Global Inclusion and Social Development, MA


  • UMass Boston alums: When you apply to our MA program in global inclusion and social development, we’ll cover your application fee. Email when you’ve started the application process. Note that it can take 3-6 weeks for the fee coverage to go through the system.

Concentrations | SGISD Core Courses

Application deadlines

  • Fall admission: Apr. 1
  • Spring admission: Nov. 1
  • Applications are accepted on a space-available basis after these dates. Please email for more information.

Review our application checklist here.

Download the student handbook here.

Our 39-credit MA program takes a transdisciplinary approach to the field of global inclusion and social development. The program focuses on inclusion as it intersects with wellness, disability, and economic policy from a global perspective.

Students take core classes in global inclusion and social development, paired with a concentration area of their interest. Current concentration tracks include human rights, disability studies, rehabilitation counseling, transition leadership, and vision studies. There is also an individualized plan of study option.

Our students work with our experienced faculty and field experts to engage in the dynamic study of the complex, crucial interrelationships among health, wellness, and social and economic development in individuals and populations that are often excluded. Scholars in our program examine multiple causes of exclusion, such as gender, race, economic status, and sexual orientation.

Our goal is to foster leaders in the field who learn how to create and develop solutions for change outside of the classroom, and to build inclusion out in the community as advocates and practitioners.


1. Individualized plan of study: This option is for those with specific interests not fully addressed within existing SGISD courses. Students choose to examine an important and relevant area of study within global inclusion and social development studies, and take courses across departments at UMass Boston that relate to their chosen area of focus. An example might be working with refugee and immigrant populations in the US or abroad.

2. Or, students may select from the following concentrations:

  • Our human rights track focuses on the framework needed to foster inclusive change throughout societies and organizations. By understanding how to advocate for social justice, and how to mobilize and measure local and international movements, students examine how to advance human well-being, as well as the rights to health, education, and decent work for all. A certificate in human rights is also available.
  • Our track in transnational, cultural, and community studies, or TCCS, is a collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts. TCCS looks at migration patterns and other population movements, as well as race/ethnicity, and analyzes these topics through the lenses of culture, community, identity, and citizenship.
  • The disability studies track prepares students to work with people with disabilities in various capacities and to become leaders and advocates in the field. This track benefits from the expertise of our colleagues at the Institute for Community Inclusion, a research and training institute based within SGISD.
  • The nonprofit management track prepares students to hold a leadership position at a nonprofit organization. Students take courses from the College of Management to gain proficiency in business practices, and learn how to apply those to running a nonprofit.
  • Our gerontology track prepares students to understand senior citizens from a social and psychological perspective, and to work in the community or at a policy level to help support today’s vast aging populations. Our partner for this concentration is the Department of Gerontology in the McCormack Graduate School.
  • Students who choose the rehabilitation counseling track will learn to help people who face barriers to employment find fulfilling work. Populations often supported by rehabilitation counselors include veterans, immigrants, and people with disabilities. Note that this track is different from the Rehabilitation Counseling MS program also available within SGISD.
  • Students who elect our transition leadership track will train as leaders who can help people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups attend college, enter the workforce, and live independently. Note that this track is different from the Transition Leadership Certificate also offered by SGISD.
  • Students who opt for our vision studies track will develop best practices in order to advocate for and support individuals with low vision so that they may thrive in their daily lives and in their communities. Note that this track is different from the SGISD Vision Studies MEd program.

SGISD Core Courses

All students must complete GISD 601, 605, 606, and 801. Students must then take three additional courses, choosing one option from each of the following: 608 or 609; 610 or 611; and 615 or 616. Visit the course catalog for complete descriptions.