The Community Development specialization is designed to provide students with theoretical and applied approaches to the study of domestic and international aspects of power, policy, advocacy, and resource allocation to address issues in urban public administration.

Students will gain skills useful to professional administrators and policy experts in the area of community development through case studies and research focused on the Camden and Greater Philadelphia region.

Degree Requirements

  1. Seven Core of Common Knowledge courses (21 credits)
  2. Three Community Development Specialization courses (9 credits)
  3. Internship (3 credits; see below)
  4. Three or four Elective courses, or Elective Policy Focus (9 or 12 credits)

The degree requires 42 credits of coursework. 

Core of Common Knowledge (21 credits)

  • 56:834:501 Foundations of Policy Analysis
  • 56:834:503 Law and Public Policy
  • 56:834:515 Introduction to Public Budgeting and Finance
  • 56:834:525 Public and Nonprofit Management
  • 56:834:535 Research Methods
  • 56:834:557 Human Resources Management 
  • 56:834:675 Capstone Research Workshop – Prerequisite: all core courses

Community Development Specialization select 3 courses (9 credits)

  • 56:834:603 History and Practice of Community Development (required)
  • 56:834:608 Geographic Information Systems (required or substitute 56:834:536 Public Management Information Systems)

Select one of the following:

  • 56:834:606 Poverty Alleviation Strategies
  • 56:834:609 Politics of Community Development
  • 56:834:604 Alternative Development Strategies for Distressed Cities
  • 56:834:609 Politics of Community Development
  • 56:834:613 Immigration and Community Development

Community Development Internship (3 credits)

  • 56:834:541 Internship (unless waived by MPA Graduate Director; see policy)

Electives (9 or 12 credits)

Choose three to four courses from a list of electives or any 834 MPA classes.

Specialization Worksheet

Download a PDF of the current 2021 Community Development Specialization.

Students admitted before Summer 2020 may elect to use the requirements in place at the time of admission.