Sep 30, 2020
Graduate Program Overview
The Master of Arts degree in International Development and Social Change (IDSC) emphasizes the connection between critical thinking and effective action. It is designed for scholars of international development, as well as for present and future practitioners of grassroots, community-based development.
Offering alternatives to centralized planning and implementation, the IDSC/MA program has been a pioneer in participatory development and a leading force in creating tools for social change. The challenge for the 21st-century is to promote just and equitable development and sustain environmental resources through critical thought, local planning and action. The IDCE Department and the IDSC Program stress participatory approaches that foster alliances and partnerships between local institutions and broader entities such as external development agencies, universities, and state and non-governmental organizations.
This master’s program helps students conceptualize innovative approaches to development problems by building an understanding of the complex causes, influences and implications of poverty, social injustice and conflict. Rooted in the belief that effective approaches merge many disciplines, the IDSC/MA employs a cross-disciplinary focus, with faculty from anthropology, economics, environmental sciences, women’s studies, geography, history, government, and management. Links with collaborating institutions in countries such as Kenya, Nepal, Ghana, India, Senegal, and Mexico provide important real-world perspectives and field work opportunities.
The IDSC/MA Program has three key elements:
- Challenging conventional ideas about development and seeking innovative alternatives,
- Understanding how the interplay of power relationships gives rise to social injustice and inequity, and
- Exploring the linkages between critical thinking and effective development practices at the community, regional, national, and global levels.
Visit www.clarku.edu/departments/idce/academicsGradID.cfm on the IDCE Web site for more information about the IDSC program.
Local Partnerships: Putting Theory into Action
The collaborative research projects of IDCE graduate students and faculty reflect their interdisciplinary approach to issues of environment and development. Many projects build upon partnerships between IDCE and community or governmental organizations around the United States and the globe, including in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Somalia, Ghana, India and Senegal.
Locally, environmental and community groups often invite IDCE to undertake key community building projects, as well as data gathering and analysis. This allows IDCE faculty and students to put theory into practice right in the neighborhood. By helping to facilitate participatory sessions and building collaborations, students see Worcester neighbors taking action, setting priorities, and maximizing into their human capital and governmental resources. Students hone their analytical skills through GIS mapping of land parcels for development or preservation and through monitoring water quality.
Graduate Program Requirements
IDSC Course of Study
The master’s degree in International Development and Social Change requires a minimum of 12 graduate course units. These 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.
Through action-oriented, critical studies linking theory and practice, this master’s program offers opportunities to specialize in such topics as political economy, conflict and development, education and development, health and development, culture and development, resource management, community-based development, gender and development, and more.
Required Core Courses
- IDCE 360 - Development Theory provides a critical overview of classical and contemporary theories of development across many disciplines. Encourages thinking historically, politically and analytically about the multiplicity of development processes and the complex relations of power that underlie them.
- IDCE 361 - Development Program and Project Management develops skills in needs assessment, project design, implementation, management, budgeting, scheduling, work plans, and monitoring/evaluation.
- IDCE 30291 - Qualitative Research Methods (or its equivalents) reviews topics in social research design and methodology including problem definition, research strategies, sampling, data collection techniques and procedures, and proposal writing.
- IDCE 30217 - Economic Fundamentals for International Development introduces economic history, as well as microeconomics and macroeconomics to the non-economists, while illustrating practical applications of these techniques to real-world development situations.
- IDCE 30213 - Master’s Final Research Paper is the culminating experience of the IDSC Masters program where students have the opportunity to develop their research and professional interests independently.
IDSC Skill Courses (a sampling, 2 required)
Skill courses include
IDSC Elective Courses to form an area of specialization* (a sampling, 5 required)
Students select electives to focus their research, deepen their understanding of, and develop an area of specialization in one of the following areas: conflict and development, culture and development, political economy, gender and development, resource management, community-based development, health and development, education and development, geographical information systems, and more. This list is a sampling of specializations. Students may establish one of their own choosing.
Courses might include:
Please view Clark’s official Academic Catalog for a complete listing of course offerings. Remember that each IDCE program offers flexibility so students can take classes across programs. IDCE also maintains vibrant links with other educational departments at Clark University, including the prestigious School of Geography and the Graduate School of Management.
As part of your elective credits, you have the option of undertaking an internship or a directed study with any IDSC core or affiliate faculty member. Directed studies are an opportunity for students to engage in advanced level work (beyond what they learn in seminars) on issues of special interest to them. Directed studies take different form (e.g. literature review, annotated bibliography, research paper, thesis preparation, grant proposal development, etc.) depending on the interest and abilities of each student, and the degree of involvement from the faculty.
Final MA Project
All four programs within IDCE offer three options for a final MA project, which is the culminating experience of an IDCE Masters degree. In IDSC the three options are: (1) a Research Paper, (2) a Practitioner Report, or (3) a Thesis. None of the options is considered more prestigious than the others. Students choose the option that is most compatible with their research and professional interests, and then develop these interests independently through the final project.
Kiran Asher, Ph.D.
David Bell, Ed.D.
Anita Häusermann Fábos, Ph.D.
Jude Fernando, Ph.D. - Coordinator
William Fisher, Ph.D.
Ellen Foley, Ph.D.
Ken MacLean, Ph.D.
Parminder Bhachu, Ph.D.
Joseph de Rivera, Ph.D.
Jody Emel, Ph.D.
Odile Ferly, Ph.D.
Jacqueline Geoghegan, Ph.D.
Amy Ickowitz, Ph.D.
James T. Murphy, Ph.D.
Richard Peet, Ph.D.
Paul W. Posner, Ph.D.
Dianne Rocheleau, Ph.D.
Paul Ropp, Ph.D.
Srinivasan Sitaraman, Ph.D.
Valerie Sperling, Ph.D.
Kristen Williams, Ph.D.
Joseph de Rivera, Ph.D.
Cynthia Enloe, Ph.D.
Richard Ford, Ph.D.
Barbara Thomas-Slayter, Ph.D.
Marianne Sarkis, Ph.D.
Nigel Brissett, Ph.D.
- BIOL 301 - Ecology of Atlantic Shores
- BIOL 316 - Ecology
- GEOG 337 - Feminism, Nature and Culture
- GEOG 343 - Seminar in Human Dimensions of Global Change: Impacts and Societal Responses
- GEOG 355 - Agroforestry/Community Forestry/Agro-Ecologies
- GEOG 356 - Utopian Visions, Urban Realities: Planning Cities for the 21st Century
- GEOG 357 - Internet Geography: Socioeconomic Impacts of Information Technologies
- GEOG 371 - Groundwater Hydrology and Management
- GEOG 390 - Introduction to Geographic Information Science
- GEOG 393 - Seminar in Social Applications of GIS
- IDCE 300 - Livelihoods Analysis & Social Impact
- IDCE 30185 - Sustainability and the Role of Higher Education
- IDCE 30188 - Qualitative Research Design
- IDCE 30203 - Program Evaluation for Youth and Community Development Initiatives
- IDCE 30209 - Research Project Development for Environmental Science and Policy
- IDCE 30210 - Comparative Environmental Politics
- IDCE 30212 - Introduction to Quantitative Methods
- IDCE 30213 - Master’s Final Research Paper
- IDCE 30214 - Landscape Ecology
- IDCE 30217 - Economic Fundamentals for International Development
- IDCE 30220 - Advanced Remote Sensing
- IDCE 30224 - Participatory Project Evaluation
- IDCE 30225 - Grant Writing for Community Developers
- IDCE 30229 - Program Monitoring and Evaluation
- IDCE 30231 - Humanitarian Assistances in Complex Emergencies/Disasters
- IDCE 30233 - Economy and Environment
- IDCE 30234 - Africa’s Development in Global Context
- IDCE 30235 - Trafficking: Globalization and Its Illicit Commodities
- IDCE 30238 - Public Communication Seminar
- IDCE 30239 - Microfinance, Gender & Newliberalism
- IDCE 30240 - Community Development Planning Studio
- IDCE 30243 - Seeing Like a Humanitarian Agency
- IDCE 30248 - Gender and Health
- IDCE 30260 - Applied Aquatic Ecology
- IDCE 30261 - Migration and Knowledge-Based Industries
- IDCE 30263 - The Climate System and Global Environmental Change
- IDCE 30266 - Energy & Climate Social Change Research Seminar
- IDCE 30269 - Capitalism, Nature Development
- IDCE 30270 - Environment, Poverty and Health
- IDCE 30271 - NGOs and Advocacy
- IDCE 30274 - Computer Programming for GIS
- IDCE 30275 - Gender in Development Planning
- IDCE 30281 - Community Needs and Resource Analysis
- IDCE 30284 - Transnationalism and Social Networks
- IDCE 30285 - Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
- IDCE 30287 - Fundamentals of Environmental Science
- IDCE 30288 - Applied Ecology
- IDCE 30290 - Participatory Research Methods
- IDCE 30291 - Qualitative Research Methods
- IDCE 30292 - Participatory Development Planning
- IDCE 30293 - Youth and Community Development: Theory, Policy and Practice
- IDCE 30294 - Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Decision Making in Development
- IDCE 30297 - Displacement and Development in the Contemporary World
- IDCE 303 - Youth Work: Practice and Social Justice
- IDCE 304 - International and Comparative Analysis of Community Development
- IDCE 305 - Qualitative Research Methods, Skills and Applications
- IDCE 306 - The Atlantic World
- IDCE 307 - Culture, Health, and Power: Introduction to Medical Anthropology
- IDCE 308 - Comparative Politics of Women
- IDCE 309 - Roots and Routes: Immigrants, Diasporas and Travel
- IDCE 310 - Intro to Geographic Information Systems
- IDCE 315 - Global AIDS: The Pandemic in Comparative Perspective
- IDCE 320 - Food Production, Environment, and Health
- IDCE 324 - Intermediate Quantitative Methods in Geography
- IDCE 332 - Sustainable Development Assessment and Planning
- IDCE 333 - Development Mgmt in Developing Countries
- IDCE 335 - Strategies for Community Organizing
- IDCE 340 - Fundamentals of Youth Work
- IDCE 341 - Nongovernment Organizations: Catalysts for Development
- IDCE 344 - Going Local: Community Development and Planning
- IDCE 346 - Practicum in Community Development and Planning
- IDCE 352 - Conflict in Sudan and the Horn of Africa
- IDCE 358 - Advanced Topics in ID: International Feminist Thinking
- IDCE 360 - Development Theory
- IDCE 361 - Development Program and Project Management
- IDCE 363 - Decision Methods for Environmental Management and Policy
- IDCE 364 - Educational Policy Issues in “Developing” Countries: Governance, Management, and Financing
- IDCE 365 - Graduate Seminar in Economic Geography PART II: Fundamentals and Current Debates
- IDCE 366 - Principles of Negotiation and Mediation: An Overview of Conflict Resolution Approaches
- IDCE 368 - Global Renewable Energy Systems
- IDCE 369 - Religion, Identity and Violence in a Globalizing World
- IDCE 375 - States of Violence: Culture, Trauma, and Identity in Asia
- IDCE 376 - Spatial Database Development
- IDCE 378 - The Creation of Nationalism, Nationalist Cultures and Symbols
- IDCE 379 - 20th-Century Latin America
- IDCE 380 - Urban Ecology: Cities as Ecosystems
- IDCE 382 - U.S. Environmental Pollution Policy
- IDCE 386 - Advanced Topics in Comparative Politics
- IDCE 388 - Advanced Vector GIS
- IDCE 390 - CDP Research Seminar
- IDCE 391 - GISDE Professional Seminar
- IDCE 392 - GIS & Accuracy Assessment
- IDCE 396 - Advanced Topics in GIS
- IDCE 397 - Master’s Thesis
- IDCE 398 - Internship
- IDCE 30265 - Social Movements: Quest for Justice
- IDCE 30304 - Field Methods: Air, Water, and Soil Quality
- IDCE 30305 - Water: The Socio-Ecological Perspective