The Fiske Guide says about Clark: “If Clark were located an hour to the east, it would have become the hottest thing since Harvard.” Clark began in 1887 as an all-graduate university on the German model, but has evolved into a mostly-undergraduate college with 2262 undergrads and less than 900 graduate students. Clark calls itself the smallest liberal arts residential university. All professors do research. Psychology and geography, which were emphasized when the university opened are still strong and nationally renowned programs. Psychology is the largest program. The American Psychological Association was born on the Clark campus. When Sigmund Freud came to the US, he came to Clark University. The geology program has awarded more PhD’s than any other college in the US and has four members of the National Academy of Sciences.
Most entering students are undeclared as for a major; they decide by the end of the second year. Clark’s undergrads benefit from a program that promotes the habit of life-long learning. The core curriculum consists of 8 courses across the arts and sciences. Two-thirds of students do research. More than a third of students spend at least one semester studying abroad. Other strong programs include Biology, Political Science, and International Development and Social Change. Premed students are admitted to excellent med schools. See map of recent successes.
Sophomores with at 3.4 GPA can sign up for an accelerated master’s degree, and one-third of students do this. There is no additional tuition for this program.
Clark has no Greek organizations, but has 120 student-run groups.
Clark is located in Worcester Mass, which is not one of the most attractive New England cities. But the flip side of this is that a student interested in a first-rate undergrad education is able to get into Clark, when she might not be admitted to many of the colleges located in nicer surroundings. Middle 50% of ACT scores are 26 to 30. Clark admits 58% of applicants, And they are generous with both need-based and academic-based financial aid. They meet 95% of demonstrated need; and students from more affluent families who do not qualify for any need-based aid (31% of a recent class) get scholarships averaging over $16,000. One-third of applicants do not submit test scores.
Clark is member a consortium of 12 colleges and universities in the Worcester area, including Holy Cross and WPI. Clark students can register for classes in consortium institutions.