Global Development Studies, MA

Global Development Studies (GDS) offers interdisciplinary graduate programs leading to both the Master of Arts and PhD degrees. Both degree programs make considerable use of the techniques and concepts of social science disciplines, including Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, Environmental Studies, History, and Economics, to critically analyze and engage with some of the world’s most complex and enduring problems.

Graduate students benefit from faculty expertise in:  

  • Environment, Climate Change and Development 
  • Fair Trade, Free Trade and Trade Policy
  • Migration, Gender and Development 
  • Global Displacement
  • Agrarian Change, Food Sovereignty and Resource Rights 
  • Race and Capitalism
  • Sexuality and Social Difference
  • Participatory Development and Local Knowledge in Development 
  • Labour and Development 
  • Global Political Economy
  • Global Governance and Development

Complete details of the Program and currently offered courses or seminars, together with information regarding supports for students and student life, can be found on the GDS Program website.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the general requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, applicants should possess the following minimum requirements:

  • an Honours baccalaureate undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in International or Global Development Studies, or a closely related social science discipline; and,
  • A minimum GPA of 3.3 on a scale of 4.3 (B+).

Language Requirements

Applicants to this program, whose first language is not English, must demonstrate their English Language proficiency as outlined here by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Minimum acceptable scores for this program include:

  • a TOEFL score of at least 90 (no band below 20);
  • an IELTS score of 6.5 (no band below 6.0).

Application Process

Details on the general application requirements from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research are available here. In addition to official transcripts and, if applicable, proof of English language proficiency, applications should include:

  • a sample of the applicant’s written work;
  • three recommendation forms from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s academic preparedness for  graduate studies in global development, and,
  • a complete curriculum vitae.

The deadline for submission of applications is February 1, for entry in the September of the same year.  There are no deferred admissions to the MA Program, and there are no mid-year (January) entries into the MA Program.

The Admissions Committee of the GDS Program carefully reviews the files of all applicants, and recommends admission to the Program on a competitive basis. Successful applicants will be advised of the Admissions Committee’s decision by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. 

Financial Support

Full-time students admitted to the program may be eligible for funding administered by Saint Mary’s University. Funding recommendations are made by the program. All successful applicants are automatically considered for graduate funding. Students are encouraged to apply for external scholarships.