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Master of Arts in Community Social Psychology

Full time Part time BA to MA

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. 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.

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. 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 offers a mix of in-class learning, field study, independent study and interdisciplinary collaboration. 

Core courses

  • Introduction to Community Social Psychology 
  • Applied Research Methods 
  • Program Evaluation
  • Advanced Community Dynamics: Lowell 
  • A Social Justice Course (Applied Social Psychology, Psychology of Diversity, or Workplace Diversity)
  • Practicum I & II (field placement and seminar)
For more information on the CSP curriculum including course listings, please visit the Graduate Catalog.

Admissions

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

  1. To apply online, please go to the Graduate Admissions page.
  2. Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. A foreign credential evaluation is required for degrees earned outside of the U.S. (see link: CED Evaluations).
  3. An undergraduate grade point average of3.0 or better. At the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee, students may be admitted with a grade point average below 3.0 if they have substantive work experience in the field.
  4. 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.
  5. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, on both verbal and quantitative, or scores from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).

GRE/GMAT 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 5 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 5 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 (master's, Ph.D., J.D., etc.) from an accredited university in the United States or Canada.
  • Have at least three years of full-time professional work experience (paid or unpaid) that is relevant to Community Social Psychology.

If you meet any of these criteria, you must complete the GRE/GMAT Waiver Form to apply for a waiver.

  • Three letters of recommendation including at least one and preferably more than one, from 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 from whom English is not a national 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 new Internet-based test the aggregate minimum is 79. The minimum IELTS score is 65.
  • To begin your Online Application, go to the Graduate Admissions page and click on the application link.

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 & 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 at 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 6 CSP credits.

In-state

Cost Per Credit: $842.21*
Total Tuition (based on 36 credits): $30,319*

Out-of-state/International Students

Cost Per Credit: $1,496.66*
Total Tuition (based on 36 credits): $53,879*

*These estimated graduate charges are for the 2019-2020 academic year. These prices are subject to change by vote of the UMass Board of Trustees.

Financing

For more information on tuition and financing, visit Costs & Aid for Graduate Programs.

Our program prepares students for leadership positions in a variety of professional roles and capacities within government, health and human services, and community and educational organizations. Many graduates attain jobs in program development, management and evaluation. Others work as community advocates or in roles that address local, state and national policy. The CSP program also prepares students for research positions and doctoral study.

Why Study Community Social Psychology at UMass Lowell?

Liz-Ejaife-1400

“The professors are very hands-on. They’re always willing to mentor, give career advice and help promote my research interests.”

A research assistantship helped Liz Ejaife continue into the Master’s program in Community Social Psychology – and gave her valuable research experience. Read more

Three women work on a project out in the community together.

Engage with the Community

We have developed close relationships with several community-based organizations throughout the Greater Lowell area. In addition, community leaders participate in many courses and supervise practicum placements. Students receive hands-on experience working with faculty and community members. Learn more

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Real-world Job Training

Graduates of our master's program have a bright future. CSP graduates are qualified for and are successful in finding high-level positions in many fields. Learn more