Critical and Creative Thinking, MA

College of Arts and Sciences

Vision Statement

The Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking (MA CCT) embodies the College of Arts and Sciences’ ongoing commitment to personal enrichment as well as to the practical application of analytical skills and knowledge in a diverse array of both for-profit and nonprofit professional environments. This interdisciplinary degree provides a unique opportunity to pursue both breadth and depth within the rich and diverse landscape of the liberal arts and sciences. Students pursuing this degree will enhance their career potential by developing advanced skills and abilities necessary for critical thinking, creativity, and leadership.

Program Contact Information

Joseph (Joe) Price, PhD, Administrative Coordinator
206A Arts & Sciences Hall (ASH) 
402.554.2545
jprice@unomaha.edu

Program Website

Admissions

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: July 15
  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer: March 1

Program-Specific Requirements

  • All applicants must have the equivalent of a four-year undergraduate degree from a regionally-accredited four-year institution of higher learning or the equivalent foreign institution with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0 in undergraduate courses related to major.
  • Applicants are required to have a command of oral and written English.  Those who do not hold a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from the U.S., OR a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a pre-determined country on the waiver list, must meet the minimum language proficiency score requirement in order to be considered for admission.

    • The minimum scores required for this program are:

      • 76 on the PTE

      • 7.5 on the IELTS

      • 100 on the internet-based TOEFL

      • 600 on the paper-based TOEFL

Degree Requirements

Required Course
CACT 8000INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING 13
Concentrations
Select one area of concentration.12
Elective Courses
Select 12 hours of elective courses; of those 9 hours maybe outside the CACT program.12
Exit Requirement
CACT 8090CRITICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING GRADUATE PROJECT 23
Total Credits30

At least 15 hours of the MA CACT program must be done at the seminar level (courses ending in zero). Students can apply up to nine (9) hours of coursework outside of the MA CACT to their program of study with the permission of the administrative coordinator. Other course substitutions may be made with the permission of the administrative coordinator.

Concentrations

Cultural and Global Analysis

Required Courses
CACT 8106/PSYC 8536CULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY3
CACT 8100GLOBAL CINEMA3
CACT 8116/GEOG 8556GEOGRAPHY OF ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION3
CACT/BLST 8110GLOBAL-LOCAL: OPPORTUNITIES, BARRIERS, ENGAGEMENT3
CACT 8420MEXICO AND THE U.S. BORDERLANDS: TWO HISTORIES, ONE DESTINY3
Total Credits12

Ethics and Values

Required Courses
CACT/RELI 8206COMPARATIVE RELIGIOUS ETHICS3
CACT 8200/PSCI 8300SEMINAR IN POLITICAL THEORY3
CACT 8215VALUES AND VIRTUES3
CACT/RELI 8226VIOLENT CONFLICTS, PEACEBUILDING, AND THE ETHICS OF INTERVENTION3
CACT 8650WRITING ACROSS DIFFERENCES: RHETORICAL THEORY FOR PERSUASION AND PUBLIC ADVOCACY3
Total Credits 12

Health and the Environment

Required Courses
CACT 8306/PSCI 8296INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT & SUSTAINABILITY3
CACT/ENVN 8316OUR ENERGY FUTURE: SOCIETY, THE ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY3
CACT/ENGL 8310ECOLOGICAL WRITING AND ANALYSIS3
CACT 8326ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY AND HUMAN HEALTH3
Total Credits12

International Migration, Development and Citizenship

Required Courses
CACT 8416/SPAN 8156LITERATURE/CULTURE: CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN 1898-20003
CACT 8400A HISTORY OF AMERICAN IMMIGRATION POLICIES AND LAWS3
CACT/ENGL 8410IMMIGRATION, MIGRATION, AND DIASPORA: CRITICAL APPROACHES AND THEORIES OF MOVEMENT IN LITERATURE3
CACT 8430INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION, DEVELOPMENT AND CITIZENSHIP3
CACT 8420MEXICO AND THE U.S. BORDERLANDS: TWO HISTORIES, ONE DESTINY3
Total Credits12

Organizational Science and Leadership

Required Courses
CACT/SOC 8500COMPLEX ORGANIZATIONS3
CACT 8506/PSYC 8656CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION IN ORGANIZATIONS3
CACT 8510/PSCI 8120SEMINAR IN LEADERSHIP3
CACT 8520/PSYC 9421POSITIVE ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY AND LEADERSHIP3
CACT 8530PERSONNEL PSYCHOLOGY AND LEADERSHIP3
Total Credits12

Writing and Critical Reflection

Required Courses
CACT/ENGL 8310ECOLOGICAL WRITING AND ANALYSIS3
CACT/ENGL 8610PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL WRITING3
CACT/ENGL 8630DIGITAL RHETORIC3
CACT/ENGL 8640CREATIVE NONFICTION IN DIGITAL ENVIRONMENTS3
CACT/ENGL 8650WRITING ACROSS DIFFERENCES: RHETORICAL THEORY FOR PERSUASION AND PUBLIC ADVOCACY3
Total Credits12

CACT 8000  INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING (3 credits)

This course is the foundational introductory course for the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking program (MA CCT). It focuses on the development of students' skills as critical thinkers and creative problem solvers as well as the cultivation of students' capacity to recognize and leverage tools, resources, and ideas towards finding innovative solutions to everyday problems.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate status and acceptance into MA CACT program or permission of instructor.CACT8000

CACT 8060  TOPICS IN CRITICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING (3 credits)

This is a course on selected topics offered on a one-time or occasional basis. The course may be repeated as long as the topic is different each time. May be cross listed with other departments when topics are appropriate to other departments. A complete topics syllabus will be available on file in the Office of the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking program.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.

CACT 8080  INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3 credits)

This course is designed for those students who are independently pursuing an area of study that is not covered under the existing curriculum. The student will be supervised by a member of the faculty of the MA in Critical and Creative Thinking program. All course assignments, readings, requirements, and expectations will be clearly communicated to the student in advance. May be repeated for credit for a total of six credit hours.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Admission into the MA CCT program, successful completion of 6 hours of CACT coursework, including CACT 8000, and permission of faculty member. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

CACT 8090  CRITICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING GRADUATE PROJECT (3 credits)

The Graduate Project is an applied student project under the direction of a faculty advisor. In the project, the student will apply interdisciplinary knowledge and skills gained within the program to address a problem or to expand knowledge within or across disciplines. The product or artifact produced by the student may take a variety of forms.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Permission of faculty advisor and Graduate Program Committee Leadership (or its designee). Not open to non-degree graduate students.

CACT 8100  GLOBAL CINEMA (3 credits)

A critical and analytic study of foreign films focusing on overlapping global issues. This course supports the Cultural and Global Analysis concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking.

CACT 8106  CULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

This course will provide an overview of the cultural, community and ecological factors that play a role in how people perceive their environments. The goal is to investigate the ways in which culture affects individual behaviors, attitudes and cognitions. It may be easy to tell that two cultures are different, but identifying exactly what is meant - and all that is encompassed - when speaking about "culture" can be much more difficult. Culture can include everything from gender constructs and race/ethnicity to the effects of new technologies. All of these aspects of culture affect individuals' psychological make-up and behavior. Although psychology has largely developed from a Western tradition, attention to research from non-Western perspectives will also be emphasized. This course supports the Cultural and Global Analysis concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with PSYC 4530, PSYC 8536).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Enrollment in MA in Critical & Creative Thinking program or by permission of the instructor.

CACT 8110  GLOBAL-LOCAL: OPPORTUNITIES, BARRIERS, ENGAGEMENT (3 credits)

This course focuses on global cultural and social forces and how they interact to form nexuses of both opportunity and obstacle to constructive human engagement on a wide array of social issues. An overview of topics covered in the Cultural and Global Analysis concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. This course will provide students with the analytical tools, collaborative engagement skills, and applied problem-solving techniques that will help students succeed in this concentration and program. (Cross-listed with BLST 8110)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.

CACT 8116  GEOGRAPHY OF ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION (3 credits)

A study of the geography of economic globalization and the geography of the world economy. The major topics include the historical development of the world economy and globalization from the geographical perspective, trends in geography of global production, trade and investment, the most important factors and actors in the globalization processes and its geographic effects, geography of transnational corporations, case studies of economic geography of selected industries and service activities, effects of globalization on the developed and developing countries. This course also supports the Cultural and Global Analysis concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with GEOG 4550, GEOG 8556)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate status.

CACT 8200  SEMINAR IN POLITICAL THEORY (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the history of political theory, from its origins in ancient Greece to its manifestations in contemporary thought. (Cross-listed with PSCI 8300)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Permission of graduate advisor.

CACT 8206  COMPARATIVE RELIGIOUS ETHICS (3 credits)

An introduction to historical and contemporary approaches to comparative religious ethics, with special focus on specific case studies as encountered in societies and religious communities across the globe. In addition to reading authors from a variety of perspectives (Aristotelians, natural law theorists, philosophers of law, pragmatists, theologians, and historians of religion), students will be introduced to special topics in the field, e.g., religion and public life, religion and law, syncretism, the secular/non-secular divide, etc. This course supports the Ethics and Values concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with RELI 4200, RELI 8206)

CACT 8215  VALUES AND VIRTUES (3 credits)

This course explores advanced topics in ethics with particular emphasis on value theory and virtue ethics. Topics to be considered include the meaning and status of value claims, sources of value, intrinsic goods, agent-relative goods, practical reason, moral development, happiness, moral ambiguity, moral luck, the identification of virtues, and relationships of care, trust, and responsibility. This course supports the Ethics and Values concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with PHIL 3060)

CACT 8226  VIOLENT CONFLICTS, PEACEBUILDING, AND THE ETHICS OF INTERVENTION (3 credits)

This course is designed to familiarize the student with the nature of violent conflict, including terrorism, and a variety of the mechanisms for peacebuilding. The course will also explore human rights and the ethics of intervention. This course supports the Ethics and Values concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with RELI 4220, RELI 8226)

CACT 8306  INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT & SUSTAINABILITY (3 credits)

This course introduces students to different concepts of international development through the lens of sustainability. The course explores a broad range of activities related to international development, including international aid, trade, philanthropy, interventions in conflict, peacebuilding, public health, human rights, social justice, and the environment. (Cross-listed with PSCI 4290, PSCI 8296)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): PSCI 2210 or equivalent is recommended.

CACT 8310  ECOLOGICAL WRITING AND ANALYSIS (3 credits)

This course provides students with the opportunity to develop expertise in a wide range of foundational works and key techniques of ecological writing and theory in English. By engaging mindfully with these works and techniques, students will develop advanced skills in ecologically oriented critical analysis and creative thinking. This course supports the Writing and Critical Reflection and the Health and the Environment concentrations in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with ENGL 8310)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.

CACT 8316  OUR ENERGY FUTURE: SOCIETY, THE ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY (3 credits)

This course emphasizes a critical analysis of our energy options and their environmental, economic and ethical connections. The course includes the underlying chemistry necessary to accurately assess energy positions described in the mainstream media and ultimately to make informed, creative energy choices. This course supports the Health and the Environment concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with ENVN 4310, ENVN 8316)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.

CACT 8326  ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY AND HUMAN HEALTH (3 credits)

The course will explore and develop the complex context of the systemic links among ecosystems and human health (and more broadly human well-being) using case studies including climate change, water quality, infectious diseases and agricultural production. Students will develop skills in critical thinking and applied research by studying biological connections between humans and ecosystems and how social, economic and cultural processes and practices mediate these connections. This course supports the Health and the Environment concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with ENVN 4320)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.

CACT 8400  A HISTORY OF AMERICAN IMMIGRATION POLICIES AND LAWS (3 credits)

This seminar will examine the evolution of American immigration policies and laws from the colonial period to the present day. Where appropriate, the course will examine American immigration laws in a comparative context. It will pay particular attention to how state policies create and/or sustain inclusionary or exclusionary practices for members of different racial, ethnic, religious, or gender groups in American society.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.

CACT 8410  IMMIGRATION, MIGRATION, AND DIASPORA: CRITICAL APPROACHES AND THEORIES OF MOVEMENT IN LITERATURE (3 credits)

This seminar in literature and some film analyzes the depictions in non-fiction and fiction of displacement as a result of immigration, migration, refugee status, or any other considered movement, intentional or imposed. It will focus largely on the U.S. experiences of those displaced from all locales. (Cross-listed with ENGL 8410)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.

CACT 8416  LITERATURE/CULTURE: CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN 1898-2000 (3 credits)

"Literature/ Culture: Central America and the Caribbean 1898- 2000" studies major historical and socio-cultural events in Latin American history in the 20th century, through their articulation in literary texts, film, and other cultural expressions from Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean. (Cross-listed with SPAN 4150, SPAN 8156)

CACT 8420  MEXICO AND THE U.S. BORDERLANDS: TWO HISTORIES, ONE DESTINY (3 credits)

Exploration of U.S.-Mexico Borderlands history and its pathways to current developments. It reviews borderland encounters, miscegenation, and wars between Indigenous groups, Europeans, North Americans, and Mexicans. It looks at the history of the drafting of the imaginary U.S.-Mexico borderline and follows its development until the construction of a wall to separate an undividable socio-cultural space. The course integrates a comparative conceptual approach to empires, nation-building, territorial expansion, identity formation, code-mixed English-Spanish uses, and state sovereignty.

CACT 8430  INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION, DEVELOPMENT AND CITIZENSHIP (3 credits)

The course allows students to gain an understanding of the forces driving contemporary world migration, the policies and practices of development expelling or attracting migrants from and to different parts of the world, and migrants' relative success in their quest for belonging and citizenship in their host communities. This course supports the International Migration, Development and Citizenship concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking.

CACT 8500  COMPLEX ORGANIZATIONS (3 credits)

This graduate seminar provides an overview focused on the understanding and analysis of intricate internal and external organizational forces such as organizational bureaucracy, organizational culture, autonomy and control systems, which affect performance of organizational members as well as influence organizational survival. (Cross-listed with SOC 8500)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate enrollment or permission of class instructor.

CACT 8506  CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION IN ORGANIZATIONS (3 credits)

To provide a discussion of the antecedents of individual and organizational creativity, including measurement, models, characteristics of the individual and the environment that facilitate creativity and innovation in an organizational setting. Students in this course will be able to understand the research literature related to creativity and innovation and apply the findings to improve critical and creative thinking, implementation of creative ideas, and development of creative teams and organizations. This course supports the Organizational Science and Leadership concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with PSYC 4650, PSYC 8656)

CACT 8510  SEMINAR IN LEADERSHIP (3 credits)

This course introduces students to classical and contemporary scholarship on leadership theory, research, and application. Students gain a foundation in models of leadership, assess their own leadership styles, and learn to integrate what they learn in corporate, governmental, non-profit, or community organizations. (Cross-listed with PSCI 8120)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Permission of graduate adviser.

CACT 8520  POSITIVE ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY AND LEADERSHIP (3 credits)

This course is a graduate seminar on organizational psychology and leadership that focuses on the understanding and critical analysis of theory and practice pertaining to individual functioning at work. Positive organizational psychology theories and practices will provide the overarching framework in understanding potential solutions to challenges and problems facing leaders and their employees. (Cross-listed with PSYC 9421).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing or permission of instructor.

CACT 8530  PERSONNEL PSYCHOLOGY AND LEADERSHIP (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of personnel psychology from a leadership perspective. Topics include methodology, employee selection, performance appraisal, organizational attitudes and behavior, motivation, and leadership style.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing or permission of instructor

CACT 8610  PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL WRITING (3 credits)

This course will introduce students to the theory, research, and practices of professional and technical writing. Through readings, discussions, and assignments, students will gain an understanding of the types and circumstances of communication challenges encountered in the workplace. The course will also consider the roles of persuasion and ethics in written communication. (Cross-listed with ENGL 8610)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.

CACT 8630  DIGITAL RHETORIC (3 credits)

This course provides students with the opportunity to develop expertise in the theory and practice of digital rhetoric by considering technology's deep impact on how we define and engage in writing. Students examine contemporary writing practices as part of a rich rhetorical tradition while they design and create effective multimodal compositions and analyze foundational works in digital rhetoric. This course supports the Writing and Critical Reflection concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with ENGL 8630)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.

CACT 8640  CREATIVE NONFICTION IN DIGITAL ENVIRONMENTS (3 credits)

Students in this course will study creative nonfiction in digital environments, analyze rhetorical situations created in digital environments, and create individual creative nonfiction blogs-which might include, in addition to other modalities, sounds, animations, and hypertext. The course will also focus on the study and analysis of craft-elements of creative nonfiction: narrative persona, tone, rhythm and style, scenic construction, among others. Students taking this course will learn to read with interpretative and analytical proficiency a broad range of creative nonfiction in digital environments. (Cross-listed with ENGL 8640)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing

CACT 8650  WRITING ACROSS DIFFERENCES: RHETORICAL THEORY FOR PERSUASION AND PUBLIC ADVOCACY (3 credits)

This course provides students a theoretical foundation for understanding how language is used in various types of discourses and texts as a means of convincing others of a given viewpoint or idea. Students will apply this theory to real-world writing scenarios in their scholarly areas of interest, to advocacy and social issues movements, or to address workplace needs and goals. This course supports the Writing and Critical Reflection concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with ENGL 8650)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.