International Development Studies

UCLA has suspended in-person classes and transitioned to online platforms.  Check updates HERE.

For virtual advising, please see our "Advising" tab. 



UPDATE: IDS major requirements have changed as of Fall 2020.

  • The total number of lower and upper division courses has not changed.
  • Class options have been added. 
  • Changes will not affect Fall '20 applicants or current majors. 

 Fall 20 Major Worksheet

Requirements as of Fall 20

Pre-Fall 20 Major Worksheet

Requirements prior to Fall 20

Course Descriptions

IDS course descriptions

Degree Planner 

3 &  4-year 

Honors Track

IDS Senior Thesis


Check both lists for approved courses 

DARS Courses       Additional Courses


Click HERE for past course offerings


Session A                    Session C

Travel Study                                    


Study abroad courses and UC/Non-UC courses

Petition for Committee Review


2020-21 IDS Unique Courses 

• All courses are also offered in the Summer. All restrictions and pre-requisites are lifted in Summer.
• If all 4 Core Classes are taken, one course can be used as Social & Critical Theory)

Fall  Winter Spring

IDS M150
Michael Ross
Social & Critical Theory

IDS 191
Kevan Harris
Capstone Seminar

Students must apply for
the major at the end of
this term

IDS 110
Jennifer Chun
Core Class OR
Social & Critical Theory

IDS 130
Kevan Harris
Core Class OR
Social & Critical Theory

IDS 191
Shaina Potts
Capstone seminar

IDS M120
Michael Ross
Core Class OR
Social & Critical Theory

IDS 140
Alden Young
Core Class OR 
Social & Critical Theory

IDS 160-1
Lorena Fuentes
Research Methodology

IDS 160-2
Patrick Hueveline

IDS 191-1
Jennifer Chun
Capstone Seminar

IDS 191-2
Alden Young
Capstone Seminar

Why do Honors?

Spend 3 quarters researching a topic on development you are passionate about

Receive individual writing mentorship from a UCLA faculty member

• Add Departmental Honors recognition to your diploma and transcript 

• Strengthen research skills for graduate school and career


 Apply now for the 2020-21 school year!



  • Be officially declared as an IDS major
  • Completion of any 2 core IDS courses: (IDS 110, M120, 130). Students may petition to apply with only 1 core course complete.
  • GPA for all upper division IDS courses of 3.5 or above
  • Must have secured a faculty advisor
  • Submit the IDS Honors Application

*Petitions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis


Design and conduct independent research under the guidance of a faculty advisor culminating in an honors thesis. Application is due by Week 2 of Fall quarter (Winter and Spring applications are accepted by petition).

 Guidelines & Application Form Honors Booklet



Past IDS Honors Thesis Titles   Past IDS Honors Theses





  1. Attend an online or/and in-person library research workshops/tutorials on narrowing down your topic, finding sources, organizing information, etc.
  2. Attend the mandatory Spring Undergraduate Research Workshop  and complete the worksheet to start narrowing down your topic and turning your topic into research questions!
  3. IDS Library Resource Guide: Find journals and sources for your thesis. Created by your librarian!

Click below to watch the recording of our 2020 Virtual Undergraduate Research Workshop!


Transcription file here


Click HERE to learn how to access UCLA Library resources during COVID-19. 


These are also available on the WI+RE website, and on the Library's YouTube channel!



Joan Hanawi, 2016 Activist Award Recipient

Note: You may apply to both categories but will only be awarded for one.

IDS Academic Award

One to two cash awards will be distributed to a graduating senior for exceptional academic achievement in the International Development Studies major.

Eligible applicants must be:

  1.  International Development Studies major (double majors are also eligible)
  2.  A senior graduating in any quarter of the 2019-2020 academic year, or Fall 2020
  3.  In good academic standing with overall GPA of 3.75 in upper-division major coursework

 Applicants must submit:

  1.  Brief application form (found below)
  2.  Resume
  3.  A writing sample (5 to 15 pages) on any issue in international development (can be from a past course)

Deadline: Monday, May 25, 2020 at 11:59 PM

Apply HERE


IDS Activist Award

One to two cash awards will be distributed to a graduating senior to recognize their outstanding commitment to making a difference on issues significant to international development through activism, service and leadership.

Eligible applicants must be:

  1.  International Development Studies major (double majors are also eligible)
  2.  A senior graduating in any quarter of the 2019-2020 academic year, or Fall 2020
  3.  In good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.00 in upper-division major coursework
  4.  Able to demonstrate, through their work in local, national, or international organizations, their commitment to making a difference on issues linked to international development

Applicants must submit:

  1.  Brief application form (found below);
  2.  Resume
  3.  An essay (no more than 2 pages, double-spaced) that describes previous work related to international development and plans after graduation: work may include campus organizations, internships, and volunteer or paid work either in the U.S. or abroad. See below for full prompt. 


ESSAY PROMPT: In no more than 2 pages, double-spaced, please describe previous work that clearly demonstrates your commitment to making an impact on issues significant to international development through activism, service, and/or leadership. Work may include engagement in campus organizations, internships, as well as volunteer or paid work either in the U.S. or abroad. Please include the nature of your participation, duration of activities, and reflect on what these experiences have meant to you personally, how they relate to IDS themes, and to your plans after graduation.

Deadline: Monday, May 25, 2020 at 11:59 PM

Apply HERE

 UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) 

  • Summer, semester and year-long programs in 42 countries. Take a Virtual World Tour to explore available locations!
  • Many offer internships, research, and volunteer opportunities.
  • Financial Aid available.

Approval Process

1. Review your remaining UCLA degree requirements.
2. Choose a location. If you choose an EAP program, browse the program's catalog to search for courses you think are comparable to your degree requirements. You can also use the database below for pre-approved EAP classes that satisfy IDS requirements.
3. Email course descriptions to your major/minor advising office for pre-approval.  
4. Submit official petitions upon your return (courses must be at least 4 units, Upper Division). 

See our Study Abroad for IDS Majors fact sheet! 









Visit the UCLA International Education Office for a complete list of programs including summer programs.


International Institute Events

Attend numerous events on specific world regions and pressing global issues. For upcoming International Institute Events, visit the Event Calendar. 


 Event Calendar


International Institute Open House

International Institute Career Panel

International Student Ambassadors

Are you an international student majoring or minoring in an International Institute program? Connect with our International Student Ambassadors (ISA) for any international or academic questions! Throughout the academic year, our ISAs will plan events and connect with students through office hours and social media.


Learn more

2020 - 21 Ambassadors 

Esther Li

Asian Studies

Alex Kang

Global Studies

Recommended Campus Groups

  • Global Development Lab - Equips students with skills and resources necessary to foster global development initiatives.
  • GlobeMed at UCLA  - Promoting global health equity through partnerships and sustainability.

       Find more UCLA student groups HERE

Study Abroad Awards

All Regions

East Asia and Southeast Asia



Study Abroad Program Specific Aid

Students studying abroad through the programs listed below are eligible for funding.

General Study Abroad Scholarship Sites

  • UCLA Summer Travel Study Scholarships & Other Scholarship Opportunities
  • UCLA Scholarship Resource Center-Study Abroad Scholarships
    Search for scholarships, grants, & fellowships. Located at 233 Covel Commons. For more information, call (310) 206-2875
    Forum on Financial Aid-Sources and Tips for Study Abroad Funding
  • UCLA Career Center Lab & UCLA Library
    There are numerous books available that highlight financial aid for specific programs and destinations. Here are a few to look into:
    • Financial Aid for Study Abroad by Gail Ann Schlachter and R. David Weber.
    • Work, Study, Travel Abroad: The Whole World Handbook, Council on International Educational Exchange.
    • Financial aid for research and creative activities abroad, Reference Service Press.
    • Financial aid for study and training abroad, Reference Service Press.
    • Financial resources for international study: a guide for U.S. nationals, Institution of International Education.

Internship Scholarships

Research Awards

UCLA Undergraduate Research Center Awards:

  • Travel Grants
    Funding for presenting a paper at a regional / national conference
  • UCLA Undergraduate Research Fellows Program
    2-quarter (Winter and Spring) research project / honors thesis
  • UCLA Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP)
    Completion of Honors Thesis or 199 project during senior year

Summer Research Opportunities


The Departmental Scholar Program (DSP) allows exceptional juniors and seniors to pursue the bachelor's and master's degrees simultaneously. It offers advanced students access to graduate level classes and an opportunity to do graduate level research under the direct supervision of UCLA's distinguished faculty.

International Institute Academic Programs that have participated in the Departmental Scholars program in the past include:


Students seeking nomination to the Departmental Scholar Program must meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of 24 courses (96 quarter units) at UCLA or the equivalent at a similar institution
  • Completion of preparation for the major
  • Minimum 3.5 overall grade point average
  • Minimum 3.5 overall grade point average in the major

Application Process

Applications are accepted throughout the year. A completed application must include all of the following materials before being considered for admission:

  • Statement of Purpose –No more than two pages in length. Statement of purpose should describe academic, and/or professional experience
  • Two Letters of Recommendation – Letters should be from UCLA faculty (professor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor emeritus). 
  • Writing Sample – A research paper or other writing sample that well demonstrates writing and analytical skills (10 pages maximum). The goal of the writing sample is to demonstrate your ability to write professionally and clearly. For that reason, the writing sample should be written in English.
  • Transcript (can be unofficial)

For more information please contact:

Magda Yamamoto, Academic Counselor
UCLA International Institute Academic Programs
Office of Academic Advising
10256  Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487
Tel: 310-206-6571

For general information on becoming a Departmental Scholar, or to see if other departments offer similar programs, please contact College Honors.


VIRTUAL ADVISING HOURS (subject to change)

By appointment at least 5 hours in advance. Please e-mail if you need accommodations (same day or outside office hours appointments)

Mon - Thu: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm and 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Friday: 10:00 - 12:00 pm

Speak with Sandy or Karen

Meet your Advisors!

We strive to provide holistic and comprehensive support to our students through one-on-one advising, workshops and events that focus on academic and professional planning, inspire exploration of research, internship opportunities and experiences abroad. We are committed to fostering growth, enthusiasm and pride for our International Institute majors and minors in addition to empowering our students to draw connections between their UCLA experience and their personal and professional ambitions. Our ultimate goal is to encourage our students to make a positive impact in the world both during and after their college careers as informed and responsible global citizens.



Sandy Valdivieso 

Karen Quintanilla

We can assist you with:

  • Thoughtful academic and professional planning
  • Exploration of research
  • Inspire internship opportunities and experiences abroad
  • Helping you connect your major to your career and personal goals
  • Clarifying the scope and requirements of the major or minor

Contact Us


 Virtual advising hours: Mon - Thu: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm and 2:00 - 4:00 pm | Fri: 10:00am - 12:00 pm

Office: 10270 & 10274 Bunche Hall 

 NOTE: We will not be in our physical offices until further notice.