Community Economic Development
Graduate Diploma (GrDip)
The Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development is for students who want to contribute to progressive change and civic engagement, at a time when complex, large-scale challenges are affecting societies around the world. You will explore the evolution of community economic development, community organizing and different theories of economic change. Today this includes the growing interest in social innovation and how it generates uncharted paths for community-based social and economic transformation. Our faculty members are actively involved in the community and social economy sector, allowing you to benefit from their scholarship and practical knowledge. Our diverse student body is comprised of community sector professionals and students with volunteer experience in a variety of organizations. Montreal’s history of community-based activism and economic development will serve as a backdrop as you take part in field projects with various local organizations.
- Undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.70.
- Two-to-four page personal statement outlining the applicant’s field(s) of interest, strengths and weaknesses, expectations and hopes from their studies, how these expectations tie into their personal and professional goals, and what they expect to contribute to a better understanding of community economic development.
- Ability to read, write and express oneself in either English or French.
- Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the English language proficiency page for further information on requirements and exemptions.
Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits and obtain a minimum GPA of 2.70.
Please see the School of Community and Public Affairs Courses for course descriptions.
Community Economic Development (CED) Graduate Diploma (30 credits)
credits of Core Courses:
Note: Students may take multiple 1-credit sessions for a total of three credits.
credits of Elective Courses: (chosen based on area of concentration):
|Please see the Développement économique communautaire (DEC), diplôme page for the French version.|
Your completed application will include:
- Application form and Fee
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- Reference and assessment form
- Students applying with an undergraduate degree: Two Confidential Letters of Reference and Academic Assessment forms
- Students applying without an undergraduate degree: Three Confidential Letters of Reference and Academic Assessment forms
- Statement of Purpose should outline (2 to 4 pages):
- your particular field(s) of interest
- what you expect or hope from your studies within the program
- how your expectations or hopes tie into your professional or personal goals
- your strengths and weaknesses
- what you expect to contribute to a better understanding of CED
- Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
- Proof of Canadian citizenship (if applicable)
- Applicants whose primary language is not English or French, are required to submit official language test scores, unless exempted.
Core courses (3 credits) include:
- Introduction to Community Economic Development
- Comparative Approaches and Models in CED
- Fundamental Skills for CED Practice
- Community Organizing and CED
- Social Enterprise Development and Social Entrepreneurship
Specialisation courses (3 credits) are offered as well (decided by the student cohort). The following courses have been offered in the past:
- Financing CED Initiatives
- Housing and Land Use from a CED Perspective
- Communications, Technology and CED
- International Development and CED
- Aboriginal CED
Open session courses (1 credit) offered in the past have included
- Feminist approaches to CED
- Arts and CED
- Participatory economics
- Using the social media for community development purposes
Courses are dynamic, and include a variety of teaching methods: site visits, guest speakers, workshops, films, discussion of texts, group work, etc.
You will dedicate between 80 to 120 hours to a field project that addresses an aspect of community development. This field project can be based within your present work, new paid work or in a new or current volunteer context.
The project is an opportunity for you to address a specific challenge you are passionate about and which is also seen as important by the collaborating organization. You are responsible for defining, finding and negotiating your field project, with the support and assistance of our program. You will critically analyze your project and submit a written report that summarizes and evaluates your experience.
Examples of recent past field projects include students collaborating with groups on issues related to immigration, housing, urban agriculture, youth etc. Students are responsible for negotiating the tasks within the field placement with the organization based on organizational needs and student learning interests. Running a conference, providing training, facilitating workshops, supporting inter-organizational collaborations, doing research are examples of tasks that students have taken on as part of their field placement.
The Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development is structured to enable practitioners to continue work while studying.
- Offers all courses during one extended weekend a month (all day Friday, all day Saturday and all day Sunday once a month, as well as a Thursday afternoon every once per term)
- Includes a practical project related to a participant’s work or volunteer activity
- Alternates annually between English (starting in fall of even years) and French (starting in fall of odd years)
- On a full-time basis, takes one year to complete over three consecutive semesters: Fall, Winter and Summer. As the functional language of courses will be different in the following year, a strong motivation usually exists to complete the Program within its framework of three consecutive terms
- On a half-time basis, takes two years to complete: two consecutive years if a participant can take courses in both English and French or two non-consecutive years if a participant can take courses in only one language
A Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development prepares you for careers in various community organizations, including anti-poverty, urban and housing development, women’s rights, and immigration. Many of our alumni have started their own social enterprises, like alternative daycares, laundromats, consumer cooperatives, cafés, as well as the importation and sale of equitable fruits to major distributors. Other career opportunities are available in government and local community economic development agencies, health clinics, education, and unions.