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Program Information


Students seeking a Graduate Certificate take 5 courses (15 credits). Most students undertake the regular track, which involves coursework that draws upon the faculty’s expertise in psychology, philosophy, education, and other fields. These credits may all be transferred into the Master’s program (leading to an MA in Critical and Creative Thinking) if students decide to continue their studies. 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 a Graduate Certificate or an MA degree.

The Graduate Certificate 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. In particular, students in the non-licensure Learning, Teaching and Educational Transformation and professional Teacher Education tracks often decide to add the CCT Certificate to their original program.

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. It is possible for a full-time student to complete the Graduate Certificate in two semesters, although many students combine the program with their ongoing careers and take longer. Certificate students complete the two foundation courses and three electives. The choice of track and arrangement of elective courses 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:


Course Offerings

Current Semester Offerings

Admission Information

The following items must be submitted to apply to enter the Critical and Creative Thinking program as a Graduate Certificate student. Please refer to the general Graduate Admissions page for additional information about fees, application materials, and applying as an international student.

  1. Undergraduate Transcripts: The CCT Program looks for a generally distinguished undergraduate transcript with an average of at least 3.0 in advanced undergraduate work. For students with a strong record of accomplishment in other areas, the CCT Admissions committee will recommend provisional admission with the stipulation that the student completes two courses in the program with a course grade of B+ or better. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the Program, we do not require that you come from any specific program of study.
  2. Letters of Recommendation: Three letters are required from people who have worked closely with you and who have direct knowledge of your abilities. The people you ask to recommend you should be able to comment in detail about your academic strengths, work experience, or life experience.
  3. Statement of Interest and Intent: The Program’s admissions requirements call for an essay of at least 1200 words in which you explain your intellectual, artistic, professional or personal reasons for wanting to pursue a degree in Critical and Creative Thinking. Your essay should include specific accounts of your past work and current direction. You should provide a detailed discussion of your specific interests and priorities as a student; the projects you have completed in the past; the problems and topics you want to focus on in future study; and how and why you believe the CCT program can help you accomplish your goals. The CCT Admissions Committee will read your essay as a demonstration of how you write and how you think about issues, as well as determine if your interests and goals match those of the Program.
  4. Test Scores: GRE scores are optional to apply for our program. International students should check with Graduate Admissions to inform you of your required tests.
  5. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): Required from students from countries where English is not the primary language
  6. Declaration and Certification of Finances: Required from all International Students who take face-to-face courses before an I-20 is issued, with which the student applies for a student visa. For current financial support requirements and other information, visit the Graduate Admissions page for International students or call 617.287.6400.
  7. Personal Disclosure Form

Transfer of Courses

With the approval of the Graduate Program Director, the University allows graduate students to transfer up to 6 credits of graduate work from outside UMass Boston and up to 6 credits of UMass Boston courses taken before matriculating into the Program. Grades must be a B or higher, and an official transcript is needed for courses taken outside UMass Boston. Students starting their coursework in the summer do not matriculate until the fall but may submit a pre-matriculation waiver so that all credits taken in the summer count.

Course Waivers

If you bring an unusually strong background in a particular subject area and have written documentation to verify this, it may be appropriate to have a course waived and have another course substituted in its place in your program. If you wish to apply to have a course waived, write a clear letter of request to the Program Director, attaching copies of the appropriate documentation and identifying the course you wish to substitute. Allow at least one month for such requests to be processed and responded to.

Non-Degree Students

Non-degree students who have an undergraduate degree may enroll in CCT courses on a space available basis. Non-degree students can enroll in courses during the registration period set aside by the University. If your experience as a non-degree student leads you to decide to apply to the Program, please do so before you take a third course because only 6 credits of UMass Boston courses taken before matriculation can be counted toward your degree. Any exceptions to this policy must be addressed by submitting a Pre-Matriculation Waiver Form which must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

Tuition and Fee

Please visit the Bursar’s Office for a complete breakdown of current tuition and fees.


Core Faculty and Staff

Arthur Millman

Associate Professor and Department Chair of Philosophy
College of Liberal Arts
Learn more about Arthur Millman

Jeremy Szteiter

Critical and Creative Thinking Assistant Director
College of Advancing and Professional Studies
Learn more about Jeremy Szteiter

Peter Taylor

Professor of Critical and Creative Thinking
Program Director and Coordinator of Science in a Changing World track
Learn more about Peter Taylor

Associate Faculty, Regular CCT track

Denise Patmon

Associate Professor of Education
College of Education and Human Development
Learn more about Denise Patmon

Part-time Faculty

Suzanne Clark

Berklee College of Music
Learn more about Suzanne Clark

Olen Gunnlaugson

Assistant Professor in Leadership and Organizational Development
Université Laval
Learn more about Olen Gunnlaugson

David Martin

Dean Emeritus
Gallaudet University
Learn more about David Martin

Micia Mosely

Executive Director
The Black Teacher Project
Learn more about Micia Mosely

Mark D. Robinson

Assistant Professor
Creighton University
Learn more about Mark D. Robinson

Ben Schwendener

Longy School of Music
Learn more about Ben Schwendener

Luanne Witkowski

Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Learn more about Luanne Witkowski

Contact Us

For further information, please contact Peter Taylor, Graduate Program Director, or Jeremy Szeiter, Assistant Director:

Telephone: 617.287.7636

Program Office:

Wheatley Hall, Fourth Floor, Room 170.
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125-3393