Master of Arts in Rural Development Top Colleges, Syllabus, Scope and Salaray

M.A. in Rural Development is a 2-year postgraduate course in rural development, focusing on:

  • practices that can be applied to improving quality of life in rural areas.
  • wise management of resources.
  • adequate utilization of the current workforce to facilitate sustainable development.
  • development for boosting agricultural productivity.
  • agriculture as the backbone of rural society.
  • enhancing the quality of health and nutrition in rural areas.
  • the delicate balance between agriculture and urbanization of towns.
  • social issues pertaining to the lives of people in small communities.
  • strategies for building feasible solutions to rural problems.
  • Rural Sociology.
  • Agricultural Management.
  • Human Resources.
  • Economics.
  • Resource Planning and Management.
  • Health, Economics and Agricultural Growth.

Popular areas of employment for such postgraduates include:

  • government agencies
  • nonprofit organizations
  • regional planning
  • project planning
  • project implementation
  • evaluation of development at international, national and local levels.

The average course fee in India ranges between INR 30,000 - 5 lacs for the total duration. The average annual salary offered to successful postgraduates of this field lies between INR 3-10 lacs.

M.A. in Rural Development: Course Highlights

Listed below are some of the major highlights of the course

Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 2 years
Examination Type Semester System
Eligibility Graduation from a recognized university
Admission Process Merit-based/ entrance exam in some cases.
Course Fee INR 2,000 -30,000
Average Starting Salary INR 2-4 lacs
Top Recruiting Organizations Tata Teleservices, Amul, Monsanto, Shriram Group, NABARD, ICICI Bank, Aditya Birla Group, National/International NGOs, Hero Group, Mahindra and Mahindra. National NGOs like Nandi Foundation, PRADHAN, CARE, SEWA, BAIF, Seva Mandir, etc.
Top Recruiting Areas' Human Resource Development, General Management, Finance, Project Implementation, Marketing, Purchase, in all segments of rural based enterprises.
Top Job Profiles Research Officer, Rural Executives, Rural Manager, Senior Program Officer, Project Co-ordinator, and such.

M.A. in Rural Development: What is it About?

The course is essentially about effecting positive changes in the structure and dynamics of rural India. The program is also open for:

  • development practitioners

  • policymakers
  • government officials
  • project managers
  • program coordinators
  • policy makers
  • consultants
  • NGO staff
  • private sector employees
  • government ministry staff interested in learning new skills about rural development.

Students enrolled to the course are taught about:

  • decentralization of government.
  • importance of local governance.
  • latest methodologies and approaches that are made available for the facilitation of social learning and change.
  • new paths of bringing about change in the hierarchy of governance.
    mechanisms to strengthen the rural structure through latest developmental techniques.
  • theoretical and practical skills through experiential learning.
  • building perspectives of rural development framework and ethics.
  • comprehensive understanding and critical analysis with regard to shifts of rural development.
  • various governance structures of State, market, civil society, and community
  • implications on the livelihoods of the poor and schemes to empower them.
  • the various skills and tools for a thorough and critical analysis of governance scenarios
  • internalization of rural environs, institutions, and initiatives.
  • values through a set of foundational courses that familiarize the students with policy, program, and field-based issues.
  • planning and project management skills.
  • generation of qualitative data and implementation of scheme formulas.
  • addressing micro and macro issues.

M.A. in Rural Development: Who should opt?

Skills ideally required in aspiring candidates for the course include:

  • friendly personality
  • ability to handle masses
  • ability to handle pressure
  • leadership skills
  • communication skills.

Top Institutes offering M.A. in Rural Development

Listed below are some of the top institutes offering the course in the country with the corresponding locations and fees charged by each.

Name of Institute City Average Fees per annum in INR
Indira Gandhi National Open University Delhi 3,650
Annamalai University Cuddalore 7,000
Bangalore University Bangalore 5,000
Ranchi university Ranchi 2,300
Ravenshaw University Cuttack 10,000
Dr. B. R Ambedkar University Agra 15,000
Andhra University Vishakhapatnam 9,750
Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidyalaya Sonepat 12,500
Dr. Hari Singh Gour University Sagar 5,380
Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramoday Vishwavidyalaya Chitrakoot 11,400
Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth Varanasi 2,515
Nehru Gram Bharti University Allahabad 4,200
Patna University Patna 2,300
Rani Durgavati University Jabalpur 2,700
Sri Venkateswara University Tirupati 36,000
Swami Vivekananda University Sagar 8,000

Eligibility for M.A. in Rural Development

Candidates aspiring for admission to the course are required to fulfill the following minimum eligibility criteria.

  • Graduation completed in any discipline from a recognized university.
  • A minimum aggregate score of 50% (45% for SC/ST/OBC candidates) at the level of graduation.
  • Candidates appearing for their final graduation-level examination are also eligible to apply for the course on provisional basis.

M.A. in Rural Development: Admission Process

Most institutes offering the course in India admit students based on their performance in a relevant entrance test, followed by a subsequent round of counselling. The round of counselling consists of two additional rounds of group discussion and personal interview, wherein the candidate’s general aptitude for the course is examined.

Some institutes conduct their own entrance tests for offering admission. Admission process generally varies across colleges. A few institutes also provide direct admission based on the candidate’s score at the level of graduation.

Mentioned below are some of the major entrance examinations conducted in the country for admission to the course.

M.A. in Rural Development: Syllabus and Course Description

A semester-wise breakup of the course’s syllabus is tabulated below.

Semester 1

Semester 2

Rural Development: Concepts and Dimensions Rural Industrialization and Entrepreneurship
Indian Rural Economic Scene Rural Development Institutions and Strategies
Indian Rural Social Scene Working with people: Techniques and Processes
Economics for Rural Development Social Research and Computer Applications for Rural Development

Semester 3

Semester 4

Natural Resources Management: Land Micro Finance, Self Help and Women Empowerment
Natural Resources Management: Water Rural Project Planning and Management
Natural Resources Management: Vegetation Rural Credit and Marketing
Human Resource Development in Rural Sector Voluntary Action for Rural Development

M.A. in Rural Development: Career Prospects

In the recent times, Panchayat Raj institutions have been given importance in the government system of India. This has resulted in:

  • quick and efficient planning of rural areas that are abundant in number.
  • the government framing various policies for the benefit of the poor, like Laadli Laxmi Yojna, Kisan Bima Yojna, and various others.
  • a huge demand for professionals who understand the rural background.
  • efficient planning and implementation of rural development programs and schemes. need for centrally sponsored or State government initiatives.
  • need for Rural Development Officers in agribusinesses, micro finance, rural entrepreneurship and rural infrastructure support programs.

Interested postgraduates may go for pursuing higher education, namely M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Rural Development.

Some of the popular professional avenues open to such postgraduates are listed below with the corresponding salaries offered for the respective positions.

Master of Arts [M.A.] in Rural Development annual salary
Job Position Job Description Average Annual Salary in INR
Senior Program Officer They are responsible for a variety of high-level organizational planning schemes intended to benefit a certain class of people. They typically possess outstanding interpersonal and organization management skills to interact with all levels of staff. 3-6 lacs
Rural Manager Rural Managers work under advisory, research, and consultancy subheads, and with private & public organizations. 4-6 lacs

Master of Arts [MA] (Rural Development) Fee Structure in India

2.86 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES66.60 K  (Maximum Fee)
19.36 K (Average Fee)
9.88 K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES2.25 L (Maximum Fee)
66.90 K (Average Fee)

Master of Arts [MA] (Rural Development) Fee Structure By state

Madhya Pradesh

23.56 K
18.80 KPrivate COLLEGES80 K
43.93 K


14.76 K
9.88 KPrivate COLLEGES1.01 L
55.24 K

Uttar Pradesh

22.78 K
12 KPrivate COLLEGES12 K
12 K


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3 Reviews found out of 177286

5.2 /10

Remarks :

Because I have interest to take up the course, I love to study and learn about various structure of rural livelihood schemes, lifestyle of the people and governments Arppoach towards providing various funds and other schemes for their welfare. I took admission because the course is available in this college

Course Curriculum Overview :

Might be good but not up to my expectations because my medium is english and hindi but they mostly speak in their native language and it's very hard to understand sometimes, especially while they're explaining something in the class

Campus Life :

Might be good but being a central university I expect much better facilities and maintenance of campus, its not so good as I've expected, because often the roads are not so clean the buildings are not well maintained

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Master of Arts [MA] (Rural Development) Colleges IN INDIA

View All
Mumbai University - [MU]
Mumbai, Maharashtra
34.41 K first year fees
Annamalai University - [AU]
Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu
5.89 K first year fees
Banaras Hindu University - [BHU]
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
4.62 K first year fees
17.6 K first year fees
8.29 K first year fees
6.9 K first year fees
University of Jammu
Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir
Ranchi University
Ranchi, Jharkhand
2.85 K first year fees