IDCE Graduate Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

About the Application Process: Eligibility and Requirements: About Finances: Getting Here: About an IDCE Degree: About IDCE and Clark University:

About the Application Process

Q: How do I apply for admission to IDCE?
A: All students applying to IDCE graduate programs must apply online through the Graduate Admissions Office.


Q: What is the deadline for applications?
A: The application deadline for the four main graduate programs and the dual degree programs is January 15, however for fall 2014 we have extended the deadline. We encourage you to submit an application as soon as possible; please contact Admissions with questions.

Q. May I submit recommendations from colleagues instead of professors from my undergraduate studies?
A. The IDCE Department requires three recommendations so that the Admissions Committee is able to assess your ability to succeed in a rigorous academic setting. Ask three persons who are competent to judge your qualifications for graduate study
to write recommendations on your behalf, and have them submitted online through our online application process.

Q: Are applications accepted for both fall and spring?
A: Applications are accepted for fall admission only.

Q: Are GREs required?
A: No, but if submitted, GREs are taken into consideration.

Q: English is not my first language. Do I need to submit a TOEFL?
A: A TOEFL is required of anyone for whom English is not their first language. A minimum score of 577 (paper based) or 233 (computer based) or 90 (IBT internet based) is required for applicants from countries where English is not the first language.
TOEFL score must be submitted at the time of your application. Clark now accepts the IELTS as another measurement of English language abilities. The minimum score is 6.5 (7.0 is preferred). TOEFL requirement is waived for applicants who have completed their undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college/university in the United States.

Q: Can I defer admission after I am accepted?
A: You can maintain deferred status for up to one year with written permission. The deadline to defer is June 1st. Tuition fellowships are not guaranteed. If you choose to have your application reactivated, please notify the IDCE office before Jan. 15 for Fall semester matriculation. You should also forward an updated resume and personal statement at that time.

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Eligibility and Requirements

Q: What are the academic requirements?
A: An IDCE master's degree requires a minimum of 12 graduate course units. These vary by program but typically include five required core courses, two skills courses, and five elective courses in the student's field of specialization. Internships are encouraged. The programs culminate in a final MA project, which is either a research paper, practitioner paper, or thesis.

Refer to the IDCE graduate program handbooks for specific details regarding the final project requirements as each program differs slightly.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements for admission into IDCE programs?
A: IDCE programs seek students with a clear commitment to work in the fields of development and environment. Graduate students generally focus their studies on sustainable resource management, globalization, conflict negotiation, displacement,
gender and development, vulnerability assessment, community institutions, grassroots participation, regional integration, or geographic information systems. The Admissions Committee looks for a good academic record, excellent recommendations from academic and professional sources, and two or three years of field experience. A candidate's statement of purpose and career intentions are also important.

Note: The ES&P admissions committee looks for a firm science foundation (e.g. successful previous coursework in biology, chemistry, and/or physics). In addition, math/quantitative skills are expected, and the Committee also looks for evidence of coursework in this area.

Q: Can I register as a part-time student?
A: Under unusual circumstances, a student may be allowed to register on a part-time basis.

Q: Can I take courses through mail or online?
A: No, not at this time.


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About Finances

Q: What does tuition cost?
A: The following table summarizes a list of estimated expenses for School Year 2014-2015.

Application Fee: $75 application fee (IDCE waives application fees for current Clark students and RPCVs and AmeriCorps alumni.)
Tuition Deposit: $500, non-refundable fee. Payable at the time of acceptance of admission. This deposit is credited to the student account.
Fall 2014 Tuition Costs: $5,050.00 per course (less tuition fellowship
award, if applicable)
  Note: Tuition increases approximately three to five percent each year. Three courses a semester is considered full time. Twelve courses are required to complete degree.
Living Expenses: $10,000 per year, estimated.
  Note: Room and Board expenses depend on choice of accommodations
2014 Health Insurance Cost: $1,829 per year (approximate)
Books/Misc.: $2,000 per year, estimated.
Current Fees: $80 activity fee, per year ($15 per semester Graduate
School fee and $25 per semester IDCE Student Activity Fee)
Enrollment Fee: $100 enrollment fee (upon enrollment). Extra bound copies of theses and dissertations are approximately $9..
Note: Phone expenses are generally considered additional costs.


Other fees:

• Nonresident Fee: $200 per semester for the first six semesters; $400 per semester for the seventh semester and beyond. Fee is payable Aug. 1 and Dec. 1. All degree candidates who are not formally enrolled in coursework must pay the nonresident fee each semester until the final copy of the thesis or dissertation is approved. If these fees are not paid by the close of the fiscal year, the student will be dropped from the program.

Q: What fellowships are available?
A: Visit our Funding page for the most up-to-date information.

Q: What types of financial aid are available?
A: Our goal is to make a Clark education affordable. The cost of higher education is an issue for everyone considering college. While the quality of a Clark education is truly outstanding, the cost can seem overwhelming initially. The Office of Financial Assistance works closely with families to explore a range of financial options to help make the Clark experience a reality for every talented student who believes Clark is the right fit for them.

Clark University's Office of Financial Assistance provides need-based assistance in the form of student loans for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Visit the Clark Office of Financial Assistance for information about your funding choices.

Clark University does not offer Clark financial assistance to international students.

Q: When exactly are tuition payments due?
A: The semester bills are due July 25 for Fall semester and Dec. 15 for Spring semester. You will be charged for the number of courses that you register for (less your tuition remission). If you are registering after the bill due date, payment is due at time of registration. You may visit Business and Financial Services.

Q: Can I apply for a Teacher Assistant/Research Assistant Position?
A: All our graduate students are eligible to apply for a Teacher Assistant/Research Assistant position. The positions are limited and competitive. They are filled according to an applicant's level of skills. The Teacher Assistant/Research Assistant positions cannot be assigned in advance. Students should apply for them when they arrive on campus.

Q: Do I need health insurance?
A: You have the option of registering for Clark health insurance or providing your own health insurance. You will automatically be billed for Clark health insurance if you do not fill out an insurance waiver card. You can find the waiver form at this website:

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Getting Here

Q: What kind of housing is available?
A: Most graduate students rent and share local apartments within blocks of campus (two bedroom apartments: $700-900, three bedrooms: $700-1,100). A car is not necessary as most everything is within walking distance. You can get more information about Housing on the Admitted Students page.

Q: Do I need to bring a computer/laptop with me?
A: There are several computer labs on campus housing both Macs and PCs so computers are not necessary. However, about 70% of students do bring their own laptops or computers. If you are interested in buying a laptop computer, Clark has a student laptop program which can be found at Contact the ITS Help Desk at or 508-793-7745 for more detailed information.

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About the IDCE Degree

Q: What internship opportunities are available?
A: In the past, IDCE students have obtained internships with organizations such as Grassroots International, Oxfam America, United Nations, CARE International, Catholic Relief Services, WasteCAP, Clean Start Redevelopment, Save the Children, Catholic AIDS Action in Namibia, Burma Border Projects, Seeds of Peace International and the World Bank. Read Student and Alumni Profiles for more examples.

Q: What jobs do IDCE graduates get after graduation?
A: IDCE's network and reputation in the environmental and development field are important factors for internships and employment. IDCE graduates hold responsible positions in environmental, development, and social service agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Examples include: UNDP, USAID, Department of Environmental Protection, UN World Food Program, Nature Conservancy, Winrock International, Atlantic Center for the Environment, Catholic Relief Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Inter-American Development Bank, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Heifer Project International, International Rescue Committee, Kitakyushu Forum on Asian Women, and Oxfam America. Others pursue Ph.D. degrees and Fulbright Fellowships. IDCE also maintains an extensive career database of available jobs and internships and has created a Careers Support component to our website. For more info on these topics and more, visit the Careers pages.

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About IDCE and Clark University

Q: What are some of IDCE faculty's research interests?
A: Anthropology, transnational advocacy, natural resource sustainability, social justice, water quality, climate change, local institutions, conflict resolution, forced migration, gender issues, political economy, social movements, participation, risk analysis, economic development, environment modeling, remote sensing, cultural/political systems ecology. Visit our Faculty Profiles for more information.

Q: Is IDCE accredited?

A: Clark University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

Accreditation of an institution by the New England Association indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality periodically applied through a peer-review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Inquiries Regarding New England Accreditation Status Inquiries regarding the accreditation status by the New England Association should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact:

Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
3 Burlington Woods Drive
Suite 100
Burlington, MA 01803-4531


Q: What is the international/U.S. ratio in the IDCE programs?
A: The Admissions Committee seeks a balance of U.S. and international students. Students credit IDCE's diversity for providing challenging and dynamic classroom interactions. Typically 40-50% of our incoming classes are from international countries.

Q: How many students are in the four IDCE graduate programs?
A: IDCE is growing. For the last few years, we have welcomed an incoming class size of approximately 100 students in the fall. However, IDCE maintains a small class size with the majority of courses and seminars having 15-20 students.

Q: What is the total campus population?
A: For statistics about Clark, check the Fast Facts page.

Q: Where is Clark University?
A: Clark is in Worcester, Massachusetts, the second largest city in New England, with a population of approximately 180,000. It has a rich cultural life and diverse ethnic working class neighborhoods. Worcester is home to 13 colleges and universities.

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Admissions Calendar

Late Applications:
Contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 508-793-7373