The Master of Public Affairs (MPA)

Community & Economic Development Concentration

Does your work involve community and economic development activities? Are you interested in knowing more about the role of public and nonprofit management in community and economic development? Do you want to focus your Masters coursework and incorporate practical community and economic development applications?

If so, then the concentration in Community and Economic Development might be right for you.


The curriculum should prepare all students to understand:

  • Community factors influencing development and growth
  • Issues, policy alternatives, and strategies related to economic development
  • Urban planning and economic development policy in the context of urban political systems
  • The theory and practice of urban planning and community and economic development

Course Requirements: Successful completion of this concentration requires the completion of 15 semester hours (as part of the MPA curriculum). The MPA degree requires 40 semester hours, 43 for students who require an internship. The required graduate-level courses for the concentration include:

Required Courses:

  • PSC 520 — Urban Political Systems
  • PSC 620 — Urban Development Policy
  • PSC 630 — Community & Economic Development Theory & Practice
  • PSC 511J – Legal Issues in Public Administration (1 hour)


Students must choose one course from the following courses in the Geography Department:

  • GES 602  – Urban Planning
  • GES 603 –  Understanding GIS
  • GES 632 –  Geography of Livable Cities


Students may take additional one-credit or three-credit courses in the MPA or Geography offerings to complete the elective course work for the concentration.

Students who do not have prior relevant professional work experience will be required to complete an internship.