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Academics: Major

Major in International Development

The IDS major consists of twelve courses, ten required and two 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: National and Regional 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
  • Two from:
    • BUS 256*: Non-Profit Management
    • ECON 343: Econometrics
    • GEOG 261: Geographic Information Systems and Cartography
    • POLS 251: Foundations of Political Science Research
    • SOC/SOWK 320: Social Research
    • (*Students with majors or minors in Political Science or International Relations may substitute POLS 209 for BUS 256)
  • Two 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

IDS majors are required to take two electives. Students may choose from the following:

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.

For more information about graduating with honors, see the Honors Program page.

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 World Renew.