Department of Global Development Studies

UN Geneva

Global 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 everyone 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, the Department of Global Development Studies (formerly the International Development Studies program) is concerned with what it takes to improve lives and livelihoods, and understand and alter the historical and current patterns of global injustice.


Global Development Studies at Saint Mary's University

The Department of Global Development Studies at Saint Mary's University 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 Department offers students a learner-focused environment within which to develop the theoretical and practical skills required to confront today's most difficult global challenges. Faculty in the Department of Global Development Studies are actively engaged in research, policy, and development practice, welcoming students from across the globe to study at one of Canada's oldest Universities. Global Development Studies combines internationally recognized scholars with small class sizes and individual attention.

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

Students studying Global Development Studies at SMU benefit from faculty expertise in:

  • Environment, Climate Change and Development 
  • Fair Trade, Free Trade and Trade Policy
  • Migration, Gender and Development 
  • Agrarian Change, Food Sovereignty and Resource Rights
  • Race and Capitalism
  • Sexuality and Social Difference 
  • Participatory Development and Local Knowledge in Development 
  • Labour and Development 
  • Global Political Economy
  • Global Governance 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 4-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 Department of Global Development Studies 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, Global Development Studies allows students to earn academic credit for volunteer and work placements in the field of  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

For more information of Global Development Studies events:

Check us out on Twitter: @GDS_SMU

Contact us at:

Department of Global Development Studies
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
B3H 3C3

Faculty of Arts
Global Development Studies
Mailing address:
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS
B3H 3C3