For more than 130 years, Clark University has thrived at the nexus of world-class teaching, boundary-pushing discovery, and creative invention. The father of rocket science. The founder of the American Psychological Association. A co-inventor of the birth control pill. Members of our community have always challenged convention and found ways to change our world for the better.
Two Visions, One University
Jonas G. Clark
Successful Massachusetts entrepreneur, abolitionist, and book and art collector, Clark envisioned that his university would open with a rigorous but affordable undergraduate college for young men.
G. Stanley Hall
Appointed in 1888, Hall was a pioneering psychologist who studied adolescence and founded the American Psychological Association. His heart was set on a graduate-level, research-oriented institution.
Clark University’s mission is to educate undergraduate and graduate students to be imaginative and contributing citizens of the world, and to advance the frontiers of knowledge and understanding through rigorous scholarship and creative effort.
The University seeks to prepare students to meet the challenges of a complex and rapidly changing society. In students and faculty, Clark fosters a commitment to excellence in studying traditional academic disciplines, as well as innovation in exploring questions that cross disciplinary boundaries. The free pursuit of inquiry and the free exchange of ideas are central to that commitment.
The focus of Clark’s academic program is a liberal-arts education enriched by interactions among undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty, and is closely linked to a select number of professional programs. Clark also serves students who wish to continue formal education throughout their lives.
The intellectual and personal growth of students is enhanced by a wide variety of educational programs and extracurricular activities. Clark believes that intellectual growth must be accompanied by the development of values, the cultivation of responsible independence, and the appreciation of a range of perspectives.
Clark’s academic community has long been distinguished by the pursuit of scientific inquiry and humanistic studies, enlivened by a concern for significant social issues. Among many other scholarly endeavors, Clark contributes to understanding human development, assessing relationships between people and the environment, and managing risk in a technological society.
Clark is dedicated to being a dynamic community of learners able to thrive in today’s increasingly interrelated societies. The University maintains a national and international character, attracting high-caliber students and faculty from all quarters of the globe. As a university residing in an urban context, Clark also strives to address the needs and opportunities of contemporary urban life.
Clark’s intimate academic setting and tradition of “elbow teaching” provide many opportunities for students to pursue knowledge through participation. High expectations, as well as easy access to the scholar-teacher faculty, encourage students to become autonomous learners.
Clark’s international and interdisciplinary orientation is combined with a tradition of strong self-direction among students and faculty. These attributes enhance the University’s ability to contribute to the development of new modes of thought and to the advancement of society through the creation and transmission of knowledge.