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Geography, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #251 (WUR) , MA,
 Established in 1921, the Graduate School of Geography at Clark is internationally renowned for innovative scholarship and is an acknowledged leader in the field. 


Our objective is to produce scholars and other professionals whose research and pedagogy are path-breaking. We intend our students to contribute significantly to research and application in one of four main geography foci:

  • Nature-Society
  • Urban-Economic
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Earth System Science
The Ph.D. Program does not require applicants to earn an M.A. en route, nor do we accept students for the Master's degree alone. Incoming students range from those holding Master's degree in geography to those having little or no past experience in the field. The former might expect to complete the program in three or four years, whereas the latter should expect to take five years. Accepted students are expected to make up any deficiencies in their previous training. We accept students for fall admission only.

The Graduate School seeks talented students with diverse backgrounds who can contribute to the atmosphere of innovation and collaboration that defines Clark Geography. The intimate atmosphere of a small urban university fosters close faculty-student relationships that are a key component of graduate study at Clark. The program offers a strong emphasis in both qualitative and quantitative analysis and the option to combine both in a research project.


Clark University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses Include:

  • Historical Foundations and Trends in Forest Ecology
  • Qualitative Research Methods, Skills and Applications
  • Introduction to Quantitative Methods
  • Research Proposal Writing in Geography
  • Explanation in Geography
  • Ecologies of Resistance and Transformation: Alternatives to Development
  • Forest Ecology and Management Seminar
  • Economy and Environment
  • Critical Theory: Space, Society and Change
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Terrestrial Ecosystems and Global Change
  • Wildlife Conservation GIS Research Seminar
  • Feminism, Nature and Culture
  • Human Dimensions of Global Change
  • Intermediate Quantitative Methods in Geography
  • Social Justice and the City
  • Advanced Topics in Spatial Analysis
  • Seminar in Critical Resource/Food Geographies

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 2

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 2 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

Application Requirements

  • Application Fee: $75 (non-refundable), submitted with your online application.
  • Personal Statement: Please answer the following two questions: (1) What interestes you about geogprahy specifically? Please discuss with some precision your interests within the discipline of Geography (i.e. do not simply list 'economic' or 'historical'). Explain why you think this area of the discipline is interesting and important. Tell us how you became interested in this area, and what your experience has been thus far. (2) Why specifically do you want to do graduate work at Clark University? Tell us what you hope to pursue with these interests here and afterwards.
  • Resume:Optional

Tuition Fee

Living costs for Worcester

  • 1100 - 1620 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Clark rewards strong applicants with generous merit-based scholarships, equal to 25% to 100% of tuition, and assistantships, where students work with faculty or professional staff on special projects while earning a stipend that helps fund their education.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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