Founded in 1970 by William Fairweather, our graduate training program is among the oldest community psychology programs in the United States. Dedicated to social problem-solving through applied community-based research and evaluation, our faculty members work in multiple problem areas: violence against women, juvenile justice, dissemination and implementation of innovations, human diversity, systems change, and health. We share a commitment to diversity and inclusion, social justice, and empowerment. Our research efforts are supported by diverse sources including the National Institute of Justice, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, among others.
We offer students the opportunity to work alongside faculty who are experts in their field. Our graduate students enter the community and work on community-based research projects from the moment they step on the MSU campus. Our overall training approach is competency based. We strive to ensure that each course we teach, each research and teaching assistantship we offer, and each advising relationship we develop across key program milestones, assists our students to graduate from our program with the foundational competencies that they need to succeed in launching their chosen career as community psychologists.
Rather than follow an apprenticeship model of training, students work in close partnership with faculty to develop their own independent lines of investigation and expertise. Advisors guide students in the creation of individualized training plans. Our students have opportunities to specialize in diverse areas that support the work of community psychology, such as program evaluation through the department’s online certificate program and quantitative methods through the department’s specialization in quantitative methods. Alternatively, students may create their own cognate specialization. For instance, students have created specializations in gender and women’s studies, computer simulation modeling, and public health. At the university level, students may pursue certificates in community-engaged scholarship and in teaching, among other opportunities.
Our proud Spartan alumnae are well-recognized leaders in their areas of specialization and the field of community psychology generally. They have pursued a mixture of academic and applied careers. They work as Executive Directors of community agencies, program evaluation specialists, and as professors of psychology, social work, and public health. Our alums share our deep commitment to improving society through applied community psychology research and action.
We hope you will explore our website to learn more about our program and the scholarly opportunities we offer for graduate training.
Robin Lin Miller
Professor and Chair, Ecological-Community Psychology
Co-Director, Online Masters and Certificate in Program Evaluation