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 for professional administrators and policy experts in the area of community development through case studies and research focused on the Camden and Greater Philadelphia region.

For information, contact the MPA Graduate Program Director Dr. Michael Hayes at

Degree Requirements

  1. Seven Core of Common Knowledge courses (21 credits)
  2. Three Community Development Specialization courses (9 credits)
  3. Internship (3 credits; or waiver)
  4. Three Elective courses (9 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:

  • 56:834:539 Race and Public Administration
  • 56:834:606 Poverty Alleviation Strategies
  • 56:834:604 Solidarity Economy
  • 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 credits)

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

Specialization Worksheet

Download a PDF of the current 2021 Community Development Specialization.