UMass Boston


Graduate Programs

Global Inclusion and Social Development (MA)

Whether you are switching careers, seeking a new opportunity, or looking to get a promotion, our master’s program in global inclusion and social development can help you reach the next level in your field.

The 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; foundations; community organizations; and the for-profit sphere. In all these roles, they work to increase inclusion and social development regionally, nationally, and globally.

Global Inclusion and Social Development (PhD)

Our PhD program examines how to deepen inclusion and social development, from the local to the global level. For their doctoral degrees, our students conduct rigorous original research around the world and in the United States, adding to existing knowledge in meaningful ways so as to affect the lives of marginalized populations and make meaningful policy change. 

Complex issues require flexible and creative solutions. Our PhD program examines the interrelationships among health, wellness, social development, political participation, organizational behavior, and economic empowerment in the context of vulnerability. Our transdisciplinary approach allows students to think outside of traditional academic silos and engage in cutting-edge methodologies that produce original research outcomes.

Upon completion of their degrees, students work on policy, research, and education in universities; national and international nonprofits; civil society organizations; bilateral and multi-lateral institutions; local, regional, and national governments; and the for-profit sector. In all these roles, they increase inclusion and improve social development regionally, nationally, and globally.

Rehabilitation Counseling (MS)

Rehabilitation counselors support people with barriers to employment to find fulfilling work that matches their interests and skills. Rehab counselors work with clients who have disabilities, criminal histories, and substance abuse histories. The goal is for each person to discover their strengths, overcome their challenges, and engage in their personal and professional community.

Students may choose to take our courses on campus or online.

We are proud to be ranked #1 in New England among rehabilitation counseling programs by U.S. News and World Report.

Vision Studies (MEd)

Our Vision Studies program trains professionals to support people with blindness and low vision to achieve success. Our graduates work in classrooms that include students with visual impairments, and train people with low vision to navigate their environment. They also work with people who are blind or have low vision to gain and retain fulfilling employment and to live independently.

Undergraduate Programs

Asian American Studies Program

UMass Boston's Asian American Studies Program offers culturally-responsive instruction in the classroom with holistic practices of mentoring, community-building, service-learning, and advocacy to address the social and academic needs of students as well as the critical capacity-building needs of local Asian American communities. Featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education and highlighted by the Association of American Colleges & Universities as a national model, the program offers the most Asian American Studies courses, faculty, and community resources of any university in New England. The program's alumni include teachers, social workers, health care providers, business entrepreneurs, and leaders of local Asian American community organizations as well as the first Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees to complete EdM and EdD degrees at Harvard.

Learn about the Asian American Studies Program

Certificate Programs

Human Rights Certification

SGISD is proud to offer the first graduate-level human rights program in the greater Boston area. A certificate in human rights focuses on working across applied ethics, international relations, economics, social policy, and international development, in order to foster a more inclusive society.

Students learn to advocate for social justice, mobilize local and international movements, and measure efforts and outcomes. Through such frameworks, it is possible to advance human well-being, to promote rights to health, education, and decent work for all, and to empower people who are marginalized and disadvantaged.

Our students may also choose to focus on a specialized area, such as religious minorities, children, workers, women, or people living in poverty. SGISD also offers a concentration in human rights to students pursuing a MA or PhD through its Global Inclusion and Social Development programs.

Learn more about the human rights certificate program.

Vision Studies Graduate Certificates (4 Options)

We offer four graduate certificates through our Vision Studies program: orientation and mobility (O&M), vision rehabilitation therapy (VRT), assistive technology for visual impairment (AT for VI), and cortical/cerebral visual impairment (CVI). O&M professionals teach people with visual impairments to orient themselves and travel safely with confidence. Professionals in VRT enhance the vocational opportunities, independent living, and educational development of people with vision loss. AT for VI professionals support people with visual impairment to access the technology they need to thrive in their daily lives, at work, and at school. The CVI certificate offers professionals in-depth knowledge about brain-based visual impairment, an increasingly complex disorder.

Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Certificate

Transition Leadership Certification

Transition leadership involves the transition from high school to adult life for young people with a wide range of disabilities. Our certificate program bridges the gap between special education and adult services by creating a cohort of professionals who connect these two fields. Students who successfully complete the certificate track will be well positioned to excel in a new role: that of transition specialist.

Learn about the transition leadership certificate program.

Rehabilitation Counseling Certification

Rehabilitation counselors are clinicians who work with individuals with disabilities, supporting them to become personally and economically self-sufficient, typically through employment. SGISD offers both a master’s degree and a certificate program in rehab counseling. Our certificate program offers a seven-course sequence for students who have completed a master’s degree in a related field and are interested in taking the national exam to become a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC). 

Learn about the rehabilitation counseling program.