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Community and Economic Development Programs

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Changing Communities, Changing Lives

The Community and Economic Development (CEDEV) graduate program at Penn State can help you learn how to navigate the complexities of communities and community organizations and inspire positive changes on local, regional, and national levels.

Community and Economic Development (Master of Professional Studies)
Learn how you can positively influence quality-of-life and development issues in urban neighborhoods, towns, and rural regions. This online community and economic development degree program offers training in theory, practice, and techniques for addressing social, environmental, and economic issues.
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Community and Economic Development (Graduate Certificate)
Learn to identify and understand the interconnections that exist within a community and the forces affecting the community from outside in this online graduate certificate program. Students can use this information to think critically about community development and change.
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All courses in the CEDEV programs are taught by professors who are active researchers and professionals in the field, providing you with a balance of academic expertise and real-world experience. You can expect the same high-quality, academically challenging courses as those taught in the classroom, and you gain the convenience of studying whenever and wherever you want.

The CEDEV curriculum will help you develop critical-thinking skills about:

  • effective decision-making in communities
  • evaluating causes and consequences of economic and population change
  • job creation, retention, and expansion 
  • entrepreneurship
  • citizen participation
  • land use and sustainable development
  • community structure and processes that affect development and well-being

Students say that course work in this program has immediate application to their career, elected office, or volunteer activities, and has helped them make their communities stronger, more sustainable, and better places to live and work.

We are Penn State Online

This is the real Penn State. You will take the same classes with the same curriculum developed by the same professors who teach courses at our brick and mortar campuses. You can expect the same caliber of academic quality that you associate with Penn State.