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Create stronger communities with a Local Economic Development certificate

A lot of strategic planning goes into a community for the local economy to thrive. Our communities need trained professionals to help them become as sustainable as possible for many years to come. The Chang School Certificate in Local Economic Development will give you the business administration, public administration, development, project management, airport development, real estate, and marketing skills you need to become an in-demand local economic development professional in the field.

Our Local Economic Development certificate includes four economic development courses and can be completed online, allowing you to accelerate your local economic development career quickly. Our instructors are all highly experienced professionals in the field who use an advanced experiential learning approach and recent case studies to help you learn about the real-world municipality issues you’ll face in this industry – and how to tackle them successfully. We’re also proud to offer a capstone course that allows you to work closely with your instructor to choose a municipal issue you’re passionate about and research and present your solutions to the municipality itself.

As a graduate of this certificate, you may apply your courses towards the educational requirements of the Certified Economic Developer (EcD) certification. Ec.D. is Canada’s nationally recognized designation for economic developers, and Ec.D. holders are highly sought after in the field of LED. Each course represents 5 points towards your Ec.D. designation.

Communities need more passionate advocates like you. Jumpstart your local economic development career and enjoy the job satisfaction of working to improve community well-being, every day.


Meet Our Learners
This certificate has truly been a life-changing experience for me. It not only provided the knowledge and tools necessary to excel in my career but also fostered a supportive and empowering environment that helped me achieve my dream of running my own economic development firm. I am immensely grateful for this incredible educational journey.
— Alia Abbas

Who should take this Local Economic Development certificate?

  • You’re a business improvement area (BIA) manager who works in collaboration with municipalities
  • You’re an economic development professional in the public or private sector
  • You want to strengthen your existing local economic development career or pivot into a local economic development career
  • You work in government, real estate, community agencies, or a municipality and would like to improve your education, skills, and career opportunities

What will you learn while taking the Local Economic Development certificate?

You’ll learn how to:

  • Apply in-depth knowledge of the economic development process
  • Navigate governance as it relates to the LED structure
  • Conduct tactical and strategic municipal planning and build strategies
  • Utilize solid communication skills to deliver presentations, media relations, and communications planning
  • Create and present marketing and advertising plans
  • Interpret financial statements and budgets, analyze risks, and create business plans

Career Options

This certificate can prepare you for jobs like:

  • BIA professional
  • Business development director
  • Community development and innovation director
  • Economic development analyst
  • Economic development and planning manager
  • Economic development and tourism director
  • Policy advisor for federal, provincial, or municipal government
  • Program administrator
  • Social enterprise consultant
  • Tourism manager

Certificate Requirements

  • 4 required courses
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

Admission Criteria


  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
    • With 6 Grade 12 U or M credits (including English)
    • With a minimum average of 60 percent


  • An undergraduate degree


  • A college diploma


  • Mature student status with combination of relevant work and life experience

If you’re an undergraduate student, you should be aware of possible certificate restrictions. For complete details, check Curriculum Advising.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a recommended course sequence?

Yes. Courses should be completed in the following order:

  1. CPLE 795 - Local Economic Development Fundamentals (Fall term: September to December; CPLE 795 intensive synchronous course is also offered during the first two weekends in May)
  2. CPLE 995 - Economic Development and Business Improvement (Winter term: January to April; CPLE 995 intensive synchronous course is also offered during the last two weekends in May)
  3. CVUP 155 - LED Applied Research Project (Spring/Summer term: June)
  4. CVUP 160 - Capstone Project in LED (Spring/Summer term: July to August)


Financial Support



Contact Client Services ce@torontomu.ca



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