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. Students can also incorporate an advanced certificate into their degree program and earn a second credential.

Program Design

This 30 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

  • CAED 6005 - Policy Process
  • PPOL 6030 - Public Policy Analysis
  • CAED 6010 - Principles of Community and Economic Development 
  • CAED 6040 - Stakeholder-sensitive Business Models
  • PPOL 6020 - Research Methods
  • CAED 7010 - Final Project - Professional Project

Elective Courses and Final Project

Students choose four elective courses (12 credits) to reflect their interests and to reinforce the individual focus of their degree. They are encouraged to use electives to build a concentration around their 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 students with an opportunity to integrate the learning acquired in this program and apply that learning in addressing a community problem or issue. Typically, the final project takes the form of a policy memorandum although other formats may be possible with the permission of the academic division chair.