Program Spotlight Series: International Studies at York University

As a student thinking about post-secondary education, do international studies, political science, or government administration cross your mind? The Program Spotlight series of articles will review selected college and university programs geared to those exploring education and career options in international relations, or government.

Glendon College of York University opened in 1959, and it has gradually become a hub for academic excellence, internationalism, and bilingualism. This campus provides students with a unique opportunity and environment to develop and improve upon key languages, as courses are taught in both English and French.

The International Studies program at Glendon College allows students to explore the intersections of topics such as government, business, civil society, law and environment at the international level. Students are given the opportunity to reflect upon theories, concepts, and global issues as they consider the development of feasible solutions. In the International Studies program, students may focus on one of three approaches:

  • Culture and international civil society
  • Resources and well-being
  • Order and society

This program is multi-disciplinary, since the courses are offered in other departments such as Sociology or Political Science. Although most courses are taught in English, all written assignments and exams may be submitted in either English or French. Some examples of courses are as follows:

  • International Society: History, Philosophy, and Theories / Societé Internationale: Histoire, Philosophie et Theories
  • La Francophonie
  • Indigenous Peoples in International Relations
  • International economics and development / Économie internationale et développement

This program is offered in the following formats:

  • Specialized Honours BA/International Bachelor of Arts (iBA)
  • Honours BA/iBA
  • Honours Double Major BA/iBA
  • Honours Major/Minor BA/iBA

To successfully complete the Specialized Honours program, students must undertake one of three options:

  • Completion of a thesis
  • Participation in an internship
  • Glendon’s symposium with a focus on a particular region/country.

Students of this program also have the opportunity to be featured in The Glendon Journal of International Studies, which features high-quality essays and reports prepared by undergraduate students.

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Professional Internships

In addition to providing students with meaningful learning in the classroom, Glendon’s International Studies offers a Professional Internship for fourth year students. The goal of this internship is to expose students to the realities of international relations in Canada and overseas. Students may work in the private or public sector, so long as the context is within international relations.

In order for work experience to count towards the completion of the internship, students must participate in activities such as project and/or program implementation related to international issues and cooperation. Students are evaluated based on self-assessment materials and an employer review. It is important to note that although the Department of International Studies provides support, students are responsible for securing internships on their own.

Final thoughts

What can you do with this degree? Most graduates of Glendon’s International Studies program have enjoyed careers in teaching, the Canadian Foreign Service, government, law, journalism, business, and international organizations. Additionally, many students have gone on to complete graduate studies in fields such as public policy.

And if this quick guide was enough to spark your interest, check out Glendon’s Department of International Studies 2016-2017 guide, for more detailed information. Best of luck!

Photo courtesy of Tom Page (Creative Commons).


Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the NATO Association of Canada.

About Jeyolyn Christi

Jeyolyn Christi is a registered social service worker and a Master of Public Service graduate who has experience working in non-profit organizations, government, and international development. Her research and professional interests lie in refugee resettlement, community development, government administration, and project management.