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The Undergraduate Calendar

Faculty of Environment

International Development

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The International Development Program is offered by the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) within the Faculty of Environment. SEED collaborates with St. Paul's University College in delivering the Program. The transdisciplinary field of international development (INDEV) has evolved significantly over the past 25 years. Governments, civil society organizations, and private enterprises are increasingly looking for people with rigorous preparation that has equipped them to be development catalysts at the community project level. International Development students will acquire the knowledge, business skills and, problem solving skills required to improve life for all members of challenged communities in a manner that is environmentally sustainable, culturally responsible, and scientifically sound. In addition to preparing development catalysts, due to its multidisciplinary character, the Honours International Development plan, when supplemented by Arts electives, constitutes a contemporary general education for a 21st century world that is a global village.

The Honours International Development plan has been designed to: (1) integrate knowledge from several disciplines including environmental studies, social sciences, and management; (2) develop competencies for adapting to different cultural and societal perspectives on development, for problem-solving on multi-cultural teams, and for adapting technology to fit the local situation; and (3) encourage innovative, sustainable solutions to development issues. The plan emphasizes project-oriented learning that incorporates a strong problem-solving theme on issues that are inherently multi-dimensional and complicated by differing cultural perspectives on desired development outcomes.

In the first year, the plan provides an overview of the development field, a basic understanding of economics, and a thorough introduction to the environment, geography, and the principles of planning. These themes are continued in years two and three with environmental research methods and environmental assessment. In addition, in year two, students are introduced to the tools of general and social accounting, and the theory and practice of problem solving in development contexts. Courses in third year discuss ethical issues between and within cultures, the role of development organizations including the importance of the individual social entrepreneur. Students also begin studying marketing and communication for development.

In the fourth year, students have the option of undertaking either a practice specialization or a research specialization. The Practice Specialization requires that students undertake an eight-month field placement for credit. In this plan, which requires students to take courses in the 4A (spring) term prior to their field placement, students gain specialized training toward their field placement. Fall term (4B) and winter term (4C) constitute two consecutive terms of field placement work and learning that culminates in a two week capstone exercise at St Paul's University College. Students who successfully complete the requirements for the field placement option will receive a development practice designation on their transcript.

Students who choose to undertake the Research Specialization take courses in the fall and winter terms of their fourth year. The fourth year curriculum requires students to take a more advanced international development theory course, and develop and write an undergraduate thesis on a topic related to their program.

Additional information may be obtained from the Director, International Development.


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