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University of Massachusetts-Lowell


Psychology and Counseling Degrees at University of Massachusetts-Lowell

The University of Massachusetts-Lowell appears in our ranking of the 50 Top Online Bachelor of Psychology Degree Programs.

One of the key features of all of the psychology programs at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell is a focus on gaining hands-on experience through community service. Aside from completing UMass’s general education requirements, undergraduates must take an additional 36 to 54 hours in psychology courses in order to earn their bachelor of arts degree. There is a great deal of flexibility in the choice of coursework even in the foundation classes, but there are some breadth requirements to ensure students study a variety of areas within the field. After taking at least 10 hours in the department, students can choose one of five concentration areas or opt for a more generalized degree. The available concentrations include Behavior Analysis, Clinical Psychology, Community Psychology, Developmental Disabilities, and Health Promotion. Aside from fulfilling specific coursework requirements, students in one of these programs also complete a year-long internship experience. Upon completion of all of the requirements, the specialization is listed on a student’s diploma. While these concentrations are available only for students attending UMass-Lowell on campus, there is a fully online psychology undergrad program with a curriculum very similar to the generalist option on campus.

During their junior year, students who are planning to pursue graduate education can apply for the B.A./M.A. track and begin taking master’s courses while still an undergrad. These classes are double-counted, meeting requirements for their bachelor’s as well as the Community Social Psychology master’s program. The master’s degree requires 36 total credit hours, most of which are electives that are chosen based on a student’s career goals. Options include classes like The Family System, Psychology of Diversity, Program Evaluation, and Fundamentals of Prevention Science among many others. Regardless of a student’s area of emphasis, everyone must finish a practicum before earning the Master of Arts in Psychology degree. This graduate program prepares students for careers like writing public policy, designing and implementing community outreach programs, and managing non-profit organizations.

The final degree available in the psychology department is the Ph.D. in Applied Psychology and Prevention Science. The curriculum combines applied developmental, cognitive, and social psychology. Graduation requirements include seven core classes along with three electives and a 12-credit-hour dissertation. Students can enroll part-time or full-time and some of the classes can be taken online.

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About the University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Located in the Boston metropolitan region, the Lowell campus is one of the five schools in the University of Massachusetts System, and it is the largest school in the Merrimack Valley. While the university did not officially begin until a merger in 1972, the two original schools were both established prior to 1900. Lowell State College began as a women’s teaching college and later expanded to offer a wide variety of programs, and Lowell Technological Institute opened as a textiles trade school and eventually transitioned into an engineering university. When the two schools joined to create UMass-Lowell, they ended up with six different colleges housing over 170 different degree programs. Since then, the university has continued to grow and now has three campuses in the area which enroll more than 18,000 students. With the addition of the Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center in 2009 as well as a successful online degree platform, the school is starting to make a name for itself as a top research and tech university. In 2018, the U.S. News and World Report ranked UMass-Lowell 25th out of 367 schools on a list of best online bachelor’s degree programs.

University of Massachusetts-Lowell Accreditation Details

The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) initially accredited the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in 1975 and having passed all subsequent reviews, the school is next due for recertification in the fall of 2023. The accreditation process is essentially a quality review of the university as a whole to ensure that it provides an adequate education for students and that the institution is managed appropriately. The commission evaluates aspects of the school in nine different categories including The Academic Program, Organization and Governance, Educational Effectiveness, and Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure. For students, another benefit of attending an accredited school is that this is one of the requirements for eligibility for federal students loans and grants.

University of Massachusetts-Lowell Application Requirements

With an undergraduate acceptance rate around 55%, admission to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell is fairly competitive. Prospective students can either complete the application on the school’s portal or use the Common Application. Additionally, official transcripts and SAT or ACT scores, as well as a 250-word essay and one letter of recommendation, are required. Average scores for admitted freshmen in 2018 were a GPA of 3.59 and an SAT score of 1239 (ACT of 26). Applicants can select the no-test application option which allows them to submit three essays in lieu of the standardized test scores. The online undergraduate admissions process is much less involved requiring only complete transcripts along with the application.

To apply to the master’s program, prospective students must first submit an application to the graduate school and request official transcripts from all post-secondary schools they have attended. Transcripts must document completion of a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA and 18 credit hours of psychology courses. Other required materials include GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement as well as a 300-word essay about a current social issue. For the Ph.D. program, applicants need transcripts demonstrating both bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a GPA of at least 3.25, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae, and a three-page statement of purpose.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate in-state tuition and fees at the UMass-Lowell are $15,180 per year with out-of-state students paying $32,827. The school does offer a discount for students in the New England region which brings the total down to $26,441. Graduate rates are similar at $15,060 for in-state students, $26,840 for non-residents, and $22,871 for students living in the discounted region. Tuition for the online bachelor’s degree is billed at a rate of $380 per credit hour. The school offers quite a few merit-based and need-based scholarships as well as campus jobs. The University of Massachusetts-Lowell staff works with students to fund their education without needing large student loans.