A community development degree program draws information from many fields including anthropology, urban studies and political science. Degrees are typically offered as a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts. Students may be allowed to choose an area in which to specialize, such as housing development or communications. Research skills are often highlighted as well. Many programs call for an internship, practicum or other means of gaining experience in a real world setting.
Students must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Degrees require four years to complete, and students begin their studies in community development after completing required general education courses.
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Community Development
Program curricula usually feature core coursework in organizational theory and philosophy of community development as well as social research methods and field seminars. In programs where concentrations aren't offered, students can select electives to customize their coursework to suit their career goals. Primary topics may include:
- Urban planning
- Real estate fundamentals
- Communication design
- City analysis
- Natural resource management
Popular Career Options
After obtaining a bachelor's degree in community development, graduates may qualify for careers in the public and private sector, including local governments, consulting firms and non-profit agencies. They can work in various departments, such as housing, transportation or economic development. Possible jobs include:
- Development services technician
- Social science research assistant
- Housing program assistant
Continuing Education Info
Advanced positions in community development, such as urban planner, may require at least a master's degree. Several schools offer master's and doctoral degrees in community development or analogous fields, such as public affairs. Degree options include the Master of Arts, Master of Community Development and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Graduate students usually choose a specific aspect of community development to focus their research and studies on. Graduates of Ph.D. programs may qualify for research and university-level teaching positions.
A bachelor's degree program in community development exposes students to foundational skills in organizational theory and philosophy of community development. In addition, students can normally choose concentration areas like housing development and communications.