Master's Program

About the Program & Curriculum

About the program

The Master of Arts in Sustainable Development was established in 1998 in response to the dynamics of social, economic and cultural transformations taking place at the local, national and regional levels in Southeast Asia.

Unique for its interdisciplinary and field research-based nature, the MA in Social Science focuses on human-centered development amidst the changing global and regional context of Southeast Asia. It also focuses on livelihood security issues experienced by different groups of people.

From a social science perspective, the program highlights three main research agendas: environment and development, regionalization and transnationalization, and the politics of difference.


The MA program is comprised of two main parts: coursework and a thesis.

The coursework, comprising core and elective courses, will be completed in the first year, while the second year is devoted to field research and thesis writing.

Course duration: 2 years of full-time study

1st Academic Year 2nd Academic Year
1st Semester
• Social Science theories (core course)
• Development theories (core course)
• One elective course
1st Semester
• MA thesis
2nd Semester
• Research methodology in social sciences (core course)
• Seminar: special issues on development studies (core course)
• Two elective courses
2nd Semester
• Thesis publication
• Thesis examination

Estimated costs for students

Tuition Fees


Total tuition fees
(4 semesters)

Number of semesters for payment Amount per semester
Non-Thai students THB 320,000 4 semesters THB 80,000
Thai students THB 240,000 4 semesters THB 60,000

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Tuition fee payment: Students will be informed of dates for tuition payment in advance.

Semester Date/duration of payment
1 Students must pay tuition fees upon registration for new students at the University Registration Office
2-4 – Students pay tuition fees within the first month of each semester after completing online course enrollment
– Students can pay in person or through online banking

Further costs apply as follows

Details Approximate amount (baht)
Reading materials/books 5,000 (per year)
Field research expenses 20,000 – 40,000
Budget will depend on research conducted
English editing for thesis proposal and full thesis
(For non-native English Speakers)
10,000 – 15,000 
Required academic activity: International conference or publication;
– Registration fee
– Transportation
– Accommodation
Budget will depend on location of conference(s) students will attend
(For non-Thai residents)
Please check visa fees with the Thai Embassy in your home country. At Chiang Mai Immigration, the visa extension fee is 1,900 baht per year

Cost of living in Chiang Mai is approximately 12,000 – 15,000 baht per month.
Housing  in an apartment or condominium is anywhere from 5,000-10,000 baht per month.