In most cases, students are primarily attracted to Clark because of its noted academic programs. The reputations of its psychology and geography departments resound on the post-graduate level, as does the name of Clark in general. Although the general public may not think of Clark as a household name, other universities do. Special degree options, like the fifth-year free accelerated master’s program, are also a huge draw to the campus. Yet, while students tend to love the classes within their major, they seem to bemoan the non-major classes required for their degree. For students who do not cite an interest in a particular area of study, Clark’s small size becomes its major academic selling point. The low student-to-faculty ratio and small class sizes ensure an intimate learning environment for all students. All classes at Clark are taught by professors with a doctoral degree or its equivalent, and TAs are generally left to run recitations and study sessions outside of class. This enables students to receive the sort of individual attention that can really make a difference in their grade.
Finally, Clark makes it a point to make sure students earn the grades they receive. That means that Clark professors are instructed to remain firm in their assessment of students and to not artificially raise grades in order to make themselves or the school look better on paper. Clark prides itself on its avoidance of grade inflation, and graduate schools are aware of this fact when they consider applications.