Academics

Science in a Changing World, MA

Offered online, on campus, or blended

This 33 credit MA in Science in a Changing World prepares students to focus on science in the context of social change or individual intellectual development. (This program is formally a track in the Critical and Creative Thinking graduate program.)

Course material, classroom activities, teaching/learning interactions, and projects focused on real-world problems provide students opportunities to:

  • learn about science and its social and historical context
  • gain a set of models for work in education, policy, and other areas of civic engagement
  • discuss practices and philosophies of science, education, and social change; and
  • undertake research with a view to engaging with science in a changing social and personal world.

Students with diverse backgrounds and career paths — from laboratories to field research, journalism to policy formulation, teaching to activism — are welcome to join the track. In addition to examining Science and its Social Context, students develop valuable professional skills in Research, Writing, and Evaluation for Civic Engagement and in Collaborative Processes and Problem-Based Teaching around current controversies involving science and technology.

Science in a Changing World students graduate well prepared to move across the persistent divide between sciences and humanities. They are able to participate in questioning and shaping the direction of scientific and social changes, as well as to teach and engage others to participate in this important endeavor.

Science in a Changing World MA students take four core courses, four elective courses, and three final research and writing courses, ending with the completion of a capstone project that synthesizes each student’s experience in the program with respect to individual interests.

Graduate students from other programs, advanced undergraduates, and nonmatriculated students with an undergraduate degree are welcome to enroll in individual courses.

Impact of Studies

Science in a Changing World students graduate well prepared to move across the persistent divide between sciences and humanities. They are able to participate in questioning and shaping the direction of scientific and social changes, as well as to teach and engage others to participate in this important endeavor.

The degree appeals to students with diverse backgrounds and career paths -- from laboratories to field research, journalism to policy formulation, teaching to activism--are welcome to join the track. In addition to examining Science and its Social Context, students develop valuable professional skills in Research, Writing, and Evaluation for Civic Engagement and in Collaborative Processes and Problem-Based Teaching around current and historical controversies involving science and technology.

Many are mid-career educators: teachers and college professors, curriculum specialists, science educators, or educational administrators. Others are policy makers or program staff in government, corporate, scientific, or nonprofit settings. Some are writers, journalists, and community activists. Through course projects, independent studies, pre-capstone research courses, and the capstone synthesis projects, students explore issues they have not had much chance to address before and translate what they learn into strategies, materials, and interventions for use in diverse educational, professional, and social settings. Graduates leave well equipped for ongoing learning, addressing the needs of their schools, workplaces, and communities, adapting and contributing to science within a social context, and collaborating with others to these ends. Testimonials and Notes from Alumni of the program can be viewed on the CCT program wiki, http://cct.wikispaces.umb.edu/impact. Abstracts and full-text versions of theses and capstone syntheses (showing the range of projects of students completing the entire MA) can be viewed at http://scholarworks.umb.edu/cct_capstone/.