Clark University IDCE

Department of International Development, Community, and Environment

Clark University’s International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE) Department is committed to preparing activists, practitioners, scholars, and change agents to think critically, act collectively, and engage responsibly.

The International Development, Community, and Environment Department

Clark University’s International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE) Department is committed to preparing activists, practitioners, scholars, and change agents to think critically, act collectively, and engage responsibly. Clark University, home of the IDCE department, is a small, liberal arts-based research university. The University seeks to prepare students to meet the challenges of a complex and rapidly changing global society. Clark is committed to excellence in traditional academic disciplines and encourages interdisciplinary exploration. The free pursuit of inquiry and the open exchange of ideas are central to that commitment.

An Integrated Approach to Social Change

If you plan to pursue a career on the forefront of social change, consider Clark University's Department of International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE). Our four distinct, yet interlinked master's programs are designed to mutually enrich each other. This makes the interdisciplinary education at IDCE unique among development, environment, planning, or GIS graduate programs.

Master's degree programs:

Master of Arts in

  • International Development and Social Change
  • Community Development and Planning

Master of Science in

  • Environmental Science and Policy
  • Geographic Information Science for Development and Environment

Dual degree programs:

  • Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy/Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning/Master of Business Administration

Undergraduate degree programs:

  • International Development and Social Change (IDSC)
  • Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)

Each program offers flexibility so students can take classes in other programs. IDCE maintains vibrant links with other educational departments at Clark University, including the prestigious School of Geography and the Graduate School of Management.

IDCE students are trained to link theory with practice and to use an integrated approach to solving problems. This enables our students to turn their ideals into reality and to generate constructive change on the issues that inspire them. They learn to grapple with complexity and to analyze problems from various disciplinary perspectives.

Course of Study

The master's degree programs each require a minimum of 12 graduate course units. These typically include five required core courses, including a final MA project, two skills courses, and five elective courses to form the student's field of specialization.

A sample of course titles include: Gender, Power and Social Change; Principles of Conflict Negotiation; Climate Change, Energy and Development; Raster & Vector GIS; Education and Development; Management of NGOs; Famine and Food Security; Technology and Environmental Assessment; Grant Writing; Social Policy, Immigration and Poverty; Advanced Remote Sensing; Sustainable Consumption and Production, and more.

Students have three options to choose from in completing their final MA project: a research paper, practitioner paper, and thesis.

Student Body

Our diverse student body (with approximately 160 graduate students and just under 100 undergraduate majors and minors) bring to the department a wide range backgrounds, skills, cultures, and interests. 40% of our graduate students are international-coming from over 30 different countries.

Most IDCE students have several years of professional experience and have decided to return to graduate school to learn new skills and think critically about their profession. After graduating, IDCE alumni are the decision makers in environmental, development, and social service agencies, consultancies, businesses, and non-profits in the U.S. and abroad.

Financial Aid

As part of our mission, IDCE remains committed to an economically and internationally diverse study body.

To support this effort, IDCE provides some form of financial assistance to more than 80% of its master’s degree students in the form of merit-based tuition remission awards, which range from 35-100% of the total tuition cost. Many IDCE students also take advantage of opportunities for work-study, teaching, and research assistantships.

Because of these resources, we actively encourage all qualified applicants (international as well as domestic) to consider IDCE, regardless of whether they can afford the full cost of attending. If admitted, applicants will receive an offer outlining what kinds of financial assistance they are eligible to receive.

We also strongly urge prospective students seek out additional, independent sources of financing to help cover the cost of graduate study.

Worcester: A Place to Live and Learn

Worcester offers graduate students a dynamic urban setting with a reasonable cost of living. The second largest city in New England, Worcester is located one hour from both Boston and Providence, with convenient bus and rail links to New York City and Washington D.C. First settled in 1631, Worcester's nineteenth-century industrial boom drew waves of European immigrants to the city.

Today Worcester continues to be a bustling destination for new immigrants coming from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Home to fifteen colleges and universities, as well as several new biotech and medical facilities, the city is undergoing an exciting process of urban revitalization.

All this makes Worcester an extraordinary living laboratory for faculty and students to pursue research and teaching in spatial analysis, sustainable community development, and environmental issues. Clark University as a whole and IDCE, in particular, are deeply engaged in the life of the neighborhoods surrounding campus. At Clark, our motto isn't just a motto: Challenge Convention, Change our World.


$15,000—$20,000 Semester

Fast facts

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Top Programs

Environmental Studies and Sustainability, Geographic Information Science, Global & Area Studies

Type of school icon

Type of School


  • School Size

  • Student Body Gender

  • Religious Affiliation

    No Affiliation
  • Scholarships for International Students

  • Conditional Admission Available

  • Setting

  • Type of Housing

    Residence Hall, Apartment
  • Test Scores

    TOEFL: 90+

Worcester MA
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950 Main Street Worcester, MA

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