Community Development and Planning (CDP)

Welcome Class of 2015!

Welcome to the Community Development and Planning (CDP) Program

Dear incoming CDP student,

Welcome to Clark University’s Community Development and Planning (CDP) program in the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE). We are delighted you will be joining us at the end of August and are looking forward to getting to know more about your experiences and interests. In light of your transition to Clark, we’ve enclosed several items that may be of interest to you. Below are some academic and logistical issues you to assist you in preparing for your first semester at IDCE.

Academic Preparation

We encourage you to think ahead about your courses and possible research topics and to consider possible sources of fieldwork, internship opportunities, and funding. We will also help you with this when you arrive, but it’s a good idea to get a head start. Many grant applications are due in mid-fall for work to be carried out the following academic year. It is necessary to think about the application process during your first semester in the M.A. program, should you wish to carry out fieldwork or internships while a student in IDCE.

Living in Worcester

You might also be interested to know a little about Worcester, hometown to Clark. Worcester was one of the centers of the U.S. Industrial Revolution, and as such, has a fascinating development-environment history. It also has an ethnically diverse population: on the streets you can hear Spanish, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Polish, and many other languages. For many reasons, IDCE is fortunate to have Worcester as a context to study many interesting socio-economic and environmental issues.

In Worcester, there are many active community-based organizations that are eager for graduate student interns and research assistants. Current IDCE students are working on projects related to immigrant health access, gang violence, employment programs targeted at at-risk youth, and business district revitalization.

If you haven't already, it's time to start thinking about housing arrangements for the fall. You should plan on arriving early to secure housing. Some students have already visited campus and toured the surrounding area looking for apartments or made arrangements to stay in University-owned graduate housing. Graduate students usually share an apartment with two or three other students to reduce residential costs. Only you can decide which option best suits your needs. More resources about housing can be found on the Admitted Students webpage.


If you need an I-20 form to obtain a U.S. visa, please return the appropriate international student information form to Brittany Crompton, c/o the IDCE Office. If you are an international student, this form was previously sent to you in the packet with your appointment letter.

IDCE staff will be in the office during most of the summer. Do not hesitate to call or write to them for additional information. Please remember to check the Admitted Students webpage ( regularly to help you prepare for your arrival and view questions asked by your peers in the FAQ section.

Community Development Training Institute (CDTI)

We would also like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the Community Development Training Institute (CDTI), a student-governed and -operated consulting and training nonprofit, CDTI has a rich project portfolio and can serve as an opportunity for high-quality professional development. Depending on skill sets and interests, you may be able to use CDTI as a platform for carrying out field work (some on a pro-bono basis and some on a fee-for-service basis) or be invited to serve on CDTI's board of directors.

Read the welcome letter from the CDTI

We look forward to seeing you in August to welcome you to a lively and productive year at IDCE.


Ramon Borges-Mendez
Coordinator, Master of Arts Program in Community Development and Planning (CDP)


[ Spotlight Profile ]

Amar Azucena Cid
(CDP '08)

As a CDP student, Amar Azucena Cid challenged herself to take a wide range of courses, work part-time, and participate in many extra curricular activities. "The courses I took helped to strengthen my ability to look at how community planning needs a holistic approach, bringing housing, transportation, nutrition, and diverse populations to the table."

Read more | Other profiles