Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When is the application deadline?
  2. Do I have to send my application to IDS?
  3. Can I apply directly to IDS without first selecting a department?
  4. When does the program begin?
  5. How long does it take to finish the program?
  6. What level of English do I need?
  7. Is it possible to complete the degree on a part-time basis?
  8. How much does it cost?
  9. How will I finance my studies?
  10. Can I defer my acceptance?
  11. Can I take any courses through distance education?
  12. What about field work?
  13. What kinds of jobs do IDS graduates have?
  14. Where can I find housing?
  15. What is the City of Guelph like?
  16. What is the history of the Master's program?
  17. What is the history of the PhD program?

When is the application deadline?

IDS does not have an application deadline.  You must meet the deadline of your chosen collaborative department.  Once your application has been reviewed by the collaborating department that you have chosen, your application is then forwarded to the IDS committee for review.  Return to top.

Do I have to send my application to IDS?

No.  The application is made directly to the department selected by the student.  Do not submit your application or any documents directly to IDS.  Return to top. 

Can I apply directly to IDS without first selecting a department?

No.  Students must enter the collaborative IDS specialization through a collaborating department, as they must complete both departmental and IDS requirements to graduate.  On the on-line application choose the program that combines your desired area of study with International Development Studies (ex. Sociology with International Development Studies - MA.SOC+IDEV).  If you are uncertain about your choice of department, you may seek advice from the Graduate Coordinator.  Return to top.

When does the program begin?

Usually in September.  If you are interested in the possibility of winter or spring admission, please check with your collaborating department.  Return to top.

How long does it take to finish the program?

Please consult with your chosen collaborating department for the average time of completion.  Return to top.

What level of English do I need?

If English is not your first language, you will be required to submit the results of a standardized language testReturn to top.

Is it possible to complete the degree on a part-time basis?

Yes, but only if your chosen collaborating department allows part-time study.  It is almost impossible to switch to part-time status after you have entered a graduate program as a full-time student.  Return to top.

How much does it cost?

Please see the Student Financial Services website for tuition details.  Return to top.

How will I finance my studies?

Please refer to our Financial Support webpageReturn to top.

Can I defer my acceptance?

Please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website for more information.  Return to top.

Can I take any courses through distance education?

No.  We don't offer graduate courses in a distance format.  However, occasionally arrangements are made to take one or more courses on a reading or individual study basis.  Return to top.

What about field work?

Arrangements for field work are made on an individual basis by the student in consultation with supervising faculty and are subject to Ethics Approval.  Field research typically extends the degree by one semester (depending on the nature of the research).  Many students obtain funding for field research from outside sources (IDRC, CIDA etc.), sources internal to the University or externally-financed projects which are administered at Guelph or a University with which we collaborate.  Return to top.

What kinds of jobs do IDS graduates have?

Our graduates hold positions in government in Canada and abroad with NGOs, international organizations and private consultancies.  Return to top.

Where can I find housing in Guelph?

What is the City of Guelph like?

Guelph is a community of over 125,000 people, located about an hour west of Toronto.   It has all the conveniences of a big city but has the small town community feel.  It has a vibrant downtown with a farmer's market, many small shops, and a variety of restaurants.  For more information about Guelph, please visit the City of Guelph websiteReturn to top.

What is the history of the Master's program?

In the early 1990s the first students were admitted to the collaborative Master’s specialization which provides a focal point for graduate teaching and research on international development topics. "Collaborative" in this context means that the specialization adds an interdisciplinary IDS focus to the disciplinary Master’s program. Students receive a Master’s degree in their selected discipline with the added designation “International Development Studies”. Students and faculty from different disciplines work together to study the contemporary problems of poverty and inequality, as well as long-term change and cross-cultural comparisons, through a variety of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches. The specialization is governed by its four founding departments Sociology/Anthropology, Political Science, Geography and Economics, under the guidance of the IDS Director and Graduate Coordinator.  Return to top.

What is the history of the PhD program?

The collaborative PhD specialization in International Development Studies was based on the successful model of the collaborative Master's specialization and was the first of its kind in Canada. As it is also “collaborative”, this PhD specialization allows students to add an interdisciplinary, international development focus to their degree in a discipline (their home department). The specialization provides an opportunity for advanced students to engage with multi- and interdisciplinary development theories and to conduct research on international development issues. This PhD degree with the added designation "International Development Studies" provides necessary discipline-based qualifications for the academic job market. The degree is also designed to strengthen the theoretical foundation of development practitioners. Popular  departments selected have been Political Science; Epidemiology; Sociology; Geography; Economics; Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics; and Engineering. Apart from their departmental courses, the IDS PhD students interact in two interdisciplinary core courses and IDS-related research seminars. Return to top.