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 can be submitted anytime after March 15 and will be 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.
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.
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).
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. If a student is formally matriculated into the Master's Program before earning their BA up to 9 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.
Applications are typically submitted during the student's second semester of their junior year to allow adequate time for the student to take maximum advantage of the opportunity to take graduate courses and double-count these graduate credits. Although it is highly recommended that students submit their application during their junior year, application materials can actually be submitted at any time prior to graduation. Students who are interested in the BA/MA option are strongly advised to consult with the Graduate Coordinator about undergraduate course selection.
As additional advantages, students applying under the BA/MA option do not have to pay the standard application fee and do not have to take any of the standardized tests usually required of applicants.
The decision to accept a BA/MA applicant is based on 3 factors:
Additional information on the Bachelor's/Master's Program.
Each newly matriculated student in the program will be assigned to an adviser from among the faculty of the graduate program. The student will meet with his/her adviser on a regular basis throughout the years of study to discuss course selections, planning for practicum, and the development of the thesis or project (optional). Once a student selects a faculty supervisor for his/her thesis or project, this faculty member takes over as graduate academic adviser.
Degree Requirements: Credits
A total of 36 academic credits, at least 24 of which must be taken at the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a grade average of B or better, is required for the completion of the degree. The 36 credits for the Master’s degree are divided as follows:
REQCourse Required Coursework (4 courses, 12 credits total)
REQPract Social Justice Requirement (1 course, 3 credits total)
Required Practicum (2-semester course sequence and placement:6 credits )
(Must be taken over consecutive semester starting in the fall)
The remaining degree credits consist of elective courses. Students may select from over 15 elective courses in Community Social Psychology, most of which are offered at least once every two years. In their choice of electives, students have the option of completing a Master's Project or Thesis (see below).
Total must equal 36 credits.
Thesis and Project Options
To earn the 36 credits needed for the Master's degree, all matriculated students in Community Social Psychology have the option, in consultation with and with the consent of a faculty advisor, of completing either a Thesis or a Project. Both these options represent an integrative piece of significant independent scholarship. The Thesis will be larger in scope, more formal, and more rigorous than the Project, and it must involve a well-developed and systematically conducted research study. A brief summary is provided here:
The Thesis will always be a piece of quantitative and/or qualitative research, involving a review of literature, a clear statement of a research question, the design of an appropriate method for collecting data, and the analysis of results as the basis for drawing conclusions.
Although many students will choose to earn all their credits through coursework, a Thesis might be a good choice for students interested in enhancing their research skills and/or who are thinking of going on to a doctoral program and a possible career in university teaching and research. A project might be a good choice for students interested in enhancing their program design, intervention and evaluation skills, and it might also benefit those students pursuing careers in human services and community development.
Detailed information may be found on the department website and from the graduate program coordinator.
Visit the Community Social Psychology website for more information about the program.