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Community Development Certificate

The Certificate offerings span a variety of sub-specialties in Community Development, any of which consist of 5-courses/15-credits, and are a snapshot into a specific sub-field of study that examines theory, skills, and practices through classroom and field-based experiences. Any Certificate can also be applied to the Bachelor's degree as a track in the form of a minor or specialization.

This certificate can be completed in less than a year through our fast-track certificate program.

Program Description

This introductory certificate is designed for people who are seeking to develop or strengthen their core skills and knowledge of the field. Coursework focuses on the integration between public policy and community-based practice, with an emphasis on preservation and development of affordable housing, managing community-based organizations, programs, and projects and the core theories and principles that guide community development practitioners in their day-to-day work.

Certificate offerings in Community Development include:

  • Housing Development
  • Arts & Creative Placemaking
  • Urban Education
  • Community Wealth Building

The program was designed in partnership with the Housing Network of Rhode Island. Students are expected to satisfy the requirements of an internship with the Housing Network or an affiliated community development organization. This requirement may be satisfied through the documentation of community development employment experience or through learning experiences acquired by placement.


Required courses (5 courses)

CD 220 Elements & Issues in Community Development
CD 351 Sustainable Economic & Community Development

Three (3) Electives chosen by the student based on the certificate sub-specialty. From the areas of leadership and non-profit management; housing, planning and development skills; and community economic and social development. 

Fast Track Certificate Program - Starting March 19, 2018

Fast Track Course Sequence

Students can enroll in a fast-track certificate program in order to complete the Community Development certificate in less than a year. Students seeking the fast-track certificate take one course during each 8-week minimester in the order below:

  • CD.220- Elements & Issues in Community Development
  • HCA.105- Intro to Public Health 
  • CD.352- Nonprofit Management
  • CD.430-Global Migration & Impacts on Community
  • CD.430-Community Revitalization & the Role of Gentrification

The fast-track certificate program starts March 19, 2018.

Learn More About the Fast-Track Certificate

Request Information About the Fast-Track Certificate

Course Descriptions

CD 220 – Elements and Issues in Community Development
Overview of the concepts, theories, and applications in the field of community development. This is the foundation course for the Community Development program, but it is appropriate for all students interested in a comprehensive look at the elements required to understand what makes for successful communities, from housing to education, to social services and infrastructure. (3 credits) Fall, Summer

CD 351 – Sustainable Economic and Community Development 
Explores key subject areas related to sustainable economic development, including business creation and retention, microenterprises, co-ops, job creation, asset development, sector analysis, the connection between economic development and social health. Examines the role that community development professionals can and should play in ensuring that economic development occurs in a sustainable manner. (3 credits)