Master of Arts in Science in a Changing World


The Master of Arts in Science in a Changing World is formally a track within the Critical and Creative Thinking graduate program. This 33 credit program prepares students to focus on science in the context of social change or individual intellectual development.

This program is a joint effort of two other university programs: science, technology, and values, and critical and creative thinking. Course material, classroom activities, teaching/learning interactions, and projects focused on real-world problems provide students opportunities to:

  • learn about science and its social context
  • gain a set of models for work in education, policy, and other areas of civic engagement
  • discuss practices and philosophies of science, education, and social change; and
  • undertake research with a view to engaging with science in a changing social and personal world. 

Students with diverse backgrounds and career paths — from laboratories to field research, journalism to policy formulation, teaching to activism — are welcome to join the track. In addition to examining science and its social context, students develop valuable professional skills in research, writing, and evaluation for civic engagement and in collaborative processes and problem-based teaching around current controversies involving science and technology.

Science in a Changing World students graduate well-prepared to move across the persistent divide between sciences and humanities. They are able to participate in questioning and shaping the direction of scientific and social changes, as well as to teach and engage others to participate in this important endeavor. Master's degree students, graduate students from other programs, and advanced undergraduates are welcome to enroll in individual courses.

Learn more about this program:
To receive more information and connect with the program manager, please click on inquire now to the right.

Sample a Course

Click here for more information on the UMass Boston's Master of Arts in Science in a Changing World.


Registration is administered through College of Advancing and Professional Studies at UMass Boston. Payment is due upon registration. Please see Fee Schedule below.

Type of Fee Amount
Fee per credit $575
Returned Check Fee per semester** $28
Total for course*** $1725 (520 x 3 credits = 1725)

Click here to browse our course listings.

*applicable when you register after deadline; non-refundable unless course has been cancelled

** applicable when checks returned unpaid

*** Courses can vary from one to six credits; this total represents a standard 3 credit course


The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Did you know?

University of Massachusetts has earned several awards for its distance learning programs, faculty and technology including:

  • University of Massachusetts Lowell's B.S. in Information Technology Ranked Among Top Affordable Online IT Degrees by Get Educated in 2011
  • UMass Ranked Among Top 10 Best Colleges in Online Education in Communication & Public Relations Degrees, 2011 by The Best Colleges
  • UMass ranks 19th highest-rated university in the world by the Times of London.
  • UMass ranked 56th in the Times of London's Top 200
  • UMassOnline, UMass Boston President's Special Achievement Award, Valerie C. Haven, Sloan-C 2010 Awards
  • University of Massachusetts Ranked Among Top 28 Best Value in Online Education for Human Services & Psychology Professionals, 2009 by Get Educated
  • Ranked Top 10 Online Degrees Colleges- September 2009 (Online Degree
  • UMassOnline Awarded Public Sector of the Year by Mass Technology Leadership Council , 2008
  • Most Outstanding Online Teaching and Learning Program, UMass Lowell's Online Graduate Behavioral Intervention in Autism Program, Sloan Consortium Excellence Awards, 2008
  • 'Excellence in Online Teaching' Award, Dr. Jeannette E. Riley, Sloan Consortium Excellence Awards, 2008
  • 21st Century Best Practices Award, United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
  • Program of Excellence, University Continuing Education Association (UCEA)-Journalism Certificate
  • Excellence in Faculty Development, Sloan-C Excellence Awards
  • Excellence in Online Programming, Sloan-C Excellence Awards
  • Excellence in Online Teaching, Sloan-C Excellence Awards
  • UMass Amherst Isenberg MBA, Top 10 national rankings, #4 Best Professors (2005, 2006, 2007 Princeton Review: Best Business Schools rankings)
  • 4th in Primary Care Education, U.S. World Reports
  • Excellence in Distance Teaching Education

The following items must be submitted to apply to the Master of Arts in Science in a Changing World. Please refer to the general Graduate Admissions page for additional information about fees, application materials, and applying as an international student.

1. Undergraduate Transcripts - The Critical and Creative Thinking program that houses the Master of Arts in Science in a Changing World looks for a generally distinguished undergraduate transcript with an average of at least 3.0 in advanced undergraduate work. For students with a strong record of accomplishment in other areas, the SICW Admissions committee will recommend provisional admission with the stipulation that the student completes two courses in the program with a course grade of B+ or better. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the Program, we do not require that you come from any specific program of study.

2. Letters of Recommendation - Three letters are required from people who have worked closely with you and who have direct knowledge of your abilities. They should be able to comment in detail about your academic strengths, work experience, or life experience.

3. Statement of Interest and Intent - Requires an essay of at least 1200 words in which you explain your intellectual, artistic, professional or personal reasons for wanting to pursue a degree in Science in a Changing World. It should include specific accounts of your past work and current direction. You should provide details of your specific interests and priorities as a student; the projects you have completed in the past; the problems and topics you want to focus on in future study; and how and why you believe the SICW degree can help you accomplish your goals.

4. Test Scores - GRE scores are optional to apply for our program. International students should check with Graduate Admissions to inform you of your required tests.

5. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)- Required from students from countries where English is not the primary language

6. Declaration and Certification of Finances - Required from all International Students who take face-to-face courses before an I-20 is issued, with which the student applies for a student visa. For current financial support requirements and other information, visit the Graduate Admissions page for International students or call (617) 287-6400.

7. Personal Disclosure Form

Transfer of Courses
With the approval of the Graduate Program Director, the University allows graduate students to transfer up to 6 credits of graduate work from outside UMB and up to 6 credits of UMB courses taken before matriculating into the Program. Grades must be a B or higher, and an official transcript is needed for courses taken outside UMB. Students starting their coursework in the summer do not matriculate until the fall but may submit a pre-matriculation waiver so that all credits taken in the summer count.

Course Waivers

If you bring an unusually strong background in a particular subject area and have written documentation to verify this, it may be appropriate to have a course waived and have another course substituted in its place in your program. If you wish to apply to have a course waived, write a clear letter of request to the Program Coordinator, attaching copies of the appropriate documentation and identifying the course you wish to substitute.

Non-Degree Students

Non-degree students who have an undergraduate degree may enroll in SICW courses on a space available basis. Non-degree students can enroll in courses during the registration period set aside by the University. If your experience as a non-degree student leads you to decide to apply to the Program, please do so before you take a third course because only 6 credits of UMB courses taken before matriculation can be counted toward your degree. Any exceptions to this policy must be addressed by submitting a Pre-Matriculation Waiver Form which must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

Plan of Study: 

This program is formally a track within the Critical and Creative Thinking graduate program.

The Master of Arts requires the completion of 33 credits (typically 11 courses).


Students must take four foundations courses from the following list:

  • Either CRCRTH 640, Environment, Science and Society: Critical Thinking Or CRCRTH 645/Biol 545, Biology in Society: Critical Thinking
  • CRCRTH 650, Mathematics Thinking Skills
  • PUBPOL 749/CRCRTH 649, Scientific & Political Change
  • CRCRTH 652, Children and Science


Four electives can be chosen from across the Graduate School but it is recommended that the combination of foundation, elective, and research and engagement courses meet minimum numbers in each of the three areas of science, interpretation of science in context, and pedagogy and civic engagement:

  • Master's students should aim for at least 4 courses in each area and, if science is not the student's undergraduate major or subsequent training, at least 6 in Science.
  • Professional Science Master's students must take at least 6 courses in science and at least 3 in pedagogy and civic engagement, one of which involves an internship or supervised activities in schools, workplaces, communities, businesses, or the policy arena. 

Subject to the approval of the program director, up to two undergraduate courses (300-level or above) may count as electives.

The program director, in consultation with the program faculty, determines which distribution area(s) any course counts for. See for current list of courses and areas in which they fit. Courses offered by departments in the College of Science and Mathematics, with the exception of policy-oriented courses, automatically count for the science area. They are explicitly included in the list only if they also count for another area. 

Research and Engagement:

CRCRTH 692 Processes of Research and Engagement
CRCRTH 693 Action Research
CRCRTH 694 Synthesis Seminar

Financial Aid: 

Availability of financial aid varies depending on matriculation and course status. Please check with your program manager or advisor to determine your eligibility. Generally, if you are matriculated in a degree program and are enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits each semester, you may qualify for financial aid. Please review our Financial Aid Checklist below.

  1. Fill out the FAFSA form at It is important to list the University of Massachusetts Boston school code number 002222.
  2. Next, download your required Financial Aid Forms here.
  3. Check your financial aid status using WISER.
  4. For more information or if you have further questions, please contact Financial Aid Services at 617.287.6300 or at


For more information or if you have further questions, please contact Financial Aid Services at 617.287.6300 or at

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Peter Taylor
Master's Degree
Tuition Per Credit: 
Liberal Arts and Humanities
Science, Engineering and Math