Are you interested in community psychology?
The community psychology-focused aspects of the curriculum for the Psychology Major include courses that concentrate on the role of broader societal contexts in shaping human behavior, with a particular emphasis on structural inequalities and their potential to undermine healthy human development. Community Psychology courses deal directly with issues of diversity across a host of social identities (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability status) and processes of marginalization and oppression. Community Psychology courses also attend explicitly to pre-existing strengths among marginalized communities and seek to identify factors that foster resilience in the face of societal risk.
Undergraduate research experience is an important aspect of training in Community Psychology. These research experiences can prepare students for careers in community-based settings (e.g., nonprofit organizations) where there is a need for strong training in the implementation and evaluation of practice- and policy-based interventions. Students interested in pursuing a community psychology-related position after graduation, especially those interested in attending graduate school in community psychology, are advised to seek out research assistant opportunities (e.g., Psych 3950, completing a Distinguished Majors Project) with faculty in the community psychology area (i.e., Professors Allen, Avery, Hurd, Patterson, and Wilson).
In addition, participation in community-based volunteer efforts (e.g., Madison House, Boys and Girls Club, City of Promise, etc.) can help students with an interest in community psychology learn more about community outreach and engagement.
Many career trajectories in Community Psychology require a graduate degree. Potential career paths of psychology majors who focus on Community Psychology include both academic and non-academic positions such as Professors/Educators, Program Administrators, Consultants, and Evaluators/Analysts. A Community Psychology focus in undergraduate study provides a good foundation for students interested in applying to graduate school in Community Psychology, as well as those interested in pursuing graduate study in Education, Public Health, Social Work, and Law.
REQUIREMENTS for PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR
To earn a BA in Psychology (detail at http://psychology.as.virginia.edu/undergraduate-handbook), students must complete 30 credits in PSYC courses, including at least one course from Introductory courses in Groups I, II and III, Research Methods (PSYC 3005 and PSYC3006), 2 courses at the 3000-level or higher (including 1 at the 4000- or 5000-level). The remainder of credits can be completed by enrolling to any other PSYC courses.
COURSES RELEVANT TO COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY
There are a number of Community Psychology-focused courses that students can complete as a part of the degree requirements for a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. They include:
PSYCH 3559 Community Leadership in Child Protection and Family Support
PSYCH 3560: The Psychology of Women and Gender
PSYCH 4130: Risk and Resilience among Marginalized Adolescents
PSYCH 4603: Psychology of Sexual Orientation
PSYCH 4650: Psychology of Oppression and Social Change
PSYCH 4870: The Minority Family: Psychological Inquiry
PSYC 4559 S18: Children's Law