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Global Planning and International Development Studies
201 Architecture Annex
Blacksburg, VA 24061
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Certificate Overview

The world is facing enormous challenges in the next century including climate change, water scarcity, world hunger, poverty, rapid urbanization, unemployment, natural habitat loss, resource degradation, and fiscal and institutional mismanagement. To face these challenges, we need thoughtful, ethically informed, and future-oriented solution builders who are thinking at a global scale.

The Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies builds on Virginia Tech’s internationally recognized, 50-year specialization in international development planning and an innovative partnership between faculty in programs such as Urban Affairs and Planning, Public Health, Geography, and Building Construction. The certificate seeks to prepare graduate students in multiple disciplines to engage in meaningful global professional leadership and academic positions to systematically tackle and resolve these global planning and development issues.

The certificate may be taken in conjunction with most of Virginia Tech’s masters and doctoral degree programs.

How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

Admission Requirements

The certificate is open to all graduate students pursuing masters or doctoral degrees at Virginia Tech. Interested non-degree students may be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis. Prospective certificate applicants should confer with their respective graduate degree program academic advisors to ensure that pursuit of the certificate will productively complement their primary graduate degree objectives. 

Course Requirements

The core of this graduate certificate focuses on global planning issues and development project design, implementation, and evaluation.

Following the required two-course, six-credit core sequence, students may select an additional six credit hours in three specializations:

  • Non-profit and Non-governmental Organization Management and Development
  • Sustainable Infrastructure Development
  • Public and Environmental Health and Global Development

Additional graduate courses of study in environmental planning and policy, women and gender in international development, natural resources management, homeland and global security, agricultural and rural development, and international business management are also offered at Virginia Tech and may be taken in addition to the three areas of specialization.

Required Core Courses (6 to 9 credit hours)
  1. UAP 5764G International Development Policy and Planning (3H) or equivalent course (e.g., GIA 5524: International Development) if approved
  2. UAP 5764 International Development Planning Studio (3H)

Elective Courses (6 credit hours)

Non-profit and Nongovernmental Organization Management and Development

  • UAP 5364 Nongovernmental Organizations in International Development
  • UAP 5454 Nonprofit Organization and Management
  • UAP 5534 Nonprofit Leadership and Governance
  • UAP 5544 Public and Nonprofit Financial Management

Sustainable Infrastructure Development

  • UAP 5324 Topics in Infrastructure Planning in Developing Countries
  • UAP 5864 Topics in Transportation Policy and Planning
  • UAP 5784 Economic Devel Planning Topics
  • BC 5144 Sustainable Infrastructure Systems
  • UAP 5424 Urban Planning in Europe (1 H)

Public and Environmental Health and Global Development

  • PHS 5004 Fundamentals of Public Health
  • PHS 5014 Environmental Health
  • PHS 5224 Comparative Health Systems
  • GEOG 5214 Health and the Global Environment

[Note: The two required elective courses can be selected from two different areas of specialization.]