Graduate Certificates

The Urban and Economic Development Certificate

  • Workplace demands requiring you to keep more up to date?
  • Want to learn more about community development and planning?
  • Interested in knowing more about factors influencing economic growth and development?
  • Want to understand what contributes to the preservation of the quality of life in urban areas?
  • Need to be more responsive to the changing job market?
  • Want to be more prepared for professional opportunities in planning or public management?

If so, then the Certificate in Urban and Economic Development may be for you! This certificate is jointly offered by the Political Science department and the Geography department. Successful completion of the certificate will require a total of 18 semester hours.

Features of the certificate:

  • Course work focused on real world applications
  • 18 credit hours of course work that can be completed within three semesters of at your own pace
  • Evening classes
  • Interdisciplinary learning opportunities


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: There are four required graduate-level courses (12 hours) and two required elective courses (6 hours).

Core Courses (12 semester hours):

Geography (6 hours, choice of 2 courses):

  • GES 602 – Urban Planning
  • GES 605 – Regional Planning
  • GES 632 – Geography of Livable Cities

Political Science (6 hours, choice of 2 courses):

  • PSC 520 – Urban Political Systems
  • PSC 620 – Urban and Regional Development Policy
  • PSC 630 –  Community & Economic Development

Elective Courses (6 semester hours — choice of 2 of the following):

  • GES 603 – Understanding GIS
  • GES 605 – Regional Planning
  • GES 622 –  GIS Applications in Urban Planning
  • GES 631 – Transportation Planning
  • PSC 613 – Local Government Administration
  • PSC 511D – Strategic Planning *
  • PSC 511G – Grantwriting *
  • PSC 511P – Program Evaluation *

* online one credit courses


The following must be submitted to the Graduate School by July 1 (fall semester); November 15 (spring), or April 1 (summer):

  • an application form (see the Graduate School website: )
  • a transcript (bachelor’s and/or master’s degree) from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Urban & Economic Development Supplemental:  Your personal statement about your career and educational goals
  • three letters of recommendation
  • a resume

Standardized test scores are not required.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the certificate specific undergraduate majors or course work are not required for admission.

Relationship to the MPA Program:

This program allows students without an MPA degree who enroll in the certificate program to apply to the MPA program, and receive 12 hours of credit toward the degree. However, satisfactory completion of the certificate program does not guarantee admission to the MPA program. All other admission criteria, including transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation and a supplemental application would have to be completed by the applicant and reviewed by the faculty. Admitted students would have to complete the MPA degree within five years from the beginning of the certificate enrollment to the completion of the degree.

CIP Code: UED: 45.1001

UNCG OPEID # 002976

Credential Level: 04

SOC Codes: 21-1099.00/11-9151.00/19.3051.00/19-4061.01/19-3094.00 

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