Students seeking a Master of Arts (MA) degree take 11 courses (33 credits). Most students undertake the regular track, which involves coursework that draws upon the faculty’s expertise in psychology, philosophy, education, and other fields. A concentration in Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies allows some substitutions to regular track’s foundation courses. Alternatively, a Graduate Certificate in Critical and Creative Thinking is available to those who wish to complement a Master’s degree in another program or otherwise do not wish to pursue a full MA. Students with particular interests in science may instead choose to pursue a related track called Science in a Changing World, which places an emphasis on Civic Engagement, Collaborative Processes and Innovative Teaching around current and historical controversies involving science and technology and also leads to an MA degree or Graduate Certificate.

The MA in Critical and Creative Thinking can be earned completely through face-to-face sections, completely through online sections, or through a combination. CCT courses also allow students from other graduate programs to fulfill requirements or electives for courses in critical and creative thinking, curriculum development, research and writing for reflective practice, urban and social justice education, teaching in the different subject areas, and dialogue and collaboration in organizational change.

Non-degree students can also take CCT courses; this opportunity, together with workshops, summer institutes, monthly evening forums, and invitations to join online communities of practice further extend the range of educational experiences offered by the Program. To accommodate the schedules of teachers and other professionals, courses are offered after 4 pm, in intensive sessions during the summer, and online. While it is possible for a full-time student to complete the Master’s program in one calendar year, most students combine the program with their ongoing careers and therefore take at least two or three years. MA students complete the four foundation courses, four electives, and three final required "research and engagement" courses including a capstone synthesis. The choice of track, elective courses, and research and engagement projects allow students to define specific areas in which they explore their CCT-related interests -- for example, "creative thinking at work", "gifted and talented education", "critical and creative thinking in literature/arts/music", "dialogue and collaboration in organizational change." Additional areas of specialization can be constructed through cooperation with other UMass Boston graduate programs, such as Instructional Design, Educational Administration, Public Policy and Conflict Resolution.

Foundation Courses


Research and Engagement