Jun 21, 2018  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog

Global Inclusion and Social Development, MA

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The MA program is a 39-credit program. It offers students the ability to study pertinent topics within global inclusion and social development that will enable them to go on to serve as leaders in their communities and beyond.

All students must complete core courses in global inclusion and social development. They must also elect or design a concentration that embodies their post-academic professional goals and will prepare them to succeed as a leader in a designated area of SGISD concentrations. Alternatively, a student may create an individually tailored plan of study. Students must also submit a final capstone project at the end of their graduate career demonstrating an advanced level of academic mastery.

The city of Boston offers a prime urban setting in which to study community development, education, health, and wellness. Students will have opportunities to observe and lead initiatives to help excluded populations within the immediate UMass Boston community and the city at large, as well as the opportunity for study, work, and research around inclusion internationally. Students may pursue such opportunities on their own, and related to their specific interests, or through international exchange and partnerships fostered by SGISD and UMass Boston.

The program is designed for flexibility, and may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis.

Concentration and Elective Courses

Students must take a total of 15 credits in concentration and elective courses.

Students will take five additional courses in the concentration area of their choice, and will have the opportunity to select from a variety of predesigned areas of concentration. They may also propose an Individualized Plan of Study (see below for a description of this option).

Concentration Requirement

  • Disability Studies
  • Gerontology
  • Human Rights
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Transition Leadership
  • Vision Studies

Individualized Plan of Study

SGISD also offers both MA and post-BA PhD students the option to create an individualized plan of study. This option is for those with specific interests not fully addressed within existing concentrations but which provides an important and relevant area of study within global inclusion and social development studies. Examples might be non-profit management or working with refugee and immigrant populations in the US or abroad. Students must provide a detailed outline of the plan of study they wish to pursue and its connection to the school’s mission.

Other Requirements

Final Capstone Project


Each student submits a final capstone project that demonstrates both a comprehensive understanding of global inclusion studies and highlights his or her particular interests, work, and academic accomplishments. The capstone project includes: (1) a Master’s Writing Project, which will be an 8,000­- to 10,000-word paper, and (2) a public oral or poster presentation of the project.

Students work with their faculty advisor to determine the project design and scope, and may consider several options in developing their capstone projects. Students may conduct a research project, carry out a policy analysis, develop a program, or write a grant application (see below for details). In selecting the type of capstone project, students should consider their post-graduation plans and which project may be most helpful in preparing them for this type of work.

In the semester prior to their anticipated graduation, each student should submit a two-page proposal to his or her advisor regarding the type of project and general topic that will be addressed in their capstone. If a student feels there is another faculty member who would be better able to support him or her on the capstone project, the student may request that faculty member in the proposal.

During the semester the student is expected to graduate, he or she should submit a detailed outline to the advisor three weeks after the start of classes. The final capstone project will be due one month prior to end of the semester. During the final month of the semester, the student will need to schedule a time to present the paper to other students and faculty members. When there are multiple candidates completing their capstones, a single date will be arranged for a reception, which includes poster and/or oral presentations.

Options for Master’s Writing Project

Students can select one of following structures for their Master’s Writing Project:

  1. Research Paper
  2. Policy Analysis Project
  3. Program Development Project
  4. Grant Application
  5. Self-directed Paper—A student interested in completing his or her Master’s Writing Project with a different focus from the options above may do so with the advisor’s and the GPD’s consent.

Scoring for Capstone

The overall score for the capstone is based on the Master’s Writing Project and the presentation. Each student’s capstone will be evaluated by two faculty members: the student’s advisor, and a second faculty member who is familiar with the student’s area of study. 

Students may achieve a High Pass, a Pass, or a Fail. If the student fails a component of the capstone, he or she will have one opportunity to make revisions and submit the work again for a re-evaluation. If the student is not able to satisfactorily complete the capstone in the second attempt, he or she will not be eligible to graduate from the program.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must submit:

  1. An application
  2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate records
  3. GMAT , MAT, or GRE scores
  4. TOEFL/IELTS scores (for international applicants)
  5. Three letters of recommendation
  6. Resume or CV
  7. A statement of purpose. Applicants must address their reasons for pursuing graduate study and their post-MA professional goals in their statement (up to 1,500 words).

Minimum requirements for the MA program include a BA/BS-level degree from an accredited college or university or international equivalent, and a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (any courses). Official GRE or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores are required.*

Applications for spring semester are due by November 1. Applications for fall semester are due by April 1. Applications received after these dates will be reviewed for admission on a space-available basis.

*Candidates who already possess a post-BA-level advanced degree at the time of application are not required to submit GRE or MAT scores. International students should contact the program directly about test waivers. Test scores may still apply based on international degree equivalency evaluations and at the discretion of the program.

People with disabilities should contact us by email (sgisd@umb.edu) or phone (617-287-3070) for information on receiving specific testing accommodations, and for all other admission-related inquiries

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