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Critical & Creative Thinking Certificate

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Develop the knowledge, skills, tools, and experience you need to make effective changes in education, work, social movements, science, or the arts.

UMass Boston’s Critical and Creative Thinking Certificate focuses on learning and applying ideas and tools in critical thinking, creative thinking, and reflective practice. It’s designed for professionals from a wide array of industries and endeavors looking for personal and professional development to develop clarity and confidence to become constructive, reflective agents of change in education, work, social movements and activism, science, and creative arts.

You’ll experiment and take risks as you apply what you’re learning in the classroom to real-world situations, reflect on these outcomes and revise accordingly, and build a set of tools, practices, and perspectives that work in your specific professional and personal endeavors. Apply these skills to virtually any field—from education to policy making to the arts.

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Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Test Scores: GRE scores are optional.

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: July 1 for fall, December 1 for spring

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website


Foundation Courses (6 Credits)

  • CRCRTH 601 - Critical Thinking 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 602 - Creative Thinking 3 Credit(s)

Electives (9 Credits)

Complete three from below.

The elective courses allow students to define specific areas in which they explore their CCT-related interests.

  • CRCRTH 603L - Foundations of Philosophical Thought 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 611 - Seminar in Critical Thinking 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 612 - Seminar in Creativity 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 615 - Holistic & Transformative Teaching 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 616 - Dialogue Processes 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 618 - Creative Thinking, Collaboration, and Organizational Change 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 619 - Biomedical Ethics 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 627 - Issues and Controversies in Antiracist and Multicultural Education 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 630 - Criticism and Creativity in Literature and the Arts 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 640 - Environment, Science, and Society: Critical Thinking 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 645L - Biology in Society: Critical Thinking 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 650 - Mathematical Thinking 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 651L - Advanced Cognitive Psychology 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 653L - Epidemiological Thinking and Population Health 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 655 - Metacognition 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 670 - Thinking, Learning, and Computers 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 688 - Reflective Practice 1-3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 692 - Processes of Research and Engagement 3 Credit(s)
  • CRCRTH 693 - Action Research for Educational, Professional & Personal change 3 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete 15 credits from five courses including two foundation courses and three electives.

Exit performance: Students must give an exit performance, usually as part of CRCRTH 692 - Processes of Research and Engagement, which demonstrates competence in implementing critical and creative thinking. This exit performance is reviewed and evaluated by a faculty committee.

Residency: 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.
Statute of limitations: Five years.


Graduate Program Director Jeremy Szteiter
jeremy.szteiter [at]
(617) 287-7636

Critical & Creative Thinking Graduate Programs
cct [at]
(617) 287-6523

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