Community

community5The Community Psychology program area administers a concentration in Community Psychology (COR) and jointly administers (with the Clinical program area) a concentration in Clinical-Community Psychology (CLC). In addition, the Community Psychology program area administers a dual degree M.P.H./Ph.D. program in collaboration with Georgia State’s School of Public Health.

Across these offerings, doctoral students obtain training in the science and practice of social intervention in diverse settings. Social intervention is defined as research, programs, or policies that impact the resources accessed by communities and/or individuals. Our students and graduates use theory and empirical research from psychology and related disciplines to develop, implement, evaluate, and advocate for effective social interventions that promote the well-being of diverse populations, in diverse settings, in the United States and internationally. The training we provide is guided by the following values: (1) A research informed perspective; (2) Interdisciplinary scholarship, and (3) Collaborative relationships.

Our faculty share a common perspective as researchers rooted in psychology and informed by related disciplines, such as education, public health, sociology, and women’s studies. We share an emphasis on changing resources, social norms, and public policies that affect individuals and the contexts surrounding people’s lives (e.g., social institutions, neighborhoods, families). We are involved at the local, state, national, and international levels and work with community and governmental organizations to design, implement, and investigate the efficacy of social interventions using a variety of research methods ranging from rigorous experimental designs to qualitative case studies. We collaborate with community partners to evaluate and improve existing programs.

Specific curricular requirements vary across the COR and CLC concentrations and the dual M.P.H./Ph.D. program; however, across all of these areas, graduate students take core courses in community psychology, human diversity, and quantitative and qualitative methods. They work in the community during at least three semester-long practica, in which they gain hands-on experience with grant writing, program development, policy advocacy, and other professional skills.

Interdisciplinary Initiatives

Center for Latin American and Latino/ a Studies

The Center for Latin American and Latino/a Studies is an interdisciplinary teaching, research, and community service program for the Latin American and Latino/a communities in Georgia


Center for Human Rights and Democracy

The Center for Human Rights and Democracy is an interdisciplinary, collaborative program focused on the contemporary and comparative study of human rights and democracy. Such study is driven by recognition of a powerful double-edged premise that has characterized the human condition for centuries—namely, human rights cannot exist without democracy, and democracy cannot exist without human rights.


Center for Research on School Safety

The Center for School Safety, School Climate and Classroom Management consists of faculty members representing a broad span of academic orientations including education, psychology, law, social work, criminal justice, nursing and policy development.


Partnership for Urban Health Research

The Partnership for Urban Health Research seeks to understand how the urban environment affects the health and well-being of people who reside and work in the metropolitan Atlanta area. We focus our efforts on populations that bear a disproportionate burden of illness and disease using an interdisciplinary approach to research. In partnership with surrounding communities, we will create and disseminate knowledge that is both meaningful and beneficial to the communities that participate in the process.