What does it cost?

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

Typically, graduate students receive stipends (≈$20,000/year) and tuition waivers.

How long will it take?

Typically, students complete the Ph.D. in 6-7 years.

Where will I take classes?
Atlanta Campus

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

Admission for fall semester only.

Application Deadline: December 1

Psychology, Ph.D., Community Psychology

Department of Psychology: 
psychology@gsu.edu

Graduate Program: 
psygrad@gsu.edu

Ph.D. students in the Community Psychology concentration receive training that will enable them to conduct research and collaborate with communities to improve the well-being of individuals and social settings.

Community psychologists:

  • Seek to expand "helping" beyond traditional psychotherapy to promote wellness.
  • Engage in action-oriented research to develop, implement and evaluate programs.
  • Base their work on a scientific foundation to better understand the multiple influences of the social environment on health and wellness.
  • Build collaborative relationships with community members, groups and organizations to solve social problems.
  • Consult with and provide tools to organizations to build capacity to address social problems such as exploitation and victimization.
  • Analyze government, civic life and workplace settings to understand and improve fair and diverse participation.
  • Fight oppression, seek to reduce social inequalities and work with marginalized people toward their empowerment.

The department also offers a joint concentration in community-clinical psychology and a dual program in public health and community psychology.

Students in the Clinical-Community (CLC) concentration seek training in clinical and community psychology and aim to be eligible for clinical licensure following graduation. Dual enrollment provides a strengths-based, culturally competent approach to mental health and healthy development that emphasizes theory, research and practice at multiple levels of analysis — psychological, sociopolitical and ecological.

The dual M.P.H.-Ph.D. program in Public Health and Community Psychology provides professional and graduate students with a solid and well-rounded background across two disciplines. Successful candidates will earn a master of public health degree upon completion of the graduate health behavior and promotion concentration or the epidemiology concentration offered by the School of Public Health and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) upon completion of the community psychology concentration.

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 (for example, 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.

Program Details
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume/curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts (one from each institution attended)
  • The GRE is not required and GRE scores will not be reviewed
  • Writing sample

The statement of purpose should summarize your skills and experiences that are relevant to your particular area(s) of interest in graduate study in psychology. Discuss how your experiences might have shaped the research questions you are interested in exploring. Address the fit between your objectives and the graduate training offered at GSU (including the fit with the faculty member(s) with whom you would most like to work). We are particularly interested in specific examples that illustrate your quantitative abilities, problem-solving skills, initiative, leadership, perseverance and maturity. We are also interested in how your educational, professional, clinical (if applicable), or personal (e.g., cultural, economic or social) experiences prepare you to contribute to our department’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion during your graduate career. It should be approximately 1000-1500 words.

Please submit a writing sample from your past work, preferably on a topic relevant to psychological science. There are no specific parameters or required length for the writing sample. You might submit a class paper, honors thesis, conference submission, journal article for which you are the primary author, or another writing sample that demonstrates your writing, critical thinking, and research skills.

The resume or CV should summarize your academic, research, clinical and other relevant experiences.

Previous research experience and, in the case of the Clinical and Community programs, relevant applied experience are evaluated favorably in the admission process.

Although an undergraduate major in psychology is not required, applicants are expected to have a background in psychology that includes a minimum of two courses that cover psychological statistics and research methods.

* Institutional code 5251 should be used for reporting TOEFL scores.

Because the work of community psychologists, by its nature, is collaborative and interdisciplinary, we offer a flexible curriculum that provides a strong grounding in the foundations of the field and opportunities for students to expand their knowledge and skills in relevant disciplines. In consultation with their advisors and depending on the concentration (community, community-clinical, M.P.H./Ph.D.) and career paths they wish to pursue, students may choose additional coursework in psychology and/or other disciplines. Across the concentrations we offer, all students must complete:

  • 12 hours of departmental core courses in Statistics, Research Methods, Ethics, and the History of Psychology
  • 9 hours of core courses in community psychology, including Introduction to Community Psychology, Issues of Human Diversity and advanced (qualitative or quantitative) methods
  • 9 hours of community practicum (internships in the community to gain experience and core competencies)
  • 6 hours of community psychology electives that align most closely with students’ career goals and an additional 6 hours of electives inside or outside of the psychology department
  • Research and thesis/dissertation hours and directed readings (varied number of hours)
  • A masters thesis
  • A comprehensive general exam to qualify for candidacy for the Ph.D.
  • A doctoral dissertation

Students are offered a monthly stipend during their first four years of graduate school as long as they remain in good standing with the department by maintaining the required GPA and meeting departmental responsibilities.

The level of support for incoming students is determined when they are accepted. No separate financial application procedure is required. All support includes a tuition waiver. Beginning students may also make an application to the University’s Office of Financial Aid (404-413-2400) for non-departmental sources of aid, such as loans and university-provided scholarships.

  • About half of our graduates pursue careers in practice. This may include consulting with human service organizations, program evaluation, program development and management, and (for graduates from the community-clinical concentration) clinical practice.
  • About one in four of our graduates pursue careers in government or public health agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • About one in four of our graduates pursue careers in academia, as tenure track professors, lecturers, or research faculty.

Learn more about our training.

Description

Careers

Community psychologists may 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.

Contacts

Office/Delivery Address:
Department of Psychology
Georgia State University
Urban Life Building
11th Floor
140 Decatur Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083

General Inquiries
psychology@gsu.edu

Psychology Graduate Program
psygrad@gsu.edu

USPS Mailing Address:
Department of Psychology
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 5010
Atlanta, GA 30302-5010

25 Park Pl NE #2500
Atlanta, GA 30303

The information shared provides an overview of Georgia State’s offerings. For details on admissions requirements, tuition, courses and more, refer to the university catalogs.