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(Posted 7-6-04)
Contact: Tiffany Aumann Edwards, 336-256-0230

New Programs in Urban and Economic Development at UNCG

GREENSBORO - To meet the needs of Piedmont Triad government, businesses and nonprofit professionals, the Political Science and Geography departments at UNCG will offer a new certificate and two new concentrations in their master’s programs.  Beginning this fall, they will increase their course offerings in urban planning and economic development.

Students pursing a Master in Public Affairs degree will be able to pursue a concentration in Community and Economic Development, and those in the Master of Arts program in Geography will have the option of a concentration in Urban Planning/Economic Development.  Both concentrations require the completion of 15 semester hours as a part of their respective graduate program curricula.

The departments have also developed a joint post-baccalaureate certificate in Urban and Economic Development for students not enrolled in a master’s program.  The certificate requires a completion of 18 semester hours and will include most of the courses in the two concentrations.

Course work in the concentration and certificate options will allow students to take classes from both the Geography and Political Science departments.  Topics include: urban political systems, community and economic development theory, industrial development, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and transportation planning.  The new programs will include applied research projects, such as economic asset analyses, internships, and various other real-world applications relevant to the Triad.

The deadline for applications is Aug. 5.

According to Dr. Kenneth Klase, director of the MPA program, “This is an opportunity to better prepare students for the urban and economic development challenges facing the state, as well as increase the skill level of those already in a career in community or economic development.  The combined forces of the two departments should serve students well.”

A recent graduate of the MPA program, April R. Hutchinson, Vice President of Operations, Downtown Greensboro Inc., enthusiastically endorsed the new direction in the graduate curriculum: “Many UNCG graduates have made significant contributions to our community, especially in the local public and nonprofit sectors.  The new concentrations and certificate in Urban and Economic Development will add breadth to the existing program and complement important local priorities. UNCG graduates with this concentration or certificate can make an even greater contribution to their employers and to the positive economic development of Greensboro. Graduates will also be better prepared for employment in the larger regional, state, and national markets.”

For more information on the new certificate and concentrations, contact Dr. Ken A. Klase ( in the Political Science Department at (336) 256-0510 or Dr. Elisabeth Nelson ( in the Geography Department at (336) 334-3896.


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