Who Should Apply to the DEVS Graduate Program?

Students who are looking for an academically oriented, research-based program in development studies.

The DEVS graduate programs are academically oriented: their primary goal is to provide students with important conceptual tools and knowledge for undertaking academic research in the broad field of development studies. Our programmes specifically caters to students looking to conduct social, political-economic and cultural analyses using primarily qualitative methods.

Students who have an academic background in the social sciences or have pursued coursework in the social sciences.

Global development studies is a social science field and the core courses we offer are based upon social science approaches. For MA admission we require a minimum of a B+ average in the last two years of study from a recognized four-year undergraduate program (or equivalent) in a social science field or discipline relevant to the area of development studies. For PhD admission, we require a minimum of a A- average from a MA degree from a recognized university in a social science field or discipline relevant to the area of development studies.

Relevant background degrees include development studies, political studies, sociology, geography, environmental studies, indigenous studies, gender studies. Students with a background in humanities such as history, literature and cultural studies, or in education, economics, law or business administration would also be considered provided they demonstrate a requisite background in social sciences. Where appropriate, the applicant will demonstrate a strong grounding in the necessary language skills suitable to undertake the proposed fieldwork or a clear plan to attain them during the first year of the degree. Practical experience in the field of development or related areas is a welcome addition.

Relevant degrees include development studies, politics, sociology, geography, economics, gender studies, environmental studies and aboriginal studies. Students with humanities-based backgrounds – for example in history, film, religion and literature – may also be suitable candidates provided they have pursued course work in social science fields during their degrees. Students from traditionally unrelated fields (such as engineering, education or nursing) may also be considered for admission if they have completed sufficient course work in relevant social science fields.

For more information, please contact the DEVS Academic Programs Assistant.

Students whose research interests coincide with the Department faculty's core strengths.

We do not expect students to enter the MA program with an established research project, but rather we expect you to have a keen interest in exploring research in some specific development themes. If you are keen to pursue research on a specific topic, you should examine the range of faculty we have in Global Development Studies to be certain that we have suitable expertise to help you conduct research in that areas. More broadly, our core courses are organized around four themes:

  1. The Political Economy of Development
  2. The Cultural Politics of Development
  3. Global Health and Wellbeing
  4. Environment, Development and Sustainability

We supplement our core courses with a range of topics courses that change from year to year. When completing the online application, please be sure to clearly indicate in one or two sentences your main areas of interest in the Research Interests section and why you consider the Department of Global Development Studies at Queen’s a good fit for you to pursue development research.

International Students

The Department of Global Development Studies is only able to accept one international student per year and the competition is very strong. If you are uncertain whether you would be a competitive applicant or if you meet the requirements for applying to a graduate program in Global Development Studies, we are happy to advise you before you submit the online application. Please email the DEVS Academic Programs Assistant with a brief description of your research interests along with a copy of your transcript(s).

International MA and PhD applicants are required to secure a firm letter of support from a faculty member or their application will not be considered.

We are presently unable to offer financial packages to international MA students so we cannot accept applications that are not entirely self-funded.