Future Graduate Students


Can I apply directly to IDS without first selecting a department? (Graduate students)

No. Students must enter the collaborative IDS specialization through a collaborating department, as they must complete both departmental and IDS requirements to graduate.

On the on-line application, choose the program that combines your desired area of study with International Development Studies (ex. Sociology with International Development Studies - MA.SOC+IDEV). If you are uncertain about your choice of department, you may seek advice from the Graduate Coordinator.

Can I defer my acceptance? (Graduate Students)

Please visit the Office of Graduate Studies for more information on deferring offers of admission.

Can I take any courses through distance education? (Graduate Students only)

No. We don't offer graduate courses in a distance format. However, occasionally arrangements are made to take one or more courses on a reading or individual study basis.

Do I have to send my application to IDS?

No. The application is made directly to the department selected by the student. Do not submit your application or any documents directly to IDS.

How long does it take to finish the program?

Please consult with your chosen collaborating department for the average time of completion.

How much is tuition for the program? (Graduate Students)

Please see Student Financial Services for tuition details.

How will I finance my studies? (Graduate Students)

The University of Guelph offers many resources to financially support graduate students. Explore your options on the Graduate Studies website.

Help to fund your graduate studies by taking advantage of Entrance Awards related to International Development Studies.

New full-time doctoral students who are accepted at the University of Guelph are guaranteed funding. Stipends for master's students are offered at the discretion of the home department.

Students are encouraged to consult their home department regarding the amount and duration of funding packages, which may include university graduate scholarships, teaching assistantships, graduate research assistantships, etc.

Is it possible to complete the degree on a part-time basis?

Yes, but only if your chosen collaborating department allows part-time study. It is almost impossible to switch to part-time status after you have entered a graduate program as a full-time student.

What about field work?

Arrangements for field work are made on an individual basis by the student in consultation with supervising faculty and are subject to Ethics Approval. Field research typically extends the degree by one semester (depending on the nature of the research).

Many students obtain funding for field research from outside sources (IDRC, CIDA etc.), sources internal to the University or externally-financed projects which are administered at Guelph or a university with which we collaborate.

What is the City of Guelph like?

Guelph is a community of over 125,000 people, located about an hour west of Toronto. It has all the conveniences of a big city but has the small town community feel. It has a vibrant downtown with a farmer's market, many small shops, and a variety of restaurants. For more information about Guelph, please visit the City of Guelph website.

What is the history of the IDS Collaborative Master's program?

In the early 1990s, the first students were admitted to the collaborative master’s specialization, which provides a focal point for graduate teaching and research on international development topics.

"Collaborative" in this context means that the specialization adds an interdisciplinary IDS focus to the disciplinary master’s program. Students receive a master’s degree in their selected discipline with the added designation "International Development Studies." 

Students and faculty from different disciplines work together to study the contemporary problems of poverty and inequality, as well as long-term change and cross-cultural comparisons, through a variety of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches.

The specialization is governed by its four founding departments: Sociology & Anthropology, Political Science, Geography and Economics, under the guidance of the IDS Director and Graduate Coordinator.

What is the history of the IDS Collaborative PhD program?

The collaborative PhD specialization in International Development Studies was based on the successful model of the collaborative master's specialization and was the first of its kind in Canada.

As it is also "collaborative," this PhD specialization allows students to add an interdisciplinary, international development focus to their degree in a discipline (their home department/home program). The specialization provides an opportunity for advanced students to engage with multi- and interdisciplinary development theories and to conduct research on international development issues.

This PhD degree with the added designation "International Development Studies" provides necessary discipline-based qualifications for the academic job market. The degree is also designed to strengthen the theoretical foundation of development practitioners.

Popular departments selected have been Political Science; Epidemiology; Sociology; Geography; Economics; Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics; and Engineering. Apart from their departmental courses, the IDS PhD students interact in two interdisciplinary core courses and IDS-related research seminars.

What kinds of jobs do IDS graduates find after graduation?

IDS graduates hold positions in government in Canada and abroad with NGOs, international organizations and private consultancies.

Visit Career Paths for IDS Students in Canada for more information.

What level of English do I need?

If English is not your first language, you will be required to submit the results of a standardized language test.

When does the program begin?

The program usually starts in September. If you are interested in winter or spring admission, please check with your collaborating department.

When is the application deadline?

IDS does not have an application deadline. You must meet the deadline of your chosen collaborative department. Once your application has been reviewed by the collaborating department that you have chosen, your application is then forwarded to the IDS committee for review.

Where can I find housing in Guelph? (Graduate Students)