Master in Community Development


Program Description

Why Get A Master’s Degree in Community Development at the Carsey School?

Our community development policy and practice degree will prepare you for building and sustaining strong communities through integration and collaboration across sectors — housing, health, finance, business development, jobs and more. This innovative program will give you the skills, know-how, connections, and ideas to promote progress in communities across the United States and the globe.

Why Choose the Carsey School’s Community Development Program?

At the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy, you’ll learn from seasoned practitioners in economics, finance, organizational management, health and safety, environmental factors and more. This program combines a rich, in-person learning experience with the convenience of interactive online coursework. Highlights include hands-on learning through an applied, yearlong capstone project in your community, professional networking that continues beyond graduation with respected experts across disciplines, including faculty and peers, and completing your degree in as little as 14 months. All degree paths include two-week summer terms on the Durham campus, with fall through spring terms offered online.

Potential Careers

  • Community organizer
  • Fundraising/development
  • Government agency management
  • Nongovernmental management
  • Nonprofit management
  • Policy advocate
  • Program administrator
  • Project manager


Program Description

The Community Development Policy and Practice program prepares you to tackle complex community development issues by engaging with leading experts and academics in a program designed for working professionals like you. You will learn from seasoned practitioners in subjects ranging from economics and finance to organizational management and environmental factors in development.

  • Gain hands-on learning through an applied yearlong capstone project in your community;
  • Connect with respected field experts across disciplines, including faculty and peers;
  • Graduate in 14 months (full-time) to 24 months (part-time), whichever works best for your schedule.

Program Delivery and Location

Academic courses are offered in-person on the University of New Hampshire Durham campus over two brief (2 ½-week), summer terms and online fall through spring, allowing students to carry out their capstone projects at the location of their chosen community.

Academic Requirements for the Program

Students enrolled in the Master in Community Development program are required to complete a thirty-six (36) credit program, consisting of twelve (12) courses and a yearlong capstone project:

  • Five (5) Core Curriculum Courses
  • Four (4) Experiential Learning Courses
  • Three (3) Elective Courses

These provide the foundational analytic, strategic, and practical skills for a successful career in community development, all levels of government, nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, foundations, businesses, and research institutes. This program will examine each of the core disciplinary areas within the cross-cutting lenses of theory, policy, data collection, and analysis as students directly apply what they learn through a yearlong, capstone project in their communities. Further opportunities for depth and specialization are provided through a variety of elective courses that vary each year.

Application Checklist

Transcripts: One official transcript should be sent directly to the University of New Hampshire’s Graduate School from each institution you attended for at least 2 semesters. All submitted transcripts must be in English.

Personal Statement: This should be a clear, concise statement of your relevant past experiences, including academics, research, and/or work experience. The statement should also include an expression of interests and an explanation of your goals in pursuing your graduate degree.

3 Letters of Recommendation: These should include academic and professional references. References from family or friends are not accepted.

Resume: Please include relevant job experience(s), skills, and education.

  • The GRE is not required.
  • Official TOEFL iBT (80+) or IELTS (6.5+). If an international applicant’s previous education was in English and they can provide documentation demonstrating their written facility with the English language, a TOEFL waiver can be requested.


Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

The Carsey School is nationally recognized for policy education, research, and bringing people together for thoughtful dialogue to address important societal challenges. To its core, the Carsey School ... Read More

The Carsey School is nationally recognized for policy education, research, and bringing people together for thoughtful dialogue to address important societal challenges. To its core, the Carsey School is about making positive change. Our students gain the skills to start and build impactful careers, learning from both leading scholars and leading practitioners in policy, community development, and public management. Our faculty and staff engage communities, advise policymakers, and convene public discussions. Read less