What is Community Psychology?

Community psychology goes beyond an individual focus and integrates social, cultural, economic, political, environmental, and international influences to promote positive change, health, and empowerment at individual and systemic levels.

What do Community Psychologists do?

Depending on one’s training, experiences, and preferences, community psychologists can work as educators, professors,  program directors, consultants, policy developers, evaluators; and researchers in community organizations, universities, or government agencies to promote mental health and community well-being.

  • We seek to expand “helping” beyond traditional psychotherapy to promote wellness.
  • We engage in action-oriented research to develop, implement, and evaluate programs.
  • We base our work on a scientific foundation to better understand the multiple influences of the social environment on health and wellness
  • We build collaborative relationships with community members, groups, and organizations to solve social problems.
  • We consult with and provide tools to organizations to build capacity to address social problems such as exploitation and victimization.
  • We analyze government, civic life, and workplace settings in order to understand and improve fair and diverse participation.
  • We fight oppression, work to reduce social inequalities, and work with marginalized people toward their empowerment.

Where do Community Psychologists Work?

  • Academic settings such as community colleges, small undergraduate colleges, and larger universities
  • Health and human service agencies of: city, county, state, and federal governments
  • Schools, community-based organizations, advocacy groups, religious institutions, and neighborhood groups.
  • Public policy organizations and nonprofits.
  • Research centers, independent or consulting groups, evaluation firms, and private practice.

Educational Opportunities in Community Psychology

Undergraduate Training Opportunities

  • Inquire at your undergraduate institution about courses, research, and experiential learning opportunities. Get involved in research, conferences, SCRA activities, service learning, and your community!

Graduate Training Opportunities

  • Graduate degrees are offered in Community Psychology, Clinical-Community Psychology, and interdisciplinary programs. 
  • Master’s programs focus on theory, research, and practical skills in community psychology, often with a significant practice focus.
  • Doctoral programs include advanced theory, practice, and comprehensive research skills, and prepare students for many career options.

Downloadable Community Psychology Handouts and Presentations