International Development Studies (Arts) Specialist (HBA)

Admissions Category: Social Sciences & Humanities

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Program Overview

International Development Studies is a challenging program intended for bright and self-motivated students who are interested in both excelling academically and actively engaging themselves in the pursuit of social justice around such issues as poverty, inequality, and oppression. The Specialist program provides students with a critical understanding of international development issues through exposure to a variety of academic disciplines and cultures. Students will not only learn the complex dynamics of development theory, but will have the opportunity for practical experience that is essential to professional development.

Complementary Programs:

Minor Programs in AnthropologyEconomicsEnvironmental StudiesHuman GeographyHealth StudiesMedia StudiesPolitical SciencePublic PolicySociology or Women’s and Gender Studies.

Check out future career opportunities and skills acquired from completing this program:

Competencies & Skills

  • Knowledge and understanding of the connections among issues such as inequality, poverty, and oppression
  • Ability to identify the roles of historical, sociocultural, economic, and political power in social and economic difference among countries
  • Analytical writing and communication
  • Research design
  • Project management and evaluation

Careers for Graduates

  • International Development Consultant
  • Communications Officer
  • Gender & Equity Expert
  • Development Associate/Grant Writer
  • Knowledge Translation Officer
  • Community Development Officer
  • Governance Officer
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist
  • Policy Advisor
  • Impact Investor
  • Law/Legal Services
  • Start-ups, Social Innovation
  • Medical Practitioners

Further Education

  • International Development
  • Public Policy/Global Affairs
  • Geography/Urban Planning
  • Environmental Science
  • Public Health
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Teacher Education

Program Pathway

Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4

Year 1
Choose Your Courses Wisely
Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
Apply Theory to Practice
Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career

Year 2
Choose Your Courses Wisely
  • 3.0 credits from the following: IDSB01H3IDSB02H3,IDSB04H3IDSB06H3IDSB07H3POLB90H3POLB91H3.
  • Consider which courses you would like to do for the Specialized Courses requirement in these 6 areas: Media & Development, Culture & Society, Environment & Land Use, Economics of Development, Gender & Health, Politics & Policy.

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Schedule an appointment with your program librarian for in-depth library research assistance.
  • Explore Research Assistant opportunities through the Work Study program on CLNx (>Jobs & Recruitment>Work Study).
  • Contact Faculty members and inquire about research opportunities.

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Research about experiential learning opportunities on campus.
  • Connect with like-minded local organizations and explore skill building Work Study opportunities on CLNx (>Jobs & Recruitment>Work Study).

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career

Year 3
Choose Your Courses Wisely
  • Methods for IDS: IDSC04H3 and 1.0 credit from selected courses; 0.5 credit in quantitative/statistical methods, and 0.5 credit in qualitative methods (check the UTSC Calendar for details).
  • Start taking Specialized courses in the 6 areas of concentration.
  • Take prerequisites for D-levels next year.

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
Apply Theory to Practice
  • Consider enrolling in IDSC20H3 and learn about the challenges faced by communities in their interactions with a range of development actors, including international development agencies, local Non Governmental Organizations (NGO), state actors and universities.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career

Year 4
Choose Your Courses Wisely
  • 0.5 credit from Research in International Development: IDSD02H3.  
  • Complete your Specialized courses requirement.                        
  • Use Degree Explorer to ensure you are on track to graduate.
  • Register your “Intent to Graduate” on ACORN by the deadline.

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Apply for the IDS Faculty Mentorship Project or consider completing a Supervised/Independent Research Project in IDSD14H3 IDSD15H3.

Apply Theory to Practice
Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)


Plan for Your Future Career


  • Meet with your Program Supervisor/Advisor regarding applying to graduate studies.
  • Get your Personal Statement reviewed in the AA&CC.
  • Attend the AA&CC’s Get Hired job search conference in April/May.
  • Attend a Jobs for Grads orientation for a job search “crash course.”


  • AACC - Academic Advising and Career Centre (
  • CCR - Co-Curricular Record (
  • CLNx - Career Co-Curricular Learning Network (
  • CTL - Centre for Teaching and Learning (
  • DSL - Department of Student Life (
  • ISC - International Student Centre (
  • NGO - Non-Governmental Organization (
  • SCSU - Scarborough Campus Students Union (
  • UTEA - U of T Excellence Award (


Departmental Contact

Arifa Akhter Nitol

Location: HL 226
Phone: 416-208-4847

International Development Studies Librarian

Sarah Fedko

Location: ARC main floor
Phone: 416-208-4881

Academic Advising & Career Centre

Location: AC213
Phone: 416-287-7561

Department of Student Life

Location: SL157
Phone: 416-208-5129

International Development Studies Students' Association [IDSSA]


Did You Know?

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There’s a Knowledge Equity Lab that promotes equal & equitable global academic & scientific research creation & access.