Information for

International Development at Waterloo

Build a better world. We’ll give you the toolkit.

Learn to tackle issues of economic inequality, social injustice, and environmental change. Build capacity to solve problems at the local level.

In Waterloo’s International Development program, we’ll give you lots of tools to put in your toolkit, including business skills, economics, social accounting, problem solving, cultural understanding, and more.

Meanwhile, adding some environmental studies, social sciences, and language courses will strengthen your adaptability and thinking skills.

You’ll graduate knowing how to design development projects that are ethical, environmentally sustainable, culturally responsible, and scientifically accountable.

Work overseas for 8 months

Put your knowledge to work during an 8-month field placement in a developing area of Africa, Latin America, or Asia, doing anything from creating an education program at a refugee camp in Malawi to promoting sustainable buying habits in Vietnam.

Create friendships for life

In International Development at Waterloo, you’ll be part of a tight-knit community of people committed to creating a better world. You can even room and study with your classmates in the Environment Living Learning Community.


About International Development

BreifCase Available as a regular program

ClickApply directly to this program on your application

Graduation Cap Earn a Bachelor of Environmental Studies 


8Spend 8-months abroad in fourth year

EnvironmentOffered by the Faculty of Environment

RibbonAdd a Global Experience Certificate to your degree


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

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
1 elective

January to April

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


After first year

About half of your classes will be International Development courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

View a list of all the courses required for your degree.

Customize your degree

You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree.


Careers in International Development

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

Helpful links