Economic & Social Development of Regions

Focus Areas

Master's Program Focus Areas

The Master of Arts in Economic and Social Development of Regions allows students to focus their elective courses in a particular topic or policy area of personal or professional interest. Students are not obligated to follow any of these focus areas but may take any elective courses he or she prefers and build their own curriculum.  However concentrating on a specific focus area may better suit the student’s interests or better further their career or educational goals.

Below are the six focus areas in which students may direct their studies: 

Policy at the National, State, and Local Level
Global Development and International Policy
Community Development, Social Policy, and Non-Profit Management
Innovation, Technology, and Policy
Environment and Sustainability
Research Methods

Policy at the National, State, and Local Levels

This area is largely focused on US policy.  Courses in this area explore public policy in terms of labor, gender, social welfare, as well as sustainable housing, and municipal management.

Suggested Courses:

57.511  Dynamics of Power & Authority
57.515  Politics & Economics of Public Policy
57.520  Inequality & Organization
57.527  Sustainable Housing Development & Land Use
57.525  Gender, Work and Public Policy
57.545  Political Economy of Employment
57.507  Municipal Management

Courses in other programs:

32.625  Health Policy
44.573  Law and Public Policy
44.503  Administration of Criminal Justice
44.546  Mental Health & Criminal Justice

Global Development and International Policy

This focus area addresses globalization, links between local, regional and national policy issues and the impact of international politics, trade and development on domestic policy.  Students study development strategies, migration, gender roles, poverty, patterns of trade, the major institutions that influence trade finance and development, and the changing international division of labor and capital.

Suggested Courses:

57.513  Foundation of Comp. Reg. Dev.
57.520  Inequality & Organization
57.537  Developing Economies
57.539  Justice & Trade in the Global Economy
57.540  China & India/Global Economy
57.552  Enterprise in Latin America
57.605  Social Movements

Courses in other programs:

49.410  Economic Growth and Development
49.403  Topics in International Economics and Trade
57.558  Peace & Conflict Field Exp
47.527  Immigrant Psychology and Communities
43.304  European Social and Economic History
66.511  Global Enterprise and Competition (2 credits)
19.653  Globalization, Work, and Health

Community Development, Social Policy, and Non-Profit Management

Understanding sustainable development strategies requires a deep comprehension of the dynamics of community economic development, community politics and community practice.  Students who focus in this area address urban development strategies, sustainability, community inclusion in decision making, land use policy and planning, and management of non-profit organizations.

Suggested Courses:

57.598  Org. Dynamics & Regional Dev.
57.508  Budget/Policy, Plan, & Info Tool
57.512  Community Conflict Resolution
57.527  Sustainable Housing Dev & Land Use
57.532  Advanced Community Dynamics
57.535  Community-based Planning
57.546  Grant Writing
57.514  Community Mapping with GIS

Courses in other programs:

66.480  Special Topics: Nonprofit Management 
62.496  Special Topics: Marketing for Nonprofits
32.627  Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health
47.527  Immigrant Psychology and Communities
47.500  Introduction to Community Social Psychology
47.502  Seminar in Community Social Psychology
47.503  Applied Social Psychology
47.505  Work and Family
47.523  Women in the Community
47.542  Working with Groups
47.545  Community and Organizational Change
47.625  Advanced Community Dynamics: Lowell
42.506  Writing in the Community
44.560  Gender, Race & Crime
44.622  Intimate Partner Violence
44.574  Economic Crime
05.630  Educating Diverse Populations
05.622  Financial Aspects of Educational Administration
05.652  Managing Change and Conflict
60.501  Financial Accounting (2 credits)
61.501  Business Financial Analysis (2 credits)
62.501  Marketing Fundamentals (2 credits)
63.501  Operations Fundamentals (2 credits)

Innovation, Technology, and Policy

Students who focus in this area study the sources of competitive leadership among countries and within industries.  They become skilled at industry studies that involve the theory and sources of innovation, the path of technology design, competitive strategies, the role of financial strategies and skill development strategies in the innovative trajectory of industries and firms, and the impact of offshoring and global relocation on employment and on particular regions. 

Suggested Courses:

57.503  Work and Technology
57.514  Community Mapping
57.545  Political Economy of Employment
57.520  Inequality & Organization
57.519  Science, Tech & Economy
57.540  China & India/Global Economy

Courses in other programs:

64.650  Innovation & Emerging Technology
66.480  Current Topics in Management: Business Ethics
66.501  Organizational Behavior (2 credits)
19.500  Analytic Context of Work Environment
19.643  Healthy Work Organization
47.526  Workplace Diversity

Environment and Sustainability

Environmental issues are some of the most important challenges facing communities at the local, national, and global level.  This focus area introduces students to some of the most significant issues arising from the connections of economic activity and economic development to the quality and sustainability of the environment.  Students learn skills in the economic and political analyses relevant to the design and implementation of policy alternatives that have emerged domestically and globally over the last 40 years or so. From global climate change to brownfields, concern about environmental damage has created a rich legacy of economic and political analysis, policy, and politics to which students are exposed through the courses in the focus area.

Suggested Courses:

57.518  Politics of Climate Change
57.567  Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
57.527  Sustainable Housing and Land Use
57.515  Politics and Economics of Public Policy

Courses in other programs:

19.500  Analytic Context of the Work Environment
19.550  Environmental Law & Policy
19.651  Work Environment Policy and Practice
19.550  Environmental Law & Policy
32.616  Law and Ethics in Healthcare
44.547  Economic Crime
87.504  Geographic Information Systems
87.572  Energy and the Environment

Research Methods

Student can put together a set of courses that will develop qualitative or quantitative skills to support jobs or further education that is oriented to research.

Suggested Courses:

57.506  Research Methods
57.592  Qualitative Research Methods
57.522  Research Ethics with Underserved Groups
57.546  Grant Writing
57.515  Politics and Economics of Public Policy
57.514  Community Mapping with GIS

Courses in other programs:

19.680  Intro to SAS
19.674  Applied Biostatistical Methods
19.689  Advanced Regression Modeling
47.512  Applied Research Methods
46.611  Program Evaluation
92.570  Probability and Statistics
92.591  Statistical Modeling and Linear Regression Analysis
92.593  Experimental Design