Winston School of Education and Social Policy

Master of Education in Community Engagement

Master of Education in Community Engagement (Online)

Our distinctive community engagement master’s degree equips you for a career in nonprofit leadership, community organizing, or social change.

Now available as a fully online program! Finish in as little as 12 months.

Coffee With A Graduate Admission Counselor

Saturday, March 25 , 2023 
from 10:00 am 
to 11:00 am
Chat with a Graduate Admission Counselor over a cup of coffee and ask any questions you may have about our graduate programs!

Community Engagement Master’s Degree: Why Merrimack College?

Only a few U.S. education schools offer a master’s degree in community engagement—and none can match Merrimack’s flexibility, breadth and depth of expertise. Offering three concentration options—in Community OrganizationsUniversity, Institutional, and Government Relations; and PreK-12—the program stands out for its:

Interdisciplinary approach.

Our one-of-a-kind community engagement master’s program integrates concepts related to civic leadership, social justice, cultural diversity, service-learning and organizational change.

Outstanding real-world experience.

Merrimack’s competitive community engagement fellowships provide a robust nine-month field placement, along with a full-tuition scholarship. You’ll work at a school, college or nonprofit that’s aligned with your academic interests and career goals, gaining extraordinary hands-on experience and professional mentorship.

Practical, relevant skills.

Our master’s in community engagement equips you with marketable expertise that employers value heavily. You’ll develop proficiencies in writing, research, public presentation and program evaluation, along with the ability to collaborate, persuade, inspire and lead. The community engagement master’s degree culminates in a self-designed capstone project that highlights your talents and displays your specialized subject-matter knowledge.

Flexible degree options.

We’ve designed our master’s program in community engagement to offer a wide range of options that fit your schedule. Whether you study  as a full- or part-time student, or start during any one of our 4 entry semesters, you’ll benefit from the same innovative curriculum, top-notch faculty, and close-knit sense of community. Not ready for a full degree program? Get started with our online Community-based Nonprofit Leadership Certificate.

Exceptional faculty.

The program is led by nationally prominent researchers and practitioners in community engagement. You’ll work in a small-class setting that guarantees extensive faculty face-time and one-on-one support, learning from accomplished scholars such as community engagement specialist Audrey Falk and education policy expert Dan Sarofian-Butin.

Hands-on community engagement.

As a vibrant hub of civic activity, Merrimack provides you with direct access to partner organizations throughout Greater Boston. You’ll have opportunities to practice community engagement on campus and off, interacting with institutions such as Catholic Charities, Lawrence Public Schools, ACT, Neighbors in Need, North Shore Community Development Coalition and Northern Essex Community College.

Program Format

  • Online*
  • Part-time or Full-time
* Note the online program requires synchronous class sessions.

Start Terms

  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Summer I
  • Summer II


Community Engagement Shapes Values and Promotes Change

Merrimack’s community engagement graduate program attracts individuals who want to help communities, transform organizations and create a more just, equitable society. The program is committed to core values of inclusion, change and social justice, and it offers robust training for promoting these values through local activism and global citizenship.

Merrimack faculty and students apply the principles of community engagement to effect change on a number of fronts. You’ll have the opportunity to conduct research, gain field experience, forge partnerships and pursue careers related to community issues such as:

  • Economic justice
  • Public health
  • Educational access
  • Cultural diversity
  • LGBTQ+ issues
  • Environmental justice
  • International development
  • Immigration
  • Housing

There’s No Limit to What You Can Do With a Master’s in Community Engagement

With its three career-focused concentration options, Merrimack’s versatile community engagement master’s degree prepares you for a broad range of professional roles:

  • The Community Organizations concentration is ideal for individuals interested in nonprofit leadership and grass-roots community organizing and development. If you are interested in understanding how community-based nonprofit organizations mobilize resources and build upon community strengths to affect social change, this is the concentration for you.
  • The University, Institutional, and Government Relations concentration focuses on institutional partnerships aimed at strengthening communities.  This concentration is for individuals interested in understanding the strategies, processes, and politics of partnerships involving communities and institutions, with a focus on equity, cultural responsiveness, and social justice.
  • The PreK-12 concentration develops leaders prepared to impact positive change in the lives of children, youth, and families, in school and out-of-school settings.  This program provides a strengths-based approach to partnering with and supporting youth and families, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Nearly 100 percent of our community engagement graduate students find jobs within a year of completing the master’s degree, working in niches that include nonprofit leadership, service learning, government service, community organizing, policy analysis, academic research and digital media strategy. Depending on which concentration you choose, Merrimack can help you prepare for a successful career in roles such as:

Community Organizations

  • Program Director
  • Fundraising and Development
  • Community Organizer
  • Communications and Outreach

University, Institutional, and Government Relations

  • Service Learning & Community Partnerships
  • Community & Government Relations
  • Social Policy
  • Advocacy


  • Youth Programming
  • Family Engagement
  • PreK-12 Service Learning
  • Training & Technical Assistance for Schools

Questions about the Master of Education in Community Engagement?

Contact the Merrimack College Office of Graduate Admission at

Schedule an Informational Call with the Program Director


Scholarships provide significant cost savings, and community engagement fellowships include a full-tuition scholarship.

Learn More

How to Apply

Create your own account. Apply to start your Master of Education in Community Engagement today.

Create Your Account

Send Me Info

Here’s how to get more information about Merrimack College’s Master of Education in Community Engagement.