Certificate in Global Action and Engagement

Queen’s Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) has carefully reviewed its academic program offerings through Arts and Science Online (ASO) and has decided to no longer accept new admissions to its fully online degree and certificate programs, as of January 2024.

The Global Action and Engagement (GAEN) certificate is a fully online Queen’s certificate for students seeking to better understand global development issues and contexts. It is for students who wish to prepare for overseas or volunteer community work and who are looking to enhance their skills with a better theoretical understanding of development concepts. Through a variety of online courses, students will work collaboratively to investigate development changes, critically reflect on the relationship between development theory and practice and propose and evaluate action-oriented solutions. The certificate's core courses will enable students to take an interdisciplinary approach to the exploration of concepts related to the political, economic, social and cultural forces that shape contemporary global interactions.

The GAEN certificate can be taken in conjunction with a degree program in Arts and Science or other faculties at Queen’s, or as a stand-alone credential for online students. Students in any DEVS plan are also eligible to do the certificate but will need to take an additional 9.00 units over and above their DEVS plan and program requirements.

Arts and Science students enrolled in a Queen’s degree program as well as the GAEN Certificate may count up to 9.0 units toward both the requirements of the Certificate and their degree program. The remaining 9.0 units will be in addition to those required for the degree. For this reason very careful course planning is required and certificate students may find it necessary to include summer term courses in their academic planning. For assistance with course planning please contact the DEVS office at devs.student@queensu.ca

The Certificate requires students to complete 18.0 units total, including four core courses and one option course.

Core Courses (15.0 units) offered online

Take the following three courses:

Plus one of the following courses:

Policy Advocacy and Field Specific Skills.

Option Courses (3.0 units) offered online

Students who choose to complete only one of DEVS 361 or DEVS 362 must also take one of the following courses:

Upon completion of this certificate program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Assess a wide range of development issues and demonstrate a unique, multi-faceted understanding of what is driving social, economic, technological, and political change in the contemporary world;
  2. Critically evaluate the terminology, practices, ethics and debates prevalent in the ‘official’ world of development to prepare them for future engagement with international development institutions, organizations, and practices;
  3. Synthesize political, environmental, social, ethical, and cultural perspectives into the analysis of specific development issues relevant to their area of expertise;
  4. Apply cross-cultural communication skills to communicate ethically, responsibly, and effectively with peers and colleagues when researching, proposing, assessing, and evaluating possible solutions to development challenges;
  5. Participate in and critically reflect upon experiential learning opportunities with global action and engagement by making connections between personal experience, peer feedback and insights based on theory;
  6. Develop self-reflexivity about their place in the world and be equipped to make informed and ethical decisions about their pursuit of future work and volunteer experiences within complex global settings.

The GAEN Certificate program will be open to all registered full and part-time undergraduate students in second through fourth year, and qualified distance learners.

The program can be taken in conjunction with many degree programs from Queen’s, or as a stand-alone credential.

Students completing a major, medial or minor/general degree plan in DEVS are eligible for the certificate and can share up to a maximum of 9.00 units with their DEVS plan requirements. For questions about the shared units, please contact the Academic Programs Assistant at devs.student@queensu.ca.

How many of the courses can I use towards my Queen's degree?
If you are an on-campus student, you only can use 9.0 units of the certificate units towards your degree. In other words to graduate with both a BAH program and the GAEN certificate, you would need a total of 129.0 units (120.0 for the BAH and 9.0 units for the certificate).  

If you are in an online degree program, only 9.0 units from the certificate can count towards your online BA. In other words, to graduate with both an online BA degree and this certificate, you would need a total of 99.0 units (instead of 90.0 units).

What are some of the skills I will gain from taking this certificate?

  • better understanding of global development issues and contexts
  • help prepare for overseas work or volunteer and community engagement opportunities
  • work collaboratively within a team to investigate development changes
  • critically reflect on the relationship between development theory and practice
  • propose and evaluate action-oriented solutions
  • use an interdisciplinary approach to explore the political, economic, social and cultural forces that shape contemporary global interactions

What are some strategies I can use to fit all the courses in before I graduate?
Some students take additional courses in the summer term to fit in the additional units required for the certificate. As well, while it is not always recommended, on-campus students have the option of enrolling in 18.0 units per term.  This can be a very heavy workload, but manageable with very careful time management and course planning.

Can I finish some of the courses after I graduate with my degree?
Yes, you can complete some of your GAEN Certificate courses online after you graduate with your degree.

Can I take any of the on campus DEVS courses if I am in the online GAEN Certificate?
For Queen’s on-campus students:
DEVS on-campus courses are reserved for students in the DEVS plan during the enrollment period in July. During the open enrollment period students who are not in the DEVS plan can add DEVS courses provided spots are still available and they meet the required prerequisites.

For ONLINE students:
Online certificate DEVS courses have spaces reserved for online students in the GAEN certificate. DEVS on-campus courses are not available to online students in the certificate.