IDCE Announces New M.S. Degrees

The International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE) department at Clark University will now offer a Master of Science degree in its Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) and Geographical Information Science for Development and Environment (GISDE) graduate programs.

Previously all IDCE graduate students, including ES&P and GISDE students, earned M.A. degrees. The change was made because an M.S. degree more accurately represents the curricular focus of these two programs.

“The M.S. degree better reflects the rigorous curricula that ES&P and GISDE provide,” says William Fisher, IDCE’s director. “This more technical and practical degree builds on the strengths of these programs, making them an even more attractive choice for future IDCE students.”

Current students may opt to graduate with either an M.S. or M.A. degree beginning in October 2012.

“The ES&P program prepares students to navigate the complex interactions among science, technology, and social-political processes,” says Jennie Stephens, ES&P assistant professor and program coordinator. “The degree of Master of Science better represents this focus of our program.”

The ES&P curriculum empowers students with skills to confront environmental challenges by connecting knowledge and methods from both the natural and social sciences and by integrating quantitative and qualitative analytical tools, adds Stephens, and the new degree more accurately reflects this integrated approach.

“The M.S. degree will give IDCE students an edge in the job market, especially for employers looking for strong science and technical backgrounds,” says first-year GISDE student Kevin Butler. “It’s a more relevant degree for GISDE students.”

The GISDE program prepares students for careers where they apply the world’s most advanced computer mapping technologies and spatial analysis to address crucial issues concerning socioeconomic development and environmental science.

IDCE will continue to offer M.A. degrees in both its International Development and Social Change (IDSC) and Community Development and Planning (CDP) programs.

Founded at Clark University in 2000, IDCE prepares students to become agents of social change—locally, nationally, and internationally—in an increasingly interconnected world. Its mission is to engage scholars, practitioners, and activists to think critically and act collectively to alleviate the effects of inequity, environmental degradation, and poverty. In addressing these challenges, IDCE seeks to develop new knowledge, innovative tools, and creative strategies.

IDCE maintains close links with other academic centers at Clark, including the Graduate School of Geography and the Graduate School of Management, providing even more opportunities for students to gain the skills they will need to cross nonprofit, private, government, NGO, and research sectors.

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