Stained glass from the Geography building at Clark

Doctoral Program in Geography

The Clark Advantage

Established in 1921, the Graduate School of Geography at Clark is internationally renowned for innovative scholarship and is an acknowledged leader in the field. Consistently ranked as one of the top-ten graduate programs by the National Research Council, Clark Geography enables graduate students to train with top professionals and participate in a world-class research community. Furthermore, having awarded more Ph.D.s than any other geography program in the U.S., Clark Geography has a reputation for training future leaders in the field. Read more about Clark's tradition of pioneering geographic scholarship.

Our Close-Knit Community

The Graduate School seeks talented students with diverse backgrounds who can contribute to the atmosphere of innovation and collaboration that defines Clark Geography. The intimate atmosphere of a small urban university fosters close faculty-student relationships that are a key component of graduate study at Clark. The program offers a strong emphasis in both qualitative and quantitative analysis and the option to combine both in a research project.

Areas of Study

Our objective is to produce scholars and other professionals whose research and pedagogy are path-breaking. We intend our students to contribute significantly to research and application in one of four main geography foci:

Nature-Society · Urban-Economic · Geographic Information Science · Earth System Science

Within these foci we encourage an education of excellence and innovation across a number of areas of specialization:

  • Climate change
  • Cryosphere
  • Economy and culture of cities
  • Ecosystem ecology
  • Environment and development
  • Feminist geography
  • Forest ecology
  • Geographies of energy and extractive industries
  • Geographies of social movements
  • GIS and spatial analysis
  • Global economic change
  • Land change and sustainability science
  • Land surface hydrology
  • Political/cultural ecology
  • Political Economy
  • Resource geography
  • Social and spatial theory
  • Urban geography
  • Urban Political
  • Urban Development


We also have an opportunity for students to pursue a geography Ph.D. in collaboration with Clark's Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, through a joint Ph.D. program in geography and genocide studies.This pilot PhD track is made possible by a generous gift. Students on the program will combine core courses in Geography and Genocide as well as electives, and will work on topics including, though not limited to: the visualization of space and place, population displacements and threats to collective identity, natural resource conflicts and loss of territory, and the geographies of mass and organize