Mission and History
Clark University's mission is to educate undergraduate and graduate students to be imaginative and contributing citizens of the world, and to advance the frontiers of knowledge and understanding through rigorous scholarship and creative effort.
The University seeks to prepare students to meet the challenges of a complex and rapidly changing society. In students as well as faculty, Clark fosters a commitment to excellence in studying traditional academic disciplines as well as innovation in exploring questions that cross disciplinary boundaries. The free pursuit of inquiry and the free exchange of ideas are central to that commitment.
The focus of Clark's academic program is a liberal arts education enriched by interactions among undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty, and closely linked to a select number of professional programs. Clark also serves students who wish to continue formal education throughout their lives.
The intellectual and personal growth of students is enhanced by a wide variety of educational programs and extracurricular activities. Clark believes that intellectual growth must be accompanied by the development of values, the cultivation of responsible independence, and the appreciation of a range of perspectives.
Clark's academic community has long been distinguished by the pursuit of scientific inquiry and humanistic studies, enlivened by a concern for significant social issues. Among other scholarly endeavors, Clark contributes to understanding human development, assessing relationships between people and the environment, and managing risk in a technological society.
Clark is dedicated to being a dynamic community of learners able to thrive in today's increasingly interrelated societies. The University maintains a national and international character, attracting high-caliber students and faculty from all quarters of the globe. As a university residing in an urban context, Clark also strives to address the needs and opportunities of contemporary urban life.
Clark's intimate academic setting and tradition of "elbow teaching" provide many opportunities for students to pursue knowledge through active participation. High expectations, as well as easy access to the scholar-teacher faculty, encourage students to become autonomous learners. Clark's international and interdisciplinary orientation is combined with a tradition of strong self direction among students and faculty. These attributes enhance the University's ability to contribute to the development of new modes of thought and to the advancement of society through the creation and transmission of knowledge.