The IUSD program has been jointly developed and established since 2011 by the two partner universities; University of Stuttgart, Germany and Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. The double-degree program with the first year in Stuttgart University and the second year at Ain Shams University in Cairo serves as its backbone and is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) through the program “Development-Related Postgraduate Courses”. The double-degree program is supported by a high-profile advisory board and by various German, Egyptian and international organizations, including UNHabitat, GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), and CEDARE (Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe). These partnerships offer IUSD students numerous opportunities to test and develop skills in challenging and complex applied contexts.
Starting in 2016, both universities also offer the IUSD as a single degree program in both locations, with different study and exchange opportunities.