International development studies (IDS) focuses on alleviating poverty and improving living conditions in the least developed countries. International development seeks to implement long-term, sustainable approaches to economic and social problems by developing local skills and infrastructure, building partnerships between government and private sector, and promoting education, public health, disaster preparedness, humanitarian assistance, and respect for human rights, gender equality, and environmental protection.
To prepare students to confront complex problems with many interconnected causes, SUNY Oneonta’s IDS program draws from several social science disciplines to promote participatory, holistic problem-solving that respects the rights, dignity and values of the population being served. IDS also seeks to connect distinctive, locally-specific challenges to larger global processes, so that students may adapt lessons learned in one part of the world to other places and issues.
Students are expected to develop a specialized knowledge of at least one area of the developing world and to develop strong competence in at least one language other than English. To this end, IDS majors are strongly encouraged to combine course work with immersive, first-hand experience in the developing world, usually in the form of study abroad or internships.