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Graduate admissions deadlines - Clark University

Community Development and Planning

The Community Development and Planning (CDP) program prepares current and future community development practitioners, activists, and scholars to take on the challenges and struggles facing urban areas in the United States. In the program, students learn alternative ways of thinking and transforming communities to achieve greater equity and social justice.

We believe that preparing graduate students to become effective community development practitioners requires three main forms of teaching, learning, and training. First, students need to understand community development's policy legacy and theoretical and conceptual debates in the field. Second, they need to acquire a diverse range of skills in areas such as theory application, community organizing, finance, geographic information systems, planning and zoning, and non-profit management. Finally, students must engage in critical thinking about power, racial, and economic privilege.

CDP students receive a strong foundation based on theory, skill development, and practice. Building on that foundation, students can either design their own area of specialization, or focus their studies on one of the following areas:

  • Community Planning
  • Enterprise Management and Economic Development
  • Community-Based Development and Social Change

New Collaborations with the Clark University Graduate School Of Management

Specialization in Enterprise Management

Students enrolled and planning to enroll in the CDP program are now able to declare a new specialization in Enterprise Management based on a partnership with Clark's Graduate School of Management (GSOM). CDP students will take a selection of skill and elective courses at both IDCE and GSOM to earn the specialization as part of their graduate degree.

Dual Degree — CDP/M.A. - M.B.A.

Beginning in Fall 2009, IDCE and GSOM are piloting an CDP/GSOM Dual Degree Pilot Program, an opportunity to earn two degrees to a small, but determined group of CDP students. Students in the dual degree program will earn two degrees at the end of three years of graduate school — an M.A. in CDP and an M.B.A. from GSOM. Only a few highly qualified students will be admitted to this program and then be guided individually by faculty members in the IDCE and GSOM departments.

Get more information about this unique graduate school collaboration.

The CDP Experience

Through the CDP program, students will:

  • understand social, economic, and political forces that shape places,
  • view communities in a regional and international context,
  • gain rigorous analytical training to explore and research complex social issues,
  • gain strong, writing, and public communication skills,
  • develop professional practices that trigger social change to improve quality of life, and
  • be prepared to be leaders in a diverse range of community development and planning arenas.

The CDP program integrates theory, practice, and reflection through high-quality internships, studio and practicum courses, and by incorporating the insightful participation of practitioners and community leaders in small seminar style courses.

Sample courses include:

  • People and Places: Theories of Community Development and Planning
  • Community Development Finance
  • Negotiations in Community Development
  • Grant Writing for Community Developers
  • Planning and Zoning for Community Developers
  • International and Comparative Analysis of Community Development
  • Nonprofit and NGO Management Issues
  • Social Policy, Immigration and Poverty
  • Urban Transportation: Problems and Prospects
  • Youth and Community Development

Community Development and Planning (CDP) Dual M.B.A. Program

The worlds of business and development are increasingly intertwined. Corporations are facing social, environmental, and sustainability challenges; and development and planning professionals are using management skills and thinking strategically every day. The separation of goals and activities that once characterized the private and public sectors is dissolving in the face of new partnerships, alliances, and collaborations aimed at addressing the greatest challenges of the 21st Century: economic well-being, social justice, and environmental sustainability.

Dual Degree — a M.A. in CDP and a M.B.A. from GSOM

IDCE and GSOM are piloting a Community Development and Planning(M.A.)/Business Administration (M.B.A.) Dual Degree Program to a small group of CDP students. Students in the dual degree program will earn two degrees at the end of three years of graduate school—a M.A. in CDP and a M.B.A. from GSOM. Only a few highly qualified students will be admitted to this program and then be guided individually by faculty members in the IDCE and GSOM departments.

In today's changing world, management skills are increasingly needed to advance social change. CDP students will now be able to draw on twosets of knowledge and skills; one of a trained business person and the other as a trained and concerned agent for social and political change.

We aim to prepare students to be able to manage socialmission-driven organizations. CDP students in the dual degree program may pursue career tracks including nonprofit operations/management, governmental jobs, consulting, entrepreneurial leadership in new society-benefiting technologies, writing, educating, and more.

How does it work?

The first year of your graduate studies will be spent in the IDCEdepartment and your studies will be focused on community development andplanning. The second year you will be taking courses at GSOM, acquiring management skills. In the third year, you will take courses in IDCE and GSOM and complete a final consultancy project that will require the knowledge and skills you have gained from both departments. Up to four courses taken during the three years can count toward both degrees. (Please note that there are likely to be few elective course options since students will be completing two degrees during a rigorousschedule.)

How do I apply?

You must submit an application and all required attachments (e.g. transcripts, recommendations, TOEFL scores) to the IDCE Department. You must also concurrently submit an application only to the GSOM M.B.A. program. You will submit just one application fee and deposit to theIDCE Department, which will be considered your "home department". IDCE will share your required attachments with GSOM. In your required written essay, which can be used for both applications, please address the reasons why you would like to pursue both degrees.

What is the application deadline?

The priority deadline for dual degree applications is February 1. Students are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by this date if they want to be considered for tuition fellowships and want to ensure their place in the class the following fall. Late applications will be accepted up to April 1 as long as there is space available.

Concentration in Enterprise Management

Students enrolled and planning to enroll in the CDP program are able to declare a concentration in Enterprise Management based on a partnership with Clark University's Graduate School of Management (GSOM). CDP students will take a selection of skill and elective courses at both IDCE and GSOM to earn the concentration as part of their graduate degree.

Clark University is strongly positioned to offer such a uniqueeducational partnership because students currently studying communitydevelopment need only walk across campus to find courses in business andmanagement to acquire the skills they need. Together, IDCE and GSOM will offer the concentration in Enterprise Management to CDP students beginning in Fall 2009.

For more information about the program, please contact CDP professor Mark Tigan at mtigan@clarku.edu. Dr. Tigan will assist you in deciding if the concentration or the dual degree program is a good fit for you.