School for Graduate Studies

Master of Arts in Community and Economic Development

The Master of Arts in Community and Economic Development incorporates two distinct bodies of theory and practice: economic development and community development.  It focuses on the importance of linking these two concepts in a model that integrates the development of social capital and community capacity with the economic development of the community. After a broad examination of the public policy process, students will examine theoretical development concepts, as well as approaches that real communities have used in an effort to produce positive economic outcomes, as well as improvement in the quality of life of their members. It culminates with a final project that provides the opportunity to examine in depth a community development problem or issue.

Program Design

This 36 credit hour program is taught through online instruction. It includes a broad examination of the public policy process, students will examine theoretical development concepts, as well as approaches that real communities have used in an effort to produce positive economic outcomes, as well as improvement in the quality of life of their members. It culminates with a final project that provides the opportunity to examine in depth a community development problem or issue.

Prerequisites

In addition to a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college/university, applicants must have undergraduate level courses in statistics (3 credits) and macroeconomics (3 credits) or their equivalent to be considered for admission.

Required Courses

  • Policy Process
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Principles of Community and Economic Development 
  • Stakeholder Sensitive Business Models
  • Ethics and Community Leadership
  • Research Methodology
  • Final Project Design

Elective Courses and Final Project

You choose four elective courses (12 credits) to reflect your interests and to reinforce the individual focus of your degree. You are encouraged to use your electives to build a concentration around your final project topic. Many students choose to incorporate one of the advanced certificates into their master’s degree as their focus area.

The final project will focus on some aspect of community and economic development. This provides you with an opportunity to integrate the learning acquired in this program and apply that learning in the development of a relevant project or community plan, in working for an organization or agency in a practicum related to community development, or in the completion of a theoretical study.

Advanced Certificate Options

More Information

Have Questions?

If you are unsure which graduate program is most appropriate for your educational goals, please contact the School for Graduate Studies at 800-847-3000, ext. 2429 or grad@esc.edu, or attend one of our online or in-person information sessions