International Development, Community and Environment More
International Development and Social Change - Clark University

Course of study

The master's degree in International Development and Social Change requires a minimum of 12 graduate course units. These include five required core courses, including a final M.A. project, and seven elective courses to form the student's field of specialization.

Through action-oriented, critical studies linking theory and practice, this master's program offers opportunities to specialize in such topics as political economy, conflict and development, education and development, health and development, culture and development, resource management, community-based development, gender and development, and more.

I. Required Core Courses (5 required)

All IDSC MA students must satisfy the following requirements:

1. IDCE 360 Development Theory provides a critical overview of classical and contemporary theories of development across many disciplines. Encourages thinking historically, politically and analytically about the multiplicity of development processes and the complex relations of power that underlie them.

2. IDCE 361 Development Program and Project Management develops skills in needs assessment, project design, implementation, management, budgeting, scheduling, work plans, and monitoring/evaluation.

3. One Graduate-level Economics Course, such as IDCE 30217 Economic Fundamentals for International Development introduces economic history, as well as microeconomics and macroeconomics to the non-economists, while illustrating practical applications of these techniques to real-world development situations.

4. IDCE 30291 Research Design and Methods (or its equivalents) reviews topics in social research design and methodology including problem definition, research strategies, sampling, data collection techniques and procedures, and proposal writing.

5. IDCE 30213 Final M.A. Project is the culminating experience of the IDSC Masters program where students have the opportunity to develop their research and professional interests independently.

II. Elective Courses (7 required)

Students select electives to focus their research, deepen their understanding of, and develop an area of specialization. IDSC MA students are encouraged to develop critical and practical skills and develop a research or career focus through choosing from electives offered by the IDSC program, other IDCE programs (CDP, ES&P and GISDE), and across Clark University, including the School of Geography and the Graduate School of Management. Clark is also a member of the Colleges of Worcester Consortium, and students may thus take classes at other member institutions. Students work with their advisors to develop an individualized course of study.

A sampling of recently offered electives offered through the IDCE department includes:

Please view Clark's official Academic Catalog for a complete listing of course offerings. Remember that each IDCE program offers flexibility so students can take classes across programs. IDCE also maintains links with other educational departments at Clark University, including the School of Geography and the Graduate School of Management.

III. Directed Study

As part of your elective credits, you have the option of doing undertaking an internship or a directed study with any IDSC core or affiliate faculty member. Directed studies are an opportunity for students to engage in advanced level work (beyond what they learn in seminars) on issues of special interest to them. Directed studies take different form (e.g. literature review, annotated bibliography, research paper, thesis preparation, grant proposal development, etc.) depending on the interest and abilities of each student, and the degree of involvement from the faculty.

IV. Final M.A. Project

All four programs within IDCE offer three options for a final M.A. project, which is the culminating experience of an IDCE Masters degree. In IDSC the three options are: (1) a Research Paper, (2) a Practitioner Report, or (3) a Thesis. Students choose the option that is most compatible with their research and professional interests, and then develop these interests independently through the final project.