The School of International Development and Global Studies (SIDGS) offers an interdisciplinary graduate program leading to the degree of PhD in International Development. The program caters to students from both academic and professional backgrounds, and is offered in both English and French. In accordance with the University of Ottawa regulation, students have the right to produce their work, their thesis, and to answer examination questions in French or in English. The program is offered on a full-time basis.

Two fields are offered in the PhD Program:

  • Development Theory and Critique
  • Development Policy and Practice

Further information on the fields and research interests of the professors is posted on the program website.

The program operates within the framework of the general regulations in effect for graduate studies. 

For the most accurate and up to date information on application deadlines, language tests and other admission requirements, please visit the specific requirements webpage.

Admission to the PhD program is governed by the general regulations in effect for graduate studies. 

To be considered for admission, applicants must:

  • Hold a master’s degree or equivalent in International Development Studies or in a related discipline. Examples of related disciplines include Economics, Education, Geography, Law, Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology.
  • Have achieved a minimum average of 75% (B+) calculated in accordance with graduate studies guidelines.

Language Requirements

An active knowledge of French or English is essential. Applicants must indicate in their application the language in which they intend to take the majority of their courses. Applicants whose first language is other than English or French and who have completed their BA and MA degrees in a language other than English or French must provide proof of their level of competence in one of these languages. In the case of English, applicants must have a TOEFL score of 100 or an equivalent score on another test. In the case of French, the applicant must obtain a level of F7 on the Immersion Admission Test administered by the University of Ottawa’s Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI). The School of International Development and Global Studies (SIDGS) reserves the right to conduct an interview and to require a test in either language. If a student’s doctoral research requires knowledge of a language other than French or English, the School may require proof of such knowledge.

Fast-Track from Master's to PhD Program

Students enrolled in the MA program in Globalization and International Development may be allowed to fast-track to the PhD program in International Development without being required to write a master’s thesis, provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Completion of six master’s courses (18 units) including at least three courses in Globalization and International Development with a minimum average of 8/10 overall and 8.5/10 in three Globalization and International Development courses.
  • Satisfactory progress in the research program.
  • Submission of a well developed research plan that must include, at a minimum, a thesis proposal and background literature review.
  • Written recommendation from the proposed PhD thesis supervisor.
  • Recommendation by the PhD studies committee.
  • Approval of the vice-dean (graduate studies) of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Students must request permission to fast-track during the fourth term of enrollment or earlier and, if approved, must enroll in the PhD in the fifth or, at the latest, in the sixth term. To receive the doctorate, students must successfully complete 30 units of courses (MA + PhD), the comprehensive examinations, the thesis proposal and the thesis. The total number of course units required may be reduced by six, as determined by the PhD Studies Committee.

The requirements of the PhD program in International Development include successful completion of 12 units of coursework, two comprehensive examinations, a thesis proposal and a thesis.

Compulsory Courses:
DVM 8108Research Seminar in International Development3 Units
DVM 8109Theories of International Development3 Units
DVM 8110Development Policy and Practice3 Units
3 optional course units from: 13 Units
Economic Growth, Private Sector and Social Inclusion
Livelihoods, Resources and Sustainability
Conflict, Transitions and Peace
Social Movements, Equity and Human Rights
Comprehensive Examinations:
DVM 9996Comprehensive Examination I 2
DVM 9997Comprehensive Examination II 2
Thesis Proposal:
DVM 9998Thesis Proposal 3
THD 9999Doctoral Thesis


Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)

During the first term, a thesis advisory committee (consisting of the thesis supervisor and at least two other professors) is assigned in consultation with the student. At least two of the committee members must be professors within the School of International Development and Global Studies (SIDGS). The composition of the committee is confirmed at the end of the first year. This committee is responsible for approving the thesis proposal and for advising the student throughout the program.

Additional Requirements

The requirements outlined above are a minimum. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to add up to two other courses if considered essential in light of the student’s academic background.

Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is 65% (C+). Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 units), one of the comprehensive exams, the thesis proposal, the thesis or whose progress is deemed unsatisfactory must withdraw from the program.

Duration of the Program

The requirements of the program are usually fulfilled within four years. The maximum time permitted is six years from the date of initial enrollment  in the program, or seven years in the case of the students fast-tracked from the master’s to the doctorate.

Research Fields & Facilities

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, a few steps away from Parliament Hill, the University of Ottawa is among Canada’s top 10 research universities.

uOttawa focuses research strengths and efforts in four Strategic Areas of Development in Research (SADRs):

  • Canada and the World
  • Health
  • e-Society
  • Molecular and Environmental Sciences

With cutting-edge research, our graduate students, researchers and educators strongly influence national and international priorities.

Research at the Faculty of Social Sciences

The Faculty of Social Sciences represents a place of excellence in knowledge creation, research and training. Driven by both disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, research at the Faculty is rich, innovative and varied, contributing to the depth of understanding and breadth of discussions on a variety of issues nationally and internationally.  This research, whether it be fundamental, theoretical, applied or action-oriented, is generated by our renowned expertise, ultimately culminating in applications designed to influence individual communities and the betterment of society.

We have identified five research themes which collectively represent a large proportion of the research undertaken at the Faculty of Social Sciences:

  • International Studies
  • Francophonie
  • Public Policy
  • Health, Well-Being
  • Justice, Society

Facilities, Research Centres and Institutes at the Faculty of Social Sciences

Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Citizenship and Minorities (CIRCEM), Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS), Centre for Public Management and Policy, Centre for Research on Educational and Community Service (CRECS), Centre on Governance (COG), Human Rights Research and Education Centre (affiliation), Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies and Institute for Science, Society and Policy.

For more information, refer to the list of faculty members and their research fields on Uniweb

IMPORTANT: Candidates and students looking for professors to supervise their thesis or research project can also consult the website of the faculty or department of their program of choice. Uniweb does not list all professors authorized to supervise research projects at the University of Ottawa.

DVM 5100 Understanding International Development and Globalization (3 units)

Study of leading theories and debates on the meaning, challenges and possibilities of development and globalization. Analysis and discussion of the different aspects of development and globalization, including its cultural, political economic, security, legal and territorial implications. Interdisciplinary approach, with a focus on discussion and evaluation of key texts.

Course Component: Seminar

DVM 5101 Research Methods (3 units)

Research methods in international development and global studies. Analysis of epistemological foundations as well as ethical and practical issues associated with qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methodologies. Discussions of key aspects of research proposal development (stages, formulating sharp research questions, nature of a literature review).

Course Component: Seminar

DVM 5500 Comprendre le développement international et la mondialisation (3 crédits)

Étude des principaux débats et théories sur le sens, les défis, et les possibilités du développement et de la mondialisation. Analyse et discussion des divers aspects du développement et de la mondialisation, des répercussions culturelles, politiques, économiques et juridiques ainsi que des conséquences sur les territoires et la sécurité. Approche interdisciplinaire mettant l'accent sur l'étude et l'évaluation de textes clés.

Volet : Séminaire

DVM 5501 Méthodes de recherche (3 crédits)

Méthodologies de recherche au sein des études du développement international et de la mondialisation. Analyse des fondements épistémologiques ainsi que des enjeux éthiques et pratiques des méthodologies quantitatives, qualitatives et mixtes. Discussion d'aspects clefs de l'élaboration du projet de recherche individuel (étapes d'élaboration, qualité d'une question de recherche, nature d'une revue de littérature).

Volet : Séminaire

DVM 5910 Stage en mondialisation/Développement international / Internship in Globalization/International Development (3 crédits / 3 units)

Stage au Canada ou à l'étranger en milieu de travail. Noté S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant) par un professeur du programme en fonction du rapport écrit et de l'évaluation du superviseur de stage. / Workplace internship in Canada or abroad. Graded S (Satisfactory) / NS (Not satisfactory) by a professor in the program based on the written report and the evaluation of the internship supervisor.

Volet / Course Component: Stage / Work Term

Préalable : réussite des 12 crédits obligatoires du programme. Exclusion : étudiants inscrits dans l'option coop. / Prerequisite: Successful completion of the 12 compulsory credits in the program. Exclusion: Students registered in the co-op option.

DVM 5999 Exigence de langue / Language (3 crédits / 3 units)

Noté S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant). / Graded S (Satisfactory) / NS (Not satisfactory).

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

DVM 6101 Economic Growth, Private Sector and Social Inclusion (3 units)

Understanding economic development, including the roles of the private sector and public policy, particularly in terms of their impact on economic growth, living standards, social inclusion, poverty and inequality, and human development.

Course Component: Seminar

DVM 6102 Livelihoods, Resources and Sustainability (3 units)

Interaction between society and nature. Consideration of how power shapes the use of resources such as land, water, food, or energy, and on how livelihoods adapt to environmental change in various rural and urban contexts. Theoretical lenses include commons theory, social ecological resilience, political ecology, and political economy.

Course Component: Seminar

DVM 6103 Conflict, Transitions and Peace (3 units)

Relationships between insecurity, transitions, peace and development. Key debates on links between development and security or, conversely, between insecurity, conflict and development. Different critical perspectives on the security-development nexus. Issues surrounding human (in)security, as well as key debates on transitions and peace.

Course Component: Seminar

DVM 6104 Social Movements, Equity and Human Rights (3 units)

Social movements, civil society, and informal networks, their roles, actions and impacts in the struggle against the vicious cycles of inequality and vulnerability in developing countries. Themes include class, gender, ethnicity, citizenship and migration.

Course Component: Seminar

DVM 6105 International Development Programming: Results-Based Approaches (3 units)

The evolving international policy context for development effectiveness; results-based management for different actors and modalities (national strategies, program-based approaches, projects); how to practice RBM through the programming cycle (design, budgeting, implementation, monitoring & evaluation, etc.); RBM in different contexts (e.g. in middle-income countries versus fragile and conflict-affected states); limits of RBM-based approaches.

Course Component: Seminar

DVM 6110 Directed Studies in Globalization and International Development (3 units)

Course Component: Lecture

DVM 6111 Special Topics in Economic Growth, Private Sector and Social Inclusion (3 units)

Course Component: Lecture

.Prerequisite: DVM 6101

DVM 6112 Special Topics in Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainability (3 units)

Course Component: Lecture

Prerequisite: DVM 6102.

DVM 6113 Special Topics in Conflict, Transitions and Peace (3 units)

Course Component: Seminar

Prerequisite: DVM 6103.

DVM 6114 Special Topics in Rights, Social Movements and Power (3 units)

Course Component: Seminar

Prerequisite: DVM 6104.

DVM 6115 Special Topics in Professional Skills for International Development and Globalization (3 units)

Course Component: Lecture

Prerequisites: DVM 6105.

DVM 6501 Croissance économique, secteur privé et inclusion sociale (3 crédits)

Comprendre le développement économique, notamment à travers les rôles du secteur privé et des politiques publiques, ainsi que leurs impacts sur la croissance économique, le développement humain, l'inclusion sociale, la pauvreté et les inégalités.

Volet : Séminaire

DVM 6502 Modes de vie, ressources et durabilité (3 crédits)

Relation entre les sociétés et la nature. Une attention particulière est accordée à la manière dont les relations de pouvoir orientent et déterminent l'utilisation de ressources comme la terre, l'eau, la nourriture et l'énergie ainsi qu'à la manière dont les moyens d'existence s'adaptent aux changements environnementaux dans des contextes ruraux et urbains variés. Les diverses approches conceptuelles incluent la théorie des biens publics, la résilience sociale et écologique, l'écologie politique et l'économie politique.

Volet : Séminaire

DVM 6503 Conflit, transitions et paix (3 crédits)

Les relations entre l'insécurité, les transitions, la paix et le développement. Les débats principaux portant sur les liens entre développement et sécurité ou, à l'inverse, entre insécurité, conflit et développement. Les différentes perspectives critiques quant à la connexion entre sécurité et développement. Enjeux associés avec l'(in)sécurité humaine, ainsi que les débats actuels en matière de transition et de paix.

Volet : Séminaire

DVM 6504 Mouvements sociaux, équité et droits humains (3 crédits)

Rôles, actions et impact des mouvements sociaux, de la société civile, et des réseaux informels dans la lutte contre le cercle vicieux de l'inégalité et de la vulnérabilité dans les pays en développement. Les thèmes abordés comprennent les questions de classe, de genre, d'ethnicité, de citoyenneté et de migration.

Volet : Séminaire

DVM 6505 La programmation en développement international : Les approches axées sur les résultats (3 crédits)

Le discours de l'efficacité de la coopération internationale comme contexte clé; les approches axées sur les résultats (AAR) pour divers acteurs et modalités (stratégies nationales, approches programmatiques, projets); les AAR dans le cycle de programmation (conceptualisation, planification budgétaire, mise en oeuvre, suivi et évaluation, etc.); les AAR dans divers contextes (ex. économies a revenu moyen versus États fragiles); limites des approches AAR.

Volet : Séminaire

DVM 6510 Études dirigées en mondialisation et développement international (3 crédits)

Volet : Cours magistral

DVM 6511 Thèmes choisis en croissance économique, secteur privé et inclusion sociale (3 crédits)

Volet : Cours magistral

Préalable: DVM 6501.

DVM 6512 Thèmes choisis en environnement, ressources naturelles et durabilité (3 crédits)

Volet : Cours magistral

Préalable : DVM 6502.

DVM 6513 Thèmes choisis en conflit, transitions et paix (3 crédits)

Volet : Cours magistral

Préalable : DVM 6503

DVM 6514 Thèmes choisis en droits, mouvements sociaux et pouvoir (3 crédits)

Volet : Séminaire

Préalable : DVM 6504.

DVM 6515 Thèmes choisis en connaissances profession. pour le développement international et la mondialisation (3 crédits)

Volet : Cours magistral

Préalable : DVM 6505

DVM 6998 Mémoire / Research Paper (6 crédits / 6 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

Préalable : DVM 5522. / Prerequisite: DVM 5122.

DVM 8108 Research Seminar in International Development (3 units)

Study of advanced techniques of qualitative and quantitative methods used in development research and analysis. Methods examined include the use of statistical analysis, comparative methodology, case study selection, discourse analysis, interview techniques and focus groups, and participative methods.

Course Component: Seminar

DVM 8109 Theories of International Development (3 units)

Focus on the major texts that constitute the canon of international development studies. Key theories and approaches will include imperialism/colonialism, modernization theory, structuralist economics, dependency theory, neoliberal/neoclassical economics, and post-modern and post-colonial theory.

Course Component: Seminar

DVM 8110 Development Policy and Practice (3 units)

Study of policy formulation and the role of strategic planning in the global South. Emphasis will be placed on how international institutions and policy documents impact the global South and how, in turn, changes in domestic and international environments shape these institutions and actors. Various political planning approaches are also examined.

Course Component: Seminar

DVM 8150 Special Topics in International Development (3 units)

In-depth examination of a question or topic linked to emerging trends or research areas in international development.

Course Component: Lecture

DVM 8508 Séminaire de recherche en développement international (3 crédits)

Étude des techniques avancées en méthodes quantitatives et qualitatives utilisées en matière de recherche et d'analyse en développement. Les méthodes examinées incluent l'utilisation des outils statistiques, la méthodologie comparative, la sélection d'études de cas, l'analyse de discours, les techniques d'enquêtes et d'interviews de publics cibles, et les méthodes participatives.

Volet : Séminaire

DVM 8509 Théories du développement international (3 crédits)

Étude des fondements théoriques et conceptuels des études en développement international. Les principales théories et approches examinées comprennent l'impérialisme/le colonialisme, la théorie de la modernisation, la théorie économique structuraliste, la théorie de la dépendance, les théories des économistes néo-libéraux/ néo-classiques et les théories post-moderniste et post-coloniale.

Volet : Séminaire

DVM 8510 Politiques et pratiques du développement (3 crédits)

Étude de la formulation des politiques et de la planification stratégique dans les pays en développement. L'accent sera mis d'une part, sur la façon dont les institutions internationales et les documents de politiques exercent un impact sur les pays du sud, et de l'autre part, sur l'influence des changements nationaux et internationaux sur ces institutions. Les diverses approches en matière de planification politique sont également examinées.

Volet : Séminaire

DVM 8550 Thèmes choisis en développement international (3 crédits)

Étude approfondie d'une problématique ou d'un sujet lié aux tendances émergeantes en développement international.

Volet : Cours magistral

DVM 8950 Thèmes choisis en développement international / Special Topic in International Development (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude approfondie d'une problématique ou d'un sujet lié aux tendances émergeantes en développement international. / In-depth examination of a question or topic linked to emerging trends or research areas in international development.

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

Préalable: connaissance active soit du français soit de l?anglais et connaissance au moins passive de l?autre langue. / Prerequisite: Active knowledge of either English or French and at least a passive knowledge of the other language.

DVM 8955 Lectures dirigées / Directed Studies (3 crédits / 3 units)

Cours individuel ayant pour objectif d'approfondir les connaissances de l'étudiant dans un domaine particulier ou de lui permettre de se familiariser avec un nouveau domaine. Le sujet est déterminé et développé en consultation avec le professeur responsable et en conformité avec les directives du département. Le travail remis dans ce cours doit être différent de ce qui a pu être soumis dans d'autres cours, y compris le projet de thèse, le mémoire ou la thèse. Il y a une limite d'un cours de lectures dirigées par étudiant et la permission n'est accordée que dans des circonstances exceptionnelles. Préalable : Permission du responsable des études doctorales. / Individual course aimed at deepening a student's knowledge of a particular area or at gaining knowledge of a new area. The topic is selected and developed in consultation with the supervising professor in accordance with departmental guidelines. The work submitted for this course must be different from that submitted for other courses, including the thesis proposal, the master's research paper or the thesis. Maximum of one directed readings course per student and permission granted only under exceptional circumstances.

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

Permission du Département est requise. / Permission of the Department is required.

DVM 9996 Examen de synthèse I / Comprehensive Examination I

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

Préalable : réussite de toutes les exigences de cours. / Prerequisite: successful completion of all course requirements.

DVM 9997 Examen de synthèse II / Comprehensive Examination II

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

Préalable : DVM 9996. / Prerequisite: DVM 9996.

DVM 9998 Projet de thèse / Thesis Proposal

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

Préalables: DVM 9996 et DVM 9997. / Prerequisites: DVM 9996 and DVM 9997.