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Locally or internationally, creating meaningful social change requires a strong foundation of practical and analytical skills to turn visions into reality.

With an MBA and M.A. in Community Development and Planning (CDP), you will acquire the tools to become a socially conscious leader, ready to play a vital role in the private, public, or nonprofit sectors. This powerful combination of master degrees enables you to build complementary sets of skills and competencies to become an effective change agent.

Why an MBA/Master’s in Community Development and Planning at Clark University

  • Gain professional standing quickly with two masters degrees.
  • Join both our AACSB-accredited School of Management, and our renowned International Development, Community, and Environment department.
  • Gain experience impacting economically challenged communities through various hands-on learning opportunities.
  • Enhance your academic experience through customized advising.

Blue sky thinking

After conducting field work in Haiti, Lelani Williams developed an innovative solution for women in developing countries who lack adequate cooking resources and infrastructure. Her solar-powered cookers are efficient, effective, and sustainable.

The desire to help women was always there, but I didn’t know how until my Capstone evolved. With the solar cooker, women will be able to cook for their families without having to cut down trees.

The Essentials

Program Overview

Clark offers an unmatched combination of an accredited business program plus a proven community development curriculum. MBA/M.A. students gain two sets of knowledge and skills: that of a business leader, and that of an agent for social and political change. The three-year program integrates courses in both IDCE and SOM. During your final year, you will complete a Capstone project. This project will require you to integrate the knowledge and skills you gained, either by:

  • Completing a project for a client organization or developing a strategic project plan (for example, a community development project, social change initiative, or original business plan for an entrepreneurial effort in your area of interest)
  • Working on an existing faculty research project that bridges the two areas of study
  • Managing mission-driven organizations and social enterprises
  • Grant writing
  • Financial management
  • Developing, evaluating, and implementing strategies
  • Change agency
  • Planning and Zoning for Community Developers
  • Going Local: Theories of Community Development and Planning
  • Community Development Finance
  • Strategic Decision-Making
  • Financial Management


22.5 course units

  • 12.5 MBA course units
    • 11.5 core courses
    • 1 elective
  • 10 IDCE course units
    • 3 core courses
    • 7 electives

All dual degree students complete the MBA Social Change and Sustainability concentration. A second MBA concentration may be added with 2 additional units for the MBA.

Explore what the School of Management has to offer.