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International Development

International Development bannerWhy International Development

People who have the right knowledge, business skills, and perspectives can create positive change in overseas communities where there are issues of economic inequality, social injustice, and environmental degradation.

International Development will teach you to take what you’re passionate about and act on it in a way that is effective, sustainable, and responsible.

Shape the world

International Development will prepare you to channel your passion into practical action and provide support to challenged communities around the world.

By taking courses in environmental studies, social sciences, business, and languages, you’ll increase your ability to be adaptable and innovative. You'll graduate with management skills, environmental knowledge, as well as the ability to adapt to different cultural and social perspectives and modify technology to fit local situations.

Along with providing a strong academic background, International Development students have the option to complete their fourth year with an 8-month overseas placement; a great opportunity to put new skills to work and gain valuable real world experience.

Students can also choose to stay on campus and complete a research project/thesis. This will allow them to delve deeper into development issues that they care about.

These themes are highly relevant to employers and will make you valuable in a variety of internationally-oriented careers.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the International Development program please get in touch with us.

Taylor KerstensRecruitment and Student Engagement Coordinator

Karen RobertsonUndergraduate Administrative Coordinator


Required Courses

  • Grade 12 U English (at least 70% normally required)​

Admissions Average: High 70s to Low 80s
More Admissions information

Courses for Success
These courses will help you succeed in your studies at Waterloo but do not affect admissions.

  • At least one Grade 12 U course in a second language
  • At least one Grade 12 U Mathematics or Science course (at least 70% normally required)

A partnership to give you more

The International Development program is offered through the Faculty of Environment in partnership with St. Paul’s University College, which is part of the University of Waterloo.

Many of your professors and advisors, along with your core International Development courses, will be at St Paul's. However, you'll also take courses at the University of Waterloo and your degree will be from the University of Waterloo.

As an International Development student, you'll benefit from:

  • a guaranteed 8-month field placement in 4th year
  • expertise in the Faculty of Environment relating to environmental, urban, and economic issues
  • St. Paul’s University College, with its commitment to educating innovators to shape a just and  humane world, offers free residence in 4a term to students accepted into the program
  • the University of Waterloo's vast array of student services: facilities, and classes

More information

PhD Initiative

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