College of Professional and Continuing Education

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS)

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in Interdisciplinary Studies is offered by COPACE to students with master's degrees. CAGS is designed for those who wish to continue or return to academic study but who do not wish to pursue a doctoral degree.

Although specialization in an area is required, the interdisciplinary CAGS program encourages a different approach to skill development. The CAGS program aims to foster professional depth as well as breadth beyond a skingle skill set. Ultimately, students are able to choose courses from two or three difference graduate programs.

The self-design component of CAGS and course offerings encourage students to fulfill theoretica, research, and practical needs according to an individualized plan of study. This plan of study is developed immediately after admission into the program, and is usually discussed at some length with the Director of Graduate Programs. COPACE graduate seminars meet in the evening. Those interested in the CAGS certificate are invited to review graduate courses listed in the Clark University COPACE catalog.

The program is designed especially for but not exclusively for working professionals who wish to pursue the advanced certificate on a part-time basis. Many students work in the fields of public and private organizational management and enroll in the CAGS program to facilitate promotions, professional advancement, intellectual growth and/or certification in an area beyond their original fields. The program enables professionals to develop expertise in disciplines beyond their initial specializations, to engage in specialized skill and management development.

Clark's CAGS program serves a diverse student body. Professionals in both the public and private sectors who already hold advanced degrees recognize the need for expanding their educational expertise into new areas, such as information and communication technologies, public service, and cross-cultural or intercultural studies.

While a CAGS student may design his/her study plan, they are encouraged to select courses from the vaious graduate curricula at COPACE. COPACE offers specific concentration clusters that address current management areas such as conflict management, intercultural communication, administration, marketing communications, human resources, cyber security, new media technologies and other areas in the COPACE graduate degree programs.

Earning the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study:

Seven courses and a capstone tutorial are required for the CAGS. In consultation with the Director of the Graduate Programs or an advisor, students write a "Study Plan" that outlines their interests and maps out a series of courses compatible with their interests.

Seven Courses

Any course offered for graduate credit at COPACE may be selected as an elective. Also, students may choose directed readings or directed research as an elective option. Directed readings and directed research are courses that students design and complete one-on-one with an instructor. A formal proposal describing work to be completed, a tentative bibliography and schedule for faculty/student sessions must be submitted at the time of registration. Directed readings/research forms are available at the COPACE office. As coursework progresses, a student's focus may change. Although seven courses and a capstone are required for the degree, students who shift focus or wish to expand their expertise in an area may register for additional electives.

The Capstone Project

The Capstone requirement may be satisfied in two ways:

  • By designing and implementing a project of educational or professional importance and reporting the research design and results in a formal project report.
  • By designing and implementnig a management consultancy project with an area private or public organization. A final project report is mandatory in writing as well as an oral presentation to the client and a panel from the faculty

The Capstone experience should demonstrate mastery of the chosen area and illuminate unexpected relationships—whether structural, thematic, conceptual or symbolic by using accepted research methods. The Capstone project is critical for defining the chosen area of study. At the beginning of the fourth course, the student should finalize an outline of the complete course of study and define a tentative Capstone advisor.

Upon completion of the Capstone, each student must present research results at an oral defense. The committee consists of faculty who have worked closely with the student on the Capstone and key players from the organization studied in the CAGS.

CAGS in Cyber Security

Organizations and Career professionals today can no long afford not to have a well prepared workforce that has raised the bar for cyber security resistance, enabling organizational resilience.  The first step in this process requires developing new skills through a comprehensive cyber security education with applied knowledge in addressing the strategic and tactical business decisions regarding the evolving landscapre of cyber threats and risks.

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Cyber Security program is designed to meet the high demand for Cyber Security professionals in both the public and private sectors.  Combining theory with active learning, the program provides a framework for managing and protecting an organization's information and technology assets.  The program is designed for professionals who want to build and expand their knowledge of protection and risk management techniques int he realm of cyber technologies.  The program focuses on security risk management, protection mechanisms, business continuity planning, disaster recovery, and governance of information systems.

Clark University's Cyber Security Graduate programs have been built from the ground up and currently align with industry accreditations from NSA and NICE in better preparing you with the essential knowledge and techniques to enhance your professional skills, addressing your organization's cyber security talent management needs and assist organizations in minimizing business risk exposure related by cyber breaches.

Cyber Security Courses for CAGS concentration

  • Cyber Security Fundamentals
  • Cyber Security Risk and Threat Management
  • Information Assurance Strategic Management
  • Cyber Security Technology Operations and Delivery
  • Cyber Security Laws, Regulations, and Ethics
  • Advanced Topics in Cyber Security (Capstone)
  • Plus two graduate level electives

Disclosure Requirements


The October 29, 2010, regulations that go into effect on July 1, 2011, include a provision, at 34 CRF66.86(b), that requires institutions to disclose, for each of their GE Programs, certain information about the programs to prospective students. The institution must include the information required in promotional materials it makes available to prospective students and on its website.

The regulations also provide that the institution must "Use the disclosure form issued by the Secretary to provide the information ... when that form is available" (34 CFR 668.6(b)(2)(iv)). These disclosures must begin no later than July 1, 2011. Institutions are responsible for meeting these disclosure requirements using their own form until the Department releases its form.

Information to Disclose

The following is a summary of the information that must be disclosed by an institution for each of its GE programs. Institutions must review the final regulations as published in the Federal Register to ensure that they are in compliance with this and all other gainful employment requirements.

  • The name and U.S. Department of Labor's Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code of the occupations that the program prepares students to enter, along with links to occupational profiles on the U.S. Department of Labor's O*NET website or its successor site.
  • The on-time graduation rate for students completing the program.
  • The tuition and fees the institution charges a student for completing the program within normal time.
  • The typical costs for books and supplies (unless those costs are included as part of tuition and fees), and the cost of room and board, if applicable.
  • The job placement rate for students completing the program.
  • The median loan debt incurred by students who completed the program (separately by Title IV loans and by other education debt to include both private educational loans and institutional financing) as provided by the Secretary.