Academic Programs in Urban Planning and Related Fields
Clark University
Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning
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Email Website 508-793-7373

Clark University’s M.A. in Community Development and Planning 
Transforming communities to achieve equity and social justice.

Clark University’s M.A. in Community Development and Planning trains activists, community developers and scholar-practitioners to take on major challenges facing urban areas in the United States and around the world. You will learn to meet these challenges by gaining a thorough understanding of the complex social, economic and political forces that shape communities—and by actively working to positively influence them.

In this program, offered through Clark's International Development, Community and Environment Department (IDCE), you learn new knowledge, innovative processes, and tools and alternative strategies to advance both your career and your ideals.

Our Students:

Program Features/Opportunities: 

  • This program is built on our faculty’s vast field experience in North America, Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as our dedication to fostering environmental sustainability, social justice and economic well-being in both the developing and developed world.
  • We address deep-seated political, cultural and development challenges in the community through teaching, hands-on practice and research — helping you become an experienced, practical driver of social change.
  • Through partnerships with local organizations and government, you can join significant projects in community development and conduct your own field research, which may be funded by external agencies.  You also may be eligible to join faculty-led work on the forefront of social change,  such as: 

Working Cities Challenge: A Clark–Federal Reserve Bank of Boston collaboration to advance cooperative leadership on economic development in Massachusetts’ “gateway cities”

Healthy Options for Prevention and Education (HOPE) Coalition: A youth–adult partnership created to reduce youth violence and substance abuse  

Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program: A partnership with Worcester’s Main South Community Development Corporation, to reduce neighborhood violence. 

Worcester Center for Public Health Practice: A collaboration between Clark University, the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise and the City of Worcester.           


The Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning at Clark University requires 12 graduate units, including skill-building electives and final capstone. One unit is equivalent to a four-credit course.

We encourage students to take courses across programs representing a diversity of perspectives, including through the School of Geography and the Graduate School of Management. This interdisciplinary approach provides even more opportunities for you to gain the skills you need to work across the nonprofit, private, government, NGO and research sectors. 

Why Apply to Clark University?

A student's investment in a Clark University education has lifelong and wide-ranging returns. Our distinctive model of graduate education empowers you to elevate your career, lead innovation in your field, transform your life  and the lives of others, and make your unique mark in the world.

Who Should Apply?

Applicants to Clark’s Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning program  want to explore the frontiers of knowledge while defying conventional wisdom to devise inventive solutions to complex problems — and then roll up their sleeves to get things done. Because it is the right thing to do.


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