Community Development Policy and Practice MA

Master in Community Development Policy and Practice (M.A.)

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The Carsey School's Masters in Community Development program puts you in the driver's seat of your own capstone project, directly applying what you learn in the classroom to an on-the-ground project in your community. Learn best practices and the universal skills and tools for creating sustainable change in any community. You’ll discover the importance of community development programs and gain a future-focused understanding of how to build and implement them.

Courses: 12/Credit Hours: 36   |    Program Length: 14 Months

Why get a master’s degree in community development policy and practice?

Our M.A. in Community Development (MCD) will equip you for a myriad of careers and jobs while preparing you through real-world training and connecting you to community-based partners. You’ll learn the basis of community engagement and establish a foundation in sustainable and effective community development practices while learning to apply these skills across different sectors, including housing, health, finance, business development and more.

Why choose UNH’s graduate program in community development?

Through our MCD degree program, you’ll learn from seasoned practitioners in economics, finance, organizational management, health and safety, and sustainable development. You’ll develop effective engagement and problem-solving techniques while working directly with a community in a yearlong capstone project. You’ll also grow your professional network, connecting with respected experts across disciplines and continents. Designed for working professionals, this community development program enables you to earn your degree in just 14 months.

Potential career areas

  • Affordable Housing
  • Community and economic development
  • Fundraising
  • Nongovernmental organization (NGO) management
  • Nonprofit management
  • Policy analysis
  • Project management

Contact

Daniel Bromberg

Director of Academic Programs
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Phone: (603) 862-0798
Office: Political Science, Horton Social Science Center Rm 321, Durham, NH 03824

Request Information




Curriculum & Requirements

The MA in Community Development Policy and Practice program (MCD degree) prepares you for a career in community and economic development. In this graduate school community development program, you will tackle real-world situations through a capstone project and 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 public health factors in development.

  • Gain effective community development skills and tools 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 & Location:  Academic courses are offered online or in person on the UNH Durham campus over two summer terms combined with online terms fall through spring, allowing students to carry out their capstone projects at the location of their chosen community.

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

14-MONTH MCD SAMPLE DEGREE PLAN: Summer Start (Typical)

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
SummerCredits
DPP 901 Integrative Approaches to Development Policy and Practice 3
DPP 906 Organizational Management and Leadership 3
DPP 980 Introduction to Community Development Projects 1 3
Choose 1 (or 2) MCD Elective Course(s) 2 3
 Credits12
Fall
DPP 902 Economic Analysis for Development 3
DPP 981 Project Design and Planning 1 3
 Credits6
January Term
DPP 990 Independent Study 2,3 3
 Credits3
Spring
DPP 905 Fiscal Management for Development Organizations 3
DPP 982 Project Implementation and Monitoring 1 3
 Credits6
Second Year
Summer
DPP 908 Policy Seminar 3
DPP 983 Project Evaluation 1 3
Choose 1 (or 2) MCD Elective Course(s) 2 3
 Credits9
 Total Credits36

 18-MONTH MCD SAMPLE DEGREE PLAN: Spring Start

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
SpringCredits
DPP 905 Fiscal Management for Development Organizations 3
 Credits3
Summer
DPP 901 Integrative Approaches to Development Policy and Practice 3
DPP 906 Organizational Management and Leadership 3
DPP 980 Introduction to Community Development Projects 1 3
Choose 1 (or 2) MCD Elective Course(s) 2 3
 Credits12
Fall
DPP 902 Economic Analysis for Development 3
DPP 981 Project Design and Planning 1 3
 Credits6
January Term
DPP 990 Independent Study 2,3 3
 Credits3
Second Year
Spring
DPP 982 Project Implementation and Monitoring 1 3
 Credits3
Summer
DPP 908 Policy Seminar 3
DPP 983 Project Evaluation 1 3
Choose 1 (or 2) MCD Elective Course(s) 2 3
 Credits9
 Total Credits36

 24-MONTH MCD SAMPLE DEGREE PLAN: Summer Start

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
SummerCredits
DPP 901 Integrative Approaches to Development Policy and Practice 3
DPP 906 Organizational Management and Leadership 3
DPP 980 Introduction to Community Development Projects 1 3
Choose 1 (or 2) MCD Elective Course(s) 2 3
 Credits12
Fall
DPP 981 Project Design and Planning 1 3
 Credits3
January Term
DPP 990 Independent Study 2,3 3
 Credits3
Spring
DPP 982 Project Implementation and Monitoring 1 3
 Credits3
Second Year
Summer
DPP 908 Policy Seminar 3
DPP 983 Project Evaluation 1 3
Choose 1 (or 2) MCD Elective Course(s) 2 3
 Credits9
Fall
DPP 902 Economic Analysis for Development 3
 Credits3
Spring
DPP 905 Fiscal Management for Development Organizations 3
 Credits3
 Total Credits36

 24-MONTH MCD SAMPLE DEGREE PLAN: Fall Start

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
DPP 902 Economic Analysis for Development 3
 Credits3
Spring
DPP 905 Fiscal Management for Development Organizations 3
 Credits3
Summer
DPP 901 Integrative Approaches to Development Policy and Practice 3
DPP 906 Organizational Management and Leadership 3
DPP 980 Introduction to Community Development Projects 1 3
Choose 1 (or 2) MCD Elective Course(s) 2 3
 Credits12
Second Year
Fall
DPP 981 Project Design and Planning 1 3
 Credits3
January Term
DPP 990 Independent Study 2,3 3
 Credits3
Spring
DPP 982 Project Implementation and Monitoring 1 3
 Credits3
Summer
DPP 908 Policy Seminar 3
DPP 983 Project Evaluation 1 3
Choose 1 (or 2) MCD Elective Course(s) 2 3
 Credits9
 Total Credits36

NOTES:

Students enrolled in the Carsey School's MA in Community Development Policy and Practice program (MCD degree) are required to complete a 36 credit program, consisting of 12 courses and a yearlong capstone project:

  • Five (5) CORE Curriculum Courses
  • Four (4) EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING Courses
  • Three (3) ELECTIVE Courses

These provide the applied foundational community and economic development skills in strategy, practice, and analysis for a successful career in community development. In this program, students will examine each of the core interdisciplinary areas within the cross-cutting lenses of public policy, data collection, and analysis as students directly apply what they learn in the classroom through a yearlong, capstone project centered on community engagement for sustainable development. Further opportunities for depth and specialization are provided through a variety of elective courses which vary each year as well as the opportunity to conduct independent studies to delve deeper into a specific aspect of a student's community or capstone project.

CORE Required Courses (5 Courses)
DPP 901Integrative Approaches to Development Policy and Practice3
DPP 902Economic Analysis for Development3
DPP 905Fiscal Management for Development Organizations3
DPP 906Organizational Management and Leadership3
DPP 908Policy Seminar3
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING Courses (4 Courses) 1
DPP 980Introduction to Community Development Projects3
DPP 981Project Design and Planning3
DPP 982Project Implementation and Monitoring3
DPP 983Project Evaluation3
ELECTIVE Courses: Choose Three (3) Courses 29
Total Credits36

Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: March 15 (for Carsey School Scholarship); July 1 (preferred); Aug. 15 (final)
  • Spring: Dec. 15
  • Summer: April 15
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: Not Needed

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Letters should include academic and professional references.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions:

Please note that when applying to the Public Policy and Analytics Dual Degree program you will need to provide a combined personal statement - one that addresses the Public Policy program and one that focuses on the Analytics program. This one is for Public Policy. This should be a clear, concise statement of the applicant’s relevant past experiences, including academics, research, and/or work experience. The statement should also include an expression of interests and an explanation of the student’s goals in pursuing a master's degree.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Resume

Resume is optional but recommended.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

This master's program is a hybrid of online and in person courses. Fall through spring terms are online and summer terms are in person.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are strongly encouraged to contact Carsey Admissions prior to starting their application and to apply as early as possible to insure visa’s and other necessary paperwork are received in a timely manner. All international applicants are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. Please note that English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

After acceptance of admission into the program, international students will receive an email from the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS). This email will ask you to complete a form online and upload necessary documents such as a passport, proof of financial support and other pertinent information. International students will also be required to purchase Travel Health Insurance if medical coverage for travel within the United States is not provided by your organization (must include: medical evacuation and repatriation). For information on additional international student requirements and documents that may be needed, please consult the UNH International Students website.

Note: international applicants are not required to complete a preapplication for this program.

Explore Program Details

Application

When can I start the Masters in Community Development program and what are the application deadlines?

Applicants can apply to start in the summer, fall, or spring terms, by the following deadlines:

Summer Term Start:      March 15th (for Carsey School Scholarship); May 1st (final)
Fall Term Start:               July 1st (preferred); August 15th (final)
Spring Term Start:         December 15th

International students are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure visas and other necessary paperwork are obtained in a timely manner. Please contact Sanjeev Sharma, Admissions and Academic Advising, with any questions or to discuss your academic plan.

How do I apply to the Master of Community Development?

All applications are submitted online through the University of New Hampshire Graduate School. Instructions, link to the online application, and list of required documents can be found on the Graduate School’s Application site. If you are unable to apply online, contact Sanjeev.Sharma@unh.edu or 603-862-1871.

I am an International applicant. How do I apply to the program and attend the on campus summer term? 

All information about the application process for international students, including visas, is available on the UNH Graduate School International Student site.  Because of the short duration of the on campus summer term, a pre-application is not required.

What do you look for in an applicant?

The Master of Community Development looks for applicants who have the proven academic ability to complete a rigorous course of study and ideally one or more years of relevant experience. We evaluate all candidates based on the following criteria: the personal statement, résumé/curriculum vitae, transcripts of prior college and/or graduate schoolwork, and letters of recommendation.

The personal statement is the single most important part of the application. In it you should clearly demonstrate your interest in the program and how it fits into your specific career goals. It 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 a master’s degree.

Do you accept applicants directly from undergraduate school? 

Individuals with very strong academic records who have also had significant internship and/or study abroad experience may be accepted.

What is your GRE policy?

The GRE is not required but can be submitted, if desired.

An international student must submit proof of competency in English. Applicants currently attending an English-speaking graduate school are not exempt. Competency in English can be demonstrated by the following methods:

  • Taking the TOEFL and receiving a minimum score of 550 on the paper test or 213 on the computer-based test or 80 on the iBT. For more information, visit the ETS web page.
  • Taking and submitting results from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a score no less than 6.5. For more information, visit the IELTS website.

Tuition and Payment

I have a sponsor who will be covering the tuition of my program. How should they make payments? 

Please view tuition costs on our Funding Your Education webpage. Students receiving sponsorship by government agencies, companies, or other third parties should forward notices, bill authorizations, or other evidence of the sponsorships on official letterhead to: 

UNH Business Services 
Attention: Third-Party Billing 
11 Garrison Avenue 
Durham, NH 03824 

Full details and instructions can be found on the UNH Business Services Payment Methods webpage

Financial Aid

Does this program offer any scholarships? 

The Carsey School of Public Policy offers a limited number of needs-based partial tuition scholarships to students who have submitted the online application to the Master in Community Development Policy and Practice program. In order to be considered for a Carsey School Scholarship, please complete and submit your Online Scholarship Application Form by March 15. Applicants will be notified if they qualify for an award within two to three weeks after submitting a completed application. We also encourage students who are awarded a scholarship to leverage their award by seeking additional funding opportunities from other sources.

What happens to my Carsey Scholarship award if I need to defer? 

Carsey Scholarships based on financial need are considered and awarded to individuals for the program year of application. If an admitted student who has been awarded a Carsey Scholarship needs to defer his/her start date due to financial reasons, their scholarship application will also be deferred and given priority reconsideration for the new program start date.

What alternative funding opportunities are available? 

We strongly encourage you to look into other outside scholarship opportunities from organizations such as the World Bank, Fulbright, the Ford Foundation, or the American Association of University Women (among others).  Domestic students are eligible for both private and federal loans. More detailed information can be found on the UNH Grad School’s Financial Aid webpage or at Tuition Management Systems.

What if I am waiting to hear about an outside scholarship and cannot submit all the requirements? 

If you are unable to submit all of the documentation necessary to hold your space in the class, please contact Sanjeev.Sharma@unh.edu promptly to provide details of your situation so that he can advise you on the best way to proceed.

Students who have successfully completed the Semester in the City program through the College For Social Innovation are eligible to receive a $5,000 education award towards their degree at Carsey. Apply towards the MPA, MPP, or MCD degrees.
City Year corps members and alumni are eligible to receive up to $7,000 in tuition through Carsey's City Year Alumni University Partnership program. Apply towards the MPA, MPP, or MCD degrees.
AmeriCorps Alumni are eligible to receive one full-time Segal AmeriCorps Education Award match – which when combined with the Segal Award can amount up to 50% in tuition to the Carsey School. Apply towards the MPA, MPP, or MCD degrees.
Eligible employees and board members of OFN and OFN Member CDFIs may receive a $2,500 education award toward their Carsey degree. Apply toward the Master in Community Development program only.
Employees and board members of NeighborWorks® and NeighborWorks® member organizations may be eligible for up to $2,500, and students who have earned a NeighborWorks® Professional Certificate may be eligible to receive up to 6 graduate-level credits (2 courses), toward the MCD program only.
Students who have achieved a Professional Certification from the National Development Council can receive up to 6 graduate-level credits (2 courses) toward their degree when enrolled at Carsey. Apply toward the Master in Community Development program only.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) employees may receive up to$5,000 in education awards, as well as a $3,500 in tuition reimbursement per calendar year from LISC while enrolled at Carsey. Apply toward the Master in Community Development program only.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who enroll via the Coverdell Fellows program are eligible to receive an $8,000 education award. Apply towards the MPA, MPP, or MCD degrees.
City of Concord employees may be eligible for up to $5,000 in education awards in a matching scholarship available between the Carsey School and the City of Concord. Apply towards the MPA, MPP, or MCD degrees.

Electives are available in many substantive areas. Topics and courses are added on a continuing basis. In addition, independent studies with leading experts can be arranged to match specialized student interests.

Students may propose additional electives if those electives make sense in terms of the student’s interests and academic plan. Discussion with an academic advisor should inform this choice.


Elective Courses are offered in many Substantive Areas, including:

  • Balancing Resource Management, Land Use and Development
  • Community Development Finance
  • Community Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Current Issues in Microfinance and Microenterprise Development
  • Environmental Sciences and Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities and Development
  • Environmental Sustainability and Development
  • Financing Development
  • Global Health
  • Housing Development
  • Independent Study
  • Negotiation Strategies
  • Nuts and Bolts of Microfinance
  • Public Safety and Community Development
  • Sexuality and HIV/SIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Social Enterprise
  • Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
  • Sustainable Engineering for Development Practice
  • Workforce Development

Departments throughout UNH offer Elective Courses, including:

  • Analytics
  • Business Administration
  • Education
  • Health Policy and Management
  • History
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Natural Resources
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • UNH School of Law
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Get the Facts

December 15

Spring Semester
Deadline to Apply

 

89 Capstone Projects

In 25 Countries on 5 Continents

 

6:1

Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Capstone Project Courses