Program in Geographic Information Science for Development and Environment Graduate School Clark University

Program in Geographic Information Science for Development and Environment Graduate School Clark University

Worcester, MA
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
January 15
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
1 Degree Offered
degrees offered


Program Overview

The program in Geographic Information Science for Development and Environment (GISDE) prepares professionals 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.

As a joint program with IDCE and Clark's School of Geography, the GISDE program is unique. It specializes in applications of geospatial technologies to problems of sustainable development and the environment, such as:

- Public health and environmental justice

- Global change and earth system monitoring

- Land use change

- Food security and humanitarian assistance

GISDE is designed for people with an interest in the use of applications of geospatial technologies (GIS, remote sensing) to environmental and social change issues. GISDE students are interested in learning not only the tools of spatial analysis, but also learning how to apply these tools to real life problems in the course of seeking solutions. The course of study is designed to accommodate both GIS novices and people with previous GIS experience.

Courses and Faculty

Some of the courses offered by GISDE include:

- Advanced Raster GIS

- Advanced Remote Sensing

- Computer Programming for GIS

- Internet and Open Source GIS

- Advanced Topics in Spatial Analysis

- Quantitative Modeling

- Biogeochemical Cycles and Global Change

- Environmental Toxicology

- Land Use Seminar

- Landscape Ecology

Faculty research interests include water resource applications of GIS and remote sensing; land use and land cover change at rural-urban fringe; landscape ecology applications to sustainable development; machine learning (classification tree) applications; glacier lakes and climate change; Health applications of GIS and remote sensing; environmental justice and GIS; spatial statistics; urban applications of remote sensing; land-use change and environmental degradation; GIS; urban sustainability; environmental justice and health; vulnerability analysis; brownfield redevelopment; and urban greening.

Clark University produces the GIS software, IDRISI Taiga, which is used by researchers and educators in over 180 countries. Clark is the only academic institution in the world with a successful 22-year history of GIS and remote sensing software development. Therefore, GISDE students have a singular opportunity to learn the analytical power of raster GIS while using IDRISI and often learning from its creators.

Graduate Student Experience

Numerous opportunities exist for students to conduct collaborative research with IDCE faculty as they pursue research on issues such as land use and global climate change, human health, and water quality around the world. Many GISDE students have co-published research findings with faculty members in respected journals in the field. GISDE students have extraordinary success in winning awards for their research papers from prestigious organizations such as the Association of American Geographers and The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association.

Clark University is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, and its central location in the state makes it an easy base for exploring the nearby cities of Boston and Providence, or for going North and West into other parts of New England. The student community of IDCE and Clark is inclusive and supportive, with many students living very close to campus and creating peer and friend networks that help them thrive in the graduate school environment. Frequent social events are planned by fellow students, as well as excursions to interesting destinations outside of Worcester on weekends. Overall, living expenses tend to be smaller compared to places like Boston, and the nature of the IDCE community contributes to Worcester being a great place to live and study.

Tuition/Scholarships/Financial Aid

More than 80% of IDCE students do receive some form of merit based partial financial aid toward tuition. IDCE is able to offer some fellowships to outstanding applicants, ranging from 40% to 100% tuition remission. Additionally, IDCE recognizes the merit of national service by awarding any former AmeriCorps members, Teach for America alumni, or City Year alumni at least 40% tuition remission. Any Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are also awarded at least 40% tuition remission if accepted to any IDCE program.

Location & Contact

Program in Geographic Information Science for Development and Environment

Graduate School
Clark University

950 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01610-1477
United States

Dr. Ellen Foley

Interim Director

Phone: 508-793-7201
Fax: 508-793-8820

Ms. Paula Hall

Student and Academic Services Director

Phone: 508-793-7201

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Geographic Information Systems Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 22
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Not reported
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


75% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 85
    • Accepted 64
    • Acceptance Rate 75
    • Enrolled 28
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $75
    • Application Fee - International $75
    • Electronic applications accepted? Not Reported
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 15th Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's Degrees3 references, resume or curriculum vitae
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL (minimum score 575 paper-based; 90 iBT) or IELTS (minimum score 6.5)

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableInstitutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students47
    • Female Percentage45%
    • Male Percentage55%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students47
    • Part-time Percentage9%
    • Full-time Percentage91%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino0%
    • Black / African American5%
    • White / Caucasian68%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian5%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races5%
    • Unknown17%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchLand-use change, the effects of environmental influences on child health and development, quantitative methods, watershed management, brownfields redevelopment, human/environment interactions, biodiversity conservation, climate change
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported