Rural Development degree programs are designed to educate a new generation of community leaders for rural Alaska. The department offers B.A. and M.A. degrees in Rural Development. These degrees can be earned either on the Fairbanks campus or through distance delivery.
Students in the Rural Development program gain a broad understanding of Alaska's relationship to the global economy and an appreciation for sustainable development strategies. Students also learn specific tools essential for community leadership, including business plan and grant proposal writing, community visioning and planning processes, computer business applications, and project management and evaluation techniques. Graduates typically take positions with tribal and municipal governments, fisheries, tourism and other private businesses, Native corporations, regional health corporations or non-profits, and state/federal agencies.
BA Program: Undergraduate degree students develop a concentration in one of five areas.
MA Program: Graduate degree students gain a broader theoretical understanding of development processes in Alaska and the Circumpolar North. Graduate students complete a thesis or applied community development project, and have opportunities for international study and research.
The program is designed especially for mature and nontraditional students in rural Alaska communities. Many are returning to higher education after many years away from study. Most students are already employed, and many are active as community leaders. Nearly all have family and other obligations that make it difficult to complete a degree in a traditional campus setting.
As a Rural Development student, you'll work with a faculty advisor in developing a plan of study for your degree. You'll be encouraged to use your workplace and community as part of your "campus." You'll complete your degree not only through conventional coursework but also through flexible and innovative special learning opportunities, including:
- on-the-job training
- Rural Development seminars
- credit for prior learning
- individualized courses
We look forward to working with you in achieving your educational goals!