Community Development Policy and Practice (M.A.)

This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Students in the Master of Arts in Community Development Policy and Practice program will:

  • Develop interdisciplinary knowledge and skills through a combination of core courses designed to integrate theory, policy, as well as data collection and analysis
  • Acquire an understanding of complex community development issues and problems through a set of electives spanning engineering, natural sciences, public health, management, and social sciences
  • Apply classroom learning to real-­world situations, by carrying out a four-­term field project in the student’s chosen community

Students in the program can continue working while earning their degree. This meets the practical needs of both students and their employers, enabling participants to join an exciting advanced degree program that will enhance their performance and their commitment to work. Students will gain an array of skills that will help them more effectively meet the challenges in their community development sectors. They will also develop a network of peers and advisers to continue to inform and inspire them. Highlights of the program are:

Flexible Program Format: 14-­month to 24-month pathways

Ideal for Working Professionals: Short in­-person summer terms with interactive online courses fall through spring terms

Capstone Project: Apply what you learn through a yearlong project in your community of choice

Expert Faculty: Learn from actively engaged and experienced field practitioners

Small Classes: Learn from professors and peers in a small, group-­learning environment

Degree Requirements

In order to earn the master's degree, students must complete a total of fourteen (14) courses comprising a total of 39 credits, including the four-­term project requirement, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Eleven (11) of the fourteen (14) courses are required courses, while the remaining three (3) are elective courses.

Core Curriculum

The curriculum is a series of courses designed to help students develop and strengthen interdisciplinary breadth and communication and to build program identity and a sense of community. The eleven (11) required courses comprise thirty (30) credits in total, with an additional three elective courses (three credits each) for a total of thirty-nine (39) credits.

The sequence by which students take the eleven (11) required and three (3) elective courses depends on the amount of time they choose to complete the degree.  Courses are offered during the summer terms (on-­campus in Durham, NH) and online during the fall through spring terms. Below is a list of all required courses followed by a listing of elective courses:

Required 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
DPP 910Leadership and Development2
DPP 911Environmental Factors in Development Practice1
DPP 980Project Design3
DPP 981Project Implementation3
DPP 982Project Management3
DPP 983Project Monitoring and Evaluation3
Select three (3) Elective Courses from the list below.9
Total Credits39
Elective Courses
These courses are offered during the summer terms (on-­campus in Durham) and J-term (online for three weeks in January). At least two elective courses will be offered during each summer term, and one elective course during J-term.
DPP 952Balancing Resource Management, Land Use, and Development3
DPP 961Community Development Finance3
DPP 953Community Medicine and Epidemiology3
DPP 950Current Issues in Microfinance and Microenterprise Development3
DPP 909Environmental Sciences and Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities and Development3
DPP 904Environmental Sustainability and Development3
DPP 958Financing Development3
DPP 903Global Health3
DPP 956Housing Development3
DPP 990Independent Study1-4
DPP 951Nuts and Bolts of Microfinance3
DPP 962Public Safety and Community Development3
DPP 960Social Enterprise3
DPP 954Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems3
DPP 907Sustainable Engineering for Development Practice3
DPP 959Workforce Development3