B.A./B.S. Community Development
The Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning offers an undergraduate major in community development. Community development is a process in which people act together to promote the social, economic, political, and physical well-being of their communities.
The curriculum is grounded in applied social science and incorporates a great deal of field research. The program takes advantage of the wealth of resources available in the Portland metropolitan area and draws from a variety of academic disciplines and departments.
Students may also pursue the following minors: a 27-credit minor in community development, a 30-credit minor in real estate development, and a 27-credit minor in sustainable urban development.
Career opportunities are available in not-for-profit organizations, private consulting firms, and state, regional, and local governments. Community development practitioners work on a range of issues including housing, community organizing, transportation, the environment and economic development. The major prepares students for postbaccalaureate employment or graduate work in a professional academic field.
See the PSU Career Center's profile of the Community Development degree.
Required Core Curriculum (as of Fall 2013)
Note: Students who have already completed coursework in the major before Fall 2013 should meet with the Community Development Student Advisor to ensure a smooth transition to the new requirements.
Community Development Core (12 credits)
The Community Development program begins with a three-term colloquium typically taken during the junior year:
- USP 300 Introduction to Urban Studies (4 credits)
- USP 301 Introduction to Community Development (4 credits)
- USP 302 Theory and Philosophy of Community Development
[Prerequisite: USP 301; or, by permission of instructor] (4 credits)
Areas of Community Development (12 credits)
Students will then move on to three courses that introduce major themes in community development. Students are strongly encouraged to complete USP 300 and USP 301 before taking any of the following classes:
- USP 312U Urban Housing and Development (4 credits)
- USP 313U Urban Environmental Issues (4 credits)
- USP 315 Community Organizing and Social Change (4 credits)
Methods in Community Development (16 credits)
Students are required to enroll in the following 4 methods courses. These courses are designed to provide students with a basic set of skills and tools they will need to perform community development work in the real world. Students should complete the Community Development Core (USP 300/301/302) before enrolling in the methods courses.
- USP 350U Concepts of Citizen Participation (4 credits)
- USP 430 Participatory Research Methods for Community Development (4 credits)
- USP 440 Measuring People and Communities in the Urban Context (4 credits)
- USP 452 GIS for Community Development (4 credits)
Practice in Community Development (6 credits)
An essential part of the major is gaining experience in the practice of community development. Students can fulfill this 6 credit requirement by: (1) enrolling in a Community Development Field Seminar; (2) organizing an Internship that is approved by their faculty advisor; (3) organizing a practicum with other students and a faculty advisor; or, (4) enroll in field seminar or practice-oriented class in another department that is approved by the Undergraduate Executive Committee. Students are encouraged to take at least one course from Methods in Community Development before enrolling in USP 403 or starting an internship.
- USP 403 Community Development Field Seminar (6 credits)
- Internship Option (6 credits)
Elective Pathways (12credits)
Students must take 12 credits of electives (8 of which must be from USP courses). It is recommended that students organize their elective courses from around areas of community development they are interested in pursuing further - what we refer to as a "pathway". Pathways are self-designed in coordination with faculty advisors.
USP Elective Courses:
- USP 311U Introduction to Urban Planning (4 cr)
- USP 314 The City in Film (4 cr) (Offered every other year)
- USP 317U Introduction to International Community Development (4 cr)
- USP 324U Healthy Communities (4 cr)
- USP 325U Community and the Built Environment (4 cr)
- USP 326U Neighborhood Conservation and Change (4 cr)
- USP/FIN 360 Real Estate Finance I (3 cr)
- USP 385U History of American Cities (4 cr)
- USP 386U Portland Past and Present (4 cr)
- USP 419 Population and Society (4 cr)
- USP 423 Real Estate Development (4 cr)
- USP 427 Downtown Revitalization (3 cr)
- USP 429 Poverty in the Urban Community (3 cr)
- USP 451 Community Economic Development (3 cr)
- USP 455 Land Use: Legal Aspects (3 cr)
- USP 456 Urban Transportation: Problems and Policies (3 cr)
- USP 457 Information Cities (3 cr) (Offered every other year)
- USP 468 Oregon Land Use Law (3 cr)
- USP 480 Political Economy of Nonprofit Organizations (3 cr)
- USP 490 Green Economics and Sustainable Development (3 cr)
- USP 233 Real Estate Principles (3 cr)
- RE 360 Real Estate Finance I (4 cr)
- USP/EC 431 Urban Economics (4 cr)
- USP/RE 438 Real Estate Law (3 cr)
- RE 439 Real Estate Valuation I (3 cr)
- RE 459 Advanced Real Estate Valuation (3 cr)
Total Requirements for Majors
Questions?Tracy Braden Jessi Conner and Meg Brown
Student Services Coordinator Undergraduate Student Representatives for the Executive Committee in the
(503) 725-5477 Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning
firstname.lastname@example.org Co-Chair for the Community Development Student Group Email at: email@example.com