International Development, B.S. Business Administration

Program Overview

Are you are passionate and keenly aware of global social, economic, and political issues? Do you have a talent for recognizing the needs of others, uncovering the root of problems, and being an agent of change? If you want to be connected with and work alongside others who share your energy and concern for the world, a business degree in international development will suit you well.

PLNU's international development major covers a wide range of coursework, ranging from business, economics, and sustainability to political science and sociology. This interdisciplinary approach enables you to connect and dialogue with accomplished faculty and passionate students across multiple academic areas of study. You will be invited to seek new and better ways to serve others in need as you dive into conversation surrounding poverty, human rights, economic growth, leadership, globalization, community health, theology, and more. You will also find yourself studying abroad in a developing country as a requirement for your degree. Wherever you choose to go, you will be able to learn in a different context how to use business to alleviate poverty through sustainable and empowering ways.

The faculty and staff at PLNU weren’t afraid to dive into hard conversations, even controversial ones, and that’s really serving me well now in law school, where I’m surrounded by people from all different backgrounds. I learned it’s okay for me to have really strong opinions about things, even when those opinions are different than those around me. In addition to helping broaden my perspective, my support system at PLNU challenged me to do something with my life that uses my knowledge, talents, and interests to give back to my community and the world. In my case, that means combining my passions for law and social justice to help others.

Sarah Parker, Class of 2015
International Development Studies, B.A.

International development majors also have access to a valuable resource in the Center for International Development (CID). If you are looking for mentorship, networking events, internships, jobs, or study abroad information, the CID has an abundance of resources for you to explore. Overall, PLNU, the CID, and the Fermanian School of Business offer you many ways to get involved and pursue your passions.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Student Profile

Travis Hunter Headshot

Travis Hunter

Travis Hunter has always been interested in entrepreneurship, and while a student at PLNU, he discovered the study and industry of economic development, which is the center of his career as the Program Manage of External Programs for the MIT Innovation Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Read more

 

Career Opportunities

PLNU international development graduates are people with a passion for business with integrity and purpose. They are aware of the political and social challenges within the global arena and have a deep understanding of factors that affect success and sustainability along the path of development. Graduates have applied their thorough base of knowledge and transferrable skill set into many careers within the field of international development and beyond. Alumni have held various positions at companies like Compassion International, World Relief, Plant with Purpose, Hope International, International Rescue Committee, Christian Missionary Fellowship, and many other public, private, and nonprofit organizations.

Student Profile

Molly Guldin looks out for the next wave coming in while surfing off Sunset Cliffs.

Molly Guldin

Molly Guldin is the Farmers’ Market Coordinator for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) at the El Cajon farmers market in San Diego County and helps manage the City Heights Farmers’ Market. The IRC is an international nonprofit organization that works to resettle and assist refugees throughout the United States. Read more


A Bachelor of Science in International Development can lead to the following careers:

  • Missions Coordinator
  • Policy Advocate
  • Human Rights Officer
  • Fundraiser
  • Relief and Development Worker
  • Diversity Consultant
  • Microenterprise Business Counselor
  • Social Enterprise Coordinator
  • Nonprofit Manager
  • Poverty Researcher 
Figures Dancing

Breaking Poverty’s Cycles

PLNU professor Rob Gailey, Ph.D., considers an approach to global poverty as Christians committed to doing what we can.

Read More in the Viewpoint Online Magazine