• Every year, CDAE students and faculty continue to implement transformative research, engaged teaching and inclusive outreach activities for building sustainable communities.

    Read how we're making our mark in our Spring 2024 Newsletter

  • UVM Student Testifies for Legislation to Safeguard Youth Health

    Read about PCOM student, Marcus Aloisi, and the project that brought him to the State Capital

  • CID Student Miranda Degreenia conducting community-based research as part of a summer reseach project.

    From Research to Community-Centered Action

    CID student shares her summer research experience helping Vermont communities.

    Read more here

  • Climate Experts Seek Impact at COP28

    At the world’s largest climate talks, CDAE researcher Dr. Asim Zia will target agricultural emissions and protections for people living on river deltas.


  • CDAE students overlooking St. Lucian ocean wearing t shirts saying "how will you change the world?"

    CDAE’s St. Lucia Study Abroad Program Celebrates 15 Years of Service Learning

    Read about the history of the CDAE St. Lucia Travel Course

  • Professor Sarah Heiss facilitates the 2023 CDAE Student Town Hall

    CDAE Hosts Fifth In-person Student Town Meeting Day

    CDAE Values Student Input - over 120 students gathered for the first post-pandemic Student Town Meeting Day since 2019 Read more >>

  • Skyler Nash holds a meeting with stakeholders regarding social justice


    Skyler Nash's (Community and International Development '21) is already at work, balancing studies with two jobs: public policy and research analyst in the City of Burlington Racial Equity Inclusion & Belonging Department and director of Next Generation Justice. Over the last eight months, Nash also managed the successful Vermont Senate campaign of Kesha Ram, the first woman of color elected to the chamber....

  • Matt Buder Shapiro presenting his MedPilot app to a large audience.
  • CDAE alum speaking with mentor via video chat on a laptop

    For Entrepreneurs with Questions, UVM’s Mentoring Network Has Answers

    Read how CDAE alum Eric Grunfeld uses UVM's Mentor Network to help launch his startup

  • Indigenous activists at the 1996 March for Land and Territory cross into La Paz

    Telling History, Making History

    For 500 years, many Indigenous Bolivians sustained their history through oral storytelling, paving the way for one to make history

    Read about CDAE Lecturer Ben Dangl's latest book

  • Trisha Shrum at United Nations

    Making Climate Change Personal

    Addressing Climate Change through Parenting, Storytelling and Behavior at the UN: CDAE Assistant Prof. Trisha Shrum Hosts Panel at United Nations

    Read about Shrum's work with the UN

  • Students at Machu Pichu

    Continuing Community Development

    Each year, CDAE 171 Community and International Economic Transformation brings students into the, rewarding, difficult, and often surprising work of applied community development in Peru.


  • CDAE Faculty Wins Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Teaching Award

    Ryan G. Kriger, J.D., Lecturer in CDAE, is the 2023 winner of the Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Teaching Award.

    Read his story here...

  • Lessons in Leadership

    CDAE student sits down with Vermont Attorney General to discuss leadership and as part of CDAE course.

    Read more here

Do you want to make positive change in the world?

The Department of Community Development and Applied Economics (CDAE) offers hands-on learning and experiences both in and out of the classroom that empower our graduates to make impactful contributions to their communities.

Through our classes and experiential learning opportunities we strive to:

  • Identify and design solutions to complex issues facing local and global communities including climate change, social inequity, organizing, and sustainable development
  • Develop core values rooted in community engagement, effective communication, teamwork, sustainability, reflexivity, empathy, and responsibility
  • Reflect on how our actions impact communities and how we can best support sustainable development through research, education, and outreach that serves the public interest
  • Apply what we learn in the classroom in a real-world setting through service-learning, travel study, internships and research

These theories, skills, and contexts are explored in depth and reinforced in students’ advanced coursework within their particular major. Our undergraduate majors include Community Centered DesignCommunity Entrepreneurship, Community & International Development, and Public Communication.

Declare a major in CDAE

Explore courses in CDAE

Meet our Faculty in CDAE

We are transdisciplinary. Our department is unique in that we draw from many different fields including applied economics, communication, sociology, documentary film, social entrepreneurship, journalism, community-centered design, and sustainable development.

CDAE Mission

Vision: Growing resilient and sustainable communities through transdisciplinary teaching, research, and outreach. 

Our mission is to prepare students to contribute to society, conduct research, and engage in service for the development of resilient, inclusive, and just communities in an era of unprecedented change. Students learn how to create and implement transdisciplinary solutions through applied learning and community engagement for the public good.

We carry out this mission with the following scholarly activities:

  • Providing undergraduate and graduate instruction in community-driven social innovation through public communication and administration, applied economics, community design, development, sustainable policy and governance, and entrepreneurship;
  • Conducting rigorous research on social change for the public good;
  • Providing students with hands-on learning opportunities through internships, study abroad, research projects, and service-learning courses;
  • Advising, empowering, collaborating and partnering with local and global communities.
  • We fulfill the social science mission of our land-grant university in collaboration with colleagues within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and University of Vermont, across the state of Vermont, and throughout the world.

CDAE Faculty 2017

CDAE faculty members are experts in their field, experienced in their practice, and prolific in their contributions to academic literature.  They engage students with applied learning, relevant worldly problem-solving, and theory to back it all up.

Social Enterprise Day is an opportunity for students from across campus—and especially CDAE—to connect with professionals who use business as a force for good. This event was an extension of the foundation learning and work done in CDAE 2660.

students - campus activities - WRUV

Our department integrates action with learning.  We house courses in media literacy, news writing, and we underwrite UVM's student-run free-form radio station, WRUV FM Burlington.  Tate Kamish, above, Public Communication minor DJs at the station adding skills to her experience in media and communication.