International Development Studies (IDS) Co-op

Contact Email: ids-coop@utoronto.ca

The Specialist (Co-op) Program in International Development Students (Arts/Sciences) 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 Specialist Co-op program is completed as either a B.A. or B.Sc. The broad Social Science stream (B.A.) covers such areas as gender and equity, public policies in health, the economics of development, and media and technology, whereas the Environmental Science stream (B.Sc.), emphasizes agroecosystems and sustainable livelihood.
Now, in its third decade, International Development Studies Co-op is the longest-running program (B.A./B.Sc.) 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 information, please visit the International Development Studies Co-op website. For more information on the programs, please see the Specialist (Co-op) Program in International Development Studies (Arts) and the 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 interconnected 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 Specialist (Non-Co-op) Program in International Development Studies or to the Major Program in International Development Studies (Arts). 

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