Community Development Certificate

Graduate Certificate Program

While community development means many things to many people, one good definition is “preserving and raising the community’s standard of living through a process of human and physical infrastructure development based on the principles of equity and sustainability.”  The Graduate Certificate in Community Development is a 18-hour sequence that combines graduate classroom studies with community-oriented research and service experiences.  Students seeking admission to the certificate program are required to fulfill the general requirements for admission to graduate programs at Chicago State University (CSU), which includes attainment of a 3.0 GPA at the undergraduate level.  Students who have not taken Geog 4500, Urban Geography, or an equivalent course may be required to make up the deficiency. Students who have taken some of the required courses for the certificate at CSU or their equivalents elsewhere are encouraged to consult the graduate advisor.

All the courses are offered in the evening and are delivered in a two-year cycle that can be entered at any point although it is strongly recommended that the Seminar course be taken as the last course. Courses taken for the certificate may be subsequently applied toward the M.A. in Geography.

Upon Completion of the certificate students should:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the social and economic processes that affect the dynamics and growth of American cities
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how cities are governed and the role that public planning and community development plays within the governance structure
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with the history, theories, and practices of community organizing and community organizations
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with the history, theories, and practices of community development and community economic development
  • Be able to use the methods and tools for analyzing the state of cities and their neighborhoods
  • Be able to design and complete a community development-related research and/or action project

Certificate Courses (18 hours):

Core (15 hours)

GEOG 5520      Principles and Practices of Urban and Regional Planning

GEOG 5530      Neighborhood Development

GEOG 5540      Community Analysis or SWK 5431 Community Practice

SOC    5450      Community Organizing 

GEOG 5550      Seminar in Community Development

5000-level elective (3 hours) - students choose from one of the following:

GEOG 5050     Geography of Metropolitan Chicago

GEOG 5250     Geography of Food and Hunger

GEOG 5290     Environmental Justice

GEOG 5500     Urban Geography

GEOG 5590     Urban Field Experience

SWK   5426     Diversity/Ethics in Social Work

SWK   5432     Family Support and Development

**GEOG 4500/5500: Urban Geography; SOC 3400: The Urban Community; or an equivalent course is a prerequisite for the program.

Additional Information About This Program

This post-baccalaureate certificate program prepares students for the ability to foster inquiry into the affects of economic and environmental forces at the local, regional, national and global levels. Students are prepared to work in career areas that focus on economic development, business, government, teaching, advanced research and community development. For information about program costs, employment, and other information, click here for gainful employment.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Daniel Block, Graduate Advisor

Office: SCI-254

Phone: (773) 995-2319