School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

 Global Development Studies


"By studying within such a small and new program I was able to design my curriculum in accordance with my research interests. Furthermore, I was able to work directly with professors who inspired me to work harder and expand my realms of reflection. ”
Sara Korosi, M.A., 2013

"Coming back to school for the DEVS M.A. program complemented my law degree, giving me an extra professional edge and allowing me to do the sort of human rights work I’ve always wanted to do."
Adam Houston, M.A., 2013

Program Contact

Yolanda Thompson
Graduate Assistant
Global Development Studies
Mackintosh Corry Hall, Room B401
Kingston, ON, Canada K7L3N6

Phone: 613.533.6000 ext. 77626

Program Overview

The department of Global Development Studies at Queen’s is one of the premier locations in Canada for conducting research in the field of development studies. Using a variety of interdisciplinary methods, our faculty ask what development means and how is it practiced in an increasingly complex and evolving global context. With a core emphasis on questions of social justice, we explore this exciting and evolving field by examining processes of political, economic and cultural change from the grassroots to the global. Our Master’s program combines these key concerns with strong pedagogy and cutting-edge research to enable students to undertake their own explorations of issues and controversies in the field. Building from departmental strengths in the political economy of development and the cultural politics of development, we offer a stimulating environment in which to conduct research and engage in cross-cultural learning experiences. Our students work on diverse subjects that link the global North and the global South, ranging from trade, aid and finance through to cultural production, gender and indigenous studies.


The Master’s in Global Development Studies is uniquely research orientated. It provides students with the critical concepts and comparative approaches that enable them to create and carry out research projects on development-related topics. This training not only equips students with the global insights and critical thinking tools necessary for further studies in the social sciences, it also gives them an edge for future careers in areas such as law, media, foreign affairs, international business and aid work. To do this, we offer a clearly defined core curriculum that guides students through essential debates in the field. In addition, we provide topics courses on a range of relevant issues that cover diverse methodological perspectives and geographical settings. Alongside courses taught within the department, students have the opportunity to take graduate courses offered by cognate departments including Economics, English, Environmental Studies, Gender Studies, Geography, History, Philosophy, Political Studies, Religion and Sociology. Additionally, there is a wide array of available courses in other faculties and programs, including the Faculty of Education, School of Business, School of Policy Studies, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Cultural Studies, Industrial Relations and Public Health.

Career paths – employment opportunities

Our graduate students have entered a wide range of careers including academia, law, media, foreign affairs, international business and the international aid industry. In various capacities, many of them engage directly with development institutions in their future careers, including the United Nations, government policymakers, non-government organizations, unions, universities and corporations.

Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

Master of Arts in Global Development Studies

Course-based option: 1 year

Research-based option: 2 years

All students are initially accepted into the one year course-based M.A. They may apply to convert to the two-year research-based M.A. by January 15.

Method of Completion

Course-based option: Course work, major research paper

Research-based option: Course work, written thesis and oral defense

Fields of Study & Supervisors
We recommend that you identify possible supervisors (or co-supervisors from cognate departments at Queen’s), depending on the specific research proposal.
  • Richard Day: Multiculturalism, anarchism, indigenous peoples
  • Karen Dubinsky: Global politics of childhood, transnational adoption, tourism, especially Canada, Cuba, Guatemala
  • Marc Epprecht: Africa, gender and sexuality, environmental history
  • Villia Jefremovas: Rural development, Indigenous peoples and knowledge, migration, gender
  • Paritosh Kumar: India, religious fundamentalism, cultural nationalism, modernity/tradition
  • David McDonald: Cities, environmental justice, municipal services, international migration
  • Susanne Soederberg: Corporate social responsibility, finance and debt, IMF,global political economy
  • Marcus Taylor: Climate change, labour and livelihoods, political economy of development.
Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

Approximately $15,000 in 2015/16 but will vary from year to year depending on the availability of the teaching assistantships and graduate award monies. Funding is guaranteed for one year; limited funding may be available for second year of the research based option.

We encourage you to apply for additional funding through external scholarships (SSHRC, CIHR, OGS, etc.) and you may be nominated for internal fellowships and awards. Entering graduate students who win federal government tri-council awards are automatically provided a $5,000 top-up award by Queen’s.

Academic Prerequisites

A minimum B+ average from a recognized four-year undergraduate program (or equivalent) is required. Relevant degrees may include: development studies, politics, history, sociology, geography, economics, gender studies, environmental studies, literature, film, religion, and aboriginal  studies. Students from traditionally unrelated fields (engineering, education or nursing) may also be considered for admission if the applicant has completed sufficient course work in the field.

We consider your overall grades over your last two years.

Other Requirements

Additional selection criteria may include:

  • Experience in development practice; written and/or spoken language skills other than English (particularly languages spoken in the global South or in aboriginal communities in Canada).
  • A summary of a major research topic and a potential supervisor

Test Requirements

For international students, if required, a TOEFL total score of at least 600 (paperbased) or TOEFL iBT minimum scores of: writing (24/30); speaking (22/30); reading (22/30); listening (20/30), for a total of 88/120. Applicants must have the minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline: January 31 to be considered for internal funding. We may consider late applications on a case-by-case basis

Notification of Acceptance: March and April.

Learning Outcomes
Sara Korosi Sara Korosi
Global Development
A track record of ambitious involvement...