FAQ

students walking outside by the HW building

Please find below answers to some common questions from prospective and current students. If you have any further questions regarding our programs please email our Program Advisor Marishka Pereira at mpereira@utsc.utoronto.ca For questions regarding co-op, please email our Co-op Coordinator, Katie Boomgaardt at boomgaardt@utsc.utoronto.ca

FAQ

How do I decide which of the five IDS programs to pursue?


The Centre for Critical Development Studies offers five different undergraduate programs of study: Specialist (Co-Operative) Program in International Development Studies (Arts), requires 16.0 credits to complete and has limited enrollment. Specialist (Co-Operative) Program in International Development Studies (Science), requires 16.0 credits to complete and has limited enrollment. Specialist Program in International Development Studies (Arts), requires 14.0 credits to complete and is open to all UTSC students. Specialist Program in International Development Studies (Science), requires 14.0 credits to complete and is open to all UTSC students. Major Program in International Development Studies (Arts) requires 8.0 credits to complete and is open to all UTSC students. When choosing between program types, consider your own interests and future goals. If you already know that you have high level of intellectual and professional interest in one particular field of study, then, pursuing a specialist program will enable you to really explore and gain an in-depth knowledge in that field. Those interested in experiential learning overseas should consider the IDS Co-operative programs. On the other hand, if you are unsure or if you have multiple areas of interest, it might be a wiser idea to pursue the major program. Just remember that for your degree requirements, you need a minimum of one Specialist program or two major programs or one major and two minor programs.

Can I combine an interdisciplinary program in IDS with a program in another discipline (like Human Geography, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, and/or Environmental Sciences)?

As a way of enhancing the interdisciplinary nature of the IDS programs, students are encouraged to consider complementing their particular program in IDS with a parallel program in a related discipline. For example, those doing a Major in IDS might consider a parallel Major or Minor in any one of anthroplogy, environmental sciences, environmental studies, economics, geography, health studies, history, political science, public policy, sociology or women's and gender studies. While not required for graduation, Specialist students (co-op or non-co-op) are also encouraged to consider fulfilling the requirements for a Major or Minor program in a related discipline along side their Specialist IDS program. For details about how these joint programs can be worked out, please contact the Program Advisor.

What are the entrance requirements for the programs?


Prospective Applicants: For direct admission from secondary school or for students who wish to transfer to U of T Scarborough from another U of T faculty or from another post secondary institution, please refer to Admissions and Recruitment. Current U of T Scarborough students: Please follow the application procedures listed for your program of interest in the most current UTSC Calendar. Our Specialist and Major programs have open enrollment enrolment limits. However the Specialist Co-Operative programs have limited enrollment which means that you must meet the minimum 2.5 CGPA requirement to apply and submit the Co-op supplementary application form from the Arts & Science Co-op website. An interview will be required.

How do I apply for one of the Subject POSt's in International Development Studies?

Program enrollment is facilitated through ACORN, once you log in the menu on the left of your screen will have a “Subject POSt” option, which will allow you to “Add a Subject POSt.” Subject POSt are actually short codes used to identify each programs. POSt actually stands for Program of Study, and a full list of all programs at UTSC can be found at: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/registrar/choosing-program. IDS Subject POSt's are as follows: Specialist (Co-Operative) Program in International Development Studies (Arts): SCSPE2540, Specialist (Co-Operative) Program in International Development Studies (Science): SCSPE25406, Specialist Program in International Development Studies (Arts): SCSPE2540A, Specialist Program in International Development Studies (Science): SCSPE2540B, Major Program in International Development Studies (Arts): SCMAJ2540

What courses are recommended for First year students?

The typical first year course selection for the IDS Specialist Co-op program looks something like this: 2017 Fall IDSA01H3 Introduction to International Development Studies EESA01H3 Introduction to Environmental Science MGEA01H3 Introduction to Microeconomics Elective course (i.e. ANTA02H3, HLTA02H3, GGRA02H3, AFSA01H3, GASA02H3, PHLA10H3, POLA01H3, SOCA01H3, WSTA01H3) Elective course   2018 Winter IDSB02H3 Development and Environment MGEA05H3 Introduction to Macroeconomics IDSB06H3 Equity, Ethics and Justice in International Development Elective course (i.e. ANTA02H3, GGRA03H3, IDSA02H3, HISA05H3, PHLA11H3, POLA02H3, SOCA01H3, WSTA03H3) Elective course   *Students may also opt to complete either STAB23H3 (offered in the Fall and Winter) or GGRA30H3 (offered in the Winter) to fulfill the 0.5 credits in quantitative methods requirement for the program in place of completing an elective course. Alternatively, students may opt to complete the 1.0 credit in languages requirement for the program in place of an elective. COURSE SELECTION TOOL: A new tool has been launched to help you with organizing your course scheduling.  ACORN will not create a schedule until you have enrolled in this course.  The tool is found here. Please refer to the Course Calendar for further information about degree requirements: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~registrar/calendars/calendar/International_...(CO-OPERATIVE)_PROGRAM_IN_INTERNATIONAL_DEVELOPMENT_STUDIES_(ARTS) For access to the Course Selection Online Modules, please visit: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/aacc/course-selection-modules.

I want to plan my program in advance. How can I find out about future courses?


The Registrar’s office has a list of future and previous course offerings, and this information should provide you with a general and tentative picture of what might be offered in the future. That being said, changes do occur, so please be cautious and check the finalised lists posted online for each semester.

Can I take a course on another campus? Will it still count towards my program requirements?

Any courses that deals explicated with themes of Development Studies can be integrated into your Program requirements. To see if a course qualifies, always check with the Program Advisor before enrolling in the course by emailing ccds-advisor@utsc.utoronto.ca with the course number, title and description. Also, remember that the Registrar’s office has rules for taking courses on the other campuses and have count towards your degree at UTSC, including a limit of 5.0FCEs. For many programs, if a UTSG or UTM course is listed in the calendar as an exclusion to a UTSC course, then it can be counted as equivalent to the UTSC course in your IDS program requirements.

I do not have the prerequisite for a particular course. Can I still take the course?

Prerequisites provide valuable guidance in course selection and protect you against taking courses for which you are not well prepared. Under exceptional circumstances, however, an instructor may see it fit to allow into a course a student who does not have a prerequisite. If you have a good reason for taking a course without a prerequisite, speak to the course instructor about it.

What is IDSC06H3 Directed Research on Canadian Institutions and International Development?

This course is open to all IDS students. It is designed as an independent study course that runs parallel to a volunteer position with a Canadian institution working in the field of international development. You may request this course on ACORN, but your status will be INT. You will not be officially enrolled until you meet with a Faculty member who is available and agrees to supervise your project and have them sign the “Supervised Study form,” which is available in the hallway outside the Registrar’s Office (AA142) or in the CCDS Program Advisor's office in MW200.

What is IDSC10H3 and IDSD10H3 Topics in International Development Studies?

Topics courses that offered occasionally depending upon the availability of instructors. This academic year, Fall 2015, Professor Al Berry will be offering the topics course IDSD10H3: Trends in Poverty and Inequality.

What is IDSD01Y3 Post-Placement Seminar and Thesis?

This course is restricted to students in the IDS Specialist Co-operative programs (Arts and Science). It is designed as a thesis preparation seminar course in the fall term and an independent thesis writing course in the winter term. Students are supervised jointly by the course instructor and by their own individual supervisor. This course is designed as the 'capstone' course of the IDS Co-operative program.

What is IDSD02H3 Supervised Research in International Development?

This course is intended for students in the IDS Specialist non-coop programs (Arts and Science). The 2014-2015 academic year had students  carry out a research project and write a research paper under the individual supervision of a faculty member. In 2015-2016, IDSD02H transformed into a seminar course and designed as a 'capstone' course for all students in the IDS Specialist non-coop programs (Art and Science). You may request this course on ACORN, but your status will be INT. You will not be officially enrolled until you meet with a Faculty member who is available to supervise your project and have them sign the “Supervised Study form,” which is available in the hallway outside the Registrar’s Office (AA142) or in the CCDS Program Advisor's office in MW200.

What is IDSD14H3 and IDSD15H3 Directed Reading?

This course is open to all IDS students. It is designed as a directed reading and independent study course supervisied by an individual faculty member. You may request this course on ACORN, but your status will be INT. You will not be officially enrolled until you meet with a Faculty member who is available to supervise your project and have them sign “Supervised Study form,” which is available in the hallway outside the Registrar’s Office (AA142) or in the CCDS Program Advisors office in MW200.

Is there a difference between degree and program requirements?

Yes, degree and program requirements refer to two separate things. De requirements are as follows (and please check Degree Explorer to ensure that you are meeting all degree requirements): 1. Pass at least 20.0 credits. 2. Of the 20.0 credits, at least 6.0 credits must be at the C- and/or D-level, with at least 1.0 credit at the D-level. 3. Of the 20.0 credits, at least 0.5 credit must come from each of the following five breadth categories. (See the course description for the category to which the course belongs): Arts, Literature & Language History, Philosophy & Cultural Studies Social & Behavioural Sciences; Natural Sciences; Quantitative Reasoning For an Honours BA or an Honours BSc, complete: one Specialist program, or two Major programs, or one Major program and two Minor programs. 5. Combinations of programs used to meet the program requirement must include at least 12.0 different full credits. 6. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 1.85.

The Calendar keeps changing. How will this affect my completion of the program?


The Centre for Critical Development Studies is committed to the ongoing assessment and improvement of our programs, so we do makers changes from year to year. Your program requirements are connected to when you declare your Subject POSt on ACORN. Any student declaring a subject POSt must complete the program requirements that are in effect as of April 1, 2013, as described in the 2013-14 Calendar or any subsequent Calendar. However, if you notice that a course is not being correctly accredited towards your program requirements on Degree Explorer, please email ccds-advisor@utsc.utoronto.ca for further assistance.

How can I check that I have met all my degree requirements?

The Registrar’s office uses Degree Explorer to process graduation requests so it is a great tool to help keep track of your progress as you study. It is a web-based program (synchronized with ACORN) that provides both advisors and students up to date information on which courses (both completed and in progress) are being counted towards degree and program requirements and which course requirements have yet to be met. It can also audit hypothetical programs which can be helpful if one is contemplating changing their POSt. DEX will not produce any false positives. That is to say, if the DEX “Current Status” evaluates your degree and program requirements as complete then you can rest assured you are on your way to graduating.

How many courses should I take each semester? Does it look bad if I am taking less than 5 courses each semester?

Please consult the Registrar’s Office for part-time and full-time status and details on course loads. Ultimately, how many courses you opt to take each semester depends on your priorities and ability to handle a heavier course load. Just remember, the fewer courses you take, the longer it will take you to reach the 20.0FCEs needed to graduate. Another caveat is that medical schools highly encourage students to take the maximum course load, so keep that in mind if this is an area of interest for you.

Why and when should I drop a course?

Deadlines are present for when you can drop a course. There are three [approximate] deadline dates you should be aware of for dropping courses: full refund of your course fees up to the second week of the semester; course removed from transcript (as if it were never there) up to the last month of the semester; and, late withdrawal (LWD) status appearing on your transcript if you withdraw your course at the end of classes for that semester. It is tricky to decide whether or not to drop a course, and again, it comes down to your priorities; thus, there may be many reasons for why one may drop a course. Typically, students tend to drop courses if they perceive that they will fail the course or it will have a strong negative impact on their GPA, and this perception can be formed based on feedback / evaluations received, declining interest / motivation in course content, or feeling overwhelmed by their current course load. At the same time, you also need to consider whether dropping the course will affect your ability to complete the rest of your program requirements (such as, if it is a prerequisite), especially in time for your planned graduation date. It is best to consult the Academic Advising and Career Centre regarding standing in a course, including the decision of dropping a course.

How can I do well in a course? What should I do if I am not doing well in a course?

There is no simple formula which guarantees success, but the following are a few good tips: * Go to class and listen to the instructor. Don't try to write down everything the instructor says, for you will miss much more than you get. Some students like to just listen to the instructor and record the lecture or rewatch it through WebOption (if available). Later, they utilize the tape and any textbook aids to write out a set of notes. * Don't get behind. It is recommended that students spend at least one hour outside class for every hour of lecture. If you go over your notes in a timely fashion, you can sort out things that don't make sense before the next lecture and see the Professor or the TA to straighten them out. The instructor may want to build on his/her last lecture and if you didn't fully understand the last lecture, you could have trouble making connections. Keeping up in class makes studying for exams much easier, because you already will be familiar with the material. * Seek out new friends in your classes. Not only is this socially rewarding, but this provides you with peers to discuss the class material. Often friends are good at different aspects of the same problem, so this gives you a better perspective of the subject matter. One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to others! * Don't be afraid to ask questions in class, through e-mail or discussion boards in the course, or to visit the instructor during office hours (or by appointment). This is also a good way to get to know your Professors at a more personal level, which is useful when it comes time to ask for reference letters. * Don't overdo it. The transition from high school to university is a difficult one for most students. This is primarily because students don't realize that being a university student is equivalent to having a full time (or more) job. Unless you are very disciplined, try a term or even first year with minimal extracurricular activities. It is extremely important to get off to a good start and being a good student doesn't come naturally to most people. If you see that you have things under control, then broaden your horizons with other activities. Participating in student clubs and social groups can be a very rewarding, but you need to keep your primary goal in mind: You are here to get an education. * Finally, make use of university services, including the Academic and Advising Centre, Accessability Services, the Health and Wellness Centre, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (including the Writing Centre) and Library Services.

What should I do if I have a concern with a particular program or instructor?


The first thing you should do if you have a problem with a course is to discuss the problem with the instructor. You can approach the instructor during a break in class to make arrangements for a meeting, you can go directly to the instructor's office during his or her office hours, or you can e-mail the instructor to explain your problem. If your concern is with your academic program, such as if you are not sure if you are fulfilling your program requirements, if you need advice about the direction of your studies, or if you want to discuss your strategy in applying to graduate school, you should discuss the matter with the Program Advisor through ccds-advisor@utsc.utoronto.ca or the Associate Director of CCDS. If your problem is with what you consider to be seriously inappropriate behaviour by an instructor and if you feel that the matter should be brought to the attention of someone "higher up", then the person to contact is the Director of the Centre for Critical Development Studies, Professor Paul Kingston. Please note that if you wish to have some support or remain anonymous, you may make a complaint through the SCSU Vice President of Academics.

What should I do if I fall sick or there is an emergency on the day of an evaluation?


Every course will outline in its syllabus what the procedure should be for such cases. The Registrar’s Office provides all the details regarding missed evaluations. Typically, if you miss a term test, you are required to notify your instructor and have a physician's declaration that you were found to be too ill to write the term test. For many large classes, make-up exam dates are scheduled in advance and are on the syllabus. If you miss a final exam, you must have the physician's declaration and you must also petition to take the final exam. Deferred exams are written in the final exam period of the following semester, as per the details provided by the Registrar’s. However, think carefully! Probably the best advice is to take the exam if that is at all possible, as the material will be fresh in your mind, the instructor is not required to provide you with preparatory material, and there will be no additional paperwork or fee.

In general, what can students do with an undergraduate degree in international development studies?

There is no easy answer to this question. Our graduates have entered into many fields - some related to IDS (overseas development management, social justice advocacy, social work in Canada, etc) others less so (medicine, law, teaching, international commerce). A good percentage of IDS students also go on to do gradaute work in a related field. But, apart from preparing you for a particular career path, what an IDS degree will do for you, first and foremost, is provide you with strong analytical, writing, and presentation skills that are crucial for any successful career while also providing you with a critical understanding of the world and the processes that drive that world in which we live. You may also visit the What Can I Do With My Degree? page on the Academic Advising and Career Centre website for a more comprehensive list of possible career paths for IDS students.

How do I prepare myself for entrance into programs of graduate studies?

A good place to start is the handbook for prospective students prepared by The Canadian Association of Graduate Studies, designed as a resource for those exploring next steps. You may also want to research the types of jobs available to those with advanced degrees to ensure graduate school will help you reach your career goals. To find out what particular graduate programs require of their applicants, you should visit their websites. You may also visit the Further Studies link under the "From Students to Students" in the Student menu item on this web site for a list of some graduate programs in Canada that may be of interest to IDS students.