Information for

International Development at Waterloo

At a glance

  • Available as a regular program only
  • Starts in first year so apply directly to this program on your application
  • Earn a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in International Development
  • Offered by the Faculty of Environment
  • Waterloo's Development Studies program is ranked in the top 100 worldwide (QS World University Rankings 2016)

About the program

Become a catalyst for change. Help those who are less fortunate. Create new ways to assist other countries and people by learning to solve problems at the local level.

During an 8-month overseas field placement, you'll gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to create positive change in a developing area of Africa, Latin America, or Asia, where there are issues of economic inequality, social injustice, and environmental change.

As an alternative to the international placement, you can choose to stay at Waterloo and complete an in-depth project relating to international development. You'll complete a 3‐week community service experience in Canada or internationally.

By taking environmental studies, social sciences, business, and language courses, you'll strengthen your adaptability and thinking skills. These skills are essential when designing development projects that are ethical, environmentally sustainable, culturally responsible, and scientifically accountable.

Admission requirements

  • Ontario students: 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
    • Any Grade 12 U English (final grade of 70% is required)
    • Recommended courses: at least one Grade 12 U Science or Mathematics course; at least one Grade 12 U course in a second language
  • Admission average: Low 80s

First-year courses

Listed below are required first-year courses. You'll choose additional classes so that you have a total of 5 courses per term.

September to December

INDEV 100 - Introduction to International Development
PLAN 100 - The Evolution of Planning
GEOG 101 - Geography and Human Habitat
ECON 101 - Introduction to Microeconomics

January to April

INDEV 101 - Issues in International Development
ENVS 195 - Introduction to Environmental Studies
ECON 102 - Introduction to Macroeconomics


International Development graduates have found careers working for various non-profit organizations both domestic and international, education and research, policy development, and more

Recent graduates

  • Program Development Consultant, Oxfam Canada
  • Officer, Institutional Partnerships, Right to Play
  • Program and Grant Officer, World Vision International
  • Assistant Farm Manager, Nith Valley Organics
  • Financial Inclusion Outreach Worker, The Working Centre
  • Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Raising the Village
  • Teacher, Umulqura Learning Center
  • Tour Manager, Free the Children

Further education

While the full range of further education depends on your individual interests, these are common areas our graduates pursue.

  • Political science, public policy, global governance
  • Business and international affairs
  • Development practice, environment and resources studies
  • Planning, environmental engineering, GIS

Learn more about International Development