Graduate Programs

Graduate students at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences enjoy an innovative and supportive learning community at UMass’ flagship campus. SBS is steeped in a tradition of outstanding scholarship, vital research and relevant social change. Numerous departments, programs and centers within SBS offer graduate degrees, accelerated master's degrees, and certificates.

Students are taught and mentored by world-renowned faculty, who are also contributing invaluable social science research to their fields.

The social sciences are concerned with what makes people tick, and how they create societies, appropriate power, navigate relationships, and tell stories. Understanding these motivations is key to mitigating conflicts and solving complex problems. Our graduate students dive deep in their areas of interest, producing rigorous, evidence-based study and research that advances the social issues of the day.

The hallmark of our graduate programs is our research opportunities, which allows graduate students to embark on meaningful research locally, nationally and abroad. In SBS alone, there are 18 institutes, centers and services devoted to interdisciplinary research, including the Institute for Social Science Research, which offers free support in methods and training needs.

Accelerated Master's Programs

The Accelerated Master’s Degree Option is created to encourage undergraduate students with top academic records to remain at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst for a graduate degree. It also seeks to encourage undergraduates from the five college consortium to attend UMass. The Accelerated Master’s Degree Option is designed to enable graduate programs to identify potential candidates as early as the junior year of study by extending an “early” (conditional) offer of admission. 

The UMass Graduate School will waive the $75 application fee for all master’s applicants (except MFA applicants) who are currently enrolled as undergraduates on our campus or at the four colleges. SBS offers an Accelerated Master’s Degree for: 

Economics

The 4+1 Economics MA Degree program is open only to 5-College students.  Five College juniors should apply by March 15 using the Graduate School’s online application. A complete application includes: 

  1. an online application form including a personal statement
  2. at least two letters of recommendation
  3. your official transcript(s)
  4. official scores of the Graduate Record Examination(GRE)
  5. deadline: March 15

All entering 4+1 MA students must have completed one semester each of intermediate micro theory, intermediate macro theory, linear algebra, and statistics, plus one year of calculus. Go to the Economics graduate school admissions page for more information.

Political Science

The 4+1 Accelerated MA Degree in Political Science is a flexible and individualized plan of graduate study open to 5-College students. A complete application includes: 

  1. an online application form
  2. three letters of recommendation
  3. your official transcript(s)
  4. writing sample emailed to gradadm@grad.umass.edu
  5. GREs are *NOT* required. We will waive this requirement in your application AFTER you have applied
  6. deadline: November 1 and April 1

Public Policy

The 4+1 Accelerated MA Degree in Public Policy is a program targeted to outstanding Five College students. The MPP program integrates theoretical learning with multiple opportunities for practical applications and offers students a more policy-focused degree option than our Master of Public Policy and Administration.  A complete application includes: 

  1. an online application form
  2. two letters of recommendation
  3. statement of purpose
  4. your official transcript(s)
  5. An interview is strongly recommended, but not required
  6. deadline: April 1

Regional Planning (BSSCD+MRP program) 

The 4+1 Accelerated MA Degree in Regional Planning provides students a rich educational experience in many areas of urban landscape design, management and planning, including sustainable development, policy analysis and implementation, environmental policy and planning, use of information technology, and other planning tools and techniques.  A complete application includes:

  1. an online application form
  2. two letters of recommendation
  3. two copies of official transcripts of all previous college work (undergraduate and any graduate work)
  4. Official scores of the Graduate Record Examination(GRE)
  5. a personal statement that outlines your goals for graduate study (1-3 pages)
  6. deadline: February 1

Ready to apply? Visit the UMass Graduate School for details related to admissions requirements, the application process, deadlines, transcript requests and more. We welcome your inquires.