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International Development and Social Change
International Development and Social Change
The International Development and Social Change (IDSC) program offers an undergraduate major and minor, an accelerated B.A./M.A. program for qualified Clark undergraduates, and an M.A. program. It is part of the International Development, Community and Environment Department (IDCE)

Undergraduate Curriculum

The Major

The IDSC major requires 12 credits, including five core courses, four electives around a particular theme or issue in international development and social change, one methods course, two skills courses, one internship or directed research project, and a culminating capstone seminar to be taken in the fall semester of your senior year.

Students should try to finish their core classes in their first two years of study.  By junior year, they should be taking more advanced seminars (200 level) with core faculty in their area of interest.  
1. Core Courses (5 credits)

You are required to take ID 120 (Introduction to Cultural Anthropology); ID 125 (Tales from the Far Side: Development and Underdevelopment); ECON 128 (Development Economics or an equivalent economics course); and two additional core courses (one about the politics of development and another dealing with environmental sustainability). 

Although ECON 10 is a prerequisite for ECON 128, it does not count towards the major.  Students are therefore encouraged to take ECON 10 (offered both fall and spring semesters) early in their undergraduate career to leave time for fulfilling the upper level economics requirement that does count towards the major.

Both ID 120 and ID 125 satisfy the Global Comparative Perspective of the PLS.

After taking these core classes, a new IDSC major should reflect upon what topics most interest him/her and begin to plan a specialization in consultation with his/her advisor.  

2. Area of Specialization (4 credits)

IDSC majors take at least four elective courses in an area of specialization. Students may follow established specializations that relate to international development and social change (e.g., Political Economy, Peace and Conflict, Gender, Global Health, Culture, Participatory and Community-based Approaches, Sustainability, or area studies) or they may design their own area of specialization with the approval of their IDSC advisor. 

Two of these courses should be take with core IDSC faculty, and at least two should be at the 200-level.

3. Methods (1 credit)

The required methods class, ID 132 (Research Methods for International Development), is usually offered during the fall semester.   This course will prepare you for independent research during study abroad, your capstone, and your honors thesis.  Hence, students are strongly encouraged to take ID 132 before beginning these endeavors.  You should also note that ID 132 does not fulfill the Formal Analysis (FA) requirement.

4.  Skills Courses (2 credits)

IDSC majors will take two skills courses in computers, statistics, GIS, cartography, conflict negotiation, service learning (e.g. ID 131 Local Action/Global Change), or another skill relevant to a careers in international development and/or social change.  IDSC majors are strongly advised to become proficient in a foreign language.  Any language courses at the intermediate level (105 or above) may be counted for the skills requirement.  See your faculty advisor if you have any question about the applicability of a skills course.

5. Internship or Field Research (1 credit)

You are required to complete a one-credit internship or field research project related to international development. All internships must be approved by Clark University via the Office of Study Abroad or Career Services.  Summer internships should be registered as a credit through COPACE.

6. Capstone Seminar (1 credit)

All IDSC majors must take the capstone seminar (ID 290) in the fall of their senior year.
The capstone is an advanced seminar open only to IDSC majors that helps students to build upon previous experience in the major and consolidate research and analytic skills.

7. Honors Thesis (1 additional credit)

Students who fulfill the GPA requirements can apply to the Honors Program in the spring of their junior year.  Most will then carry out research over the summer between junior and senior year.  They will continue developing their projects in conjunction with the in the Capstone Seminar and will complete the thesis under the supervision of their thesis supervisor during the spring of their senior year.  Note:  The Honors Program is mandatory for any student planning to Clark University Accelerated BA/MA Program in IDSC. 


Double Majors

Many students double major in IDSC and related departments, such as Economics, Geography, Government (especially International Relations), Psychology, and Sociology. A major in IDSC and a minor in one of the related departments or programs, such Women’s Studies, is another popular option. University regulations allow you to count up to two courses toward both majors.


GPA Standards

The lowest acceptable grade to count a course toward the major or minor is a C-.  You may NOT take any courses for Pass/No Record for either the major or minor, except for the internship.  Unless you petition the Dean of Students otherwise, internships are graded on a Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) basis.

Contact Information Search

Academic Catalog & Requirements
Program & Courses
Major Requirements
Minor Requirements
Honors Program

Additional Resources
Programs Home
Checklist for the Major (PDF)
Checklist for the Minor (PDF)
Checklist for the B.A./M.A. Program (PDF)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Areas of Specialization
Study Abroad
Sample Career Positions
Detailed Honors Program Information
Compton Mentor Fellowships

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