Program Overview

About the Program

The Master of Arts in Community Development Policy and Practice is a program that prepares individuals for advanced policy- and practice-oriented work in sustainable development both in the United States and in developing countries. The program has two pathways to complete the master’s degree: a 14-month pathway and a 24-month pathway. The master's program offers an integrated conceptual framework guiding the coursework, high-level tools, and the best thinking in the field. Students are early- and mid-career adults working in a variety of development fields, and in particular those from public agencies and international and domestic non-profit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Applicants to the program come from both international and domestic organizations and work in areas ranging from public policy, planning, economic development, sustainable development, environmental policy, public health, education, microenterprise, and more.


  1. Educate development practitioners working in non-profit organizations, NGOs, community-based organizations, government agencies, and private corporations, using a peer-based learning framework
  2. Promote innovative approaches to development practice and policy development, identifying those that can increase the effectiveness of development practitioners
  3. Expose development practitioners to global trends in development work
  4. Using state-of-the-art communication technologies, connect practitioners to each other and to participants in similar programs across the globe

The degree program includes courses in the core disciplines of management, social sciences, health sciences, and natural sciences (including ecology, agriculture, natural resource management, and energy and climate studies).

UNH/Carsey is committed to teaching, supporting, and implementing sustainable development practices to overcome poverty and protect the environment.

Students in the Master of Arts in Community Development Policy and Practice program will:

  1. Develop interdisciplinary knowledge and skills through a combination of core courses designed to integrate theory, policy, as well as data collection and analysis
  2. Acquire an understanding of complex development issues and problems through a set of electives spanning engineering, natural sciences, public health, management, and social sciences
  3. Apply their learning to real-world situations, by carrying out a four-term field project in their home community

A unique feature of this program is that students can continue working while earning their degree. The 14-month pathway includes two intensive summer sessions of four to six weeks and three semesters of online work. The 24-month pathway is the same as the 14-month pathway, except for the addition of two online semesters. This meets the practical needs of both students and their employers, enabling participants to join an exciting advanced degree program that will enhance their performance and their commitment to work. Students will gain an array of skills that will help them more effectively meet the challenges in their development sectors. They will also develop a network of peers and advisors to continue to inform and inspire them.

Social change begins with strong leadership, and graduates of this program will have the tools, networks, and fresh insights to help improve the conditions and opportunities in the communities they serve.

If assistance is needed in the application process, contact Jolan Rivera or Sanjeev Sharma at the Carsey Institute at and, respectively or by phone at 603-862-2821.