Frequently Asked Questions

Academics

1.  Can I study International Development on-line (via distance education)?
2.  I would like to take a course at another institution. Is this possible?
3.  When should I declare my area of emphasis and how do I do this?
4.  The requirements in the undergraduate calendar have changed. How do I know which calendar I should be using?
5.  Can I declare two areas of emphasis?
6.  Can I complete a double major or add a minor?
7.  Why do my substitutions not appear on my evaluation? What can I do about it?
8.  What is my "academic evaluation"?
9.  How is the specialization average requirement of 70% calculated and how is it different from the GPA?
10.  My specialization average for the ID major is below the 70% required for graduation with Honours. What should I do?

Course selection

11. I need some help with course selection. Where do I start?
12. Where do I find course outlines and other information about courses?
13. What should I do if the course I want is full or Webadvisor won't let me register?
14. How do I know when courses are offered? The course I'm looking for is not listed on Webadvisor.
 

Experiential learning – international study, volunteer, etc

15.  I plan to travel overseas and volunteer while I am away. Can this experience be counted towards my program?
16.  I am taking a semester or a year off school. Do I need to do anything before I go and will I have to be readmitted when I return?
17.  When is the best time to study abroad?
18.  How do I find out about opportunities for employment and overseas placements (internships or volunteer work)?

Academics

1.  Can I study International Development on-line (via distance education)?

No. Only a limited number of courses required in the ID specialization are offered through distance education. However, it is possible to complete electives and other BA program requirements on-line during the year and/or over the summer. Back to top.

2.  I would like to take a course at another institution. Is this possible?

Yes, it is possible to take a course at another degree granting institution and to have the course counted as credit on your University of Guelph transcript through a Letter of Permission. ID students must request a Letter of Permission from the BA counselling office before they apply for admission at the other institution. Back to top.

3.  When should I declare my area of emphasis and how do I do this?

You should declare your area of emphasis as soon as you have decided which one you plan to complete and no later than the end of your second year. Visit the ID advisor to declare your area. Back to top.

4.  The requirements in the undergraduate calendar have changed. How do I know which calendar I should be using?

Most students need to consult two different calendars, depending on the information they are seeking.

Use the current undergraduate calendar to check course descriptions and prerequisites, important academic dates (schedule of dates) for the current year, regulations, policies and procedures.

If you are looking for the course requirements for your major, minor or concentration in ID, you should be using the calendar in which you are registered. This is usually the calendar of the academic year in which you began your current degree and specialization(s). If you are unsure, check the “calendar” listed at the top of your academic/program evaluation on Webadvisor E.g. If the calendar is listed as 2015, then your calendar is 2015-2016. The current and archived academic calendars are available on the UofG website. If you have any questions or concerns, contact an academic advisor. Back to top.

5.  Can I declare two areas of emphasis?

No. The ID major consists of the core requirements, plus one area of emphasis. Contact the ID advisor if you are having difficulty choosing an area of emphasis. Back to top.

6.  Can I complete a double major or add a minor?

Yes, it is possible to declare an additional specialization. You should consult with your program counsellor before declaring an additional major or a minor, and for assistance to ensure that you are meeting the requirements of all your specializations. In some cases, the double-counting of courses is permitted. An additional specialization could extend the length of your degree. Back to top.

7.  Why do my substitutions not appear on my evaluation? What can I do about it?

Substitutions and waivers do not appear on the academic evaluation. This is not a concern as long as the substitutions have been approved by your ID advisor and the BA counselling office has been notified.  Check with the ID advisor or your program counsellor if you have any concerns about substitutions. Back to top.

8.  What is my "academic evaluation"?

The evaluation provides a summary of your degree and specialization requirements and reports on your progress to date. In other words, it operates like a checklist, indicating which requirements you have met and which ones have yet to be completed. Your evaluation is available for viewing or printing on Webadvisor (in the Students menu when you log in). The information on your evaluation corresponds directly to the calendar, degree and specializations currently on record for you. Please contact the ID advisor or your program counsellor if your evaluation is not up-to-date or if you are having difficulty reading it. For clarity, it is recommended that you use your evaluation alongside your calendar. Back to top.

9.  How is the specialization average requirement of 70% calculated and how is it different from the GPA?

In order to graduate with an Honours BA degree, you must obtain a 70% cumulative average over all course attempts in your major. For ID majors, this specialization average is calculated using all course attempts in the core and the area of emphasis combined. The GPA is the overall cumulative average including all course attempts in your degree at the University of Guelph (specialization courses + electives). The GPA is the average that appears on your transcript. Back to top.

10.  My specialization average for the ID major is below the 70% required for graduation with Honours. What should I do?

The 70% specialization average for the Honours degree is a graduation requirement. Therefore, you are not required to achieve a 70% every semester in order to remain in the major, although you should monitor your specialization average closely as it must be at 70% by the end of your final semester. If your specialization average is low, you should consult with the ID advisor or the BA program counsellor as early as possible. Back to top.

Course selection

11.  I need some help with course selection. Where do I start?

Please see the IDS Course Planning Guide. For each year of study, you will find useful tips for course selection as well as general guidelines to help you plan ahead and achieve your educational goals.Back to top.

12. Where do I find course outlines and other information about courses?

You will find general course information and prerequisites in the current academic calendar. Go to Course Descriptions (Part XII) and search under the appropriate subject area. Course outlines can be found on individual department websites. If the course outline is not available on-line, contact the instructor or the department to request more information about the course. Back to top.

13. What should I do if the course I want is full or Webadvisor won't let me register?

If a course you wanted to take is full, you should look for another class you can take. If it is a course you really need, you can contact the course instructor to see if it would be possible to be signed in on overload. Search for the course on Webadvisor and click on the course code to find contact information for the instructor. If the instructor is listed as TBA, contact the department offering the class. To be signed into the course on overload, you will need a signature on the Course Waiver Request form, which you then submit to the Office of Registrarial Services (University Centre, Level 3). After you have submitted the form, it is a good idea to double-check on Webadvisor that you are registered in the course (and keep your copy of the waiver form until you have done so).

If Webadvisor won't allow you to register for the course, check the course description to make sure you know why (missing a prerequisite?  restricted course?). You will find course descriptions by looking up the course on Webadvisor (search for the course and click on the course code) or in the current undergraduate calendar (look under Part XII Course Descriptions). If you still would like to take the course, contact the instructor (or the department) to request a signature on the Course Waiver Request form. Back to top.

14. How do I know when courses are offered? The course I'm looking for is not listed on Webadvisor.

During any particular course selection period, search for the course on Webadvisor. This is the best place to check if a course will be offered in the coming semester. Semester course offerings are also included on most department websites or you may contact the department for information. The undergraduate calendar also lists general course information, including semester offering, in Part XII Course Descriptions. Note that in the course descriptions, F=Fall, W=Winter and S=Summer. If you find a ‘U’ by the course description, there is no designated semester offering for this course. Check with the department offering the course or with the ID advisor. Back to top.

Experiential learning – international study, volunteer work, etc

15.  I plan to travel overseas and volunteer while I am away. Can this experience be counted towards my program?

Students may use work or volunteer experiences in development, whether in Canada or abroad, as a basis for receiving academic credit through unique individual work/study courses: IDEV*3200, IDEV*4190, IDEV*4200. In these courses, students work on their own project or research under the supervision of a faculty member. It is recommended that students plan for an independent study course at least one semester in advance. Go to IDEV course offerings for more information. Back to top.

16.  I am taking a semester or a year off school. Do I need to do anything before I go and will I have to be readmitted when I return?

You can take a leave off school for up to five consecutive semesters without having to apply for readmission. However, please contact the BA program counselling office and the ID advisor before you leave. See also Before you go… important tips for students who are preparing to go abroad. Back to top.

17.  When is the best time to study abroad?

Third year is generally the best time to go abroad, although it is possible to study abroad in the second semester of your second year or in fourth year. You should meet with the ID advisor to discuss these options. Back to top.

18.  How do I find out about opportunities for employment and overseas placements (internships or volunteer work)?

Any opportunities for employment and international opportunities that come to our attention are posted on our Facebook page or on the IDS e-mail list. Otherwise, please use the resources listed on our Volunteer Opportunities page or you may look for information and assistance at the Centre for International Programs and Co-operative Education and Career Services. Back to top.