Earned Credits: 32 - 35
Supporting the development of capacities for employment positions in a variety of organizations, Saybrook's M.A. Transformative Social Change program utilizes a global, multidisciplinary approach to address the world’s conflicts, including:
- Threats to human rights
- Social justice and inequality
- Global climate change
- Violence and militarization
- Destruction of the commons
- Societal isolation and hopelessness
Transformative social change builds on the emerging and growing traditions of the scholar-practitioner and the scholar-activist. Saybrook’s online master’s degree in Transformative Social Change will prepare students to respond to current global, social, cultural, and political challenges—creating transformative changes in society that are guided by humanistic values.
Learning is enhanced by direct engagement and the quality of social action benefits from deep reflection upon values and goals. Graduates of our master’s program will be prepared to apply these understandings to work with major foundations, the United Nations, universities, and other nonprofit organizations. In addition, graduates of Saybrook’s M.A. in Transformative Social Change program may choose to move into the Ph.D. program where they can prepare to develop social and public policy analyses in their respective interest areas.
This program subsumes a range of fields under a relatively new disciplinary area. There is a growing acceptance and development of this field of research, academic study, and social action from sources including the United Nations, major foundations, and other universities. The degree program in Transformative Social Change will prepare students to respond to current social, cultural, and political challenges of our time in a unique way, as reflective scholar-practitioners able to create transformative changes in society, guided by humanistic values.
More program information can be found in our academic catalog.
All new students in the M.A. and Ph.D. Transformative Social Change degree programs begin their studies with our one-time, two-day Residential Orientation (RO). ROs are held two days ahead of the Residential Conference at the start of the fall and spring semesters in California. Attendance at the entire RO is an academic requirement.
All students are also required to attend a five-day Residential Conference (RC) held off campus at the beginning of each semester. These RCs offer didactic/topical, research, and practice-oriented seminars, in-person sessions introducing each core course in the program, and group meetings of the program as a whole. The RCs also involve informal exchanges with other students and program faculty for mentoring and socialization to the field.
Residential Conference Requirement
M.A. students are required to attend until they are formally enrolled in a master’s thesis or project. Doctoral students are required to attend until they have advanced to doctoral candidacy (upon satisfaction of essay orals).
No academic credit is given for attendance at the RC. Students who attend a seminar at an RC and wish to study the topic further may register, with the permission of the seminar instructor and the department chair, for a 1 credit independent study course (ALL 8100) following the RC. Each course is individually designed and negotiated with the seminar instructor. Not all RC workshops, courses, and seminars are eligible for the follow-up independent study credit. Students will need to review their program plan to confirm the 1 credit independent study will satisfy degree requirements.
Social System Transformation Theory
The aim of this course is to empower students to be able to critically evaluate social systems and become participants in their co-creation and transformation. The course enables students to recognize and analyze social systems and societal paradigms as they present themselves in various domains of human experience, as well as develop a critical understanding of how humanistic values, developmental ideas, and norms can be applied to social systems, and develop the ability to create strategies for changes in such systems and norms so that they will improve the well-being of the people who participate in them. 3 credits
Globalism and Power
This course describes different manifestations of globalization and identifies the powerful forces directing them, the costs and benefits that come with it, the evolving role of transnational groups, global NGOs, and the opportunities to find personal meaning and local purpose in a global society. 3 credits
Gender and Society
This course reviews theoretical insights regarding gender from disciplines including gender studies, sociology, psychology, and international relations to consider the significance of gender as a category of social analysis. Particular attention will be given to how gender structures, personal identities, families, work contexts, and institutions such as public education and the military. Additionally, students will consider how developing a critical understanding of gender can help them in their role as change agents within their relationships, communities, workplaces, and in broader society. 3 credits