Graduate Studies

Masters of Arts in International Development Studies

This degree, available on a full or part-time basis, is an interdisciplinary program of study drawing on courses in economics, history, political science, sociology and social anthropology.

We only offer September admission into our program. There is no January admission, although you are given this option if you apply online.

Candidates study theory, research methods and design, development practice and write a thesis. They must satisfy thesis readers from at least two departments and one of the three-member thesis supervisory committee may come from IDS at Saint Mary's University or elsewhere.

Full-time students are able to complete their MA in 12 months if not conducting any field research; but it typically takes between 18 and 24 months.

Admission Requirements

The Graduate Admission Committee for IDS accepts students who have a minimum of a A- (GPA 3.7) average or higher over their last two years of full-time study in a relevant degree program, preferably an honours degree.

Approximately 10 students are accepted to the program each year.

To learn more about the admission process and deadlines, please check the IDS Graduate Program Handbook.

Degree Requirements

A MA in International Development Studies involves five full credits, including classwork and a thesis.

A typical course of study includes:

  • a thesis (worth 2.5 credits)
  • a half-credit in theory (INTD 5006)
  • a half-credit in methods/research design (INTD 5002)
  • three half credits of elective courses

Financial Assistance

MA students can obtain financial assistance in the form of Dalhousie Graduate Fellowships and Teaching and Research Assistantships. Students are automatically considered for this form of assistance by the Graduate Admissions Committee; no separate application is necessary. But funding is limited and not available to all students.

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

The Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship is open to Canadian and International students.

For other funding opportunities, please see the Faculty of Graduate Studies webpage.

Teaching Assistants  — you should indicate your interest on your application — aid instructors in second-year introductory and third-year classes in International Development Studies. For some students, depending on their background, there may be opportunities to assist in other departments at Dalhousie, such as Sociology and Social Anthropology or Spanish.

Research Assistantship funding is available in those cases where faculty members have research grants and funds allocated to research assistance. Consult with the graduate coordinator or department chair for information.

We recommend that you have your complete application submitted by January 15th to be the most competitive. This date is different than the December 1st deadline for SSHRC and the NS Graduate Scholarships.

For Further Information

Questions regarding the application process should be addressed to Dr. Matthew, Schnurr, Graduate Co-ordinator (, or Graduate secretary, Nicole Drysdale (

To apply online, please see the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

For the description of the MA program and full list of classes offered, check out the Graduate Calendar and University Timetable.

For information about being a graduate student at Dalhousie, check out Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.