In order to cultivate and maintain vibrant communities, local, regional, and national organizations require leaders who understand the intricacies of community and economic development.

The UNC MPA program’s concentration in community and economic development helps students develop the skills and knowledge to promote social change in ways that are both effective and personally rewarding.

Community development is the process by which members within a group work collectively to achieve common goals. Efforts generally seek to improve quality of life through reduced poverty, greater equity, or healthier lifestyles.

Economic development is the process of stimulating private investment that results in job creation, wealth creation, increased tax revenues, and higher levels of prosperity for communities and residents.

Community economic development involves restructuring market incentives to leverage private investment to develop community-based businesses, affordable housing, and financial institutions that improve community life beyond the purely economic.

What can I achieve in community and economic development with an MPA degree?

The community and economic development concentration is designed for student practitioners, activists, and scholars looking to gain fresh perspectives and strategies for transforming communities and achieving social equity. Graduates can pursue careers in the following areas:

  • Community development
  • Economic development
  • Consulting
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Project management
  • Sustainability
  • Urban planning
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In this concentration, students will gain insight into communities from both a regional and global perspective and explore the complex social, economic, and political factors that shape distinct groups. Coursework also examines the latest trends in sustainable communities, public administration, and economic development.

Students who want to pursue a concentration in community and economic development must complete at least 9 credits from the list of electives below or other elective courses approved in advance:

PUBA 734 Community Revitalization Methods

3 credit hours (on-campus)

PUBA 735 Community Revitalization Applied

3 credit hours (on-campus)

PUBA 771 Managing Economic Development

3 credit hours (on-campus and online)

Faculty Contact

Jonathan Q. Morgan