International Development

Admission to the International Development program has been paused and applications are not being accepted for September 2024. Students currently enrolled in the program will be able to finish their degree.

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. 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.

Program highlights

  • Work overseas for eight months. Gain a deeper understanding of global issues and human rights during an eighth-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. 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.

What will you learn?

First-year courses

During your first year, you'll take a mix of courses in International Development, Economics, Geography and Environmental Management, and Planning.

Learn more about the courses you'll take for your International Development major.

Customize your degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one of the minors available to all Waterloo students.


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Ask a Faculty of Environment student about their program, classes, getting involved on campus, and more!


Admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • Any Grade 12 U English (final grade of 70% is required)

Admission average: Low 80s

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.

How to apply

Admission to International Development has been paused for the school year starting in September 2024.

Connect with us

Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?

Contact Jaime, our Faculty of Environment recruitment coordinator who can answer any questions you have.

Jaime Fohkens headshot


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