Founded in 1887, Clark University is a small, private, research university with a liberal arts foundation located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Originally founded as a graduate school, the first of it’s kind in the United States, it currently educates undergraduates as well. Still, a major focus has been on research and the school is home to several centers and institutes where graduate students and faculty can continue to be innovators in their fields.
Located not far from Boston, the hub of all of New England, it has a small urban campus with historic buildings that have been around since the original founding more than a 100 years ago. These beautiful old structures have been updated to become more energy efficient and green with innovative processes, such as recycling waste heat to produce energy for the buildings. Most students live on campus, and often participate in community events and partnerships to improve and revitalize the surrounding area.
The university offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The undergraduate programs are firmly rooted in the liberal arts and are developed with diverse research and problem solving opportunities. Their focused research programs are further developed through its strong master’s and doctoral degree programs in areas of study that include Management, Geography, Chemistry, Biology, Economics, Psychology, Holocaust & Genocide Studies, Urban Education, Environmental Science & Policy, and International Development & Social Change. Psychology is the most popular undergraduate major here at this school.
Undergraduates are encouraged to take advantage of the university’s numerous research opportunities, and students can showcase their work during Fall Fest and Academic Spree Day, which are held annually. The school has a long and impressive history of research expertise. In 1909, Sigmund Freud gave his famous Clark Lectures about psychoanalysis, and researchers here have made incredible discoveries that have contributed to the invention of the birth control pill and the formula for the wind-chill factor. Undergraduate students have done incredible research in areas that have included researching and drafting city housing policy.
Classes are generally very small; the student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1, and close to 60 percent of its classes have fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors include Biology, Business, English, Political Science, and Psychology.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Students who wish to apply must complete the form online or print the Common Application form along with the Clark University supplement. There is a nonrefundable application fee to apply to this university. Each applicant must also submit an official high school transcript or GED score report, an official SAT or ACT score report, and any AP or college credit transcripts (if applicable). Students must also submit letters of recommendation and personal statements. A personal interview is also required. Certain programs also have additional requirements. While the university offers both Regular Decision and Early Action admission plans, prospective students should contact the school for specific deadline dates.
Adult students, non-degree seeking students, transfer students, home-schooled students, and international students may need to use different procedures, so they should refer to the university’s website or contact the Office of Admission for more information about the admissions process and application requirements. Useful statistics and dates are listed on the college’s website as well.
More than 60 percent of the incoming first year students receive some form of state, federal, private or institutional financial assistance. Eighty-five percent of the university’s students who applied for financial aid were awarded some form of financial assistance. The university awarded about $45 million in financial assistance in a single year. Forms of aid that are available for students include grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study.
The college also offers a number of scholarships and grants for students. Some are based on merit; others require applicants to demonstrate evidence of financial need. All students who wish to be considered for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA should be submitted as soon as possible after January 1st each year. The deadline date for completing the FAFSA application is April 20, but students are strongly recommended to apply earlier. If selected for verification, students will also need to complete a Federal Verification Worksheet and/or submit additional documents.
Students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office for more information and assistance with completing the financial aid application process. Students should also note that financial aid applications must be renewed each year. Clark University also offers a deferred payment plan to help students pay any tuition charges that are not covered by financial aid.
Student Financial Aid Details
The school has a very diverse student body with a gender distribution of approximately 60 percent female students and 40 percent male students. Roughly 70 percent of the students who attend live on campus in the university’s nine residence halls and fourteen houses, including five graduate student houses. First-time college students are required to live on campus for their first four semesters — exceptions to this rule must be made by the Office of Residential Life and Housing, and are only granted for students living with parents or legal guardians, whose primary homes are no more than 25 miles from campus.
There are plenty of academic and social support services to help students make the transition to college. There are more than 120 diverse clubs, organizations, and activities that include academic, professional, political, social, talent, athletic, student government, media, religious, service, multicultural, special interest, and honor groups. Popular organizations include the Student Government, All Kinds of Girls, the American Civil Liberties Union Club, Amnesty International, the Ballroom Dance Team and Club, the Caesura Literary Magazine, the Capoeira Club, Musical Theater, the Model United Nations, and the Dead Poets Society. There are also interesting recreational and cultural events held on campus throughout the year. A complete list of clubs and events is available on the university’s website.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Known as the Cougars, there are 17 intercollegiate athletic teams competing at the NCAA Division III level. The school’s mascot is the cougar. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, swimming & diving, and rowing. Women’s sports include softball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, rowing, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and swimming & diving.
Prominent alumni include:
- Adelbert Ames, Jr., Scientist
- Steven DePaul, Emmy Award-winning television producer and director of “NYPD Blue”
- Alexander Francis Chamberlain, Anthropologist
- Robert H. Goddard, Rocket engineer (MA Physics 1910, PhD Physics 1911)
- John M. Granville, USAID diplomat assassinated in Sudan
- Robert Hurst, Vice Chairman and former head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs Group
- Padma Lakshmi, Host of the television show “Top Chef”
- Shannon Boyd-Bailey McCune, American geographer
- Richard T. Moore, Senator representing Massachusetts
- Hugh Panero, CEO of XM Radio
Accreditation is provided by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.
Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.