2010-2011 Academic Catalog 
    Mar 04, 2024  
2010-2011 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Academic Policies

Founded in 1887 as the first all-graduate school in America, Clark has continued to offer outstanding master’s and doctoral degree programs in the context of an intimate university. Over the years, Clark’s graduate school has been at the center of major research breakthroughs in disciplines as diverse as physics, geography and psychology.

Clark offers graduate programs leading to doctoral and master’s degrees. Admission to Clark’s graduate programs is open to holders of the bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, and is determined on a competitive basis. All programs are administered by the Graduate Board. Completion of a master’s degree program generally requires one or two years of study, and completion of the Ph.D. requires at least four years of study, although requirements vary across departments.

Doctor of philosophy degrees are offered in biology, chemistry, economics, geography, history, physics and psychology. Master of arts degrees are offered in community planning and development, education, English, environmental science and policy, geographical information science, international development and social change, and teaching. The master of business administration and master of science in finance are offered by the Graduate School of Management. The College of Professional and Continuing Education offers the master of public administration, master of science in professional communication and, master of science in information technology.

There is a wide variety of financial support available for incoming graduate students. Most departments offer teaching assistantships, fellowships and research assistantships. Often these come with a stipend as well as tuition grants. Some specific examples of fellowship awards are listed at the end of this section.

Inquiries and Admission to Graduate School Programs

Inquiries from both U.S. and international students concerning specific programs of graduate and postdoctoral work should be addressed to the chair of the department or program concerned.

Admission to the graduate school may be granted only by the dean of graduate studies and research, acting for the Graduate Board on the recommendation of a department or program of the University. Formal notification is by official letter from the graduate dean.

Applicants should communicate with the appropriate department or program head. The applicant will be provided with an application form, which, accompanied by a $50 application fee, should be returned to the department or program. In addition, the applicant should arrange to forward an official transcript of all undergraduate and any subsequent academic work as well as three letters of recommendation from persons who are competent to judge qualifications for graduate study.

Department or program heads may request the submission of additional material, and most require a record of attainment in the Graduate Record Examination given by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N.J. All applicants are urged to submit their scores on the Graduate Record Examination verbal, quantitative and advanced tests. Applicants to the Graduate School of Management programs are required to take GMAT rather than GRE examinations.

In addition to an application and $50 fee, foreign students should provide a certified English translation of official transcripts, evidence of English proficiency (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), at least three letters of recommendation, and a statement concerning their financial resources or agency support.

Application deadlines vary by department. Please contact the department or program of interest for the date.

Admission to the Graduate School is valid for a specified time only and lapses after that period. If a student is admitted while still a candidate for a degree from another institution, an updated transcript noting the conferring of that degree must be sent directly to the department or program of interest.

Part-time graduate study is possible in some departments. Admission as a special graduate student (nondegree candidate) is a simple enrollment process handled through the Registrar’s Office.

Master of Arts

Master of arts degrees are offered in the fields of community planning and development, education, English, environmental science and policy, geographic information sciences for development and environment, international development and social change and teaching.

Residency: An academic year (generally eight course units) of study in residence is a minimum requirement for a master’s degree. Individual departments or programs may require longer periods of residency.

Foreign Language: Language or other special requirements are included in the department listings in this catalog.

Course and Examination Requirements: Each student must complete at least eight course units in a program approved by the department. One course may be a research course devoted to the preparation of the thesis. Credit for a maximum of two course units at another institution may be approved by the dean of graduate studies and research upon recommendation of the department.

Thesis: The thesis is written on a topic in the field of the student’s special interest under the supervision of a member of the department and in a style, length and format that is appropriate to the problem being researched. A Formatting Guide for theses is available online at www.clarku.edu/graduate.

Graduation Fee: The fee for the master of arts degree is $100. This covers the cost of the diploma and binding of the library copy. It is payable when the thesis is deposited with the format adviser. Students who do not write a thesis must pay this fee no later than the date on which theses are due to the University format adviser.

Nonresident Students: Students who have completed all their in-class course work and are finishing their degree requirements off campus must continue to register each semester until graduation as nonresident students. The nonresident student status fee is $200 each semester for three years.

Postgraduate Programs in COPACE

Through the College of Professional and Continuing Education (COPACE), Clark offers the master of public administration (M.P.A.), master of science in professional communication (M.S.P.C.) and master of science in information technology (M.S.I.T.).

The M.P.A. program is designed to strengthen and advance the managerial and analytical skills of mid-career managers and executives in public organizations and nonprofit institutions. The M.S.P.C. is a comprehensive, practical program designed to enhance communications skills and managerial techniques through courses designed specifically for mid-career professionals.. The M.S.I.T. is designed to prepare professionals to take a holistic approach; think critically about enterprise objectives; learn the strengths and weaknesses of each technology and how they interface; and envision the totality of e-based systems. For further information, contact the College of Professional and Continuing Education.

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS)

Through COPACE, Clark offers a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in Interdisciplinary Studies, designed for teachers, administrators and other professionals. The program is open to those already holding a master’s degree. Although increased specialization in a student’s particular area is possible through the chosen concentration track, the Clark Interdisciplinary Studies CAGS, unlike traditional CAGS offered elsewhere, attempts to foster breadth beyond a discipline. Courses are chosen from several disciplines; the student’s focus is interdisciplinary, incorporating and transcending established domains of study.

Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Finance

The accredited Clark University Graduate School of Management offers programs leading to the master of business administration (M.B.A.) and the master of science in finance (M.S.F.).

Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of philosophy degrees are offered in biology, chemistry, economics, geography, history, physics and psychology. Only well-qualified candidates with proven ability in their special fields of study will be encouraged to proceed to the degree of doctor of philosophy.

Residence: The minimum requirement is one year of full-time study (eight course units) beyond the M.A. or its equivalent in part-time work, in residence. If the master of arts has been earned at Clark, this requirement is in addition to the residence requirement for that degree.

Foreign Language: Each graduate department sets its own language or related requirements as the student’s field of research may demand and must report such requirements in each case to the dean of graduate studies and research. If a language is required, either a testing service or on-campus tests are employed at the discretion of the department.

Preliminary Examination: Upon completion of preparation in the fields of study, a prospective candidate takes a preliminary examination set by the major department. This examination may be written or oral, or a combination of both. The chair of the department may invite other scholars from within or outside the University to participate in the examination.

Dissertation: A dissertation, which is expected to make an original contribution to a specialized field of knowledge, is required of each candidate. The dissertation, approved by the chief instructor or dissertation committee, is presented to the examining committee at the final oral examination. An abstract of the dissertation, not exceeding 350 words, is approved by the dissertation advisers. Four weeks before the degree is to be conferred, a presentation-quality copy of the dissertation, together with two official title pages, an academic history and an abstract must be delivered to the University format adviser. At the same time, one or more copies of the dissertation and of the abstract may be required by the major department. The title pages and academic history forms can be obtained online. The presentation-quality copy of the dissertation must be computer printed as prescribed in the format guide located on the Graduate School Web site.

The dissertation becomes part of the permanent collection in the University library. A microfilm copy of each dissertation is made by Proquest of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is available for duplication on request to that company. The abstract is printed in Dissertation Abstracts International.

Articles published in referred journals may be accepted in lieu of a dissertation with the approval of the department and the graduate dean.

Graduation/Diploma Fee: The fee for the doctor of philosophy degree is $150. It covers the cost of the diploma, hood, publication of the abstract in Dissertation Abstracts International, and binding of the library copy of the dissertation. It is payable when the dissertation is deposited with the University format adviser.

Nonresident Students: Students who have completed all their in-class course work and are finishing their degree requirements off campus must continue to register each semester until graduation as nonresident students. The nonresident student status fee is $200 each semester for three years.

Graduate Grading Policies

The grades of A and B (with “+” and “-“) are acceptable for graduate credit; anything lower than a B- is not acceptable. A Pass/Fail grading option is possible, where P (pass) signifies that the student has performed at a B- or above. Incompletes are awarded at the discretion of the instructor for a period not exceeding one year.

Graduate Housing

A limited number of on-campus housing spaces are available through the Resident Life and Housing office. Incoming students have priority for this housing. Further details may be obtained from the Resident Life and Housing office or from academic departments.

Off-campus rooms and apartments for both men and women are available in the immediate area of the University. A limited listing of current housing opportunities is compiled by the Resident Life and Housing office. Students without prior arrangement for University-owned housing are urged to arrive before registration to seek suitable housing in the area.

For information on meal plans, health insurance and health services, please refer to the section on Facilities and Student Resources.

Graduate Tuition and Other Charges for the 2009-2010 Academic Year

Full-time Graduate Students:

Tuition: $34,900 per academic year (or $17,450 per semester)

In departments that define a full load as four courses per semester, the per-course charge is $4,362.50. The per-course charge varies in some departments according to their specific definition of a full program. Students should contact their department chairs to find out which scale applies.

Part-Time Graduate Students:

Tuition is charged on a per-course basis according to the scale used in the student’s department (generally $4,362.50 per course).

Special Graduate Students (nondegree candidates):

Tuition: $4,237.50 per course

Tuition and fees differ in the following programs:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Finance (Contact the Graduate School of Management for further details.)
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Science in Professional Communication
  • Master of Science in Information Technology (Contact the College of Professional and Continuing Education for further details.)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Arts in Urban Education and Teacher Research

Other Fees

Graduation Fee—payable at the time the thesis or dissertation is deposited with the Office of the Graduate School.

  Master’s degrees $100
  Doctoral degrees $150

Students who do not write a thesis or dissertation, including those receiving the degree through an alternative program, must pay this fee no later than the date on which theses are due to the University format adviser (generally, April 1).

  Nonresident Fee $200

Payable July 24 and December 15: $200 each semester for first three years.

Loan Deferment

Only students enrolled on at least a half-time basis are eligible for student deferment status on college loans. Nonresident graduate students on a half-time basis are limited to two years of student deferment status.

Graduate Scholarships, Fellowships and Assistantships

Graduate fellowships and scholarships are provided for well-qualified students by the University from endowed funds and from other sources. Financial aid to graduate students also is available in the form of grants from a number of special funds and, in some departments, from sponsored research grants. Students who receive awards must obtain permission from the department before accepting employment. Application for a scholarship or fellowship to begin in September should be made before Feb. 15 to the chair of the department or director of the program in which the applicant expects to do major work. Late applications, after endorsement by the department, go to the dean of graduate studies and research for final approval.

Research Fellowships

These fellowships may be awarded to graduate students who have fulfilled their residence requirements and who are pursuing a full-time doctoral program on campus.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching assistants, generally only offered to doctoral students, are assigned a variety of duties according to the needs of the department. Responsibilities include conducting discussion sessions, supervising laboratory sections, holding tutorial sessions and grading papers and projects. Assistantships typically involve a commitment of approximately half time (an average of 17-1/2 hours a week). A tuition-remission scholarship or fellowship accompanies this award. Additional support up to a 12-month stipend is available in some departments.


Assistantships are available in several departments. Assistantships involve a variety of services, including research with appropriate stipends, and usually provide the student with experience that will be useful in later professional work.

Graduate Fellowship, Scholarship, and Department Funds

Stipends for fellowships and scholarships are provided by endowed funds. For further information about these funds, contact the Graduate School Office.

George Perkins Marsh Institute

The George Perkins Marsh Institute was founded in 1991 to promote and conduct collaborative and interdisciplinary research on human-environment relationships that cover a wide range of research themes including risks and hazards, the human dimensions of global environmental change, resource and environmental policy, industrialization and globalization, and the development and application of Geographic Information Science across multiple disciplines.

The institute fosters team-based research that engages graduate students and research faculty in problem formulation and resolution. By galvanizing research of this kind within Clark University, its surrounding community and beyond, the institute affords its research faculty and students the opportunity to engage in a scale, scope and quality of research that would not be possible otherwise, thus helping to extend Clark’s research activities around the world.

The institute is comprised of four centers: CENTED, which contains the Community-Based Development Program (CCBD) and the Community-Based Hazard Management Program (CBHM); Clark Labs; the Greening of Industry Network; and the newly formed Center for Risk and Security (CRS).

  • Founded in 1978, the Center for Technology, Environment and Development (CENTED) is internationally recognized as one of the oldest and most prominent centers for the study of natural and technological hazards in the United States. Interdisciplinary research has always been CENTED’s forte, ranging from theoretical work on hazard analysis, hazard taxonomies, vulnerability, environmental equity, comparative risk assessment and risk perception to more applied work on risk communication, radioactive-waste management, public participation, corporate risk management, cancer and noncancer health risks, occupational risks, hazardous-waste transportation, and emergency planning. CENTED researchers have also maintained an interest in practical issues relating to the University and the surrounding Worcester community.

    CENTED continues its traditional work on risks and hazards with projects funded by various agencies, such as the EPA, NIEHS and the Department of Energy (DOE), that look at the effect of exposure to toxic substances on birth weight, developing methodologies for assessing uncertainty and variability of human response to exposures to hazardous substances and vulnerability studies.
  • The Clark Labs for Cartographic Technologies and Geographic Analysis (Clark Labs/IDRISI Project) is dedicated to the research and development of geospatial technologies to address the needs of effective and responsible decision making for environmental management, sustainable resource development and equitable resource allocation. Clark Labs is best known for its flagship product, IDRISI GIS and Image Processing software, which it continues to develop and distribute. Since its inception in 1987, over 35,000 organizations and individuals have been licensed to use the software in more than 175 countries. IDRISI provides unprecedented tools for multicriteria and multiobjective decision making, environmental change and time series analysis, land-cover change, change prediction and analysis of ecological implications dynamic modeling, risk and uncertainty management, and soft classification of remotely sensed imagery. Clark Labs also engages in limited applications research. Projects have ranged from the detection of diseased trees using hyperspectral imagery and the predictive modeling of invasive species using neural networks, to the spatial and temporal analysis of climate cycles (El Nino/La Nina), to vulnerability in contexts as varied as landslides and droughts. Clark Labs has also had a strong involvement in the transfer of GIS technology, particularly in the context of the developing world.
  • The Marsh Institute hosts the America’s office Greening of Industry Network (GIN). GIN is an international organization dedicated to accelerating progress toward a sustainable society. The America’s office works in cooperation with two other GIN programs, GIN-Asia at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, and GIN-Europe at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Network members work in many fields and come from many countries. Founded in 1991, GIN members work to develop knowledge and transform practice to accelerate progress toward a sustainable society, and seek to create new concepts and a new language that will make it possible to extend our horizons and communicate across disciplines, nations and sectors.
  • The newly formed, Center for Risk and Security (CRS) conducts in-depth studies of homeland security issues using a risk-analysis perspective. The center’s broad range of security issues includes terrorism, disaster management, law and human rights, resource allocation, critical infrastructure, social dimensions of risk, and international trade security. CRS’s purpose is to adapt and develop risk and decision methods for analyzing these issues, conduct critical reviews of existing security plans, and assist private and governmental entities in planning and policy development. The domain of effort for the center includes expanding the scope of risk assessments to include security issues, developing methods to evaluate the trade-offs inherent in decisions about security, examining human-response aspects of planning and design of security programs, and assuring that democratic values and institutions are utilized in security planning.
  • The Jeanne X. Kasperson Research Library offers one of the most extensive collections in North America of research materials on natural and technological hazards and environmental change. The library’s collection, developed over the past two decades, now houses more than 20,000 volumes, including books, technical reports and government documents. Approximately 50 percent of the collection is bibliographically retrievable via the Internet, and the remainder is retrievable on site via internal databases. Holdings also include in excess of 1,500 hearings and reports of the U.S. Congress, 600 reports of the U.S. General Accounting Office, and over 2,000 specific articles on development. In addition, the Library receives some 300 journals, newsletters and other periodicals. The Jeanne X. Kasperson Research Library also regularly obtains and catalogs a wide range of publications on relevant subjects from international, national and subnational institutions.