Clark University

Clark University is an American private university and liberal arts college in Worcester, Massachusetts

Founded in 1887, Clark University is the oldest educational institution founded as an all-graduate university in the United States. Clark now also educates undergraduates. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Clark 75th nationally in 2014, 83rd in 2013, and 95th in 2012. In 2013, Forbes ranked Clark University #51 in research.

Clark is one of 40 schools profiled in the book Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope. Those who attend Clark University are colloquially called “Clarkies.”

Clark offers 31 undergraduate majors. It offers 33 study abroad programs in 21 different countries. Clark has 187 full-time faculty, representing a 10:1 student-faculty ratio. Ninety-six percent of Clark’s faculty have terminal degrees.

In recent years, Clark has been noted especially for its geography and psychology departments, with the latter having a distinctive, if increasingly unfashionable “humanistic” orientation (humanistic psychology). The School of Geography was founded by then President Wallace Atwood in 1921, and is the first institution in the United States established for graduate study in this science. It has granted more doctoral degrees than any other geography program in the country. The geography department is best known for its strength in human-environment geography and for the development of the IDRISI geographic information systems software, named for the famous 12th century explorer and cartographer Muhammad al-Idrisi by Prof. Ron Eastman. It was ranked #1 for undergraduate geography by Rugg’s Recommendations on Colleges and has consistently been ranked in the top 10 in the nation by other publications. The geography department also offers a graduate-level degree in GIS as part of the Fifth-Year Free program. The department’s mission is ambitious: “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.”

In recent years, Clark has received widespread media coverage for its “Fifth-Year Free” program. Under Clark’s BA/MA program with the fifth year free, undergraduates who maintain a B+ average are eligible for tuition-free enrollment in its one-year graduate programs, meaning that they can get a Master of Arts degree for the price of a bachelor’s degree. Students apply to master’s degree programs in their junior year, begin meeting requirements in their senior year and typically complete those requirements in the fifth year. Bachelor’s degrees are granted en route to the master’s degree. This program received scrutiny from the entering class of 2013 for not being fully “free” by instilling fees of up to $2,000 on students.

According to Clark University, “Of those responding, 88% of the class of 2011 had a job or were in graduate school within six months of graduation.”