Community Development

Community Development: Introduction

Admissions to this collaborative specialization have been administratively suspended. See amendment made on August 9, 2022.

Lead Faculty of the Collaborative Specialization

Public Health

Participating Degree Programs

Adult Education and Community Development — MA, MEd
Counselling and Clinical Psychology (Clinical and Counselling Psychology field) — MA
Counselling Psychology — MEd
Geography — MA
Planning — MScPl
Public Health Sciences — MPH
Social Work — MSW


The Collaborative Specialization in Community Development provides students with a multidisciplinary graduate education in community development. Community development involves working with community members and groups to effect positive change in the social, economic, organizational, or physical structures of a community that improve both the welfare of community members and the community's ability to direct its future.

Students must first apply to and register in one of the participating master's degree programs listed above, and then apply to the collaborative specialization. Students must follow a course of study acceptable to both the home unit and the collaborative specialization. Upon successful completion of the degree requirements of the participating home graduate unit and the collaborative specialization, students will receive the notation “Completed Collaborative Specialization in Community Development” on their transcript.

Contact and Address

Telephone: (416) 978-7542

Collaborative Specialization in Community Development
Dalla Lana School of Public Health
University of Toronto
155 College Street, 6th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3M7

Community Development: Master's Level

Admission Requirements

  • Collaborative specializations are administered under the auspices of the School of Graduate Studies.

  • Applicants must be accepted for admission to a participating graduate unit and comply with the admission procedures of that unit before applying to the Collaborative Specialization in Community Development.

  • Applicants must submit the following to the collaborative specialization committee:

    • A copy of the letter accepting you into one of the participating graduate units.

    • A resumé or curriculum vitae (CV).

    • A letter explaining how your plan of study, your specific interests, and your career goals relate to community development (i.e., why you want to enrol in the Collaborative Specialization in Community Development); maximum length: 500 words. Include reference to any relevant experience (volunteer, work, education, etc.).

Specialization Requirements

  • Students must register in the master's degree program through one of the participating home graduate units. They must meet all respective degree requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and their participating home graduate unit.

  • To fulfil the requirements of the Collaborative Specialization in Community Development, students must complete the following:

    • The core course UCS1000H Community Development.

    • An additional 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) in the subject area of the collaborative specialization, to be approved by the collaborative specialization director, of which at least 0.5 FCE must be external to the student's home graduate unit.

    • Participation in a non-credit coordinating seminar on community development.

    • Where required by the home degree program, a thesis or the major research paper (as designated by the home degree program) on a topic related to community development; a member of the thesis committee or the reader of the major research paper must be a faculty member associated with the collaborative specialization. Or where required by the home degree program, a practicum placement with community development content as approved by the collaborative specialization director or core faculty member from that home degree program.

  • Normally, the required courses listed below are taken as options within regular departmental or faculty degree requirements, not as additional courses.

Community Development: Courses

Core Course

Course Code Course Title
Community Development

In addition to the core course (UCS1000H), students must take an additional 1.0 FCE in the subject area of the collaborative specialization, to be approved by the collaborative specialization director. The following is a list of the currently approved courses; the list is reviewed annually and posted on the Community Development website.

Adult Education

Course Code Course Title
Introduction to Community Development
Social Action Education: Community Development, Social Services, and Social Movements
Nonprofits, Co-operatives, and the Social Economy: An Overview
Community Healing and Peacebuilding
Cyberliteracy and Adult Education
Walking Together, Talking Together: The Praxis of Reconciliation
Special Topics in Adult Education and Community Development: Master's Level (with approval of the Director)
Special Topics in Adult Education and Community Development: Doctoral Level (with approval of the Director)

Counselling Psychology

Course Code Course Title
Indigenous Healing in Counselling and Psychoeducation


Course Code Course Title
Community Participation and Health
Comparative Politics of Health Policy in a Globalizing World


Course Code Course Title
Housing Markets and Housing Policy Analysis
Place, Politics, and the Urban
Sustainability and Urban Communities
Planning the Social Economy
Planning for Change: Community Development in Practice

Public Health Sciences

Course Code Course Title
Building Community Resilience
Directed Reading

Social Work

Course Code Course Title
Promoting Empowerment: Working at the Margins
Globalization and Transnationalism: Intersections of Policy and Community Practice Locally and Globally
Theoretical Approaches to Defining Social Injustice and Engaging in Social Change
Social Housing and Homelessness
Research Knowledge for Social Justice