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Academic Programs in Urban Planning and Related Fields
Penn State World Campus
Master of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development (Online)

The quality of life in communities around the world depends on well-trained, highly educated leaders and professionals who understand the theory and practice of community and economic development. If you currently work with, or are interested in working with, communities, community organizations and stakeholders, or on a range of community and economic development issues at the local, regional, or national levels, this program is for you.

Penn State offers two online programs in community and economic development for professionals seeking to expand their knowledge and skills, and for those interested in a new career in community and economic development:

Community and Economic Development (Master of Professional Studies)

This 30-credit interdisciplinary master of professional studies program draws on the community and economic development expertise of faculty in Penn State's Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education. It was developed in response to a request from community development professionals for advanced training in theory, practice, and techniques in a community setting.

Community and Economic Development (Graduate Certificate)

The Graduate Certificate in Community and Economic Development introduces key concepts and practical strategies useful to those who are new to the field and those who have experience working with communities or development-related institutions. The 15 credits in the certificate program can be applied to the Master of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development.

Why Choose Penn State?

Since its founding in 1855, Penn State has established itself as one of the nation's most respected universities. Penn State is a pioneer in distance education, with a support system designed specifically for students who are not located on physical campuses.

All courses in the CEDEV programs are taught by professors who are active researchers and professionals in the field, providing you with a balance of academic expertise and real-world experience. You can expect the same high-quality, academically challenging courses as those taught in the classroom, and you gain the convenience of studying whenever and wherever you want

The CEDEV curriculum will help you develop critical thinking about:

  • effective decision-making in communities
  • evaluating causes and consequences of economic and population change
  • job creation, retention, and expansion, and entrepreneurship
  • citizen participation
  • land use and sustainable development
  • community structure and processes that affect development and well-being

Students say that course work in this program has immediate application to their career, elected office, or volunteer activities, and has helped them make their communities stronger, more sustainable, and better places to live and work.

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