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International Development Studies

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

‭IDS is home to critically engaged advocates on the international stage. Our community proudly examines global perspectives on how we live our lives, make a difference in our communities, and identify with our peers.‬‬‬‬

The IDS program supports students in developing an informed appreciation of their regions of study, including the history behind present-day policies and media headlines. They will learn to analyze the impact of colonialism on the global south, recognize inequalities in wealth and power between nations, and appreciate the various political-institutional, cultural, socio-economic and environmental factors that affect international development. With our outstanding faculty and department resources, students will gain a thorough grounding in the field and grow comfortable conversing in routine institutional discourses with development professionals. 

Students choose their regional focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia, or East Asia. They will also select their area of concentration from: Culture, Diasporas and Migration; Environment, Gender, Political Economy and Politics; or Governance and Policy.

Through our relationship with the Lassonde School of Engineering, engineers can choose a dual Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Arts degree – the only dual degree program of its kind in Canada.

What you’ll learn


  • Understand the issues confronting the global south as well as the challenges governments and states encounter in addressing issues like global health in circumstances of poverty and acute inequalities of distribution and access
  • Understand how non-profit organizations and international bodies, such as the World Bank, function.
  • Build a richer, more nuanced understanding of the political and socioeconomic obstacles faced by different regions around the world as well as the opportunities afforded.

Hands-on experiences


  • Complement your studies (for course credit) through international mobilities such as internships, study-abroad programs, and through international and local volunteer positions or work placements.
  • Participate in workshops both locally, conducted by program faculty and pan-university wide, and internationally through the International Consortium on the Global South.
  • Participate in our research facilities: the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, York Centre for Asian Research, Centre for Feminist Research, the Harriet Tubman Institute, and the Centre for Refugee Studies

The more I got familiar with the International Development Studies program, the more I realized my calling is in the humanitarian field. Through the use of relevant stocked materials in the library (videos, documentaries and written literature), I learned about the plight of so many disadvantaged people around the world. The lessons have helped me decide how exactly I want to spend the rest of my life -- by helping the people who need it the most.

— Sharon Atim
Alumna, International Development Studies

Read more testimonials from our alumni

Questions?

Current students can contact Program Coordinator Merouan Mekouar or Program Assistant Elvisa Zjakic at ids@yorku.ca.