International Development Studies (Science) Specialist (HBSc)

Admissions Category: Social Sciences & Humanities

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Program Overview

One of the most unique and dynamic programs found at UTSC, International Development Studies is a multidisciplinary study of how and why countries develop differently from each other. The Science stream of the Specialist Program addresses the major issues that are the focal point of among the world’s most influential international and national environment and development policy makers. Our prioritized focus on environmental biology as the specialized field in environmental science responds to demand by students for these interdisciplinary skills to achieve these career goals. Students will not only learn the complex dynamics of development theory, but will be given practical experience that is essential to professional development.

Complementary Programs:

Minor Programs in BiologyEnvironmental ScienceHuman GeographyHealth StudiesPublic Policy

Check out future career opportunities and skills acquired from completing this program:

Competencies & Skills

  • Knowledge and understanding of the connections among issues such as inequality, poverty, and oppression
  • Knowledge and application of key international policies governing issues in environment and development
  • In-depth knowledge of environmental biology
  • Analytical writing and communication
  • Research design
  • Project management and evaluation

Careers for Graduates

  • International Development Consultant
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Conservation Officer in Government Services
  • Coordinator in Non-profits
  • Development Officer
  • Governance Officer
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist
  • Policy Advisor
  • Impact Investor
  • Law/Legal Services
  • Start-ups, Social Innovation

Further Education

  • Biology
  • Public Policy
  • Environmental Science
  • Sustainability
  • Law School
  • Teacher Education
  • Project Management
  • Energy Management

Program Pathway

Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4

Year 1
Choose Your Courses Wisely
Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
Apply Theory to Practice
Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career

Year 2
Choose Your Courses Wisely
Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Schedule an appointment with your program librarian for in-depth library research assistance.
  • Explore Research Assistant opportunities through the Work Study program on CLNx (>Jobs & Recruitment>Work Study).
  • Contact Faculty members and inquire about research opportunities.

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Research about experiential learning  opportunities on campus:
  • Connect with like-minded local organizations and explore skill building Work Study opportunities on CLNx (>Jobs & Recruitment>Work Study).

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career

Year 3
Choose Your Courses Wisely
Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
Apply Theory to Practice
  • Consider enrolling in IDSC20H3 and learn about the challenges faced by communities in their interactions with a range of development actors, including international development agencies, local Non Governmental Organizations (NGO), state actors and universities.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career

Year 4
Choose Your Courses Wisely
  • 0.5  credit  Research  course:  IDSD02H3.                                    
  • Ensure you have fulfilled your breadth requirements.
  • Use Degree Explorer to ensure you are on track to graduate.
  • Register your “Intent to Graduate” on ACORN by the deadline.

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Apply for the CCDS Faculty Mentorship Project or consider completing a Supervised/Independent Research Project in IDSD14H3 IDSD15H3.

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Consider participating in the International Development Conference at UTSC; visit the ISC for details.
  • Consider enrolling in IDSD19H3 and explore whether such engagements offer opportunities for effective social change and improved theory.
  • Attend the Summer & Full-time Job Fair in January to meet with potential employers.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career
  • Meet with your Program Supervisor/Advisor regarding applying to graduate studies.
  • Get your Personal Statement reviewed in the AA&CC.
  • Attend the AA&CC’s Get Hired job search conference in April/May.
  • Attend a Jobs for Grads orientation for a job search “crash course.”


  • AACC - Academic Advising and Career Centre (
  • CCR - Co-Curricular Record (
  • CLNx - Career Co-Curricular Learning Network (
  • CTL - Centre for Teaching and Learning (
  • DSL - Department of Student Life (
  • ISC - International Student Centre (
  • NGO - Non-Governmental Organization (
  • SCSU - Scarborough Campus Students Union (
  • UTEA - U of T Excellence Award (


Departmental Contact

Arifa Akhter Nitol

Location: HL 226
Phone: 416-208-4847

International Development Studies Librarian

Sarah Fedko

Location: ARC main floor
Phone: 416-208-4881

Academic Advising & Career Centre

Location: AC213
Phone: 416-287-7561

Department of Student Life

Location: SL157
Phone: 416-208-5129

International Development Studies Students' Association [IDSSA]


Did You Know?

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There’s a Knowledge Equity Lab that promotes equal & equitable global academic & scientific research creation & access.