College of Science and Health | DePaul University > Academics > Psychology > Graduate Programs > Community Psychology (MA/PhD) > Community Psychology FAQ

Community Psychology FAQ

What is Community Psychology?

Community Psychology focuses on understanding, preventing and addressing psychological and social problems and empowering individuals, organizations, and communities. Community psychologists develop theory and conduct research concerning the ecology if environments and the relationships between people and their environments. We create, implement, and evaluate interventions to address social problems, with a particular emphasis on underserved, diverse, and disenfranchised populations. The field also uses action research to improve the quality of life for individuals, communities, and societies.

What are the similarities and differences between the community and clinical-community psychology programs?

The two programs overlap in a variety of learning experiences, including training in:
  • Consultation and program evaluation in community settings
  • Community prevention and intervention programs
  • Principles and theories of community psychology
  • Community-based research
  • Teaching preparation and opportunities
  • Supervised fieldwork opportunities
  • Grant-writing course​

However, there are differences in training between the two programs:

Community Psychology:

  • Flexible & interdisciplinary curriculum
  • Two years of supervised fieldwork experience
  • Opportunity to specialize within a related content area (e.g., public policy)
  • Global Growth Experience- opportunity to live, study, & research abroad

Clinical-Community Psychology:

  • Individual, family, and group psychotherapy
  • Psychological assessment
  • 3 years of supervised clinical practica experience
  • 1 year of supervised fieldwork experience
  • Clinical internship
  • Licensure eligible

Do you offer a terminal master's degree?

No, we do not offer a terminal master's degree. Prospective students apply to the PhD program, and once enrolled, one of the requirements is to complete a master's thesis.​

What if I have a master's degree?

The requirement to complete certain courses in the program may be waived if the student has taken similar courses at a recognized university. Waiving a course does not decrease the credit hours required for graduation. The credit hours from a waived course need to be replaced through an elective course which can be of the student's choosing after consultation with their Program Advisor.

If a student earned a Master's degree at an institution other than DePaul which included a data-based, research project related to the appropriate area of psychology, the student may petition that the Master's Thesis requirement be waived.

I have never taken a course in community psychology? Will my application still be considered?

Yes, your application will be considered. We do require that student have taken coursework in psychology. See admission requirements.​​​​

What does your mentoring model look like?

Students admitted to the program are matched with a faculty mentor. Students typically do some of their graduate assistantship hours with the mentor, and the mentor typically supervises their master's thesis project. Although students are assigned to a faculty mentor when they enter our program, students are encouraged to develop relationships with other faculty and some students complete their comprehensive project and dissertation under the supervision of another faculty mentor.​

DePaul is a faith-based university. How would that impact my research training?

DePaul University's urban and Vincentian mission is consistent with the research we do in the community psychology program. The largest Roman Catholic university in the country, DePaul's mission is to serve the marginalized and the poor – all persons, or all creeds. As DePaul's President says, DePaul is a Catholic university, not a university for Catholics. Thus, DePaul is very supportive of the work that faculty and students do out in the community. To learn more about DePaul's mission, please visit here.​​

What do graduates of DePaul's Community Psychology PhD typically do?

Our graduates work in a variety of careers and settings. Examples of the types of jobs they have are faculty at a university/college, administrator or staff at a university/college, program evaluator, independent consultant, executive director of a nonprofit organization, and associate director of a program for underrepresented college students.

What are possible careers with a PhD in Community Psychology?

See the previous question. Other possible careers are policy analyst or researcher, program developer and director, research staff at a research firm, and program officer at a foundation or government setting, such as the National Institutes of Health.

How can I learn more about Community Psychology?

Please visit the Society for Community Research and Action (Division 27 of the American Psychological Association).