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Master's Program

ICSC is the first program in the world to teach the science of creativity at a graduate level. The Master's program consists of three major areas of coursework.


The Foundations of Creativity
  • Assessing and defining creativity
  • Models and theories
  • Creative behavior
Creative Problem Solving and Facilitation
  • Learn, apply, and teach Creative Problem-Solving tools
Research, Development and Dissemination
  • Involvement with the department’s research
  • Master’s project or thesis (optional)

Required Courses 21 credits

CRS 559 Principles in Creative Problem Solving

Theory and application of the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) process; practice in both individual and group uses for either personal or professional contexts; group work and active participation are expected.

CRS 560 Foundations of Creative Learning

Theory and research that form the foundation of the discipline of creativity studies; development of awareness and understanding of basic principles, select definitions, models, and theories and practice in applying them in a variety of contexts. Group interaction, discussion, and project work are expected.

CRS 580 Creativity Assessment: Methods and Resources

Practical information on methods and resources for creativity assessment; review of basic measurement principles and a critique of specific tools used to assess creativity in both education and business. Students receive personal feedback on a number of measures and develop a profile of their own creative strengths.

CRS 610: Facilitation of Group Problem Solving

Prerequisite: CRS 559
Advanced strategies for leading small groups through the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) process; mastery of facilitation techniques and skills. Students receive expert feedback on their facilitation skills as they apply creative strategies to real issues. Examines conceptual relationships between facilitation and change leadership; develops basic change leadership skills.

CRS 625 Current Issues in Creative Studies

Prerequisite: CRS 559 or CRS 560.
In-depth survey of current issues on the nature or nurture of creativity; skill development in research and scholarship to increase critical thinking skills and general content literacy of creativity practitioners in any discipline; review, analysis, and interpretation of findings from empirical and non-empirical sources, with some emphasis on the background and development of research at the International Center for Studies in Creativity.

CRS 635 Creativity and Change Leadership

Prerequisites: CRS 560.
Culminating activities that cap the Foundations of Creativity strand of the curriculum; understanding and applying the characteristics of change leadership in the context of creativity and Creative Problem Solving (CPS); theoretical and practical launching point for students to examine their future contributions to the field, domain, and discipline by articulating their personal philosophy and definition of creativity; relation of the CPS process and other change methods to the challenge of making lasting change in other disciplines, such as business, education, psychology, sociology, history, philosophy, or the arts or sciences.
CRS 670 Foundations in Teaching and Training Creativity

CRS 670: Foundations in Teaching and Training Creativity

Prerequisites: CRS 559 and CRS 610.
Practical experience in using principles of creative learning, Creative Problem Solving (CPS), and leadership to facilitate groups; guided practice and independent work in realistic teaching/training situations to develop independent learners and reflective practitioners; use of CPS facilitation skills to develop instructional designs and examine ways to modify teaching and leading with CPS in various groups or situations.


Culminating Experience

(Select One Option)

CRS 690 Master’s Project (3 Credits)

The Master’s project is designed to provide evidence of your mastery of the creative studies program through an applied project. It is a self-designed and directed inquiry into an area of personal interest. The range of projects is as diverse as the students engaged in them.

CRS 795 Master’s Thesis (6 Credits)

Design and implementation of empirical research (qualitative or quantitative) designed to make new and useful contributions to the field of creativity. Students work closely with faculty, and in many cases join ongoing programs of research within the department. 

Comprehensive Exam (0 Credits)

As a culminating experience, students will prepare their portfolio with creative initiatives. 


Additional Electives 6-12 Credits

Students may also take an graduate level elective from another department. 

CRS 530 Creative Teaching and Learning

Creative teaching and learning in formal school, childcare, homeschool and informal museums, libraries, clubs and family settings. Best practices and research-based approaches and materials for creativity education, facilitating opportunities to nurture creative behavior, building supportive learning environments, addressing resistance to creative teaching, and advocating for creative learning.

CRS 590 Independent Study

Independent study provides an opportunity for a student to pursue a topic that may be covered only briefly or not at all in a regular course offering. To enroll in an independent study, you’ll need to discuss with faculty members these areas of interest and secure a faculty member Creative Studies Graduate Student Handbook Distance Student Handbook Version 1.0 Current as of June 50 who is willing to serve as your advisor. 

CRS 614 Advanced Cognitive Tools for Creative Problem Solving - Thinking Skills Model

Prerequisite: CRS 559.

The Creative Problem Solving (CPS) model continues to be developed and refined. The current version ­ Thinking Skills Model- positions CPS as a framework for teaching thinking. This course focuses on developing students’  skills in applying and facilitating advanced creative problem solving tools that involve diagnostic, visionary, strategic, ideational, evaluative,contextual, and tactical thinking. It provides students with a deeper understanding of the thinking skills framework for CPS and it expands

Their thinking skills by teaching them a diverse set of thinking tools. The cognitive tools are drawn from the larger field of creativity (beyond The Creative Problem Solving model) as well as from other areas of theory and practice such as quality improvement, strategic management, and include decision-making, and various problem-solving models. Students who are interested in a deep immersion in the Creative Problem Solving-Thinking Skills model and exposure to a wider set of thinking tools will find this course of particular interest.

CRS 619 Organizational Creativity and Innovation

Prerequisite: CRS 559.

Current research and practice related to organizational creativity and innovation. Developing skill in leading innovation and change initiatives in organizations from an applied perspective. Catalog Links Contents

CRS 625 Current Issues in Creative Studies

Prerequisite: CRS 559 or CRS 560.

In-depth survey of current issues on the nature or nurture of creativity; skill development in research and scholarship to increase critical thinking skills and general content literacy of creativity practitioners in any discipline; review, analysis, and interpretation of findings from empirical and non-empirical sources, with some emphasis on the background and development of research at the International Center for Studies in Creativity.

CRS 670: Foundations in Teaching and Training Creativity

Prerequisites: CRS 559 and CRS 610.

Practical experience in using principles of creative learning, Creative Problem Solving (CPS), and leadership to facilitate groups; guided practice and independent work in realistic teaching/training situations to develop independent learners and reflective practitioners; use of CPS facilitation skills to develop instructional designs and examine ways to modify teaching and leading with CPS in various groups or situations.

CRS 680: Designing and Delivering Creativity Education

Prerequisites: CRS 559 and CRS 560.

Team-teaching experience in creative studies undergraduate courses under direct supervision of the faculty. With permission of instructor, under special circumstances, team teaching may be done in a school, in industry, or in a special creative problem-solving program.

Creativity Expert Exchange, Buffalo NY

The International Center for Studies in Creativity organizes an annual conference to offer the creativity community the Creativity Expert Exchange (CEE) conference experience. CEE serves as a vehicle to involve alumni, students, faculty and other creativity experts in a vibrant community dedicated to supporting one another’s learning and practice.
The conference consists of a variety of workshops as well as social events to provide ample opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues, be reenergized by the exciting advances of our community, and feel refreshed by the creative, supportive environment that defines the ICSC experience.


Total Required Credit Hours 33 credits

**All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise indicated.

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International Center for Studies in Creativity

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Chase Hall 244 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-6223 •  Fax: (716) 878-4040   creativity@buffalostate.edu