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Community Resources and Development, MS

Community Resources and Development, MS

Academic programs / Graduate degrees / Community Resources and Development, MS

Global, Management, Recreation, Sustainability, Tourism, nonprofit, social, sociology

With your commitment to reshaping your community, your passion for change and your aspirations for an influential career, you can prepare to be an agile, results-driven leader. Align your degree with your goals while unlocking opportunities across diverse communities through program electives and the four concentrations.

Program description
Degree awarded: MS  Community Resources and Development

The master's degree program in community resources and development prepares students to analyze and understand critical topics and issues pertinent to the fields of tourism, parks and recreation management, nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations, and sustainable communities.

Students choose between two academic options: the thesis or the practicum professional option.

On average, completion of the master's degree requires two years of study.

At a glance
Accelerated program options
This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years. It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's plus master's degree with:

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. Students typically receive approval to pursue the accelerated master’s during the junior year of their bachelor's degree program. Interested students can learn about eligibility requirements and how to apply.

Degree requirements

30 credit hours and a thesis, or
36 credit hours including the required applied project course (CRD 593)

Required Core (15 credit hours)
CRD 500 Research Methods (3)
CRD 502 Statistical and Data Analysis (3)
CRD 530 Community Services Management (3) or advanced inquiry course (3)
CRD 552 Critical Issues (3)
CRD 555 Theoretical Perspectives in Community Development (3)

Electives (9 or 15 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
CRD 593 Applied Project (6) or
CRD 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students may select a thesis or applied project. The thesis option is a research-oriented program recommended for students planning to continue graduate studies beyond the master's degree. The applied project option is intended for students seeking additional knowledge and expertise relevant to professional career development. Advising and direction in both options are under the direct supervision of an assigned faculty member.

Students in the applied project option take CRD 530 as part of their core coursework and 15 credit hours of electives.

Students in the thesis option take an advanced inquiry course as part of their core coursework and nine credit hours of electives. The thesis must be defended in an oral examination before a supervisory committee of at least three faculty members, one of whom resides in another department.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or they must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. statement of professional and academic goals
  4. three letters of recommendation
  5. current resume
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

International applicants are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores and a financial guarantee statement.

Only complete application files are reviewed or considered for admission. Applicants without undergraduate academic work in related disciplines are required to take six credit hours of deficiency coursework in addition to the master's degree requirements. Deficiency coursework may be taken in conjunction with master's degree classes.

Tuition information
When it comes to paying for higher education, everyone’s situation is different. Students can learn about ASU tuition and financial aid options to find out which will work best for them.
Application deadlines
Session A/CIn Person Rolling
Session A/CIn Person Rolling
Program learning outcomes

Program learning outcomes identify what a student will learn or be able to do upon completion of their program. This program has the following program outcomes:

  • Conduct research in tourism while analyzing critical topics and issues pertinent to tourism development and management.
  • Relate their individual strengths to demonstrate knowledge of research methods and data analysis within the context of tourism sectors.
  • Apply the principles and practices of community development to address the social, economic, environmental and cultural challenges of diverse communities.
Career opportunities

Career opportunities after graduation include:

  • community services officer
  • nonprofit and nongovernmental organization officer
  • parks and recreation officer
  • tourism officer
Contact information
What are accelerated programs?
Accelerated programs allow students the opportunity to expedite the completion of their degree.

3 year programs

These programs allow students to fast-track their studies after admission and earn a bachelor's degree in three years or fewer while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students should talk to their academic advisor to get started.

Accelerated master's

These programs allow students to accelerate their studies to earn a bachelor's plus a master's degree in as few as five years (for some programs).

Each program has requirements students must meet to be eligible for consideration. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. Students typically receive approval to pursue the accelerated master’s during the junior year of their bachelor's degree program. Interested students can learn about eligibility requirements and how to apply.
What are concurrent programs?
Concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests, earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor.
What are joint programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a new program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are online programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See for more information.
What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information:

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