Ph.D. in International Development Studies

PhD in International Development Studies (IDS)

The Doctor of Philosophy in International Development Studies, Canada’s first dedicated interdisciplinary doctoral degree program in international development studies, accepts students with a masters degree from disciplinary backgrounds related to IDS. The general focus of all PhD in IDS dissertation research must be in the area of the political economy of development, with sub-specialization in gender, environment, trade, labour, education, or another sub-area.

Admission to the program is based on academic preparation (normally a first class masters degree), field or professional experience, letters of reference, a letter of intent and CV, and a 2,500 research plan detailing the intended doctoral research to be carried out. Admission is competitive and based on the application and the availability of supervision in the student’s research plan area.

There are two seminars—one on theory, one on methods—in the first year, at the end of which the student must publicly defend a comprehensive thesis proposal before being allowed to continue into the second, dissertation research year. The minimum time to completion is three years. Substantial financial support is available to entering students.


The Benefits of Doing a PhD in IDS at Saint Mary’s

  • The interdisciplinary PhD-IDS at SMU is the first of its kind in Canada, and sets the standard for a completely research-based interdisciplinary doctoral degree.
  • The program boasts a small but very active core faculty engaged in real-world research on complex development problems, who publish widely and enjoy working with students. There is an extensive complement of adjunct faculty who work closely with the program on research collaboration and teaching.
  • The program’s modest size permits greater individual student attention and supervision.
  • We have linkages with international partners who visit as participants in a renowned Speakers Series, and many of whom are available as supervisors.
  • Students will be studying in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the Atlantic seaboard of Eastern Canada, one of the most beautiful ports in the world.

Admission Requirements

  • Master’s degree with first class standing
  • Graduate coursework in the area of IDS
  • Professional experience may be considered as a substitute for a portion of graduate coursework

Application Deadlines and Key Dates

  • International: February 1
  • Canadian and Permanent Residents: February 1
  • Program Start Date: September
  • Minimum time to completion: 3 years

Apply Now


Program Coordinator

Dr. Kate Ervine
902-491-6224
kate.ervine@smu.ca
Office Number: McNally South 203

Contact Us

Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research
902-420-5089
fgsr@smu.ca
fgsr.smu.ca