Preparing for graduate studies in International Development isn’t exactly a clear route, or should be viewed as the mandatory next step. Students should understand that undertaking a graduate program after an undergrad involves large research components, collaborative and solo work on projects initiated by the student and his/her graduate supervisor.
The undergraduate program in IDS is designed purposefully to be interdisciplinary, covering multiple topics/areas of studies/themes. However, when choosing to pursue further graduate studies one needs to be prepared for targeted research in a specific field related to international development. Usually students in our IDS program have been exposed to these topics in one or more of their courses taken in their chosen selection of courses. Students will find that their other program, be it their Joint Honours combination, second major or their minors, give them extra exposure to certain topics/areas that may be of interest to them at the graduate level and can be very complimentary to their IDS program.
HINT: Once students have become engaged with certain topics, took the corresponding courses, started talking to the prof, the same prof may offer guidance regarding programs and options in the same field, so they should ask for advice to these profs they are engaged with, not only to get a good ref letter but also in choosing the program and school that best fit their needs and aspirations and that is a credible target given their training and transcript.
Some examples of graduate programs in the International Development Field and or Professional Degrees are listed below, I would invite you to research these:
- Public Policy
- Public Health
- Food Security
- Global Governance
- Indigenous Development
- Environment Resources Development Studies
- Peace and Conflict Studies
- Development Studies Policies and Practices
- International Affairs and Diplomacy
- Economic Development Studies
- MBA (with work experience)
- Corporate Social Responsibility
Program names vary depending on location, (where you choose to pursue a Masters), with differences on the length of the program, application requirements etc.
There is no one advisor or one site that explains this process, however these websites are a start/help:
Ultimately, the school and program you choose should be targeted, and then confirming with that school what the requirements for application are, should be thoroughly researched by the student. We have steps outlined below, however these are suggestions.
- start undergraduate programs/courses
- get inspired/interested in a certain area of study/topic/issue by attending class, talking with Professors, going to talks, conferences on campus, or online.
- target courses in their IDS degree or electives or their other programs that expose them to the study/topic/theme they are interested in
- research early-on potential graduate programs
- target small courses, with small teacher/class ratio (potential to do well in course and ask for letter of reference from them when the time comes)
- try to get co-curricular experiences Co-Curricular Experiences (Internships etc)
- try to get research experience, apply for one of our independent research courses INTD 499, 490, 491, 492 INTD Research Courses
- learn a skill set throughout their degree (languages, methodology courses, statistic courses) which may be needed for graduate studies
- apply for graduate program
In terms of career/jobs for ‘after’ a BA in International Development, refer to the following links and websites: