M.A. in Global Development Studies

Information for Prospective Students

Masters of Global Development Studies

The MA in GDS, which enjoys a national and international reputation, is an interdisciplinary degree program accepting students from many disciplinary backgrounds. It is a 24-credit program with the option to do either a thesis or a Major Research Paper (MRP). Financial support is available on a competitive basis for qualified students.

Admission to the program is based on academic preparation, field or professional experience, letters of reference, a letter of intent indicating your proposed area of research as well as supporting documents.

The Benefits of Doing a MA in Global Development Studies at Saint Mary’s

  • The interdisciplinary MA in GDS at SMU was the first of its kind in Canada, and continues to be a leader in research and teaching in IDS.
  • The Program boasts a faculty engaged in real-world research on complex development problems, who publish widely and enjoy working with students.
  • 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.
  • The inter-disciplinary nature of our program provides students with the opportunity to study and engage in research not only with core IDS Faculty, but with Faculty from a wide range of disciplines both outside the program as well as those associated with the program and who are members either of our Program Committee, or Adjuncts or Program Associates.  
  • You 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

  • Honours baccalaureate undergraduate degree (or equivalent) with a minor concentration in International Development Studies or a relevant social science, or who have earned a baccalaureate undergraduate degree and who can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Admissions Committee that they have had considerable practical experience in the field of international development. Additional courses may be required at the discretion of the IDS Program should an incoming student show evidence of a specific gap in undergraduate preparation.

 Application Deadlines and Key Dates

  • International: February 1
  • Canadian and Permanent Residents: February 1
  • Program Start Date: September
  • Minimum time to completion: 16 months

Apply Now

Program Coordinator

Dr. Kate Ervine
McNally South 421

Contact Us

Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research


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