A map of the United States connected to the world

Global Development Studies

major, minor

Academics / Departments & Programs / Global Development Studies / AcademicsGlobal Development Studies

Degree Overview

Develop a deep comprehension of global hunger, poverty, oppression, and development. Draw on a wide variety of disciplines to understand the challenges and opportunities that developing countries face.

A global development studies degree enhances almost any other area of study. Pair your degree with another field you’re interested in, like business, political science, or public health. You can tailor your studies to fit your unique career goals.

Through expert professors, internships, and opportunities like the annual student-run Faith and International Development Conference, you’ll go into the world with knowledge, skills, and virtues that are indispensable to development organizations.

Program Distinctives

 
Global learning - As a GDS major, you'll have many opportunities to take your learning outside the classroom. GDS majors study abroad in places like China, Ghana, Brazil, Jamaica, and Kenya.
 
A widely-respected program - Each year, the Faith and International Development Conference draws 30+ development organizations to Calvin's campus to share insight and experience about global development issues.
 
Practical experience - Real-world learning is a key part of the Calvin experience in general and the GDS program in particular. In 2018, 78% of graduates had an internship while at Calvin.

Take the next step:

Degree Information

major
  • Overview

    The GDS major consists of twelve courses, eleven required and one 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 a GDS 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).

  • Courses
    Loading...
minor

Business as missions

In an increasingly interconnected world, global development studies makes an excellent companion to a business degree.

Business students discussing in front of a whiteboard
Flags from many different nations waving in the wind

Cross-cultural leadership

Prepare for a career in diplomacy, international relations, activism, and more by pairing your GDS degree with international relations.

Pie chart showing the amount of household debt accumulated by percentages of the graduating student body

You can afford a Calvin education.

You’ve heard a lot about the high cost of a university education. But a Calvin education is much more affordable than you think. Most Calvin students pay far below the sticker price—and graduate with less debt than you might expect.

Explore affordability at Calvin »

U.S. News & World Report ranks Calvin as a Best Midwest Regional University for 2020.

A reputation for excellence.

There’s a reason Calvin gets top marks from U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and more. Calvin graduates are in demand at grad schools, med schools, and careers in every field.

Discover the Calvin advantage »

SOCIAL MEDIA

The latest sights & sounds | #calvinuniversity

Female student wading in Plaster Creek, examining a sample of water, holding it up to the sky.

ACADEMIC OPTIONS

With over 100 majors and programs, you’re bound to find something you love.

Browse by category

× CLOSE DRAWER
A dramatic view looking up at the Calvin's Crossing bridge, with a perfect blue sky overhead.

Apply to Calvin

It all starts here! We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. All completed applications receive equal consideration.

Start your journey × CLOSE DRAWER
A female and male student walking side by side down the Calvin's Crossing bridge, conversing with each other.

Visit Calvin

Find the visit option that works best for you and get a taste for life at Calvin!

Browse Visit Options Launch the virtual tour × CLOSE DRAWER
Students huddled around, lighting sparklers with a beautiful evening sky behind them.

Request Info

Learn why Calvin’s dedication to faith and discovery have earned it the rank of #3 among regional midwest universities.

Loading...
× CLOSE DRAWER
Graduates in their robes, tossing their caps high into the air, laughing.

Costs & Financial Aid

Families from all economic backgrounds—many just like yours—are making Calvin work. Scholarships, grants and loans are the tools that make Calvin possible.

Explore financial aid & Scholarships How much does Calvin cost? × CLOSE DRAWER
Top