Honours Program

Considering the Honours Program in IDS? Your journey starts here!

Step 1: Is an Honour's degree is right for you?

What is an honours degree?
An IDS honours degree is meant for students who want to explore important issues in international development through independent research. An honours degree demonstrates an ability to pursue, manage, and present research findings. It is intended for students who are interested in pursuing graduate work, or for those who would like to gain deeper insight on a research topic. 

Do I need an honours degree to go on to future study (grad school, law school, teachers’ college, etc)?
No. Many students with high GPAs and non-honours degrees still get into professional programs after completing their undergraduate studies.  Many Master's programs look favourably on students who have experience conducting independent research, and who are familiar with preparing grant applications and proposals. IDS Honours gives you this experience.

How do I get started?

Students must apply to the program in their 3rd year. Only students whose applications meet the entrance requirements (see below) are admitted into the IDS honours program.


Step 2: Is IDS your primary subject of study?

If IDS is your primary subject of study, then you will need to apply to the IDS department for honours admission. Go to Step 3.

If IDS is not your primary subject of study, then you do not apply to the IDS department. You will apply through your primary subject and then arrange for an IDS Undergraduate Advisor to approve and sign the Registrar Honour's Admission Sheet. Please contact the IDS Undergraduate Advisors directly who will be happy to help with this.

Step 3: Decide which Honours stream is right for you (thesis or coursework).

There are two distinct streams within the IDS honours program:

A.  Thesis stream
Students who opt for the thesis stream will undertake a full year undergraduate thesis under the supervision of an IDS faculty member, or cross-appointed faculty member. Students must register for both IDS honours thesis courses in the same academic year.  The thesis stream is made up of two thesis classes worth 3 credit hours each, for a total of 6 credit hours.  The Fall semester is spent mastering the craft of preparing the thesis, while the Winter semster focuses on collaborative editing and career development.  Students in the thesis stream also take one additional 3-credit hour INTD 4000-level course of their choosing.

B.  Coursework stream
Students who take the coursework-stream will take two INTD 4000-level 3-credit-hour seminars of their choosing. Students in the coursework stream do not enroll in the thesis stream classes.

How do I know whether the thesis stream or the coursework stream is right for me?
The thesis stream builds research, grant writing, and career building skills. There is a greater expectation of commitment to a single topic in the thesis stream, as well as the expectation that students will collaborate during the research development and editing processes.  The coursework stream allows for students to explore different topics in their honours year, rather than pursuing a single research project. 

What are the admission standards for each of these streams?
The minimum standard required for admission to the honours program is a GPA of 3.3 and a B+/A- average in all IDS and IDS-approved courses.  

A.  Thesis stream
Generally only students with an overall GPA above 3.7 will be admitted. Please note that meeting these minimum standards does not guarantee admission.

B.  Coursework stream
Generally only those students with an overall GPA above 3.3 will be admitted. Please note that meeting these minimum standards does not guarantee admission. 

Can I apply for the thesis stream but still be considered for the coursework stream if I am not successful?
Yes. Simply check both boxes on the IDS honours application form.

Step 4: Decide which type of Honours is right for you.

After deciding which stream is right for you, you’ll need to decide on the type of honours degree you’d like to undertake. The IDS department offers two types of honours degrees:

A.  Combined honours degree allows the student to study IDS as the primary subject of study and another discipline of the student’s choosing as the second subject of study. The degree requirements for the combined honours degree are available here

B. Concentrated honours degree focuses exclusively on study within IDS.  The degree requirements for the concentrated honours degree are available here

Step 5: Apply to the IDS Honours Program.

Students wishing to be admitted to the honours program for 2018/19 need to submit their IDS honours application form to the IDS office by January 31.

The application form is available here [PDF-8KB]. FAQs on completing the form are available here.