Minor program

By learning about different development theories and practices, as well as diverse cultural perspectives, students will gain a more comprehensive understanding of issues as well as build intercultural competency, which will serve them well in different local and international work places.

The minor is intended for students studying toward a major in the field of their choice. Global Development Studies (GDS) pairs extremely well with a range of different major programs in any faculty, especially the social sciences or humanities faculties.


The minor is intended for students studying toward a major in the field of their choice. Global Development Studies (GDS) pairs extremely well with a range of different major programs in any faculty, especially the Social Sciences or Humanities faculties.

You will also gain specialized knowledge in one of four global development issue areas in which UVic has expertise: environmental sustainability and public health; human rights, democracy, and gender; transnationalism, migration and mobility; or literature, culture and society.

Any course at the 200 level or above that constitutes part of a student’s Honours, Major or General program cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the Minor in Global Development Studies.

To ensure interdisciplinary breadth of learning, GDS students are required to select electives from outside the academic unit in which they are completing a major or honours degree. None of the 9.0 upper-level units used for the GDS minor can be used to meet the requirements of another minor, major, or honours program. At least 6.0 units of the 9.0 units of 300- and 400-level coursework must be taken at UVic.

View electives on the Academic Calendar



Program requirements

The GDS Minor requires the successful completion of 13.5 units of coursework, consisting of four required core courses (6 units) and five elective courses (7.5 units) chosen from pre-approved course offerings of participating and collaborating programs.

Of the 13.5 units of coursework, 4.5 units must be at the lower level and 9.0 units at the upper level.

Lower level requirements

Lower level requirement (4.5 units) must include: GDS 201 and GDS 202; plus one of these approved history courses: HSTR 110, 112A, 112B.

Students majoring in History will be required to substitute 1.5 units of lower level history courses with 1.5 units in other fields relevant to global development from this list: ADMN 200; ECON 113; GEOG 101A; GNDR 100; LAS 200; PAAS 100; PHIL 236; SJS 100 or 200; SOCI 100B.

Upper level requirement (9.0 units)

Upper level requirements (9.0 units) must include: GDS 301 and GDS 400; 1.5 units in economics (see list); 1.5 units chosen from Cluster One (core disciplinary courses on global development or a specific region in the global south (see list); and 3.0 units of electives from one of the four themes listed in Cluster Two.

GDS201 - Global Development

An introduction to global development and contemporary issues facing the Global South (Africa, Latin America and Asia). Focuses on theoretical, historical and policy debates shaping global development. Topics may include: colonization and decolonization; post-colonial nation-state building; democratization; global poverty and inequality; food security; culture and development; international development assistance and the role of international organisations, NGOs and social movements in shaping development.

GDS202 - Contemporary Issues in Global Development Studies

Considers contemporary topics and issues, several of which form key areas of focus for contemporary official development assistance: gender, human rights and democracy; environmental sustainability and public health; transnationalism, migration and mobility; literature, culture and society; conflict and displacement; food security; Indigenous issues; struggles and development challenges in the global south.

GDS301 – Working in Global Development

Essential skills required for effective practical engagement with issues in global development. Topics may include: advocacy; cross-cultural communication; project management and evaluation; community based research; fundraising; community organizing; management of non-profits.

GDS400 - Global Development Studies Capstone Seminar

Students conduct interdisciplinary projects linked to global development with attention to research methods in development studies, and to practical and ethical challenges associated with development projects, in a workshop format. In addition to research on an international development issue, projects might include assessment of an existing development project, or developing a monitoring and evaluation framework for a development program.

Visit the Academic calendar for course descriptions.

Declare your minor or submit a program change

 To declare your minor or submit a program change, you must have a minimum 12 units of completed course work, satisfied the University English Requirement and met all lower-level grade requirements for your program.

  1. Log into Online tools with your NetLink ID and password.
  2. Go to the Student services section.
  3. Select or hover over the Grades & records tab.
  4. Select Program declaration or change.


 for help with GDS program requirements and course information.

For information specific to student degree requirements, contact Academic Advising for Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences250-721-7567 or advising@uvic.ca.