Sustainable Community Development (BS)

Patricia McGirr, Program Director

4 years Curriculum    3 years Curriculum    5 years BSSCD+MRP Curriculum

In the Sustainable Community Development major, students can explore a variety of perspectives on creating a more sustainable world through planning and design.  The planning and design of a sustainable world is complex, and this major offers students the opportunity to prepare academically to deal with this complexity by drawing on a variety of disciplinary fields and working at a range of scales. 

Students will become familiar with the theories and techniques of design and planning for creating sustainable communities, conserving the environment, and responding to other social, cultural, economic and political challenges of the built environment. Perhaps most important, students will gain experience in knowing how to facilitate and lead change in communities.

Students with this degree are well qualified for positions with non-profit organizations and community development agencies, municipalities, and private firms specializing in site, municipal and regional level work.  Students are also well placed to go on to graduate school at UMass, either in the Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program or the accelerated Masters in Regional Planning (MRP), or to other programs and other universities.

The Sustainable Community Development major offers four areas of concentrated study:

Concentrations within the major allow students to focus on particular issues and scales of design and planning.  Students are required to take a total of 16 classes: 7 core requirements and 9 classes in one of the concentration areas.

3 Year Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainable Community Development

The Sustainable Community Development Bachelor's Degree is both rigorous and flexible, with a high percentage of elective courses.  As such, it is very feasible to complete it in three years. A suggested curriculum to achieve the Sustainable Community Development degree in three years is available here.


Departmental Honors (DH)

Departmental Honors (DH) tracks are Advanced Scholarship Tracks of Commonwealth Honors College, available in most majors.  The are recommended for students who wish to undertake advanced research within their majors, especially those who intend to pursue graduate study in the discipline of their major.  Students may complete DH as part of the full CHC curriculum, which includes Honors General Studies, or they may complete DH alone. All DH students are members of CHC. For information about DH, please check: