Why pursue a Master's in Human Systems Intervention?
Gain the confidence and capacity to contract with clients, evaluate group dynamics and carry out change processes. Explore the theories behind various change modalities that will enable you to facilitate and engage with stakeholders as you design an intervention.
The MA in Human Systems Intervention provides a stimulating academic environment where you will learn how to plan and implement whole system change processes. Working in close collaboration with students in your cohort, you will gain a deep understanding of how individuals, teams and systems function, learn, and change, applying that knowledge to interventions for third-party organizations.
Benefit from a concentrated program structure that allows you to continue working part-time while you study. Our course schedule is designed so students can take the skills they learn in class and immediately put them into use in their workplace. The schedule also permits students to live in other cities and commute to Montreal to attend class and on-campus residencies.
In addition to the individualized support distinguished faculty members provide during your classes and master’s project, you will also work with a field supervisor who has a great deal of experience working in the context you are interested in. Field supervisors are graduates from our program who now occupy prominent positions in a number of highly successful institutions, including Deloitte, Manulife Financial Corporation, Bombardier Inc., the McGill University Health Centre, and the House of Commons of Canada.
At least two years of full-time work experience. Preference will be shown toward applicants who have work experience that is directly related to their learning goals in the program.
Completion of a bachelor's degree with a minimum B average or a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
Successful completion of a one week residential Basic Human Interaction Laboratory and have written documentation from laboratory staff that they have competency in interpersonal interaction and facilitation.
A clearly delineated career intention concerning the development of intervention expertise for a particular domain of professional practice.
Be capable of undertaking all core courses of the first year in the scheduled sequence of the program.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
The Graduate Program Director may require a demonstration of English language competencies for international students or students educated abroad.
Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits. 42 credits will be in required coursework, including 15 credits of project work. The remaining 3 credits are to be completed within or outside the department. Courses that are taken to complete entrance requirements to the program may not be counted toward the program's 45 credits. In exceptional cases, students who produce evidence of successful performance (B grade or better) in compatible coursework at other institutions may be permitted transfer credit. A maximum of 9 credits in transfer courses will be permitted.
Coursework. The program is divided into two sections of coursework, with Year I establishing the prerequisites for Year II. In addition, students will have a minimum of 3 credits of elective coursework to complete their degree requirements.
Year I provides students with fundamental understanding and frames of reference regarding learning and change processes of persons and groups, steps in the intervention process, ethical principles, and research methods. These fundamental understandings are then deepened through application in practice-based courses of Year II. The Master's Project is intended to promote an integration of concepts and practical experience.
Year I constitutes the first phase of the program. Year II and the Elective Coursework is more individually-tailored, and constitutes the second and subsequent years, when necessary.
YEAR I: Total of Required Credits: Year I =18 credits. YEAR II: Total of Required Credits: Year II = 24 credits.
Elective Coursework: Required credits from Years I and II comprise 42 of the 45 credits in this MA program. Students must complete an additional 3 credits of coursework to satisfy degree requirements. These three credits of coursework may be taken in Year I or Year II.
Course substitution. Students may be exempted from certain courses on the basis of course work completed prior to entry into the program. A maximum of 9 credits of transfer credits will be permitted. These credits will be counted toward the required 45 credits in the program.
Residential Laboratories. Students will be required to participate in two week-long residential laboratories for which expenses for accommodation, meals and program related fees will be the responsibility of the students.
Note: An interview is required before admission to the program. Selected applicants will be contacted by the program office.
Successful completion of a Basic Human Interaction Laboratory is also required as a prerequisite before final admission to the program. This laboratory is normally done after the applicant has been granted conditional admission. It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact the organizations listed here for additional information and to make all necessary arrangements.
The Basic Human Interaction Laboratory is a week-long residency that all prospective students are required to attend. The residency is designed to give students an opportunity to evaluate if they are able to dedicate enough of their time and resources to successfully manage the program workload. The laboratory also emphasizes that active knowledge construction is a key component of the program and that interpersonal and group skills are crucial.
Several awards and scholarships are available for new students, and consideration for funding opportunities is automatically part of the admissions process. In addition, students are eligible for Research Assistant positions on funded research grants, and are encouraged to network with faculty members to determine if work opportunities are available.
The Faculty of Arts and Science supports graduate students by awarding a variety of scholarships and bursaries such as:
Research-active faculty members represent the diversity of approaches that are built into our program. They regularly publish in a variety of different venues and have won a number of awards for excellence in teaching.
Our alumni are highly sought after by intergovernmental organizations, universities, multinational corporations, consulting companies, governments, community-based programs and international aid organizations. Graduates are working as advisors, consultants, writers, coaches, professors, counsellors, associates and directors.
Example of organizations and institutions our alumni are currently working for include:
“The program not only gave me tools and experience in individual, group and system change processes, it also significantly shifted my worldview and the ways I approach my personal and professional relationships.”
“What I valued most is the collective intelligence and wisdom of the HSI community. They are a committed group of professionals who are busy changing the world and always eager to connect and share resources.”
“Everything I do is informed by what I learned in this program. Professors often pop into my head, offering their lenses for seeing and doing work with systems in ways that are collaborative and generative.”
“What distinguishes HSI from what I have experienced before is the quality of the faculty and staff. They are a group of people committed to giving students a safe space to explore and to question.”