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Graduate School


Community Development

Program Coordinator

Dr. Jeff Clark


Minard Hall Rm. 428

Telephone Number

(701) 231-7637

Degrees Offered

 M.A., M.S.

Application Deadline

International application materials must be received before May 1 for the fall semester and prior to August 1 for spring and summer semesters. Domestic applications must be received at least one month prior to the start of the semester.

English Proficiency Requirements

TOEFL ibT 71

The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Emergency Management in cooperation with the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics offer a master's degree in Community Development. The degree is a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary, online program in conjunction with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA). Other institutions participating in this program include Iowa State University, Kansas State University, the University of Nebraska -Lincoln, and South Dakota State University. 

The primary audience for this program is community economic development officials and specialists already employed in the field. 

The program requires a total of 36 credit hours, including 16 credits (six courses) of Core, 15 credits in two of the four Track areas, and up to six credits of thesis. The four Track areas include Building Economic Capacity, Natural Resource Management, Working with Native Communities, and Non-profit Leadership. 

Program Objectives

The objectives of the Community Development graduate degree program are to: 

  • Increase the skills, knowledge, and competencies of community economic development officials who are currently employed and have limited opportunity to participate in an on-campus degree program.
  • Provide graduate training for individuals entering the community economic development career field who require training/degrees for career advancement.
  • Enhance the community economic development skills, knowledge, and competencies of individuals working with Native American communities, natural resource-based communities, non-profit organizations, and/or state and local government. 

Program Requirements

A total of 36 credits are required for the master's degree program. Students will write a thesis or complete a creative component (Plan B) to capstone the degree program, which will be worth six credit hours. The student's schedule of courses must be approved by the Faculty Advisor and the Campus Coordinator. Students may select either a Masters of Science (MS) or Masters of Arts (MA) option. The MA option requirement normally includes two (2) years of a foreign language. This requirement can be satisfied with undergraduate courses and/or a proficiency examination.  

Students will be required to take all of the six Core courses and an additional 15 credits selected from at least two tracks. The Core courses are: 

  • Community Development Orientation (1credit)
  • Community Development I: Principles and Strategies of Community Change (3 credits)
  • Community Development II: Organizing for Community Change (3 credits)
  • Community Analysis: Introduction to Methods (3 credits)
  • Community and Regional Economics and Analysis (3 credits)
  • Community and Natural Resource Management (3 credits)

There are presently four tracks that have been developed from which students may choose. These include:

  • Building Economic Capacity
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Working with Native Communities
  • Non-profit Leadership

A sample schedule for a student in the Building Economic Capacity track may look as follows:

Year One

Fall Term
Community Development Orientation (1 cr.)
Community Development I (3 cr.)
Community Analysis: Introduction to
Methods (3 cr.)

Spring Term
Community Development II (3 cr.)
Community and Regional Economics and Analysis (3 cr.)

Summer TeTerm
Community and Natural Resources Management (3 cr.)

Year Two

Fall Term
Economic Development and Strategies and Programs (3 cr.)
Impact Analysis (3 cr.)
Cost Benefit Analysis (3 cr.)

Spring Term
Cluster and Regional Economic Development Workshop (3 cr.)
Thesis (2 cr.)

Summer Term
Real Estate (3 cr.)
Thesis (3 cr.)

Total = 36 Credits

 For additional information:

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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NDSU Graduate School
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7033
Campus address:  106 Putnam Hall
Physical/delivery address:  NDSU Graduate School/106 Putnam Hall/1349 12th Avenue Northwest/Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address:  NDSU Dept. 2820/PO Box 6050/Fargo, ND 58108
Page manager: NDSU Graduate School

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:14:48 PM