International Development

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, problem solving, cultural understanding, economic development, social accounting, 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

Gain a deeper understanding of global issues and human rights during an 8-month field placement in Africa, Latin America, or Asia, doing anything from creating an education program at a refugee camp 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.


Nathan chose International Development at Waterloo because he wanted to do something that helped people all around the world. 

About the International Development program

BreifCase Available as a regular program

ClickApply directly to this program on your application

Graduation Cap Earn a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree


book iconAvailable as a major and minor

EnvironmentOffered by the Faculty of Environment

RibbonAdd a Global Experience Certificate to your degree


International Development 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
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements
  • The Admission Information Form is recommended as part of the admissions process

First-year International Development courses

September to December

INDEV 100 - Introduction to International Development
PLAN 100 - The Evolution of Planning
GEOG 101 - Human Geographies: People, Space and Change
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 the courses required for your degree.

Sample upper-year courses 

INDEV 200 – The Political Economy of Development
INDEV 212 – Problem-solving for Development
INDEV 308 – Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship
INDEV 387 – Global Cities in Global Development

Customize your International Development degree

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

What can you do with a degree 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

  • Development Coordinator – Partners in Health Canada
  • Marketing and Communications Officer – MEDA
  • Environmental Advisor Intern – CNCR
  • Project Coordinator – Uponor
  • Local Immigration Partnership Officer – Warden Woods Community Centre
  • Special Projects Coordinator – Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
  • Coordinator, WE Day Retail Operations – We Charity

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
  • Global issues, policy, and human rights

Learn more about International Development