UMass Boston

Global Inclusion & Social Development MA

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Join the forefront of global inclusion and social development.

Whether you are switching careers, seeking a new opportunity, or looking to get a promotion, UMass Boston's master’s program in global inclusion and social development (GISD) can help you reach the next level in your field. The 36-credit GISD MA program examines global, national, and local issues related to inclusion and social development. Students seek solutions to complex challenges in today’s rapidly changing society, such as health disparities, environmental justice, community development, participatory decision-making, and economic inequality, as well as discrimination based on gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, race, ethnicity, and economic status.

Our graduates go on to serve as leaders in their communities, as well as in national and international nongovernmental organizations; local, regional, and national governments; and beyond.

In this program, you will:

  • Develop a deep understanding of social inequalities, power dynamics, and systems of oppression, enabling you to critically analyze and challenge structural barriers that hinder social inclusion and development
  • Acquire advanced knowledge in the principles and practices of social development, intercultural communication, community engagement, and program evaluation, equipping you with the tools to design, implement, and assess inclusive social interventions
  • Cultivate intercultural competence, ethical awareness, and collaboration skills, empowering you to work effectively with diverse populations, engage in cross-cultural dialogue, and promote sustainable and equitable social change

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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:

  • A minimum, cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or international equivalent) in all undergraduate work, though an exception may be made based on the holistic strength of the application
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of recognized standing or an international equivalent at the time of enrollment
  • Official transcripts for all institutions where you have earned more than 6 credits: Applicants who completed the majority of their undergraduate coursework outside of the United States are typically required to submit official TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo English proficiency test score
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation

Current UMass Boston undergraduates who wish to apply for the accelerated master's program (AMP) should use the AMP application. Learn more about the AMP program.

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: June 1 for fall, November 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: For additional information regarding tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s Office or send an email to Please refer to Graduate Student Financial Aid for more information on financial aid.


Core Required Courses (12 Credits)

  • GISD 601 - Current and Historical Perspectives on Global Inclusion and Social Development 3 Credit(s)
  • GISD 605 - International Responses to Social Inclusion 3 Credit(s)
  • GISD 606 - Research and Evaluation in Diverse Settings: Methods and Implications 3 Credit(s)
  • GISD 801 - Innovations Seminar 3 Credit(s)
  • GISD 802 - Social Innovations in Domestic Settings Seminar& 3 Credit(s)

Core Electives (9 Credits)

Complete three from below.

  • GISD 608 - Ethics and Professionalism in Global Inclusion and Social Development 3 Credit(s)
  • GISD 609 - Justice: A Global Transdisciplinary Framework for Culture and Innovation 3 Credit(s)
  • GISD 610 - Strategies for Systemic Change 3 Credit(s)
  • GISD 611 - Managing Change: Supporting Communities and Embracing Cultures 3 Credit(s)
  • GISD 615 - State, Sovereignty and Governance for Inclusion and Social Development 3 Credit(s)
  • GISD 616 - Population Needs and Global Practice 3 Credit(s)

Concentration Courses (15 Credits)

Complete five courses from one of the concentrations below.

  • Disability Studies Concentration
  • Gerontology Concentration
  • Human Rights Concentration
  • Nonprofit Management Concentration
  • Transnational, Cultural, and Community Studies Concentration
  • Individualized Plan of Study Concentration

Graduation Criteria

Complete 36 credits from twelve courses including four required core courses, three core electives, and five concentration courses.

Concentration: Students must choose a concentration from disability studies; gerontology; human rights; non-profit management; transnational, cultural, and community studies; or individual plan of study.
Capstone: Completion of a master’s project consisting of a 7,000 to 8,000 word writing project (research paper, policy analysis project, program development project, grant application, or self-directed paper) and a public oral or poster presentation of the writing project.

Minimum grade: No course with a grade below B may be applied toward the core courses for the program.
GPA: A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required from all courses applied toward the program.
Residency: No more than six credits of graduate coursework from another institution may be applied toward the program. Transfer courses must have a grade of B or higher and be approved by the graduate program director.
Statute of limitations: Five years.


Graduate Program Director Kaitlyn Siner
kaitlyn.siner [at]
(617) 287-3070

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School for Global Inclusion & Social Development

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College of Education & Human Development

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