Graduate Certificates

Community Development


The Graduate Certificate in Community Development (GCCD) explores urban communities that have suffered from decades of disinvestment and examines the efforts of residents towards revitalization. The approach is interdisciplinary, weaving together a variety of perspectives so that students understand what communities are and how they differ; how communities fit into broader social systems; and what strategies are necessary to develop communities. The certificate is also applied, focusing on the current issues and efforts of community development in the Tampa Bay area.


Courses for this graduate certificate program are only offered on the Tampa campus. We offer a mixture of in person, hybrid blend, and online courses.


For full consideration, your completed application should be received by the following deadlines:

  • Fall semester: August 1
  • Spring semester: December 1
  • Summer semester: April 15

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university and should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 out of a 4.0 scale average in their undergraduate study.


For new non-degree seeking students: In addition to your online application and non-refundable $30 application fee, you will also need to submit the following documents:

  • Undergraduate transcripts;
  • Letter of intent (aka statement of purpose); and
  • Resume (aka curriculum vitae).

Current graduate students at USF: DO NOT submit an online application. Instead, you will download and fill out the Graduate Certificate Approval Form. Send the completed paperwork and supplemental materials (statement of purpose and up-to-date resume only) via email to as one PDF file (do not send via DocuSign).


View Graduate Studies Catalog  |  View Sample Grad Check

Core Requirements

15 total credit hours; 9 credit hours of required core courses.

  • URP 6058 Community Development Planning (3)
    • Can be substituted with PAD 6336 Community Development Programs and Strategies (3)
  • URP 6316 Land Use Planning (3)
    • Can be substituted with PAD 6338 Urban Land Use and Policy Administration (3)
  • URP 6549 Urban and Metropolitan Economic Development Strategies (3)

Elective Requirements

6 credit hours of required elective courses. Please select 2 courses from the following list:

  • PAD 6339 Housing and Public Policy (3)
    • Can be substituted with URP 6930 Affordable Housing (3)
  • URP 6100 Planning Theory and History (3)
  • URP 6115 Planning Policy and Politics (3)
    • Can be substituted with PAD 6934 Contemporary Urban Issues (3)
  • URP 6401 Planning for Resilient Communities (3)
  • URP 6406 Urban Environmental Policy (3)
  • URP 6930 Community Real Estate Development (3)


The graduate certificate time limit is 5 years. However, students can complete this program within 1-3 years.


All 15 credit hours/5 courses from this certificate program may be eligible for transfer into the Master of Urban & Regional Planning (MURP) program, as long as a grade of "B" or higher is received in each certificate course taken.


No standardized tests are required for admission to the certificate program. International applicants from non-English speaking countries must provide a minimum score of 79 on TOEFL iBT, 6.5 on IELTS, or 110 on Duolingo taken within 2 years of the desired term of entry. Click here for more information on USF's English Proficiency Requirement.


  • International students who do not hold the required degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution must submit translated transcripts from an NACES affiliated evaluation agency certifying equivalency to a U.S. degree.
  • Certificate students are ineligible for a student visa based on the certificate program alone (non-degree seeking), but concurrently enrolling in a master's program (graduate degree seeking) would make you eligible for a student visa.


Certificate Director
Dr. Evangeline Linkous
Phone: (813) 974-7982

Program Specialist
Annie Valdez
Phone: (813) 974-7861