McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Thu, 07/18/2024 - 18:12

Gradual reopening continues on downtown campus. See Campus Public Safety website for details.

La réouverture graduelle du campus du centre-ville se poursuit. Complément d'information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention.

Development Studies Option

Program Description

The Development Studies Option (DSO) combines a regular Masters degree from one of six participating departments with a new seminar for students from all six disciplines and a thesis or research paper that must be written with a new multi-disciplinary approach. In addition to their departmental supervisors, students in the DSO are encouraged to work with other professors outside their departmental disciplines.

The novel design of the DSO means that graduates will develop a unique set of tools which will allow them to be more effective in whatever endeavor they choose to pursue upon graduation, whether it is working with development organizations or government agencies, or pursuing either a disciplinary-based or multi-disciplinary doctoral degree. This is because they will be experts within their respective fields who have successfully incorporated research from other fields into their coursework and research. In other words, the ultimate goal of the DSO is to give graduates a multi-disciplinary background through practice, based on the assumption that to truly engage in multi-disciplinary endeavors, you must first have a firm grasp of what working in various different disciplines actually entails.


All students enrolled in the DSO are required to take McGill's graduate-level course in International Development Studes, INTD 657, Development Studies Seminar, in the first year of their program. The seminar is uniquely designed to break down disciplinary boundaries by bringing together students from six different departments to engage in active discussions on the cutting edge issues in development studies.

The DSO’s cross-disciplinary perspective will be further reinforced in the students’ final Research Essay or Thesis. Topics will be approved by the DSO coordinating committee and students will be required to approach their subject from several disciplinary perspectives. Consistent with each participating department’s regulations, students will also be encouraged to seek supervision or guidance from professors outside their departmental discipline.

INTD 657
Development Studies Seminar

INTD 657 is a required course for the Development Studies Option.

This course is specifically designed for the DSO and brings students from all six disciplines together in one seminar to discuss important issues in Development Studies.

INTD 657 Development Studies Seminar 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Applying to the DSO

Students will only be considered for the DSO once they have been accepted into a Masters program in one of the six participating departments at McGill. Admission criteria may be different in each of the departments, so candidates are advised to carefully read through the Graduate Studies section on the website of the department that interests them. Students applying through a participating department should indicate in their application that they want to be considered for the DSO.

DSO candidates seeking a supervisor should contact one of the listed professors from their chosen department. Additionally, a list of participating professors can be found here


In this initial phase of the Development Studies Option, we are happy to announce that the Faculty of Arts has authorized six awards of $2000 for students admitted into the DSO. Awards will be merit-based and decisions will be made at the time of admission into the DSO.

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