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Master's in Community Development | Office | Website


The Master's in Community Development is a 36-credit-hour program. Full-time and part-time students are welcome to apply. The core curriculum will be taught in an evening, weekend or other intensive format geared toward working adults.

Part-time students can expect to graduate after two to three years. Concentration electives offered in UDM Schools and Colleges provide and opportunity for students to attend full time.

Why Choose UDM’s MCD Program?
The Master's in Community Development program is the only program to offer these distinctive features:

The MCD program is a one-of-a-kind program, not found anywhere else in the United States. Other degree programs concentrate on just one aspect or characteristic of community development, while UDM’s integrated program emphasizes a comprehensive approach.

The MCD program is an innovative educational model designed to support the career needs of a broad range of individuals working in the community development field.

The MCD program integrates the human, economic, physical and organizational aspects of community development for a holistic approach in developing viable communities.

The MCD program incorporates input from professionals in community development resulting in a program that combines theory with practical application.

The MCD program utilizes faculty expertise from across academic units to provide a broad, interdisciplinary foundation for creating livable communities.

The MCD program, located in the center of Detroit, focuses on the development of marginalized communities within an urban context. It provides local activists an easily accessible program to address Detroit’s social and physical condition.

The MCD program is designed for part-time students who work full time. However, the course curriculum also allows students to attend full time to complete the program quicker.

The MCD program prepares graduates for a variety of leadership roles in community development, including municipal government, non-profit organizations, social services agencies, and real estate development.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions criteria and process
Applicants applying to the Master in Community Development program should have a minimum GPA of 3.0* in a bachelor’s or master’s degree program from an accredited institution. To be considered for admission, a candidate must complete the graduate application for evaluation by MCD faculty. The application consists of:

  • Transcripts from an accredited institution in a bachelor's or master's program
  • Letter of interest, which includes ranking order of interest in MCD concentrations
  • Current resume, illustrating excellence and accomplishment in academic, extra curricular, service and/or professional endeavors
  • Two letters of recommendation from employers and/or faculty
  • Test scores (GRE, GMAT, TOFEL etc.) are not mandatory, but will be considered.

Additional requirements include:

  • A group interview, facilitated by two MCD faculty/administration members, to determine the applicant’s contribution to a unique learning environment
  • An essay exam will determine English language and writing skills

*Professional accomplishments in a related field will be considered in addition to GPA.

For more information
Contact the Admissions Office at (313) 993-3289 for more information.

Degree Requirements

The MCD curriculum has four elements: an intensive introduction program, a core curriculum, a program of concentrations and a capstone course. "Introduction to Community Development" provides an overview of the four concentrations, while the remaining core curriculum explores more complex issues in contemporary community development, including diversity, social justice, regional and global issues and trends. The total credit hour requirement is 36 credit hours.

Introduction to Community Development, 2 credit hours
MCD 5010 Introduction to Community Development 2

Core Curriculum, 18 credit hours
MCD 5020 Introduction to Economic Development 3
MCD 5040 Introduction to Human Development 3
MCD 5060 Introduction to Physical Development 3
MCD 5080 Introduction to Organizational Development 3
MCD 5100 Diversity and Multi-Culturalism in Community Development 2
MCD 5120 Environmental, Social and Economic Justice 2
MCD 5140 Regional Development + Sustainability 2

Concentrations, 12 credit hours

Human Development
This area of study emphasizes the relationship between people and their social and physical environment. Students study human interactions, by people of all ages that take place in community settings such as the home, the school and the neighborhood. Community needs assessment and social service requirements are part of this concentration. Courses include:

CNS 5360 Counseling Services: Organization & Administration
EDU 5140 Society and Education
EDU 5820 School / Community Relations
HLH 5320 Health Promotion and Risk Reduction
HLH 5700 Health Care Delivery & Policy Issues
PYC 5020 Lifespan Development
RELS 5480 Justice

Economic Development
This area of study emphasizes the complex role of economics in community development. Students study an array of issues including job creation, business development and entrepreneurship and their impact on communities. Courses include:

ECN 5100 Economic Analysis
ECN 5220 The Economics of Cities in Metropolitan Areas
ECN 5450 Economics of the Public Sector
ECN 5790 Economic Development
MBA 5160 Foundations of Marketing
MBA 5620 Entrepreneurship
RELS 5430 Ethics and Economic Theories

Physical Development
This area of study emphasizes the man-made environment and its importance to the creation of community. Students study planning and design issues, ecological criteria of design, real estate development and the physical elements that help create a sense of place and identity in the community. Courses include:

ARCH 5180 Urban Design Issues
ARCH 5290 Real Estate Development Practicum
ARCH 5970 Urban Public Policy & Politics
ARCH 5980 Revitalizing the Core: Historic Preservation
ARCH 5980 Introduction to Urban Design & Development
ARCH 5980 Social Justice in Design
SEC 5240 Crime Prevention through Environmental Design

Organizational Development
This area of study emphasizes how communities can organize to address their human, economic and physical conditions. Students study organizational funding and financing, transformational leadership, organizing volunteer services and working with governmental agencies to create community change. Courses include:

MBA 5210 Personal Development and Social Responsibility
MBA 5250 Organizational Process and Leadership
MBA 5680 Diversity in Management and Marketing
MBA 5850 Organizational Development and Change
PYC 5700 Issues in Industrial / Organizational Psychology
PYC 5740 Training and Development
PYC 5760 Multi-Cultural Issues and Race Relations in Work

Capstone - 4 Credits

Capstone Preparation

MCD 5900 Capstone Preparation 1


MCD 5950 Capstone Project 3

Financial Aid

Graduate stipends are also available for students in the MCD program. Students who are research or teaching assistants can expect to receive additional stipend funding.

Students are also encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The UDM federal school code is 002323. It is highly recommended that students apply for financial aid at the beginning of the admissions process.

For more information on applying for financial aid, visit the UDM financial aid web site.

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