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Master of Arts in Community Social Psychology

Program Overview

Full Time | Part Time

The Master's in community social psychology is designed for students who have recently completed an undergraduate degree as well as for students returning to school. Our program helps students understand the complex relationships between individual, family, and community well being and the broader environment in which we live and work. 

Our mission is to produce graduates with the analytic, creative, and practical skills needed to design and implement programs and services that will facilitate positive changes within and across communities – changes that will empower all people to reach their full potential and empower social organizations, public and private, to be more responsive to human needs.

Courses are available for full-time and part-time study and are typically offered in the late afternoon or evening.


Our 36-credit Master’s degree program, provides opportunities for in-class learning experiences, field study, independent study and interdisciplinary collaboration. Students are required to take five core courses: 

  • Introduction to Community Social Psychology 
  • Applied Research Methods 
  • Advanced Community Dynamics: Lowell 
  • Practicum I & II (field placement and seminar)
For the current information on the CSP program, please visit the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog.


There is a priority application deadline on March 15. Applicants who wish to meet the priority deadline should ensure that their applications, including external materials (e.g., GRE scores, letters of recommendation, etc.), are complete and ready for review by March 15. Review of applications by the program's Admissions Committee will commence on that date. Applicants who meet the priority deadline will have their application fee waived and receive priority consideration for scholarships or assistantships.

Applications received after March 15 are reviewed on a rolling basis until all available spots are filled.

Students are encouraged to begin coursework in the fall semester because of the timing and sequence of required courses.

Admission Requirements

  • To apply online, please visit Graduate Admissions.
  • A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. A foreign credential evaluation is required for degrees earned outside of the U.S. (see CED Evaluations).
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. At the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee, students may be admitted with a GPA below 3.0 if they have substantive work experience in the field.
  • Academic background in psychology or a closely related field. We prefer to see at least 18 credits in psychology or a related field, including at least one course in research methods.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, on both verbal and quantitative, or scores from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). GRE/MAT scores may be waived if you meet any of the following conditions:
    • Are a current UMass Lowell student qualifying for the BA/MA program.
    • Earned a BA or BS with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or greater at UMass Lowell, UMass Amherst, UMass Boston or UMass Dartmouth in the past five years.
    • Earned a BA or BS with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or greater from an accredited university in the United States or Canada in the past five years.
    • Have taken two or more UMass Lowell graduate courses (as a matriculated or non-matriculated student) and earned at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA.
    • Hold a graduate degree (Masters, Ph.D., J.D., etc.) from an accredited university in the United States or Canada.
    • Have at least 3 years of full-time professional work experience (paid or unpaid) that is relevant to Community Social Psychology (CSP).
    • If you meet any of these criteria, you must complete the GRE/MAT Waiver Form to apply for a waiver.
  • Three letters of recommendation including at least one and preferably more than one, from a recent or current professor.
  • A personal statement. A 500-750 word personal statement explaining your interests in CSP and how you believe the degree will help you meet your career goals. Specifically, please include a description of your:
    • Academic background.
    • Career aspirations and how completing a degree in community social psychology supports your career goals.
    • Relevant experience including undergraduate campus involvement, community-based projects, research involvement and/or relevant paid work experiences that reflect your interest in social justice issues.
  • A 250-300 word essay in which you identify and discuss a current social issue of interest to you.
  • A resume summarizing education and work experience.
  • Students for whom English is not a native language must also submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 570 for the paper test and for the Internet-based test, the aggregate minimum is 79. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5.
  • To begin your Online Application, visit Graduate Admissions.

 Transfer Credit

Matriculated students in Community Social Psychology are allowed to transfer up to 12 credits of graduate course work completed with a grade of B or better taken in other departments at UMass Lowell or at other accredited universities, provided that such courses are within the content area of community social psychology and do not involve credit for field experience or professional work. Such transfer credit is subject to the approval of the Graduate Coordinator and the Registrar's Office.

Part-time Study and Non-Degree Status

While the program in Community Social Psychology provides for full-time study, part-time students are encouraged to apply. Most courses are offered in late afternoon and evening hours to accommodate students who are employed. Students not pursuing an advanced degree or who wish to begin their graduate study without first applying for matriculated status are invited to register as non-degree students for specific graduate courses on a space-available basis.

If a non-degree student later applies for acceptance into the Master’s program, his/her application will be treated equally with those of other new applicants, though performance in graduate courses taken on campus may be used as an additional admissions criterion. Non-degree students accepted as matriculated students may apply to transfer a maximum of 12 graduate credits earned at the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a grade of "B" or better toward the Master’s degree (but students may be encouraged to formally apply to the program after completing six CSP credits.

Bachelor's-Master's (BA/MA) Program

Undergraduate psychology majors at the University of Massachusetts Lowell who have a GPA of 3.0 or better are invited to apply to the BA/MA Program, allowing students to begin graduate level coursework in our Community Social Psychology (CSP) Master’s Program while still pursuing their bachelor's degree. Up to nine credits of graduate (500 level or higher) courses completed with a B grade or better may be used by the student to count toward both the Bachelor’s and Master's degrees.


Community Social Psychology
Health and Social Sciences Building (HSSB)
113 Wilder St., Lowell, MA 01854
Coordinators: Jason Lawrence and Michelle Haynes

Psychology Department
Health and Social Sciences Building (HSSB)
113 Wilder St., Lowell, MA 01854
Phone: 978-934-3950
Fax: 978-934-3074

UMass Lowell students and faculty of the Master's in Community Social Psychology share a commitment to social justice and the empowerment of all individuals and communities.

Why Study Community Social Psychology at UMass Lowell?


Gain Hands-On Experience

Campus and community-based learning experiences are integrated throughout our curriculum. Skills are further developed and applied in an advanced two-semester field placement, often within Lowell.

Expand Your Career Options

Our graduates are prepared for leadership positions in government, health and human services, and community and educational organizations in a variety of professional roles and capacities.
Canal at sunset

Access Resources

Our “laboratory” is the community. We have close relationships with community-based organizations and leaders throughout Greater Lowell who participate in many of our courses and practicum placements. In addition, our faculty is engaged in a variety of research endeavors including work through various labs, groups, and centers.

Meet Our Students

  • I like to encourage people and give them hope - especially teenagers when they have problems and people aren't actually listening.

    Rafaela Gonzalez wants to care for people as individuals and in communities, so she's majoring in sociology and minoring in psychology. She's also started her own business.