Admission requirements and application instructions for the Master of Professional Studies degree in Community and Economic Development.

Admission Requirements

Applications for the MPS in Community and Economic Development (CEDEV) are accepted for each academic semester. Students should apply for the semester that they wish to begin study in the graduate program. The application submission/completion deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall semester: June 15
  • Spring semester: September 30
  • Summer semester: March 15

A 3.00 grade point average (on a 4.00 scale) for the most recent two years of college/university education, or with an advanced degree from an accredited institution, is preferred for admission to the MPS program in Community and Economic Development. Applicants are preferred to have completed 3 credits in economics and 3 credits in statistics in undergraduate work.

When applying, all application materials are required by the deadline & applications cannot be reviewed until all application materials have been submitted by the applicant and received by the CEDEV program.

To complete your application to the MPS program in CEDEV, applicants are required to submit the following using Penn State's online application system:

  • Statement of purpose describing professional experiences and education, career goals, and how the Master's degree in CEDEV will enable applicant to meet their objectives
  • Current resume or vitae
  • Letters of recommendation from three references, which also must be submitted by the deadline
    • References may be of academic, professional, or character assessment.

    • The online application system allows applicants to identify the references. Please provide a valid email address for each reference listed. Each reference will receive an email with instructions detailing how to submit the recommendation letter. Please note: References will be contacted via the online system only after the application has been submitted by the applicant.

    • If references prefer to mail or email letters of recommendation directly to us, they may do so via email at or mail at the address provided below. References must be identified within the online application system even if they will not utilize the system to provide the recommendation letter. The applicant is responsible for contacting their references, and requesting the letters of recommendation.
  • Submission of official transcripts/documents (for institutions outside the U.S. documents may include marksheets, record of courses, degree/study certificate, original diploma, etc) from all post-secondary institutions attended and official English translation if the language of instruction is not English).
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, if applicable. TOEFL scores must be submitted by all international applicants unless otherwise specified. Please see the Language Proficiency section of the International Students page of the Penn State Graduate School website for graduate program requirements. Visit the TOEFL Web site or call 609-771-7100 for more information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
  • $65 nonrefundable application fee

How to Apply

To begin your application, please visit the Graduate School Portal . On the "Campus, Major, Degree & Semester" page select "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus and "COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT" as the major.

"Really great--love everything about the program."
Jason Peirce, CEDEV MPS student

Requirements listed here are in addition to general Graduate School requirements stated in the General Information section of the Graduate Bulletin. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted to the program. Official GRE or GMAT test scores are NOT required for application to the CEDEV MPS program.

Upon submission of a completed application (i.e. receipt of all admission items noted above by the semester deadline), the application is reviewed by the faculty of the graduate program and The Graduate School at Penn State. Applicants may anticipate receiving an admission decision within 6 weeks of submission of a completed application. For questions about the application process, please contact us or review the "Frequently Asked Questions" for the application and admission process.

Nondegree admission to the Penn State Graduate School

Individuals may also take courses in the MPS program prior to formal application and admission to the degree program. If you wish to take graduate courses prior to application to the degree program, you may seek admission to The Graduate School as a nondegree student. If you elect to enter Penn State as a graduate nondegree student, you must realize that no more than 15 credits of course work accumulated in nondegree status can count toward a graduate degree. However, admission as a nondegree student does not guarantee admission to a graduate degree or certificate program. To apply to The Graduate School as a nondegree student, please begin your application at the Graduate School Portal.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the CEDEV Graduate Program at or (814) 865-6223.

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