Online Master of Science in Community Development | NDSU

The Master of Science in Community Development degree is a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary, online program in conjunction with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA). Other institutions participating in this program include Kansas State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and South Dakota State University.

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Application Information

Prospective students must apply online through the NDSU Graduate School.  The application procedure can be found at:



Materials required for the online application to the master’s program include:

1. Transcripts

2.  A statement of purpose indicating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, specifying your special research interests/area of focus for study including your academic preparation in that area. Please include any relevant skills or experience that you have acquired that provide additional preparation for seeking an advanced degree.

3.  Three letters of recommendation are required from persons familiar with your academic achievement and future potential.

4.  International students must also submit one of the following test scores: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic).

Degree applicants applying for Fall semester entry into the master’s program must submit a complete application to the Graduate School by May 1st. Applicants applying for Spring semester entry into the master’s program must submit a complete application to the Graduate School by September 15th


Degree requirements

The requirements for the 36 credit Master's Degree program consists of:

  • Six core required courses:
    • CED 709: Community Development Orientation (1 credit)
    • CED 711: Community Development I: Principles and Strategies of Community Change
    • CED 715: Community Analysis (Introduction to Methods)
    • CED 717: Community and Regional Economic Analysis 
    • CED 719: Community and Natural Resource Management
  • Five 3-credit courses from at least two of the specialization tracks
    • Natural Resources Management Track
    • Working with Native Communities Track
    • Building Economic Capacity Track
    • Non-Profit Management Track
  • Plus:
    • 3 credits of general electives
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