UMass Boston

Community Development BA

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Take your place at the intersection of environmental health and community development

The Bachelor of Arts in community development is designed for individuals like you who are passionate about creating positive change in communities. This program equips you with the knowledge and skills to address complex community challenges and foster sustainable development, with environmental consciousness at the helm of everything you do. Make a meaningful impact with the guidance of expert faculty at UMass Boston.

In this program, you will:

  • Learn to analyze community dynamics and identify the social, economic, and environmental factors that impact community development
  • Apply theories and concepts of community development to design and implement effective strategies for community empowerment, social justice, and sustainable development
  • Develop strong communication, collaboration, and leadership skills necessary for engaging with diverse stakeholders and fostering community partnerships

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Apply for Admission

Please review the first-year and transfer apply pages for important information about application requirements, deadlines, and application status check.

Apply as a First-Year Student

Apply as a Transfer Student

Financing Your Education

Become a Beacon and pursue your passion in UMass Boston’s diverse, supportive environment. Many students across our 200+ undergraduate and graduate programs receive financial aid—providing access to an education that’s exceptional and affordable. Click below to learn more about financial aid opportunities and deadlines.

Financial Aid Deadlines & Application Process

Scholarships for First-Year & Transfer Students

Required Courses

100-Level Core (6 Credits):

  • ECON 101 - Introduction to Microeconomics 3 Credit(s)
  • ENVSTY 101 - The Nature of Environmental Problems 3 Credit(s)

Statistics/Quantitative Reasoning (3 Credits):

  • MATH 125 - Introductory Statistics 3 Credit(s)
  • ENVSCI 261 - Statistics for Environmental Science 3 Credit(s)

200-Level Core (13 Credits):

  • UPCD 201 - History and Theory of Community Development 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 210 - Community Health and Environment 3 Credit(s)
  • ENVSCI 270 - Cities and the Environment 3 Credit(s)
  • ENVSCI 281 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 4 Credit(s)

Methods (6 Credits):

  • UPCD 301 - Introduction to Research Methods and Community Analysis 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 303 - Quantitative Methods for Community Development 3 Credit(s)

300/400-Level Electives (12 Credits):
Take four courses from the list below.

  • UPCD 310 - Social Determinants of Health 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 321 - Fundamentals of Housing 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 351L - Architecture and Human Built Environment Interactions 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 353L - Community Economic Development in the U.S.: Class, Race, Ethnicity 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 356L - Economic Development and Environmental Justice 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 355 - Global Community Economic Development 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 371 - Organizational Behavior for Public and Nonprofit Organizations 3 Credit(s)
  • ENVSCI 340L - Planning and Land Use Law 3 Credit(s)
  • ENVSCI 375L - Urban Planning 3 Credit(s)
  • ENVSCI 315L - Introduction to Environmental Health 3 Credit(s)
  • ENVSTY 364L - Environmental Justice 3 Credit(s)
  • ENVSTY 371 - Telling the Story: broadcast multi-media communications about natural, built, and human environments 3 Credit(s)

Practicum (3 Credits):
Take one course from the list below.

  • UPCD 457 - Internship in Community Development 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 459 - Capstone in Community Development 3 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 478 - Independent Study in Community Development 1-6 Credit(s)
  • UPCD 498 - Honors in Community Development 3 Credit(s)
  • ENVSCI 476 - Environmental Science Capstone 3 Credit(s)

Seminar (2 Credits):

  • ENVSTY 210 - Second-Year Seminar: Conflict and Resolution 1 Credit(s)
  • ENVSTY 310 - Third-Year Seminar: Professional Development 1 Credit(s)

Tuition & Financial Aid

Cost & Aid
Please refer to the following Admissions pages for more information:

For additional information regarding tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s Office or send an email to

Career Possibilities

Engage with community members, grassroots organizations, and local stakeholders to address pervasive needs as a community organizer. Develop and manage programs and initiatives for nonprofit organizations focused on community development as a nonprofit coordinator. Or, research and write grant proposals to secure funding for community development projects as a grant writer. These are just a few of the possibilities.  

Become a:

  • Policy Analyst
  • Impact Consultant
  • Grant Writer
  • Community Organizer
  • Community Development Specialist

School for the Environment

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