May 30, 2024  
2020-2021 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Graduate Opportunities at UMass Dartmouth

Organization of Graduate Studies at UMass Dartmouth

The Office of Graduate Studies (located in the Foster Administration Building) handles administrative functions such as admissions, special academic approvals, appeals, and final approvals of theses and dissertations. The Associate Provost for Graduate Studies has responsibility for this office and provides leadership in the development of graduate programs for the university.

Under the Provost and working with the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, the Deans of the respective colleges have academic responsibility for graduate as well as undergraduate programs in their colleges. For each graduate program, a faculty member is identified as the Graduate Program Director. Graduate students will customarily work with the Graduate Program Directors on matters concerning their admission, performance, and progress toward their degrees, with guidance from departmental or college faculty graduate committees. In many aspects of graduate programming, including the awarding of assistantships, departmental chairpersons also have responsibility.

Graduate Faculty Governance

The Graduate Program Directors comprise the Graduate Council. This body makes recommendations to the Associate Provost on matters of academic policy, procedure, and degree requirements; and general admissions requirements. The Associate Provost for Graduate Studies chairs the Council.

The university also has a University Research Committee, which recommends on matters of policy and procedure for faculty research activity and makes awards of certain campus research grants. The Office of the Associate Provost for Research and Economic Development provides assistance and support for research and contract activity.

UMass Dartmouth’s graduate programs offer small classes; close contact with faculty; excellent facilities for advanced study, research, and creative work, and individualized academic experiences - in a coastal community combining rural and urban environments.

Our programs emphasize professional and technical fields, with important links to the vitality of the region’s economy. At UMass Dartmouth, research and teaching are complementary and mutually reinforcing, as talented teachers bring the excitement of their research, creative, and professional activities into the classroom. Joining the 5-campus University of Massachusetts system in 1992 has led to an expanded emphasis on graduate programs, shown most importantly in the addition in 1994-95 of our first doctoral degree, in Electrical Engineering. UMass Dartmouth now offers 13 doctoral programs including ten Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree programs.

At UMass Dartmouth, graduate instruction is intimately tied to regional resources, institutions, and economic activities. The region is rich in historical and cultural associations, and faculty and departments in many fields maintain close working relationships with area agencies and businesses, and industries through contracts, partnerships, and internship programs.

We view our region as a “natural lab” where each student participates directly in the economic development of the region, works in partnership with a community or industrial development program, studies aspects of the marine environment or coastal ecosystem, engineers innovative real-world systems, promotes new roles in health leadership, or works at the cutting edge in visual design and artistic creation.

Laboratories, Centers, and Institutes Special Research Opportunities

Centers and institutes at the university encourage and facilitate multidisciplinary and interdepartmental research and economic development activities. Listed below are examples of the variety of laboratories, centers, and institutes available for research, graduate education, and public service. Many specific resources and facilities are described later, in the program sections of this catalogue.

School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST)

The School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) is an academic unit of UMass Dartmouth, is a major center of education, research, and economic development for this campus and the entire UMass system. It spearheads and implements a host of interdisciplinary programs and research ventures in marine science, marine policy, and engineering and technology.

Its Dean joins with the deans of UMass Dartmouth to comprise the academic administration. SMAST is divided into two departments, and faculty may hold joint appointments in one of UMass Dartmouth’s colleges.

Elsewhere in this catalogue is a description of SMAST’s academic program, which constitutes part of the innovative University of Massachusetts School of Marine Sciences.

Faculty and staff engage in both basic and applied marine inerdisciplinary science and technology research including ocean monitoring and forecast systems; coastal zone systems; ocean communications, tracking, and control; fisheries assessment management systems; and aquaculture systems development. An emerging area of research, conducted with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, involves unmanned underwater vehicles.

While SMAST research tends to concentrate on the waters of Massachusetts, New England, and the adjacent US continental shelf, with its diversity of natural and anthropogenic environmental variability, there is focus on remote regions of the global ocean as well. 

SMAST is located in New Bedford along Clark’s Cove, which empties into Buzzards Bay. The two SMAST facilities feature numerous research laboratories, including a freestanding acousto/optic tank. SMAST has a 300 gallon/minute flow-through sea water system, which provides ambient Buzzards Bay sea water to all laboratories, and a large sea water tank room. It contains space to store and maintain marine organisms for use in research and teaching. It also has a radionuclide laboratory; a greenhouse for growth and maintenance of aquatic photosynthetic organisms under natural light; three temperature control rooms for long-term behavioral and physiological experiments and acclimation of marine organisms for culture and reproduction. Support areas include a machine shop, computer room, a conference room with state-of-the-art visual display capabilities and distance learning hardware, and a library/chart room.

The facility’s proximity to Buzzards Bay, New Bedford’s fishing fleet, and numerous marine-oriented commercial, research, and educational institutions offers unique resources and opportunities, and fosters development of strong links with industry, government agencies, and research and academic institutions. Those interested may contact the School for Marine Science and Technology, at 508 999-8925, or visit

Facilities for the Visual and Performing Arts

The university has excellent visual and performing arts facilities on both the main campus and in a state-of-the-art downtown New Bedford campus—among the finest in New England. The artisanry, fine arts, and design programs offer students full access to contemporary media and computer laboratories. The textile design and weaving programs include CAD-CAM design interface, linking textiles-arts design to mechanical production. The university encourages the public and prospective students to tour its artist studios, state-of-the-art computer labs for imaging and design, artisanry workshops, photography and printmaking studios, music practice rooms, and recital hall. 

The university’s North Dartmouth campus includes classrooms, studios, and workspaces for fine arts, sculpture, design and textile design, fiber arts, and art education; and the Music Department’s classrooms, equipment, and facilities;.

Located in downtown New Bedford is a renovated building for the arts, the Star Store, representing a creative collaboration among the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of New Bedford. This renovation of a former department store building is the home of the program in Artisanry and Fine Arts of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The five-floor, 86,000 square foot, combination steel and wood structure has been totally re-designed to house a major art gallery, classrooms and studios with the state-of-the-art equipment, conference rooms, critique rooms, and individual studios for faculty and graduate students. Every graduate student in artisanry and design receives an assigned studio space. The Star Store CVPA building houses the university’s premier art gallery, and other galleries are located nearby.

The location in downtown New Bedford situates students and faculty in the middle of a burgeoning cultural district with the Zeiterion Theatre, Artworks, Union Street Art Cooperative, the Whaling Museum and an array of smaller galleries located only blocks away. The Star Store is proving to be a catalyst for the revitalization of downtown New Bedford.

Research and Development Centers

The Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) teams with industries to develop and refine sophisticated technology responses to the current and future needs of the workplace. Through the center, faculty and students are offered significant high technology research opportunities. For students, the center provides a real-world learning experience that makes them particularly appealing to prospective employers. For industry and the southeastern region, the center offers creative yet practical paths toward technological and economic growth.

The CIE is approximately seven miles from the main campus, on Route 6 in Fall River, near the intersection of Routes 24 and 195.

It has research and incubator facilities for new and emerging firms, as well as conference areas and rental space for technology companies that wish to be near the university.

Through its “Research and Partnering” component, the center becomes involved in projects and contracts that are funded by industry, government agencies, and other academic institutions. Faculty and students provide the bulk of the technical expertise, with labor supplied by undergraduate and graduate students. The full-time staff provides the coordination and oversight to assure schedule, budget, and contract compliance.

For the students working there, the center replicates the technological business environment of the actual workplace. Qualified students can work in areas such as acoustics, optics, telecommunications, textiles, materials, environmental engineering, manufacturing, transportation systems, and health care technology. Individualized labs feature specialized equipment, and there are core labs for computer software development and mechanical and electrical equipment prototyping.

Incubator areas use an open format to provide flexible facilities for start-up companies, who receive management and marketing advice and administrative support from the university’s Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Properties organization.

Conference space features moveable walls so groups of 20 to 200 can meet at any one time. A wide variety of presentation technologies, video and teleconference, and internet access are available.

For more information, contact the ATMC at 508 910-9823; its website is

The Public Policy Center is a multidisciplinary research unit that promotes economic, social, and political development by providing research and technical assistance to client organizations, The Center offers custom designed research and technical analysis in the areas of economic development, public management, program evaluation, and public opinion research for governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, private businesses, and educational institutions. The Center strives to erode the walls between research and teaching by training students in the techniques of applied social science and by conducting university- and community-based educational programs. The Public Policy Center does not pursue redetermined research agenda but is a flexible research organization responding in a timely manner to the problems and issues identified by client agencies.

The Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures, and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. The center hosts comprehensive summer institutes and sponsors a wide range of educational activities and social events to which the public is invited. Support for its work has come from the Luso-American Foundation, the Portuguese Government, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Camöes Institute, the Gulbenkian Foundation, and local businesses and friends of Portugal and UMass Dartmouth.

The Center for Marketing Research has a mission to facilitate the economic development of the region by providing an affordable, high-quality economic alternative to meeting business needs for research, training, and consulting in any and all aspects of Marketing. The Center offers to businesses research, training, and consulting in the areas of accounting, finance, information systems, management, and marketing. The Center has expanded its marketing offerings to include branding, packaging, logo development, creation of promotional materials, and most recently, customer service training and television commercial production. Businesses are able to draw on the university’s resources, including the expertise of the Charlton faculty and assistance from students who are guided by their professors.

The Center for Rehabilitation Engineering helps to improve the quality of life of disabled individuals through creative use of engineering knowledge and technology. The Center develops innovative rehabilitation equipment, techniques, and services, and makes them available to agencies and individuals with disabilities. Volunteers—students, university staff, and community members—are critical to the continuing success of the organization, which has received regional and nationwide acclaim.

The Center for Indic Studies fosters education about, and understanding of, the arts, philosophy, culture, societal values, and customs of India. The programs and special events promote the study of issues of contemporary Indian society and their place within a multicultural global society. The center also seeks to increase Americans’ knowledge of contemporary India and its diversity in the 21st century.

The Boivin Center for French Language and Culture promotes and supports teaching of, research about, and the appreciation and preservation of the French language and culture. Among its many projects are a certificate program in International Business/French, a cultural series of speakers and entertainers, and the annual Boivin Center Scholarship.

The Arnold M Dubin Labor Education Center was established in 1975 to meet the educational needs of workers as members and leaders in the labor movement and promote understanding and cooperation between labor and business, religious, environmental, and other civic and community organizations. The center provides credit and non-credit courses, seminars and special programs, offers support and consultation to the educational programs of labor organizations; provides workers and unions with technical and informational resources; serves as liaison between the university and labor organizations on many levels including worker literacy, training, and economic development activity; and offers a minor and a certificate in Labor Studies and job-related training through the Workers Education Program.

The Gerontology Center is a multidisciplinary venture, which develops and coordinates programs and courses on gerontology, the study of aging. The center maintains ties with the community through its educational and research-based activities. It has a close relationship with the university’s academic offerings, which include a certificate program and a minor in gerontology.

Campus Resources

University Library

The University Library provides information in support of all academic programs, research, and intellectual pursuits of the university community. Working closely with faculty, the library staff have developed a strong collection of books, journals, reference works, and databases to meet the ever increasing needs of undergraduates, faculty, graduate students, and the general public.

The largest building on campus, the library has seating for 1,200 people, and is open seven days a week during the academic year. In addition to a book collection of more than 450,000 volumes, the library subscribes to more than 2,500 periodicals and has more than 15,000 non-print items. More than 16,000 titles are available electronically. All of these materials are accessible through an online catalog available in the library and accessible from anywhere via the campus network and the Internet. To help students use these and other resources, the library provides one-on-one and group instruction.

E-reserves, a digital reserve system, enables students to access and use reserve items from any location on or off campus at any time.

The university identification card (UMass Pass) with library barcode entitles students and faculty to use and borrow library materials from any public college or university in the state as well as a number of local libraries. In addition, a large interlibrary loan network and delivery system makes millions of volumes available to library users.

UMass Dartmouth is part of the Boston Library Consortium, an association of major college and research libraries in New England. It is a key participant in BLC and state wide Virtual Catalog Projects. The Virtual Catalogs allow the individual patron to directly search and order books from libraries throughout the state.

The University Library maintains an interesting browsing collection of recent books on the first floor to encourage casual reading. Recorded books and videos are also shelved nearby.

For more information about the library, visit its web site at

Computing on Campus

Computing and information technology are integral to the curriculum at this university. Faculty members have developed creative and effective ways for students to learn by using computers utilizing smart classrooms and the Web.

At UMass Dartmouth, the many computing and information technology functions andservices are administered through Computing and Information Technology Services (CITS). A team approach provides unified services in the areas of computing support, cluster/classroom operations and support, information systems, instructional development and support, web site development, microcomputer maintenance and repair, networking and systems, and operations and access. For questions or information, please call the CITS Customer Support Center 508 999-8790 or e-mail

Along with UMass Dartmouth’s Web page, CITS uses a listserv approach through UMDAnnounce, UMDNotify, and UMDAlert to provide campus announcements, important information, and emergency information, respectively. At the beginning of each semester all new students are subscribed; those wishing to unsubscribe from UMDAnnounce may do so.

Students living on campus have the opportunity to connect to the UMass Dartmouth Residential Network. This provides a significantly faster Internet connection than those available through a traditional telephone line. Every bed in the residence hall has a port, which means that every student can have a network connection in the room. Students may obtain self-install packets from the Residential Network Operations Center (ResNOC) located on the ground floor of Phase 3A in traditional housing. Telephone and e-mail support are available at extension 8040 (ResNet Help Line) and at

Students who wish to access the Internet from off-campus must establish with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and have the necessary equipment required by the provider in order to access the service. A number of providers will connect your off campus computer to the Internet and UMass Dartmouth.

CITS provides access, user support, and training for students, faculty, and staff for the following:

  • Help Desk. CITS provides walk-in help desk services through a student Help Desk located in the Library basement (phone 508 999-8884; e-mail, or a student Residential Help Desk (phone 508 999-8040; e-mail located in the residence halls, and a Faculty and Staff Help Desk (phone 508 999-8790; e-mail located in the Computing Support Center.
  • Documentation. CITS provides free printed documentation in the public access computing facilities and distributes the Student Guide to Computing and Getting Wired widely.
  • Training. CITS offers New User Sessions teaching basic, intermediate and advance skills for supported hardware and supported software applications. For information on the sessions, call our Help Desk at 508 999-8884 or send e-mail to
  • CITS offers nearly 350 Macintosh and Windows microcomputers in public access computing labs and classrooms located in the Library, residential housing, and most academic buildings. CITS also has a number of campus partners to include the Colleges of Business and Engineering, the Computer and Information Sciences and English Departments, and the Library. Partnering offers prioritized access to the campus partner in specialized labs during designated class hours and public access to all students in all majors usually in the evenings and on weekends.
  • Employment. CITS provides many student employment opportunities; hiring more than 100 students as Computing Assistants, Residential Assistants, and Graduate Assistants within the various teams.

Active distributed learning is evidenced by our campus’ unique and nationally recognized CyberEd offerings, UMass-wide distance learning courses, and the Impulse programs. CITS currently supports three distance learning classrooms on the main campus and one at the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) located about six miles southeast of the main campus. While the facilities are in various stages of development, there are a number of distance learning courses that are offered/received via our UMass sister campuses (Amherst, Boston, Lowell, Worcester) as well as Martha’s Vineyard and Attleboro via the UMass Dartmouth Division of Professional and Continuing Education. This includes distance-learning courses taught by faculty from each of UMass Dartmouth’s seven colleges and schools. Additionally, as faculty development and support programs are implemented, CITS expects to facilitate even more courses through this medium.

Through the CyberEd program, UMass Dartmouth has offered web-based courses to students from around the world since its pioneering efforts which began in 1995. Online classes in art history, music, writing, physics, history, chemistry, nursing, web design and others have been offered at the graduate, undergraduate or non-credit level. With the initiation of UMass Online this system is expected to grow dramatically with the introduction of certificate and  degree programs in the coming year. Some of the new programs and courses are blended - that is, some courses may betaken partially online, and partially in the traditional face-to-face classroom, thereby giving the best of both worlds. The new courses and programs are supported in part through the system wide effort known as UMass Online. As this better defined it is expected to offer students many more opportunities not only in terms of when and where they take a course, but in the variety of courses and programs available.

CourseBuilder, an in-house developed tool, assists faculty in incorporating the Web into course delivery. CourseBuilder provides for syllabi, assignments, links to outside resources, papers, lecture notes, and course discussion items, all posted through web browsers with no special skills required of faculty or student. The technology has been adopted for all English 101 classes, and more than one third of the total faculty haveused it. As course offerings have expanded, CyberEd faculty, students and staff have the opportunity to experiment with a variety ofteaching techniques and on-line technologies. This activity is expected to expand with the introduction of new, still more effective tools. Accompanying this will be a new training facility for faculty, staff, and K-12 teachers in the region, as well as a new instructional support center where faculty will find a variety of tools and expertise available to help them incorporate Web use in instruction.

Faculty and staff receive Web accounts through that are used to grant them access to CourseBuilder, personal and departmental Web sites, the work order systems, and other web-based activities.

For additional information visit

Sponsored Projects Administration

The Sponsored Projects Administration helps the university realize one of its key goals: supporting and fostering research, scholarship, and creative productions by faculty and staff. It does so by providing:

  • Assistance in identifying funding opportunities; maintaining up-to-date information on sources likely to be most responsive to the university’s needs; and lending administrative support for faculty research projects;
  • Assistance and guidance in all aspects of development and submission of a proposal;
  • Negotiation and administration of contracts for awards, on behalf of the university.
  • Post-award management., including accounts management and expenditure monitoring.

Today, the university administers millions of dollars in externally funded projects that involve, among other things, research, educational support, and training. The results mean additional support for graduate education including research by graduate students, expanded opportunities for faculty research, and a stronger link between the university’s goals and the ongoing research and development activities.

The Sponsored Projects Administration is located in the Foster Administration Building.

Office of Institutional Research and Assessment

Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment designs and manages the programs and processes that enable UMass Dartmouth to look at itself and determine if it is fulfilling its mission. The office researches data and produces information and analyses; does strategic planning, with a focus on outcomes assessment; studies specific issues and implements the recommended course of action; conceptualizes and manages data systems; analyzes and recommends on program and policy issues; and guides planning and management of resources.

The office oversees preparation of the many reports which the UMass system, state and federal governments, and public and private groups require. It works with the academic community on evaluating and implementing actions that aim to enhance students’ education and university experience. 

The Arts in Exhibit and Performance

UMass Dartmouth offers the best in arts programming to its students and the community. Talented faculty, a variety of groups and ensembles giving performances and mounting exhibits, and superior facilities at both the main campus and the Star Store building in downtown New Bedford make this possible.

Throughout the year, the university sponsors live theater, musical productions, concerts, films, lectures, and fine arts exhibits. The artists and performers range from students to well-known individuals who enjoy international acclaim. As an artistic resource for the entire region, the university enthusiastically encourages the community to attend these events. 

Musical Performances

Throughout the year, the university sponsors musical offerings of a rich variety, featuring guest artists from around the world from genres of music from a broad range of culture.

Among on-campus groups that give concerts are the African Drumming and Dance Ensemble, various jazz ensembles, percussion ensembles, gospel choir, concert band, and the chorus. Music Department faculty coordinate these concerts, and students from all colleges of the university participate.

Each year, the College of Visual and Performing Arts sponsors guest artists in the visual and performing arts. In addition to exhibition and performances, visiting artists give critiques and master classes for the students.


The UMass Dartmouth Theatre Company stages a series of student-produced plays throughout the academic year. The productions of musicals, period pieces, and dramatic plays draw large, enthusiastic audiences.


An international film series is presented each year. The films come from countries throughout the world, with storylines that are diverse and generally unconventional.

UMass Dartmouth Art Galleries

The College of Visual and Performing Arts’ significant contribution to the regional arts scene is evident in its dynamic presence within the south-coast communities, and in the high caliber of exhibitions held in each of its galleries:

CVPA Art Gallery and Gallery One located in the arts building at the Dartmouth campus; and the University Art Gallery, the Crapo Gallery, and Gallery 244, located at the Star Store campus in New Bedford.

CVPA Art Gallery and Gallery One feature frequently changing exhibitions of CVPA student and faculty work curated by college faculty.

The University Art Gallery and the adjoining Crapo Gallery, are devoted to showing the work of international, national and regional artists. Exhibitions of artists such as Georg Baselitz, Ana Mendieta, Frank Stella, Ilya Kabakov, Mark Dion and Nancy Spero, have attracted national attention for their excellence in scope, vision and presentation.

Gallery 244 is a student run gallery featuring thematic or individual exhibitions by graduate students and function as an important showcase to the community for the graduate program.

The galleries located at the Star Store campus participate every month in AHA! Night, the New Bedford city wide celebration of art, history and architecture, an event that brings more than a thousand people downtown to the local museums and galleries for an evening of exhibitions, lectures and music.

Exhibitions in all CVPA art galleries can be viewed daily during the academic year. The University Art Gallery is also open during the summer. Call the Dean’s office (508) 999-8564, or the University Gallery directly at (508) 999-8555 for more information.

Summer Events 

During the summer, UMass Dartmouth hosts a number of events, notably the Fourth-of-July Celebration that features music, food, and fireworks. The increasingly popular Institute for Art Education sponsors summer seminars and workshops for persons interested in the visual arts.