Community Planning, Graduate Certificate

Department of Geography, Planning, and Recreation

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

This plan is no longer offered at the Flagstaff Campus. 

Do you want a career in rural or urban planning—one of today’s leading fields—without pursuing a degree? Then our community planning certificate may be for you.

In this certificate program, you'll learn:

  • fundamental as well as advanced knowledge of professional planning practices
  • the elements of efficient and ethical land use
  • real world skills and technologies

    • Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours. Many graduate certificate programs require more than 12 credit hours.
    • No more than one 400-level NAU course (3 - 4 units) may be used on a graduate certificate program.
    • No more than twenty-five percent of the units required for the certificate program may be transferred from another university.
    • A 400-level course (undergraduate course) completed at another university is not eligible for transfer credit.
    • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved to obtain a graduate certificate. No more than three units of coursework with a Grade of "C" may be used in a certificate program.
    • A graduate student may pursue a graduate certificate concurrently with a graduate degree. Each graduate degree program must decide which, if any, certificate courses can be counted toward the graduate degree.
    • Students who are admitted to a graduate certificate program will be eligible for the official posting of the graduate certificate to their transcripts when all applicable coursework has been successfully completed and approved by the academic unit and the Graduate College.
  • Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program).  See the “Details” tab for additional information.

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.

Minimum Units for Completion 15
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Fieldwork Experience/Internship Fieldwork Experience/Internship may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Some online/blended coursework Required

Purpose Statement

The Community Planning Graduate Certificate prepares students for careers in local government urban planning departments, as well as in private sector development companies who interact closely with those departments.  Students gain background and experiences in urban planning, community analysis, community development, city budgeting, geospatial technologies, land use law, and current issues in urban planning. At the completion of the certificate, students will have skills to analyze and assess community needs, and to create and execute policies and plans to address those needs through positions in city and county planning and development departments, in private sector development corporations, and in non-profit organizations that support community development.

Student Learning Outcomes

Place and Community Development

Elucidate the major theories, techniques, and trends associated with place and/or community development; and apply these concepts to analyze issues and create solutions as related to their Masters level project.  
Critical Analysis 
Identify, explain, and evaluate the major research methods and modes of inquiry within geographic thought and practice; and Generate critical questions based on geographical theory, applying systematic research processes consistent with disciplinary norms, and present findings . 
Geospatial technologies 
Efficiently use applications related to geospatial technology to obtain, organize, visualize, and/or analyze geographic data; Successfully apply geospatial technology to reach qualitative and/or quantitative solutions for geographic inquiry or community development; and Effectively communicate about geospatial data and technology using oral and visual methods. 
Professional Development 
Conduct oneself and create work in a way that demonstrates the level competency, skill, and ethical behavior required of professional employment; Present and defend a project with the purpose of generating new knowledge, or solving a problem or challenge within their profession or area of interest; Present your work to general and professional audiences, articulating sustained, coherent explanations summarizing your project; and effectively communicate complex ideas and analysis. 

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

    • One reference
    • Personal statement or essay
Certificate Requirements
  • This certificate may be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate. Federal financial aid cannot be used if the certificate is completed as a stand-alone certificate.

  • 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.