The certificate program is designed primarily for professionals in the field who wish to expand their existing knowledge and for those who wish to learn about community and economic development. Our online certificate program requires completion of 15 graduate credits in the Community and Economic Development curriculum.

To achieve the Graduate Certificate, successful completion of 15 graduate credits (five 3-credit courses) in Community and Economic Development is required. Students may begin their coursework during any academic semester after admission to the program. Most students working full-time take only course at a time; students should plan to commit 10 to 12 hours per week per graduate course to be successful in the program.

All required courses are offered through the World Campus; a broadband Internet connection is required to participate in the courses. The certificate curriculum includes the following CEDEV courses, listed in order of recommended completion:

Required Courses Descriptions
CEDEV 500 Community and Economic Development: Theory and Practice Understanding theories, concepts, and frameworks of community and economic development and community decision-making models in application to community development practice and issues.
CEDEV 430 Principles of Local Economic Development
Concepts, strategies, and techniques of local economic analysis, planning and development; and decision making exercises. Prerequisite: introductory course in economics.
CEDEV 452 Community Structure, Processes and Capacity
Social organization, processes and change in communities; use of sociological principles in analysis of community problems and development. Prerequisite: 6 credits in rural sociology, sociology, or psychology.
CEDEV 509 Population, Land Use and Municipal Finance Understanding the interaction of population characteristics, land use, municipal funds, and taxation in a locality and how they impact the operation and management of government jurisdictions.
CEDEV 575 Methods and Techniques for Community and Economic Development Understanding and applying methods and hands-on experience with techniques used in community and economic development.

(Click on the course name to view a sample syllabus for the course.)


To enroll in a CEDEV course, please contact your academic adviser in the CEDEV Graduate Program for registration. All CEDEV courses are registered through the CEDEV Graduate Program.

Completion Requirements

Students must complete the required certificate coursework in 8 years and earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) to successfully complete the Graduate Certificate program.

All courses completed within the certificate program may be applied to the required coursework for the Master of Professional Studies degree in CEDEV upon application and admission to the MPS program. As a non-degree student, up to 15 credits may be applied to the MPS degree.

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