Information for USNH Staff

Information for USNH Staff

University System of New Hampshire staff and faculty are welcome to apply to the Master in Community Development Policy and Practice program. Our students come from many different countries and cultural backgrounds, which makes for a rare opportunity to engage with peers around complex global and domestic development issues, while studying right here in New Hampshire.

Will I be able to continue working as I study?

The program is designed for working adults who have professional and family obligations on top of their academic responsibilities. The program can be completed in 14 to 24 months and consists of 3-week in person summer terms and online terms fall through spring. Students can choose to start the program in the summer (typical) or choose to begin with the online terms in the fall or spring to suit their personal and professional schedules. Previous USNH employees have received their supervisor’s support to participate in the summer programing using a combination of work, flex-time and/or vacation time.

How do I communicate the value of the Master in Community Development Policy and Practice program to my supervisor?

Previous USNH employees have emphasized the skills they would gain in project design, implementation, management, and evaluation and the additional credibility and career growth that come with a master’s degree. Additionally this is an applied program, requiring a yearlong capstone project, so USNH employees may work with their supervisors to structure a project that directly benefits their work. For example, Amy Oliva, Discovery Program Administrative Director at UNH, designed and developed a grant proposal for a citizen engagement requirement as part of the undergraduate core curriculum – connecting students to opportunities that help them understand and critically reflect on the issues that shape the choices they face as citizens.

How long does it take to earn a degree?

Master in Community Development Policy and Practice students need to take a total of 14 courses (11 required and 3 elective courses) and may follow one of the following timelines to earn their degree. To review these course schedules in detail, go to the Course Schedule webpage.

  • 14-month option (Summer start only): Students take 5-6 courses in their first summer term, 2 courses in the fall and spring online terms, and a final 4-5 courses in their second summer. Students can also opt to take a January Term independent study elective instead of taking one of the elective courses offered during the first or second summer terms.
  • 24-month option (Summer, Fall, or Spring start): For students who wish to take just one online course during the fall through spring terms, they will take 5-6 courses in their first summer term (in person), 1 course in each of the fall through spring online terms, and 4-5 courses in their second in person summer term.

No matter when students choose to start the program, they bond with their classmates during their first in person summer term and begin the series of four consecutive project courses, which provides structured guidance and support throughout the yearlong student-designed capstone project.

How much does the program cost? Can I use my tuition benefits?

The Carsey School of Public Policy is pleased to offer departmental scholarships to pay for the tuition costs of any courses not covered by your USNH Tuition Benefits, providing full coverage of tuition. Here’s how it works:

  • Eligible USNH employees may use their Tuition Benefits* to enroll in up to 5 courses per fiscal year (summer through spring terms).
  • The Carsey School will provide eligible USNH employees a tuition scholarship for summer and January term courses that go beyond the 5-course annual maximum. For a full-time USNH employee receiving tuition benefits, this means up to 4 courses will be covered through a Carsey scholarship. Students are still responsible for fees, taxes, and any other non-tuition expenses.

*For full details on terms and conditions of the USNH Tuition Benefit Plan, see your tuition benefit policy.

How do I know which courses will be covered by my USNH Tuition Benefits and which may be covered by a Carsey School Scholarship?

Depending on whether you choose the 14- or 24-month program and when you choose to start the program (summer, fall, or spring terms), determines which courses will be covered under the USNH Tuition Benefits or the Carsey School Scholarship. Select your desired course pathway to download the corresponding course, benefits, and scholarship schedule shown below:

14-Month Summer Start Term:  USNH Tuition Benefits + Carsey Scholarship

24-Month Summer Start Term: USNH Tuition Benefits + Carsey Scholarship

24-Month Fall Start Term: USNH Tuition Benefits + Carsey Scholarship

24-Month Spring Start Term: USNH Tuition Benefits + Carsey Scholarship

How can I learn more?

For questions and detailed information about enrolling in the Master of Arts in Community Development Policy and Practice program as a USNH student, please contact:

Sarah Dorner
603.862.0214
sarah.dorner@unh.edu