Despite the small amount of opportunities for black students to pursue higher education, Mamie was offered several scholarships for college.
Fisk University in Tennessee and Howard University in Washington D. were two of the universities to offer Mamie a scholarship and were also two of the most prestigious black universities at that time.
She had a hard time getting a job; she lost job opportunities to less qualified white men and white women.
One of Mamie's first jobs was as a secretary at the Office of William Houston.
Believing in a tangible end to segregation inspired Mamie’s future studies whose results went on to aid lawyers, such as Houston and Marshall, win the Brown v. While working on her master's degree, Mamie became increasingly interested in developmental psychology.
The inspiration for her thesis came from working at an all black nursery school.
In the fall of 1938 Mamie Clark went to graduate school at Howard University to get a master's degree in psychology.
In 1945 she was able to get a better job working for the United States Armed Forces Institute as a research psychologist; but, as World War II ended they did not feel the need to employ her anymore and she was fired 1946.At the time, Houston was a popular civil rights lawyer and Mamie was privileged to see lawyers such as Thurgood Marshall come into the office to work on important cases.She admits that she didn’t think anything could be done about segregation and racial oppression until after this experience.Many of the children were called mentally retarded by the state and Clark tested them and realized that they had IQ’s that were above mental retardation.This was a "kick start" to her life’s work and led to her most significant contributions in the field of developmental psychology.