The growth of cities has been a defining influence on life in the United States during the 20th century, and it is expected that soon more than half the world's population will be living in cities. Urbanization will undoubtedly be a key force shaping life in the 21st century.
The UDSC concentration, an interdisciplinary minor, is open to students in all majors. In addition, the UDSC program hosts speakers and other events that are open to the greater Clark and Worcester communities.
The concentration provides students with a structured program of study in an area in which Clark has considerable faculty expertise and rich curricular offerings: the growth, decline and revitalization (or re-creation) of cities and the social, economic, political and spatial processes associated with urbanization.
Students in the UDSC concentration study key concepts and methodological tools used to explore and analyze urban phenomena. Students take courses in a variety of disciplines, such as history, political science, economics, geography, psychology, education and sociology. The concentration culminates in a Capstone research project that is done as part of an urban research or internship seminar, or as an independent project supervised by one of the UDSC concentration's participating faculty members.
Students who complete the UDSC concentration are well prepared to pursue careers and graduate study in such fields as urban planning, community development, public administration, education, social work and public policy.
The UDSC program also enables students to take advantage of distinctive opportunities that Clark's location, the University's leadership role in the University Park Partnership, and Clark's connections to government agencies, businesses and other community organizations in Worcester offer. Students combine challenging intellectual pursuits with hands-on research and internships through which they acquire valuable perspectives and contribute to improving the quality of life for residents of Clark's neighborhood and the City of Worcester.
The UDSC program has also offered summer fellowships to Clark undergraduate students for the past five years to work on an applied research project in a Worcester inner-city neighborhood, as well as a summer internship with a Worcester City Councilor or with a local community development agency.
The UDSC concentration is particularly well-suited to provide preparation for the master's degree program in Community Development and Planning.