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This exciting and complex program explores all aspects of what makes a vibrant, vital community. It integrates the human, economic, physical and organizational aspects for a big-picture approach to community revitalization with sustainability, service and social justice leading the way. This program benefits from our long relationship with the city of Detroit, which becomes your extended and ever-changing classroom.



Great Things At Detroit Mercy

  • Small class sizes—our average student-to-teacher ratio is 11:1; that means plenty of individualized attention aimed at making sure our students succeed.
  • In the tradition of our Jesuit and Mercy sponsors, Detroit Mercy offers a well-rounded education. We don’t just teach about community development; we create community leaders.

Your Boundless Future

A degree in Community Development leads to many career paths from social service agencies to real estate development. City and state governments recruit people who this broad-based knowledge as do private-sector companies that do consulting, banking, workforce planning and more.

View the Bureau of Labor Statistics information for this profession.


Contact Info

Virginia Stanard
Assistant Professor of Architecture

Featured Alumna

Krista Wilson Vanhoutteghem, '10

“What I really value about my architecture education and my master of community development education is…you learn not only how to design, but you learn how to think. You learn how to think through a process and really answer a tough question in multiple ways.”

Featured Faculty

Virginia Stanard, Director of the Master of Community Development Program

Stanard is a principal at City Form Detroit where her work focuses on community-based urban design and planning. Prior to joining City Form, she was an urban designer at Detroit Mercy’s Detroit Collaborative Design Center. She teaches urban design, community development and real estate development. She has a Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Design degrees from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia.

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