M.A. in Community Development and Planning application requirements
May 5, 2017
The International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE) programs seek students with a clear commitment to work in the fields of development and environment. The Admissions Committee looks for a good academic record, excellent recommendations from academic and professional sources and two or three years of field experience. Strong applicants for IDCE's four competitive graduate programs will often have overseas, fieldwork, research, professional and/or internship experience prior to applying. A candidate’s statement of purpose and career intentions are also important.
When your completed application is received, the Graduate Admissions Office will forward your application to the Admissions Committee. The time it takes to receive a decision will vary depending on the program to which you apply and when your application is submitted. Once a decision has been reached, you will be notified via email and your status in the application portal will be updated.
Create an account on ouronline application portal to complete your Clark Graduate School Application and upload any additional credentials as required.
Application fee: $75 (non-refundable), submitted with your online application.
Personal statement: Please discuss your academic interests and goals. Include your current professional and research interests, as well as your long-range professional objectives. Please be as specific as possible about how your objectives can be met at Clark and do not exceed 800 words.
Letters of recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required from persons who are competent to judge your qualifications for graduate study (at least one of the three should be from an academic source).
Foreign language proficiency: Required of all international applicants. Please contact us if you believe you qualify for an exemption.
For Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and City Year Volunteers
All AmeriCorps, Peace Corps or City Year volunteers applying to a program in the International Development, Community and Environment Department are required submit a description of service as part of their application. If you are currently serving and have not yet received your description of service, a letter from your supervisor stating your current status and when your serve is expected to end will be acceptable. All descriptions of service or supervisor letters should be uploaded through your application status page or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For International Applicants
All transcripts that are submitted as part of your application must be translated into English prior to submission. Transcripts from international programs that do not include the original language and the English translation will not be considered for admission. If you submit an official final transcript, please make sure to include confirmation of earned degree.
We ask that all international applicants refrain from sending financial documents as part of their application for admission. Financial documents will be needed only after you have received an offer of admission and choose to enroll at Clark University.
After you accept the offer of admission and pay the non-refundable deposit, the following items are needed:
International Student Information Form
A copy of your passport
Bank statement that is no more than 6 months old*
Signed Affidavit of Support if the bank statement is not in your name and if you will not be using personal funds to finance your education*
Upload the documents listed above to your online application account.
*The bank statement and affidavit of support are needed for those who would like Clark University to issue an I-20 form (for students who want to obtain an F-1 student visa) or a DS-2019 (for students who want to obtain a J-1 visa)
Obtaining a student visa
After you upload the documents listed above, your information will be reviewed by Clark University’s International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). In most cases, the ISSO will issue an I-20 or DS-2019 form so that you can apply for a student visa. The I-20 form or DS-2019 form will be sent to you along with detailed steps on the visa application process. Here is a brief overview of the visa acquisition process:
Read the I-20 or DS-2019 to make sure all of the information is accurate.
Health insurance is required for all international students. U.S. students may waive the charge with proof of comparable coverage. Learn more about health insurance.
Full-time graduate students are encouraged to live on campus if possible; thus, the chart above reflects the estimated cost of on-campus housing and living expenses (utilities, Internet service, cable service and laundry). Learn more about on-campus housing options. If you are a full-time graduate student, and you choose to live off campus, your housing costs will depend on the apartment and utilities you choose, whether you have roommates and whether you incur additional living expenses. You can search for off-campus housing by visiting this listings page.
International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE) Department Merit Fellowships
IDCE offers merit-based fellowships to qualified U.S. and international students who have demonstrated leadership in their work experience and have excellent academic qualifications. Fellowships include:
IDCE Fellowships: 75 to 100 percent tuition-remission award. An important circle of scholars within the IDCE community, IDCE Fellows search for thoughtful, realistic and innovative approaches to international development, advancing social change, building community and promoting environmental sustainability.
Community Development and Planning (CDP) Practice Fellowships: IDCE's CDP program awards one full-tuition fellowship annually to a full-time admitted student who has worked in a nonprofit setting for more than three years. Preference will be given to a current employee of a nonprofit organization in the city of Worcester or in the greater Worcester area. Other qualifying applicants may receive at least 40 percent tuition remission.
Community Development and Planning (CDP) Diversity Fellowships: IDCE's CDP program awards one full-tuition fellowship annually to a full-time admitted student from an underrepresented ethnic or racial group in the United States. Other qualifying applicants may receive at least 40 percent tuition remission.
Special Program Fellowships
IDCE partners with outside programs to offer these special fellowships:
Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows Program: IDCE partners with the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program (formerly Fellows/USA) to provide returning Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) with scholarships covering 50 percent of tuition; at least one exceptional student receives full tuition remission. To fulfill their service requirement, Fellows work with the IDCE Career Development Office to complete a supervised professional internship (for credit, as part of a course or outside of degree requirements) with a local community organization. Fellows also may work with Clark’s Community Engagement Office to complete volunteer activities. Fellows also will be considered for paid assistantships. When applying to IDCE, check the appropriate box to be considered for a fellowship; there is no separate application. In addition, application fees are waived for RPCVs, although applicants must provide some form of verification of service at the time of the application in order to waive the fee.
AmeriCorps Alumni Fellowships: IDCE offers fellowships covering at least 40 percent of tuition to all AmeriCorps alumni admitted to an IDCE graduate program. This fellowship includes and often exceeds the match provided by the AmeriCorps education award. In addition, each year IDCE awards at least one full tuition-free fellowship to an AmeriCorps alum of extraordinary merit. When applying to IDCE, check the appropriate box to be considered for a fellowship; there is no separate application. To waive the application fee, applicants must provide some form of verification of service at the time of the application.
Teach for America Fellowships: IDCE provides partial tuition fellowships for all Teach for America alumni admitted to one of IDCE’s graduate programs. Awards cover at least 40 percent of tuition for up to two years in which the student is enrolled in the department. When applying to IDCE, check the appropriate box to be considered for a fellowship; there is no separate application.
World Teach Fellowships: IDCE provides partial tuition fellowships to all admitted World Teach alumni. When applying to IDCE, check the appropriate box to be considered for a fellowship; there is no separate application.
City Year Scholarship:IDCE provides partial tuition fellowships worth at least 40 percent tuition remission to City Year alumni admitted to a graduate program. In addition, IDCE awards at least one 75 percent competitive fellowship annually to a City Year alum of extraordinary merit. When applying to IDCE, check the appropriate box to be considered for a fellowship; there is no separate application. To waive the application fee, applicants must provide some form of verification of service at the time of the application.
Compton Fellowships: In the past, IDCE has awarded Environment and Sustainable Development Fellowships from the Compton Foundation. The award enables students to carry out research projects on environmental management and sustainable development. Typically, there are four available fellowships for each incoming class (valued at $10,000 each). The primary goals of the Compton Graduate Fellowship Program are to increase developing countries’ professional capacity in peace and security, population and reproductive health and environment and sustainability and to promote research-based linkages between these three fields. IDCE’s Compton Fellowships support early to mid-career professionals from sub-Saharan Africa, Mexico and Central America.
Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) Alumni Fellowships: IDCE provides partial tuition fellowships worth at least 40 percent tuition remission to all FSD alumni who have six months or more of service abroad and who are admitted to one of IDCE’s graduate programs.
Teaching and Research Assistantships
IDCE offers a limited number of salaried teaching and research assistantships (TAs and RAs) each semester. These are announced to current students via email during the first week of classes each semester. You may apply for positions by emailing the IDCE Office with a resume and cover letter detailing your relevant experience.
It is not possible to apply in advance for any TA or RA position. You must wait until you have arrived on campus. TAs and RAs must work a set number of hours.
External Fellowships and Grants for U.S. Students
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Program: This program seeks to attract outstanding young people who are interested in pursuing careers in the USAID Foreign Service. The Payne Fellowship encourages the application of members of minority groups who have historically been underrepresented in international development careers as well as those with financial need. Upon completion of graduate school, fellows will join the USAID Foreign Service as long as they successfully complete the Payne Program and USAID entry requirements.
Scholarship Information for International Students
Russell E. Train Fellowships: Support proven and potential leaders from select World Wildlife Federation priority places to pursue master’s or doctoral degrees in conservation-related fields. Applicants may be at any point in their academic program (applied, accepted or currently enrolled) and may study anywhere in the world. Fellowships cover up to $30,000 per year for a maximum of two years. After completing their degree, applicants must return to their home country to work in conservation. Eligible countries include Belize, Botswana, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Honduras, Myanmar, Namibia and Zambia.
Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) Fellowship Program: Funded by the U.S. government, the Vietnam Education Foundation Fellowship Program brings Vietnamese nationals to the United States for graduate degree programs in the sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (including public health and health sciences).
To pay online by electronic check (ACH) or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express), please follow the payment link in your online application portal.
A U.S. bank account is required to pay by ACH; there is no service fee to pay by ACH. Please note a 2.75% service fee is charged for payment made by domestic credit card and a 4.25% service fee is charged for payment made by international credit card.
Step 3: Decide where you will live
Clark offers several kinds of on-campus housing for graduate students, so you can take advantage of all that university life has to offer. The estimated costs on the tuition and financial expenses tab are based on graduate students who choose to live on campus, which is encouraged. If you’re interested in on-campus housing, you’ll need to read the Graduate Student Housing page, which informs about instructions, rates and necessary forms. All Clark graduate housing options include most additional living expenses, such as utilities, Internet and cable service and laundry. If you choose to live off campus, your housing costs will depend on which apartment you choose and whether you have roommates and other living expenses. You can search for off-campus housing by visiting this listings page.
Massachusetts state law requires all full-time students who enroll in one of the state's public or private colleges or universities to be immunized against diphtheria; tetanus; measles, mumps and rubella; hepatitis B and meningitis. To comply with state health requirements, you’ll need to provide documentation of your immunization history. The necessary forms can be found on the Health Services website. The deadline to submit immunization forms if you are enrolling for the fall semester is July 1 and if you are enrolling for the spring semester, the deadline is December 15.
Step 5: Submit your final transcript
If you were still working on your undergraduate degree when you applied to Clark, you’ll need to send us your final official transcripts and certificate of graduation, if applicable, that show you’ve been awarded an undergraduate degree to:
Graduate Admissions Office
950 Main St.
Worcester, MA 01610
The deadline to submit final transcripts is August 1. Keep in mind that your admission to any program is contingent upon receipt of that transcript.