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One-year program in Community Economic Development

Tackle injustice from the bottom up.

Offered in both English (September 2024) and French (September 2025), on alternate years.

Contribute to social and environmental justice, along with civic engagement, at a time when complex, large-scale challenges are affecting societies around the world. 

Explore the evolution of community economic development (CED), solidarity economy and community organizing situated on Turtle Island, unceded and contested Indigenous lands. 

Gain the skills, knowledge and attitudes that are essential to accompanying communities as they take charge of the blossoming of neighbourhoods, villages, cities, territories, for the well-being of all species and the planet earth. 

Program structure

Fall/Winter/Summer – 30 credits

Workshop style courses with a blend of lecture, guest speakers, participatory activities, co-learning, field trips and mentorship. 


SCPA 500 Intersectionality, Anti-Racism and Indigenous Perspectives, Dialogue

SCPA 501 Introduction to Community Economic Development and Solidarity Economy

SCPA 503 Beyond Capitalism for a Better World

SCPA 5060 Field Project Preparation


SCPA 505 Collective Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship

SCPA 507 Participatory Management

SCPA 510 Field Project and Mentorship

SCPA 512 The Arts for Community Organizing and Social Justice


SCPA 504 Community Organizing

SCPA 508 Financing CED initiatives

SCPA 536 Indigenous CED

SCPA 543 Special Topics in CED

The program:

Is structured to enable students to continue their work, activism and/or personal commitments while studying. Offers all courses during one extended weekend per month (all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday once a month, as well as Thursday afternoon once per term).   

Includes a practical field project that is based on students’ learning interests, helpful to a community and realistic for them to undertake.  

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 terms: Fall, Winter and Summer. As the functional language of courses is different in the following year, a strong motivation usually exists to complete the Program within its framework of three consecutive terms.  

Admission requirements

The program welcomes candidates with non-traditional career paths, including those who do not have a university or CEGEP degree. Experience in community work, social justice work, and advocacy counts for a lot!

If you are enrolling in the French year of study, you must be able to speak, read and understand French; you must be able to write in English or French. If you are enrolling in the English year of study, you must be able to speak, read and understand English; you must be able to write in English or French. 

Tuition & funding

The cost for this 30-credit program can be calculated using the tuition and fee estimator tool on the Concordia website.

We are committed to providing you the support you need to focus on your studies. Several bursaries are available for students based on financial need, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. 

Please also consult Concordia’s graduate funding and Financial Aid and Awards webpages.

Application process

1. Create a Concordia netname if you don't yet have one. A netname gives you access to the Concordia application system, shared student computers and more.

2. Complete an application. Make sure to select “Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development” from the list.

3. Include your supporting documents. You'll need:

  • A statement of purpose explaining your understanding of CED, motivations for application, experiences with CED/community work and related knowledge and skills.
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended.
  • Proof of your citizenship or immigration status in Canada
  • Reference and assessment forms 
    • If you are applying with an undergraduate degree: Two Confidential Letters of Reference and Academic Assessment forms.
    • If you are applying without an undergraduate degree: Three Confidential Letters of Reference and Academic Assessment forms.

4. If your primary language is not English or French, you are required to submit official language test scores, unless exempted. If you were not educated in an institution whose language of instruction is the same as that of the language of the year of study you are applying to, you may be required to complete a short assessment by videoconferencing with the director of the program. 

5. In certain cases, you may be required to do an interview.

You can upload your documents to your application after submitting it. However, please note that we cannot complete the assessment of your application until we receive the required materials listed above.

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