International Development Studies (IDS) Co-op


The Specialist (Co-op) Program in International Development provides students with a critical understanding of international development issues through a highly interdisciplinary approach, with emphasis on both development theories and practices. In the fourth year of this distinguished five year program, students embark on an 8 – 12 month placement with an organization in international development.

The program is unique in providing students with the option of pursuing an environmental science stream (BSc), with emphasis on agroecosystems and sustainable livelihood, and a broad social science stream (BA) covering such areas as gender and equity, public policies in health, the economics of development, and media and technology.
Now in its third decade, the IDS Co-op program is the longest running program of its kind in Canada, with placement partnerships with over 70 organizations across multiple regions around the world. The work term will normally begin between May and August of the fourth year. The work term is an integral part of the Co-op curriculum and is designed to provide students with practical hands-on experience with a development organization.

The majority of work terms are with Canadian NGOs with overseas presence, local civil society organizations, research institutes, and private sector firms. The location of placements will vary according to each student's disciplinary and regional interests and abilities, the availability of positions, and the practicability and safety of the area. Placement employers are asked to cover the living allowance, and a stipend where possible, for the student. A variety of scholarships to support student placements are also available.

For more program information, please visit:
Specialist (Co-op) program in International Development Studies (Arts)
Specialist (Co-op) program in International Development Studies (Science)

The specific academic objectives of the IDS programs are to:
1. Introduce students to the broad and inter-connected range of issues and disciplinary approaches within the field of critical development studies.
2. Provide students with a critical understanding of development theories - their origins and purposes for addressing problems of power, inequality and oppression.
3. Stress the crucial importance of context and power - historical, social-cultural, economic, and political - when critically analyzing development theory and development practice.
4. Promote the development of strong analytical, writing, and professional skills and, where possible, experiential learning, opportunities in the field of critical development studies.
5. Promote the development of a vibrant intellectual community - including students, faculty, administrators, alumni, and development partners - that is committed to active involvement in the critical debates within the field of development studies and to critical engagement in development practice.

Status in Co-op Programs:
Status in the IDS Co-op program will be determined at the end of each session (Fall, Winter, and Summer) for students who have attempted at least 4.0 credits since beginning their studies at UTSC, or in other Arts and Sciences Divisions at the University. Students with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.5 or higher are considered to be in good standing.

  • Students whose CGPA falls below 2.5 will be placed on probation.
  • Students may clear probation by achieving a CGPA of 2.5 or better in the next study session.  Where the CGPA is below 2.5, but the sessional grade point average (SGPA) is at least 2.5, students may be granted a second probationary semester.
  • Students must clear their probation within a maximum of two study sessions in order to remain in a Co-op program.
  • Students on probation in the Co-op program may not apply for a work-term until they have successfully cleared their probation. 
  • Students whose CGPA falls below 2.3 will be removed from the Co-op program. A student may switch to the IDS non-Co-op Specialist program or to the Major program. 

For information on fees in Co-op programs, and certification of completion of Co-op programs, see Section 6B.5 in the UTSC Calendar.