Community psychology examines social problems and promotes the well-being of people in their communities.
While the field draws heavily from psychology, it also draws from theory and practice in sociology, community development, ecology, public health, anthropology, cultural and performance studies, public policy, social work, and social justice movements.
Through community research and action, community psychologists produce knowledge that can inform social policies, social service work, helping practices, and community change.
The Community Psychology major provides rigorous academic preparation for students who wish to pursue careers in human services, community development mental health, family and youth programs, counseling, prevention, program evaluation, community arts, multicultural program development, and human relations. The major also prepares students for graduate work in a variety of academic and applied research fields including psychology, sociology, counseling, public health, and social work as well as interdisciplinary graduate work in the arts, humanities, and social sciences including cultural studies and policy studies.
More information about career possibilities or pursuing graduate school.
In addition to the requirements for admission into the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, it is strongly recommended to take BIS 170 Introduction to Psychology (or equivalent) before applying to the major. BIS 170 Introduction to Psychology (or equivalent) will become a major prerequisite beginning Autumn quarter 2020. Other useful preparation for this major includes coursework in psychology, sociology, anthropology, public policy, statistics and/or research methods. Students will need strong skills in writing, speaking, collaboration, and community-based work.
- BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry* (5 credits)
- BIS 312 Approaches to Social Research - min. 2.0 grade (5 credits)
- BIS 315 Understanding Statistics or equivalent - min. 2.0 grade (5 credits)
- BISCP 343 Community Psychology (5 credits)
- CP Courses (25 credits)
- BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone - min. 2.5 grade (3 credits)
- Additional IAS Coursework (20 credits)
TOTAL = 68 credits
*Should be taken in the first quarter of IAS enrollment.
Note: Classes in this major are offered primarily during day time hours.
School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (IAS) Requirements & Policies
Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR)
The IPR requirement can be completed through elective credits or it can overlap with major coursework.
Areas of Knowledge
25 credits must be completed in each Area of Knowledge. The Areas of Knowledge are: Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals and Societies (I&S), and Natural World (NW).
Multiply-designated courses may not be double-counted as fulfilling two Areas of Knowledge. Courses may apply to both an Area of Knowledge requirement and an CP major requirement.
Upper Division Credit Policy
Of the credits applying to CP major requirements, a minimum of 48 must be completed at the Upper Division (300-400) level.
With the exception of the General Electives, courses taken to satisfy CP major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.
Admitted prior to Autumn Quarter, 2016?
Students admitted to the AES major prior to Autumn 2016 may be eligible to complete an older set of major requirements. For more information, please check Requirement Changes Autumn 2016 page.
The Community Psychology curriculum advances the five core IAS learning objectives. Students taking courses and/or majoring in Community Psychology:
- Develop an understanding of human development and well-being within an ecological framework.
- Draw upon the strengths and perspectives of diverse stakeholders in defining and solving social problems.
- Utilize interdisciplinary methods and approaches to community action and research.
- Understand, evaluate and participate in the development of effective intervention, prevention, and health promotion strategies and programs for individuals, small groups, and communities.
- Integrate knowledge across disciplines and contexts in ways that respect different approaches to understanding human development and well-being.
- Work collaboratively across diverse groups and organizations through community-based experience and internships.