Community Design, Minor

Department of Geography, Planning, and Recreation

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Communities have evolved in adaptation to environments, geography, political pressures, food production, or simply population sprawl. This minor provides a useful foundation for those interested in land-use planning, historic preservation, as well as the legal and ethical components of contemporary community design.

  • A minor is earned in conjunction with a bachelor's degree.

    To receive a minor (18 - 24 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. At least 12 units of the minor must be unique to that minor and not applied to any other minor.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

No more than fifty percent of the units used to satisfy minor requirements may be used to satisfy major requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 20
Major GPA C

Purpose Statement

This minor provides community design background for those in the fields of civil engineering, historic preservation, community advocacy and sustainability, and public administration. The minor in community design prepares students to redesign poorly functioning places or to create fresh designs for more livable and sustainable neighborhoods and cities and to communicate with the public. With this minor you learn about the environmental, political, and social aspects of places and how to improve community design. You will understand legal, ethical and process aspects to community design projects, work on solving problems related to the built environment, create community designs and gain skills in public participation and facilitation.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to: 

  1. Relate urban economic, social, political, built environment and legal considerations to past, present and future land use patterns
  2. Understand the issues of design, sustainability and livability in regard to human and physical landscapes
  3. Apply critical thinking skills to design or redesign areas or spaces using various visual technologies, research and justifications
  4. Effectively work in teams to produce quality and relevant projects


Minor Requirements
  • Take the following 20 units with a Grade of "C" or better in each course:

    Select one from the following courses with your advisor's approval (3 units):
    Contact the Geography, Planning, & Recreation department to be assigned a minor advisor.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.