Community Development and Applied Economics M.S.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master's Degree.


The Department of Community Development and Applied Economics (CDAE) supports sustainable local and international community development through interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach that serves the public interest. CDAE offers a Master of Science degree in Community Development and Applied Economics. Expertise among the CDAE faculty advisors includes economics (both ecological and neoclassical), rural sociology, food systems, applied econometrics, agricultural economics, policy and governance, consumer affairs, renewable energy, and community entrepreneurship. CDAE's research and outreach is both global (e.g. Agroecology, Farmer Livelihoods and Ecosystem Services in Brazil's Atlantic Forest) and local (e.g., dairy farming and farmers' markets in Vermont) and graduate students benefit from close affiliation with other research institutions at the University of Vermont and beyond.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Science

Required academic prerequisites include course work in microeconomics and calculus, equivalent to UVM courses ECON 1450 Principles of Microeconomics and MATH 1212​ Fundamentals of Calculus I. Other courses, including non-UVM courses or a CLEP exam, may be considered. Students must complete at least 1 of the prerequisites prior to enrolling. The remaining prerequisite must be completed within the first semester of enrollment.

  • GPA = 3.00 or equivalent from bachelor's degree.
  • Completion of an acceptable Calculus and Microeconomics course by the end of the first semester of enrollment.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are optional.
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the candidate’s academic potential for graduate work and motivation for pursuing the M.S. in CDAE.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • To be considered for funding, applicants are invited to submit (i) a writing sample, (ii) evidence of research experience (e.g., term papers, class projects, research reports and/or other descriptions of past research experience from academic or professional lives) and/or GRE scores.
  • For international students whose native language is not English or who have not completed undergraduate degrees in English, scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo must be submitted. 

Minimum Degree Requirements

The degree requires a total of 36 credits, of which 27 to 30 are from advanced courses in CDAE and other related fields, plus a minimum of 6 credits of thesis research. A written comprehensive examination and an oral defense of a thesis are also required. A student's thesis research is often an integral part of faculty-led, ongoing research projects in CDAE.

Students in the graduate program must have a 3.00 grade point average to remain a degree candidate. A student may be dismissed from the Graduate College if 2 or more grades below a "B" are received.

Five courses and graduate research seminars are required:

CDAE 6510Research & Evaluation Methods3
CDAE 6540Advanced Microeconomics3
CDAE 6920Graduate Seminars (1 credit per semester, taken 3 semesters)1
Approved statistics/research course (options include CDAE 6350, PA 6080, PA 6110, EDRM 6310, and NR 6430)3
CDAE 6260Community Economic Development3
CDAE 6590Applied Econometrics3
CDAE 6391Master's Thesis Research6+

Comprehensive Examination

A written examination must be completed by the student's third semester of full-time enrollment. Each thesis committee member will provide one question to the candidate and the committee will specify the amount of time that the candidate has to submit their responses. The intent of the comprehensive exam is to guide the student toward successful completion of the oral and written thesis defense. 

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science

Successful completion of any prerequisite courses, and at least 15 graded graduate credits earned in compilation of the graduate GPA, including all core courses. A GPA of 3.00 or greater is also required.