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Become an urban problem-solver. Tackle social injustice, economic development challenges, and other crucial inner-city issues.

Driving social, political, and economic change requires a broad range of critical and analytical skills and a keen understanding of the diverse perspectives that shape our world. We developed the M.A. in Community Development and Planning to equip you for those challenges. In this landmark community development graduate program, you will learn to identify, analyze, and tackle major issues facing local and global urban areas, including social justice, economic development, urban planning and zoning, and environmental sustainability.

Through a core curriculum taught by noted scholars and practitioners, experiential opportunities such as internships, studio, and practicum courses, and a final Capstone project, you will emerge prepared to be an effective agent of change. Courses cover such critical topics as community development and planning theory, planning techniques, community development finance, land use, decision-making and negotiation, nonprofit management, youth and community development, geographic information systems, and research and project evaluation methods.

One of the select degrees offered by Clark University’s renowned International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE) Department, this highly regarded program was ranked 14th in the nation by Planetizen in the category of “urban planning programs without a doctoral option.”

Why a Master’s in Community Development and Planning at Clark University

  • Work closely and collaboratively with world-class faculty, researchers, and community partners on problems affecting diverse urban populations.
  • Build multifaceted knowledge and multilingual skills from our signature transdisciplinary curriculum integrating the expertise of a wide range of experts.
  • Draw from 10 areas of concentration to tackle projects that cross geographic and cultural boundaries.
  • Put your classroom knowledge to work in real-world situations during field-based projects.
  • Gain a competitive professional edge in a department that has been ranked #15 in the world for development studies (based on academic reputation) by QS World University Rankings.

Connecting Academy Work to Practical Work in the Community

Ramón Borges-Mendéz is devoted to helping IDCE graduate students return to the world to do what they have been doing — and to do it even better.

I devote a good part of my time to really connect my academic work to my practical work. This is what we emphasize at Clark.

The Essentials

Program Overview

The M.A. in Community Development and Planning requires a minimum of 12 graduate course units, a combination of skills/methods and elective courses that links theory with practice. Through your coursework, you will learn alternative ways of thinking and strategies for achieving greater equity and social justice.

Courses cover such critical topics as community development and planning theory, planning techniques, community development finance, land use, decision-making and negotiation, nonprofit management, youth and community development, geographic information systems, and research and project evaluation methods. Our unique transdisciplinary curriculum integrates the perspectives and ideas of other departmental programs as well, including Environmental Science and Policy, Geographic Information Sciences for Development and Environment, and International Development and Social Change.

  • Quantitative and qualitative analytic skills
  • Organizational and managerial skills
  • Spatial analysis
  • Needs assessment and evaluation
  • Program design
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Planning and Zoning for Community Developers
  • Community Needs and Resources Analysis
  • Strategies for Community Organizing
  • Grant Writing for Community Developers

Requirements

12 course units

  • 3 core courses
  • 6 electives*
  • 2 methods/skills courses
  • 1 thesis, an M.A. paper, a Practitioner paper, or an IDCE Capstone course

For accelerated master’s degree students, two electives are internship units.

Course Catalog

Explore the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment.