M.A.S. - Masters with a Specialization in Community Development

The field of community development encourages people to think globally and consider the big picture from a systems perspective in order to address challenges and find solutions.

  • Community developers work toward positive social, economic, cultural and environmental change by engaging citizens in the decision making process.
  • Explores a wide range of community development perspectives and equips you with the tools and educational experiences to contribute to positive changes in communities and regions.
  • Curriculum is designed for you with the goal of best fitting your educational objective(s). The curriculum includes required core courses and defined electives.
  • Courses in the program are designed to teach critical and creative thinking, ethical consideration, and the value of careful planning and involvement of all stakeholders.

This degree is housed within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the Department of Agricultural Economics.

Who Should Consider This Program?

  • Professionals with interests in community and regional planning, sociology, economics, political science, and geography
  • Employees working in local planning departments, community economic development organizations, housing agencies, parks & recreation offices, tribal programs, and non-profit organizations focusing on community enhancement
  • Cooperative extension service professionals

Great Plains IDEA Program

This program is part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA), a consortium of 20 universities offering fully online graduate programs. Each university brings a unique strength to the multi-institution academic programs.

  • Apply and be admitted at one of the universities (In this case the University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
  • Enroll in your courses at Nebraska and other Great Plains IDEA member institutions
  • Receive a graduate degree from Nebraska

View GPIDEA Applied Science - Community Development information.

Tuition & Fees For Community Development

Financial Aid

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid provides information on loans and need-based funds.

Graduate: Application & Admission

Program & Courses

Requires a total of 36 credit hours of graduate course work (with 12 credit hours open exclusively to graduate credit):

  • At least 18 core credit hours in an area of concentration (may be interdisciplinary), including a *degree project.
  • At least 15 credit hours of electives must be completed.
  • A 3 to 6 credit hour *degree project is required.
  • An oral comprehensive examination will be given on your degree project by the Examining/Advisory Committee.
  • The final examination over the *degree project and program of study is oral.
  • Not less than 50% of the course work, excluding *degree project, of the minimum number of graduate credits required must be University of Nebraska–Lincoln credit.

The Degree Project

A unique aspect of this master's program which replaces the traditional master's thesis.

The degree project is intended for you to gain immediate value to apply to your workplace or for career advancement.

Degree Project and MAS Requirements

Transfer Credits

Each degree program within the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is responsible for evaluating transfer credit and determining how the credit will apply to your specific degree program.

The evaluation of transfer credit is based on a review of the comparability of the nature, content and level of the learning experience and its appropriateness to the degree program.

If you're interested in transferring credit, you will need to consult with the UNL academic department associated with your major. In most instances, you will be requested to submit the respective course syllabus.

Career Services

If you’re enrolled as a degree seeking student in a UNL program you’ll have access to the same career services as on-campus students. Don’t live in the immediate area? We’ll come to you by providing phone or Skype consultations.

After you graduate, the Nebraska Alumni Association will continue to help with resources and events for job seekers.


Online courses are taught by the same award-winning professors and researchers who teach on-campus classes.

Faculty advisers will help you choose courses that will define your personal and career goals while completing your degree.