International Development Studies

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collection of photos - IDS Faculty


International Development Studies is about addressing the causes and consequences of global poverty and social injustice. It combines critical thinking with practice in every day life aimed at enhancing the ability of all global citizens to actively participate in society to confront the world’s most pressing social, economic, political, and environmental problems. While some in this world have a range of opportunities and benefits, the majority world encounters daily challenges to survive and thrive. Drawing on a distinctly global and interdisciplinary approach, International Development Studies is concerned with what it takes to improve lives and livelihoods, and understand and alter the historical and current patterns of global injustice. 

International Development Studies at Saint Mary's University

The International Development Studies (IDS) Program at Saint Mary's University (SMU) is an interdisciplinary program that offers degrees at the undergraduate, Master's, and PhD levels. With a strong foundation in the political economy of development and globalization, our Program offers students a learner-focused environment within which to develop the theoretical and practical skills required to confront today's most difficult global challenges. Home to the Canada Research Chair in International Development Studies, faculty in the IDS Program are actively engaged in research, policy, and development practice, welcoming students from across the globe to study at one of Canada's oldest Universities. IDS combines internationally recognized scholars with small class sizes and individual attention.

Learn more about IDS at SMU. Check out Dr. Gavin Fridell’s class “Fair Trade and Free Trade”, below.

Students studying IDS at SMU benefit from faculty expertise in:

  • Global Governance and Development 
  • Global Environmental Governance 
  • Environment, Climate Change and Development 
  • Global Trade, Fair Trade and Development 
  • Migration, Gender and Development 
  • Agrarian Change, Food Sovereignty and Resource Rights 
  • Participatory Development and Local Knowledge in Development 
  • South-South Trade/Investment
  • Labour and Development 

Degree Options

Undergraduate Degree Options:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Honours Bachelor of Arts 

Graduate Degree Options: 

  • Masters Program: This 16-month degree program allows students to choose the Thesis or Major Research Paper (MRP) option
  • PhD Program: This 3-year degree program includes one year of residency-based course work followed by research and preparation of the doctoral dissertation 

Study Abroad

Undergraduate students in the IDS Program are able to take advantage of SMU's robust study abroad opportunities, including semester or full-year exchange programs with universities across the globe, and international field school opportunities. In order to foster experiential learning, SMU IDS allows students to earn academic credit for volunteer and work placements in the field of global development. Those wishing to study abroad can apply for financial support through a number of awards and funds available at Saint Mary's. 

For more information

Contact Us:

International Development Studies Program
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
B3H 3C3

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