Program Information

Bachelor of Arts in Rural and Community Studies (RCSP)


The Rural and Community Studies Program (RCSP) provides students with the opportunity to design an individually tailored degree that combines courses in rural and community studies with courses from traditional disciplines (e.g. Sociology and Geography). The purpose of this program is to provide students with a better understanding of the social, economic, and environmental issues facing rural regions, and in doing so, provide the skill base to assist those in rural regions to prepare for and adapt to such issues.Relationships with the graduate program in Rural Development and opportunities within the Rural Development Institute allow students to gain practical experience through research work. Prior to entering the program, students must consult with the Co-ordinator, who will assist them in working out a plan of study that meets the university requirements as well as their own needs and interests.

The Program

In addition to the core courses within the Department of Rural Development, the RCSP is based on collaboration with six other departments: Business Administration, Economics, Geography, Native Studies, Political Science, and Sociology. Courses in other departments may be approved based on student interest and need (e.g. Organizational Psychology). The major option allows students the opportunity to focus on rural development studies while leaving the option to draw upon a traditional discipline as a minor. Students interested in the RCSP are encouraged to contact the Department of Rural Development for more details about how programs can be individually tailored to their interests.

Graduate Diploma in Rural Development (GDRD)

The Graduate Diploma in Rural Development is designed to provide graduate level study to those who wish to extend their knowledge of theory and practice through course work but are not interested in the research training component of graduate study.

The Diploma program consists of 18 credit hours of course work. Any sequence of courses is allowable but the thesis and practicum options are not available.

Master in Rural Development (MRD)

The MRD degree provides students with the following:

  • Knowledge of current development theory
  • The ability to apply knowledge to their selected area of interest
  • Skills in understanding and participating in rural governance
  • Technical skills in research design and reporting
  • Basic training in community relations, networking, group facilitation and development planning
  • An understanding of the formulation and role of policy in rural development
  • Knowledge of the structure and functioning of rural society