Accelerated Bachelors-to-Masters degree program in Critical & Creative Thinking (CCT)

CCT students are involved or interested in a wide array of professions and endeavors. By taking up the ideas and tools of critical thinking, creative thinking, and reflective practice, they develop clarity and confidence to make deep changes in their learning, teaching, work, activism, research, and artistry. Graduates go on to serve as guides-to their own students, colleagues, community members-and to themselves-in taking the time it takes to design and change work, learning and lives (examples).

The accelerated BA/BS-MA program follows the established model of starting graduate courses as a 2nd-semester junior, approval of a regular application for graduate program admissions, completion of all undergraduate requirements in fewer credits (107 instead of 120), and a 5th year of graduate courses only. Applications are welcome from all undergraduate majors in Honors and College of Liberal Arts.

The Masters program for CCT consist of 4 core courses, 4 electives, and 3 final research and engagement courses that culminate in a capstone synthesis project and a Practitioner’s Portfolio, which helps focus your career trajectory and enhance your employability. Courses can be completed through face-to-face sections, entirely from a distance, or in a combination.

Many CCT courses are offered as regular credit-earning courses through the College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS). While this may result in an extra charge over and above tuition and fees paid when taking a full-time undergraduate load, the lower charges in Year 5 for CCT courses through CAPS almost offset that extra charge for in-state students and more than offset it for non-resident students. The cost for the combined BA/BS-MA Program over and above the cost for the BA/BS would be around $15500 at 2017 rates for in-state students.

Current & Upcoming CCT & SICW Courses

All in combined online & face2face classes, except where noted. "aol" = asynchronous online only. "M4" means Mondays at 4pm etc.
Spring 2019
602 Creative Thinking (W7)
615 Holistic and Transformative Teaching (Th4)
645 Biology in Society: Critical Thinking (W4) (=Bio545)
653 Epidemiological Thinking and Population Health (Tu4) (=PPol/Nrsng753)
688 Reflective Practice (M7)
693 Action Research for Professional, Educational, and Personal Change (Th7)
694 Synthesis of Theory and Practice (Tu7, M4)
Summer 2019
612, Seminar in Creativity (theme: Creative Realization)
618, Creative Thinking, Collaboration, and Organizational Change
619, Biomedical ethics
Fall 2019
601, Critical Thinking (M 7)
616, Dialogue Processes (aol)
630, Criticism and Creativity in Literature and the Arts (Th 7)
650, Mathematical Thinking (Tu 4)
651, Cognitive Psychology Th 4)
688 Reflective Practice (M 4)
692, Processes of Research & Engagement (Tu 7)
Cycle of courses for future years (subject to change, but designed to ensure every course will be offered at least once during a 2-year cycle)
See also courses recommended to CCT students as part of partnership with the Transnational Cultural and Community Studies program, spring course, Counsl 620, Life Course and Human Development (by permission of instructor), and possible off-campus alternatives.
Please also note the academic calendar for Add/Drop/Withdraw dates for the appropriate course term: Spring, Summer, Fall
Note that Key Texts for each course are those used in certain recent sections of courses, but these may change in upcoming terms. Please always refer to the syllabus of the current term for each course for actual required texts, or confirm directly with the instructor.


The application requirements for joining the graduate program include the following: application fee; a completed graduate application form; an official transcript indicating a GPA of 3.2 or above across all undergraduate courses; three letters of recommendation; an essay stating personal objectives and career aspirations; and one or more examples of written work from a course. GRE scores are not required for this accelerated bachelors-to-masters degree program, but the admissions committee sometimes requests an interview. The CCT MA program is interdisciplinary and so accepts applicants with bachelor’s degrees from a variety of departments and disciplinary backgrounds. Application deadline for spring or fall admission is, respectively, November 1 or June 1 of the student’s junior year. Honors College students have the option to apply in their sophomore year. For admissions advice, email CCT assistant director,

Once admitted to the accelerated program, before you are officially moved from undergraduate to graduate student status, you are required to have completed all UMass Boston undergraduate degree requirements within the 107 undergraduate credits, including Major Requirements, First Year and Intermediate Seminars, the Honors College curriculum (for those in the Honors College), Quantitative Reasoning, Distribution Requirements, Diversity Requirements, and Writing Requirements. Once the Registrar has confirmed that the student has completed all necessary undergraduate requirements, the Registrar opens a graduate record for the 5-year student and the student’s status changes to become officially matriculated as a CCT MA student at UMASS Boston.

Course sequence

The following table provides a probable sequence of courses taken for the MA Program, where C = required core course, E = elective, and R = final research and engagement courses, including the capstone seminar. Required courses = 21 credits, with 12 credits of electives. Electives could also be taken during the summers.
Junior, spring
Senior, fall
Senior, spring
5th year, fall
5th year, spring
C (602)
C (601), C (651)

C (603)

E, E

R (692)
R (693), R (694)

All CCT courses are offered as regular credit-earning courses through CAPS, with cross-listed sections in other colleges of courses marked [s] when they are taught by faculty with regular tenure-track appointments.
Core, Regular CCT track
CRCRTH 601 Critical Thinking [s]
CRCRTH 602 Creative Thinking
CRCRTH 603L Foundations of Philosophical Thought [s]
CRCRTH 651L Advanced Cognitive Psychology or CRCRTH655 Metacognition
Research and Engagement courses
CRCRTH 692 Research & Engagement Process [s]
CRCRTH 693 Action Research for Change [s]
CRCRTH 694 Synthesis of Theory & Practice [s]

Course descriptions, syllabi, evaluations

More information

Official Critical & Creative Thinking program website
Full prospectus for the SICW BA/BS-MA program
Allied BA/BS-MA program in Science in a Changing World

Last update 30 October 2017