Graduate Certificate in Community Development

This is an archived copy of the 2021-2022 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

This program offers training and skill development in the area of community development for community leaders.  This includes training in planning and engagement, program assessment and evaluation, proposal writing, and applied social science research techniques. The program also offers specialized courses on key issues facing communities today, including economic development, public health, and the environment.

This Graduate Certificate is eligible to receive Title IV funding – Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Graduate PLUS loans by request. To be considered for aid, students need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Students seeking admission to the Graduate Certificate program in Community Development must submit the following documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application: The Graduate Application is an institutional application required by SHSU. Students must provide biographical and educational information and information relevant to determining State of Texas residency.
  2. Application fee: An application fee is required for all applications to graduate programs at SHSU.
  3. Transcripts documenting all prior degrees.*
  4. Applicants who do not possess a graduate degree from an accredited institution are expected to have earned a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 from the accredited institution granting the undergraduate degree. Applicants who do not possess a graduate degree and have an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 are encouraged to provide an explanation for the applicant’s low GPA and why the GPA is not indicative of the applicant’s academic and professional potential in the Letter of Intent.
  5. Letter of Intent: The Letter of Intent is your opportunity to discuss your fit with the program offered at Sam Houston State University. While you have a significant amount of freedom to discuss anything you would like in your letter of intent, you may want to address your short-term and long-term academic/professional goals, why you would like to attend our program, and why your interests fit with our program.
  6. Resume or Curriculum Vitae to highlight the applicant’s work history and relevant experience in community development.
  7. Two letters of recommendation that discuss the applicant’s suitability for graduate study.

*Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts for review by the admissions committee. However, under university policy, admission decisions are contingent upon receipt of official transcripts.

Students will be admitted for the Fall and Spring semesters (no summer admissions). The application deadline for Spring enrollment is December 1st; the application deadline for Fall enrollment is August 1st.


Students admitted into the Graduate Certificate in Community Development are eligible to transfer into the Master of Arts in Sociology program if they meet the program requirements.

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Graduate Certificate in Community Development
Specified Courses
SOCI 5320Sociology of Community3
SOCI 5376Applied Research Methods3
or SOCI 5378 Tchnq-Rsrch Propsl Wrt/Soc Sci
SOCI 5380Social Impct Assmt & Prog Eval3
Choose two of the following:6
Sociolgy of Entrepreneurship
Seminar In Medical Sociology
Sociology of Disasters
Seminar-Environmentl Sociology
Applied Research Methods
Tchnq-Rsrch Propsl Wrt/Soc Sci
Total Hours15