Successful community development practitioners must be able to perceive problems from multiple points of view and through a variety of cultural lenses, including traditional academic and policy perspectives, as well as those of the communities and individuals to be served. To prepare students to tackle complex, multi-faceted issues, this program will examine each of the core disciplinary areas within the cross-cutting lenses of theory, policy, data collection and analysis as students directly apply what they learn through a yearlong, capstone project in their target communities:

  • Management — including project design, management and evaluation, policy analysis, organizational management, budgeting and financial management, human resource management, leadership, negotiations, and communication
  • Health sciences — including health policy, health systems design and management, nutrition, population sciences, and reproductive health and basic epidemiology of infectious and noninfectious diseases
  • Social sciences — including economics, anthropology, sociology, political science, and research methodologies
  • Natural sciences and engineering — including agriculture, forestry, water management, energy, and climate and environmental sciences

Social change begins with strong leadership, and graduates of this program will have the tools, networks, and fresh insights to help improve the conditions and opportunities in the communities they serve.

Degree Requirements

To earn the Master in Community Development Policy and Practice degree, students are required to take a combination of eleven (11) required courses and three (3) elective courses for a total of 39 credits including the four-term project requirement, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Hybrid Program – In Person Combined with Online Learning

Designed with working professionals in mind, this master’s program offers the best of both worlds by combining the rich, in person learning experience with the convenience of interactive online coursework.  The majority of students begin the program with the 3-week summer term which is offered in person on the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham, NH.  Students then return to their home communities to continue the program online while implementing and managing their community-based project.  Students can also choose to begin the master’s program online in the fall or spring terms and begin their sequence of four project courses during their first summer term.

Students have found this combination of in person and online learning meets their needs for building invaluable professional networks, gaining the knowledge and skills for increased effectiveness in their professions, and offers upward career mobility, all while continuing to work.

Program Duration:  14 to 24 Months

Students can choose to complete the program in 14 to 24 months.  The 14-Month program requires a summer term start (in person) followed by two online courses for both the fall and spring terms and concludes after the second, summer term on campus.

14-Month Program (summer start only) sample schedule

Students wishing to take a lighter online course load during the fall and spring terms or wishing to start the program in the fall or spring, can choose to enroll in the 24-Month program.

24-Month Program (Summer Start) Schedule

24-Month Program (Fall-Start) Sample Schedule

24-Month Program (Spring Start) Sample Schedule

For more detailed information on the courses, please visit the Course Schedule and Course Descriptions webpages.



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Academic Partnership Coordinator:
Sarah Dorner


“What makes the learning environment unique at this program is that most of the professors are field practitioners with decades of experience—combined with extensive academic credentials. Acceptance of diversity of thought in the classroom is nurturing and comforting for independent thinkers. In addition, the structure and duration of the program allow for flexibility to balance being a student and family responsibilities.”
- Lado Lodoka
Regional Refugee Coordinator, State of Kansas