Skip Navigation
search: People | Departments | Penn State | Web
Penn State mark
Penn State mark
University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Community and Economic Development (CEDEV)

Program Home Page

C. DANIEL AZZARA , Interim Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education
205 Armsby Building


Degree Conferred:



The Graduate Faculty


The Program

The Master of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development (MPS CEDEV) is a 30-credit terminal master's degree program that emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to community and economic development. The program balances theory and practice. Courses are taught in MPS CEDEV use a blend of web technology, print, and other media to provide an effective balance of flexibility and interaction. Individuals who currently work with, or are interested in working with communities, community organizations and stakeholders, or on a range of community and economic development issues at the state or national levels would benefit from this program. The MPS CEDEV program requires the completion of seven core courses (21 credits) in which students learn and apply sociological and economic concepts to issues in community and economic development. the courses offer examples and opportunities to apply theses concepts to real issues facing communities and rural regions. Two of the core courses (6 credits) emphasize statistical methods and tools and techniques useful to practitioners in community and economic development, or to work toward additional certifications. All students are required to complete a Master's paper (at least 3 credits) that integrates theory and practice.

Instruction in the MPS CEDEV program emphasizes key themes that include economic planning and development; municipal finance, land use ad population change; community structure, organization and process; leadership; tools and techniques in community development; community decision-making and capacity building.

Students in Community and Economic Development gain a broad understanding of the dynamics of communities and their social, economic, and political systems. The program emphasizes teaching the theory, skills, and tools that allow practitioners to address the important issues in development practice.

Graduates of the Community and Economic Development program have a wide range of career opportunities, including: local and state government, planning commissions, major corporations, non-governmental organizations, and consulting firms.

Admission Requirements

Students with a 3.00 average (on a 4.00 scale) for the most recent two years of college/university education, or with an advanced degree, and with appropriate course and experiential backgrounds will be considered for admission. Exceptions to the minimum 3.00 grade-point average may be made for students with special backgrounds, experience, abilities, and interests. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted to the graduate program.

Admission requirements include the following:

  • Either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.
  • Statement of purpose describing professional experiences and education, career goals, and how the MPS program will enable the applicant to meet their objectives
  • Current resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Two sets of official transcripts from educational institutions attended for undergraduate or graduate degree work
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, if applicable. The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), with the exceptions listed below The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT). Applicants with iBT speaking scores between 15 and 18 may be considered for provisional admission, which requires completion of specified remedial English courses ESL 114G (American Oral English for Academic Purposes) and/or ESL 116G (ESL/Composition for Academic Purposes) and attainment of a grade of B or higher. The minimum composite score for the IELTS is 6.5. 

         International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement who have received a baccalaureate or a graduate degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia,  Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Wales.

  • Non-refundable application fee

To begin your application, please visit On the "Campus, Major, Degree & Semester" page select "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus and "COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT" as the major.

Scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are not required for admission to the MPS CEDEV program. Requirements listed here are in addition to general Graduate Council requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Prerequisites for the master's program include 12 credits in rural sociology, sociology, agricultural economics, or other social and behavioral sciences at the discretion of the graduate program. If the entering student does not have these prerequisites, they must be made up at the University during the early part of the master's program.

Degree Requirements

The professional Master's degree requires 30 credits including a final integrative assessment/experience, referred to by the program as a Master's paper. All students complete the required MPS CEDEV core program of community and economic development courses, statistics, and methods. The MPS CEDEV courses consist of CEDEV 430, CEDEV 452, CEDEV 500, CEDEV 505, and CEDEV 509. The statistics, methods, and techniques requirement includes STAT 500 (or equivalent), CEDEV 575, and CEDEV 580. A Master's paper, such as an integrative paper, project, or internship is required where the student demonstrates the capability to integrate and apply concepts, principles, analytical techniques and interpretation skills learned in the program to a real problem faced by a community or community organization. Choice of electives will be based on a plan of study worked out between the student and faculty adviser. There is no foreign language requirement for the degree; however, students planning to work in multi-cultural or international settings are encouraged to gain competency in an appropriate language(s). A total of 18 credits must be 500 level or higher, with at least 6 credits of 500-level course work. This Graduate Council requirement is met through the required courses and the Master's paper credits.

Student Aid

Student aid is described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin. Graduate assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships are not available for the CEDEV program.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.



Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2014

Blue Sheet Item #: 42-05

Review Date: 02/25/2014

Faculty linked: 8/14/14



Look up course abbreviations

Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

Skip Popular Searches
  1. Graduate Course Descriptions
  2. Graduate Programs
  3. Doctoral Degree Requirements
  4. Master's Degree Requirements
  5. Application and Admission Procedures
  6. Credit Certificate Programs
  7. General Information
  8. Tuition and Cost
  9. Intercollege
  10. Academic Information and Procedures
Skip PDF and Print Options

Print Options