Practical Applied Learning

Learn by Doing

The School of Professional Studies delivers an academic experience grounded in the professional world. We embrace Clark University’s belief in the power of leadership and effective practice, and integrate applied learning opportunities across all dimensions of our curriculum.

Our faculty is one of our greatest strengths: They’re not only talented educators who have taught at some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, but also working professionals fully immersed in their fields. They share insights from their professional lives in the classroom and work closely with their students to craft an educational experience that aligns with student goals, employer expectations, and marketplace trends. Our students graduate with relevant knowledge, excellent communication and analytical skills, and valuable experience gained from having already put their education into action in real-world contexts.

By earning a master's degree in Public Administration, Professional Communication or Information Technology from the School of Professional Studies, our students gain the preparation they need to achieve their career goals — whether in the public, private. or nonprofit  sectors.

Sample Capstone Projects

Master in Public Administration

  • YWCA – As part of their Capstone experience, students worked for three months with a local affiliate of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), a national nonprofit focused on empowering young women and strengthening communities. The team evaluated the nonprofit’s funding model and developed a set of recommendations to improve donor retention. These recommendations proved vital to the nonprofit’s 5-year strategic planning efforts.
  • City of Worcester – Clark graduate students helped perform an extensive research project to evaluate drug prevention programs in our home city. The group compared traditional and contemporary approaches targeted at teenagers to determine the most effective methods for preventing drug use. At the conclusion of their study, our students’ findings were presented to local law enforcement and the district attorney’s office. 

M.S. in Professional Communication

  • National University of Somalia ­– A group of SPS graduate students assisted the National University of Somalia in building awareness of both its educational program and its societal impact within Somalia. The team developed a detailed understanding of the local community and evaluated best practices for marketing the institution. The resultant recommendations included ideas for developing a social media campaign, performing website revisions, and establishing a sustainable recruiting and retention strategy.
  • Town of Charlton – A team of Capstone students worked with a local fire department to build a brand awareness program. Using surveys, interviews and research findings, the team created a data-driven marketing campaign to help educate the community about the importance of funding and expanding certain emergency response services.

M.S. in Information Technology

  • Connections Physical Therapy – A group of SPS graduate students worked with a multi-office health services provider to evaluate the level of cybersecurity within the practice. The team made a detailed analysis of the existing operations, looked at industry best practices and developed a tiered set of recommendations to ensure their client was HIPAA compliant across all their client-facing applications and processes.