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Master's in Community Development | Office | Website


The Master's of 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 intensive format geared toward working adults.

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

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

Why Choose UDM’s MCD Program?
The Master's of Community Development is a one-of-a-kind program not found anywhere else in the United States. While other degree programs concentrate on just one aspect of community development, UDM's integrated program emphasizes a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach.

The MCD program offers the following distinctive features:

An innovative educational model designed to support the career needs of a broad range of individuals working in the community development field.

Integrated human, economic, physical and organizational aspects of community development for a holistic approach to developing viable communities.

A program that combines theory with practical application through partnerships with professionals in community development.

Faculty expertise from across academic units to provide a broad, interdisciplinary foundation for creating livable communities.

The MCD program, located in Detroit, focuses on the development of marginalized communities within an urban context, while providing local activists an easily accessible program to address Detroit’s social and physical condition. The program prepares others to work in communities facing similar issues.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions criteria and process
Applicants to the Master's of 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 a bachelor's or master's program at an accredited institution.
  • Letter of interest, which includes ranking order of interest in the 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 may include:

  • An interview, facilitated with 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 five elements: an intensive introduction, a core curriculum including seminar classes and skills workshops, a program of concentrations, and a capstone project. "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. MCD workshops are designed to develop skill sets in areas such as community needs assessment, grant-writing, Geographic Information System (GIS), and presentation. 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, 19 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 Multiculturalism in Community Development 2
MCD 5120 Environmental, Social and Economic Justice 2
MCD 5140 Regional Development + Sustainability 2
MCD 5200* MCD Skills Workshops 1
During the course of the MCD program, students must complete three MCD program workshops of their choice focused on useful skills for working in a community development setting. Topics may vary.

Concentrations, 9 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. Social and human services needs assessment is included in this concentration. Suggested courses include:

CNS 5360 Counseling Services: Organization & Administration 3
EDU 5140 Society and Education 3
EDU 5820 School / Community Relations 3
HLH 5320 Health Promotion and Risk Reduction 3
HLH 5700 Health Care Delivery & Policy Issues 3
PYC 5020 Lifespan Development 3
RELS 5480 Justice 3

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. Suggested courses include:

ECN 5100 Economic Analysis 3
ECN 5220 The Economics of Cities in Metropolitan Areas 3
ECN 5450 Economics of the Public Sector 3
ECN 5790 Economic Development 3
MBA 5160 Foundations of Marketing 3
MBA 5620 Entrepreneurship 3
RELS 5430 Ethics and Economic Theories 3

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. Suggested courses include:

ARCH 5180 Urban Design Issues 3
ARCH 5290 Real Estate Development Practicum 3
ARCH 5970 Urban Public Policy & Politics 3
ARCH 5980 Revitalizing the Core: Historic Preservation 3
ARCH 5980 Introduction to Urban Design & Development 3
ARCH 5980 Social Justice in Design 3
SEC 5240 Crime Prevention through Environmental Design 3

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. Suggested courses include:

MBA 5210 Personal Development and Social Responsibility 3
MBA 5250 Organizational Process and Leadership 3
MBA 5680 Diversity in Management and Marketing 3
MBA 5850 Organizational Development and Change 3
PYC 5700 Issues in Industrial / Organizational Psychology 3
PYC 5740 Training and Development 3
PYC 5760 Multi-Cultural Issues and Race Relations in Work 3

Capstone Project - 6 Credits

Capstone Preparation

MCD 5900 Capstone Preparation 3


MCD 5950 Capstone Project 3

Financial Aid

All accepted MCD students receive a 40% tuition reduction from the graduate tuition rate.

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.

The MCD program is also approved for the State of Michigan No Worker Left Behind and Michigan Works programs.

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

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