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Academics: Major

Major in international development

The IDS major consists of eleven courses, eight required and three elective. The program is designed to give you strong core competency in development-related issues and the chance to specialize in a particular world region or discipline. Meet with an IDS advisor to explore areas that are of interest to you.

If you are interested in a particular world region, strongly consider becoming proficient in an appropriate language offered at Calvin (Spanish, German, French, Dutch, Chinese or Japanese).

Program requirements

  • IDS 201: Introduction to International Development or SPHO 205: Poverty and Development
  • SOC 253: Intercultural Communication
  • IDS 351: Theories of International Development
  • IDS 355 or STHO 212: Community Development
  • ENST 210: Human Modifications of the Global Environment or BIOL 364: Global Health, Environment and Sustainability
  • POLS 322: Global Democratization or POLS 309: International Organizations and Law
  • ECON 236: Emerging Economies, ECON 237: Regional Economies of the World, or ECON 337: World Poverty and Economic Development
  • IDS 395: Senior Seminar in IDS
  • Three electives from the list below
  • Semester in a developing country (some courses from the semester program may qualify for required and/or elective courses)

Elective courses

Honors in IDS

IDS students who meet the following criteria may graduate with honors:

  • minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 and total of six honors courses (18 hours minimum) overall, including at least two honors courses outside the major;
  • at least three honors courses that fulfill requirements or electives for the IDS major (honors work in IDS courses normally requires a minimum grade of B+ on all course components, exemplary attendance and participation, research and written work beyond normal class requirements, and a class presentation);
  • either a thesis in IDS 390 (independent study) or honors work in IDS 395; it is also acceptable for students to do both of these courses for honors.

Other opportunities

Learn more about Calvin's international-development geared off-campus semester programs.

Find out how to apply for a field internship in international development through the Christian Reformed Church World Relief Committee.