, Switzerland, and The Hague, the Netherlands.

The M.A. in Gender and Development is offered by the internationally recognized Department of Peace and Conflict Studies of the University for Peace (UPEACE) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). During this programme, students will analyze different perspectives which is necessary for nurturing gender consciousness in development work, focusing on a variety of topics, including but not limited to women’s empowerment, queering development, gender in its intersections with environment and development, the interplay of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and disability among other factors with development work. Students will also attend skills development sessions that are designed to support their professional career and employability.

This master’s degree offered by two UN entities (University for Peace and United Nations Institute for Training and Research) combines the best of academic and executive-style education. Students will also gain first-hand experience of the work of the United Nations (UN), as they will have the opportunity to participate in a field trip to Geneva and The Hague, where the UN maintains a significant presence.

Check out the programme brochure by clicking the image below.

Who is it for?

Careers in this field can be very broad. Prospective employers include governments, international and regional organizations, think tanks, academia, human rights organizations, and the civil society.

Students can also pursue a shorter programme, namely the Certificate in Gender and Development (hybrid) or sign up for individual online courses offered as part of the Master of Arts in Gender and Development or Certificate in Gender and Development.


Students can obtain the Master of Arts in Gender and Development (hybrid) upon successful completion of 42 credits, including 34 credits for coursework and 8 credits for a master’s thesis or internship assignment. Students who choose Capstone as a Graduation Project must take an additional 3-credit course (37 course credits and 5 Capstone credits).

The credit/cost breakdown is as follows:

(*)UN Staff and Costa Rican nationals will be eligible for a 50% waiver (9,750 USD). All other applicants may apply for a 20% waiver (15,600 USD), which may be granted in limited numbers by mutual decision of UPEACE and UNITAR to ensure equitable gender and regional representation.)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: The application deadline for the 2024-2025 academic year is 30 April 2024. The first course is set to begin on 26 August 2024.

Click here to apply to the M.A. in Gender and Development (hybrid). You will be asked to select your desired programme in the PROGRAMME INFORMATION page. Please write down your application ID, which will allow you to return to your saved application as many times as you need to. Email us at admissions@upeace.org if you have any questions about the admissions process.

Optional Field Visits to Geneva and The Hague

Each year, UNITAR will organize two optional 5-day field trips to Geneva (Switzerland) and The Hague (Netherlands) for the students enrolled in the joint UPEACE - UNITAR Master's Programmes and Certificates.

Students can sign up for one field visit or for both (Geneva and The Hague) if they wish to do so.

During this activity, students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the very heart of diplomacy and international law, visit different international organizations and network with other diplomats, personnel of permanent missions accredited to the UN, civil servants of international organizations and civil society representatives. 

The fee of each five-day field trip is USD 1,500. The fee does not include travel, accommodation, food or visa expenses. The optional field visit will take place every Summer. 

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