Economic Development Certificate Program (Graduate)

The goal of the Graduate Certificate in Economic Development program is to provide knowledge and skills for those currently employed or pursuing careers in economic development.  Economic development professionals are typically employees of state and local governments and development agencies, Chambers of Commerce, regional planning organizations, and engineering firms who ensure that local and regional economies develop in a manner that is consistent with citizens’ values and desires.  The certificate program focuses both on the theoretical underpinnings of development as well as the management of economic development operations.

The graduate certificate program was developed with the needs of working professionals in mind.  All courses are offered in a blended format with intense in-person meetings and interactive, Web-based evening classes. 

The main objectives of the program are to provide students with the following:

  • A theoretical and practical understanding of economic development, including business retention and expansion, business attraction, and entrepreneurship.
    • Skills needed to manage modern economic development organizations.


Admission to the Graduate Certificate Program requires a baccalaureate degree in any subject area from a college or university approved by a recognized accrediting agency. No specific economic development background is required.

      • A bachelor's degree in any field of study from an accredited institution.
      • The TOEFL score of at least 560 for all applicants for whom English is not their native language.
      • An undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.
      • Official sealed transcripts must accompany the application.
      • Statement of purpose and resume
      • Immunization records
    • Other Requirements:

      • Transfer credits not allowed
      • Must complete 5 years from initial enrollment data
      • Must complete RSIE training modules first semester
      • Must turn in Plan of Study first semester
      • 3.0 GPA required for completion with no grade lower than a “C” in any course



The Graduate Certificate in Economic Development (CIP 45.0604) requires four three-credit courses for completion and provides broad exposure to the field. Students who successfully complete the program are prepared to take on additional responsibilities in their existing careers or begin new careers as economic development professionals.

The Graduate Certificate Program may serve as an entry point for enrollment into the Master of Science (MS) in Economic Development program.

The four courses (12 hrs) required for the certificate will include:

      • ED 646 - Marketing and Business Development for Economic Development (3 hrs)
      • ED 722 - Economic Development Theory & Research Methods (3 hrs)
      • ED 725 - Entrepreneurship and Technology-Based Economic Development (3 hrs)
      • One elective course from the following list:
        1. ED 761 - Contemporary Issues in Economic Development (3 hrs)
        2. ED 656 - Rural Economic Development (3 hrs)
        3. ED 665 - Tourism and Service as Economic Development (3 hrs)
        4. ED 662 - Economic Development and the Environment (3 hrs)
        5. ED 667 - Community Development (3 hrs)
        6. ED 701 - True South Economic Development (3 hrs)
        7. ED 730 - Innovation and Development (3 hrs)
        8. ED 748 - Globalization and International Development (3 hrs)
        9. ED 764 - Economic Development Theory (3 hrs) 

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