Can I major in EDC?

Engineering for Developing Communities is not a separate degree program. Students earn a Master of Science (MS), Master of Engineering (ME), or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.

Our MS and PhD programs lead to degrees in Civil, Environmental, or Architectural Engineering.

Our ME degree is housed in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering but the diploma does not state the emphasis area.

Is there an undergraduate certificate or minor in EDC?

Although not technically in EDC, the purpose of the undergraduate certificate and the minor in Global Engineering is to expand students' understanding of how to operate in an international context from an engineering perspective. This translates to the capacity to work on an international team from within an office located domestically or internationally. These work environments necessitate that students understand multinational contexts as well as local office and nongovernmental agency contexts.

Students who enrolled in the CU Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science prior to fall semester 2016 have the option to complete the Undergraduate Certificate in Global Engineering, the International Engineering Certificate, or the Minor in Global Engineering.  Only the Minor in Global Engineering will be available to students who enroll in fall 2016 or later.

Can I earn the graduate certificate in EDC if I'm not in Civil Engineering?

Yes!  The Graduate Certificate in Engineering for Developing Communities is open to any graduate student enrolled in an engineering major within the College of Engineering and Applied Science.  For full details on how to apply, please see the graduate certificate information page on Education webpage.

Do I need to have an undergraduate engineering degree to apply to the graduate programs?

No, but you have to meet all of the pre-requisites for admission into the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering.  Some disciplinary groups within the department have additional pre-requisite requirements that will need to be fulfilled either prior to admission or during the student's first semester of enrollment.


Where can I find a list of EDC-relevant courses offered on campus?

In addition to the coursework offered through the Mortenson Center, several other departments on campus focus on development-related topics.  Here is a partial list of courses that may be of interest to you.

What does the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities (MCEDC) do?

The Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities (MCEDC) trains engineers to work in partnership with developing communities worldwide to create sustainable solutions to meet their basic needs.  Our mission is to promote integrated and participatory solutions for developing communities worldwide by:

  • Educating globally responsible engineers;
  • Advancing research on developing community issues; and
  • Building capacity of developing communities.

Among our faculty and collaborators, we maintain core competencies in:

  • Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH):  Clean drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene;
  • Shelter: Sustainable and disaster-resistant building materials and shelters;
  • Air Quality: Assessment of indoor and regional air quality issues and solutions;
  • Energy:  Meeting community and housing needs through small scale renewable sources; and
  • Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD):  Networked communication systems.
Is MCEDC the same as Engineers without Borders?

No. The Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities (MCEDC) houses academic programs available to students at the University of Colorado Boulder.  Engineers without Borders-USA is a non-profit organization that sponsors student and professional member chapters that work on project implementation in developing communities.  CU-Boulder is home to the first EWB-USA chapter (known as EWB-CU), founded by Professor Bernard Amadei and his students.  The EWB-USA organization has now grown to include hundreds of chapters nationwide.  You can find out more about EWB-USA on their website at