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Economic Development (ED)

Faculty Coordinator:  Margaret Cowell

The primary goal of economic development is to improve a community’s economic well-being and quality of life. Economic development focuses on attracting, creating, and retaining employment opportunities in order to cultivate a resilient and inclusive economy. The field of economic development generally includes the private and public sectors, as well as civic and community stakeholders.

The Graduate Certificate in Economic Development is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of urban and regional economic development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. The target population includes current Virginia Tech graduate students in all fields and others with undergraduate degrees who qualify for admission to the certificate program. Admission to the certificate program requires status as a graduate student in good standing at Virginia Tech, either as a current degree student or as a nondegree certificate student.

This certificate requires the completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours of graduate course work. To receive the certificate, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the courses taken. Students seeking the certificate must complete at least six credit hours from among the following courses plus six credit hours in electives. 

  • UAP 5234: Urban Economy & Public Policy
  • UAP 5104: Urban & Regional Development Theory
  • UAP 5784: Local Economic Development Planning
  • UAP 5774: Economic Development Studio