Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)

Preparing Students for Environmental Careers at the Intersection of Science and Policy

The Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) program at Clark University prepares students for evolving and critical careers at the intersection of environmental science and policy. ES&P continues a long tradition of innovation and creative contributions to environmental challenges – the current program has evolved from one of the first environmental programs in the country to explore relationships between environmental science, technology, and society.

Environmental challenges are complex. ES&P teaches students to use knowledge and methods from both the natural and social sciences, to integrate quantitative and qualitative analytical tools, and to understand the connections among environment, technology, society, and development.

With this program's course of study, the ES&P student is equipped with skills and perspectives to work with a wide array of stakeholders – communities, industries, governmental agencies, NGOs, researchers, and donors – in ways that are sensitive to cultural, institutional, socio-political, and economic needs.

ES&P students have opportunities to participate in high quality, meaningful research collaborations. They have access to faculty that have experience working with an ethnically and socially diverse student population. ES&P graduates are able to recognize, frame, characterize, and creatively address the many environmental problems facing the world today.


Faculty Research and Practice Areas

ES&P faculty have expertise in three signature topical areas:

1. Environment and Human Health – understanding and responding to local and global environmental health challenges. This includes: the use of risk and vulnerability assessment; health policy analysis; participatory methods, health GIS, environmental justice, dimensions of social justice, and poverty.

2. Climate, Energy and Sustainability – understanding and responding to climate change at the local and global scale, energy and sustainable development challenges. This includes a focus on: climate change mitigation; climate change impact assessment and adaptation; climate and energy policy analysis; energy technology innovation; energy efficiency measures; renewable energy technologies, and other clean energy technologies; campus sustainability.

3. Environmental Management and Policy – understanding the role of science and technology in environmental policy making. This includes how to manage natural resources and pollution, stakeholder engagement, uncertainty in decision-making, the role of regulation, the role of technological innovation, the roles of institutions, social learning, capacity building, and policy analysis.

Students are encouraged to work closely with ES&P faculty to develop their own research capabilities in these areas, and with other faculty in IDCE and other Clark programs like Geography, Economics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.


Competitive Advantage: Environmental career trends show that employers worldwide – whether in the public, private, or non-profit sectors – seek a rare combination of five skills: 1) scientific and technical literacy – command of the language and concepts we use to characterize and understand problems; 2) analytical and research ability with both quantitative and qualitative data; 3) a working knowledge of GIS methods and tools; 4) an understanding of what it takes to work in concert with diverse social groups; and 5) critical-thinking and transdisciplinary ability for re-framing, understanding and addressing issues in innovative ways. ES&P Program equips students with this highly competitive skill set.

  • Environmental Science & Policy students can take courses and benefit from opportunities in all four IDCE graduate programs.
  • IDCE is a unique community of dedicated graduate students.
  • Clark is a small friendly campus.
  • Small class sizes, close faculty-student interaction.
  • Collaborative and cooperative international student body.
  • Multi-disciplinary, academically accomplished, and experienced faculty.
  • Scholar-practitioner IDCE faculty.
  • Commitment to strengthening the science-policy link.
  • Strong links to other research and science programs at Clark and elsewhere.
  • Tradition of innovative research with supportive community.
  • Worcester offers local setting for our work, and living costs are affordable.
  • Local, national, and international scope.

M.B.A. Dual Degree Program

Students enrolled in the ES&P program are now able to pursue a dual degree program based on a partnership with Clark University’s Graduate School of Management (GSOM).

Beginning in Fall 2009, IDCE and GSOM are piloting the dual degree program with a select group of highly qualified students who will earn two degrees during three years of graduate study—a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science & Policy from IDCE and a Master of Business Administration from GSOM. 

This unique educational partnership is consistent with Clark’s long tradition of cross-programmatic collaborations.

Get more information about this exciting endeavor.

Part-Time ES&P Program

Clark's ES&P graduate program admits a limited number of part-time students. While the program is designed primarily for full-time students, a part-time course of study is possible. Prospective students who may be interested in a part-time option should contact the admissions office before submitting their application and should also indicate in their application essay that they are interested in a part-time option. Financial assistance for part-time students is extremely limited.