Master of Arts in Psychology: Community Psychology (MA PSY)

Concordia University-Portland’s Master of Arts in Psychology: Community Psychology (MA PSY) is designed to educate students about the relationship between social systems and individual well-being in diverse community contexts, and prepare them for professional careers in a variety of settings and/or doctoral study. Reflecting increasing demands for graduates to navigate and lead complex social environments, the program emphasizes an interdisciplinary curriculum, theory-driven research training, and applied community-based learning. Graduates will possess skills relevant to analyzing and evaluating the various social factors that influence community and individual well-being, and will have community-based learning experiences that prepare them to be leaders in professional settings.

Admission

Admission Criteria and Process

  • A complete Master of Arts in Psychology: Community Psychology Application.
  • Official, sealed transcripts from all regionally accredited institution or institutions that you have attended.
  • A 3.0 GPA is preferred. Note: Graduate credit at CU will only be awarded for courses receiving a B- grade or higher.
  • Two confidential letters of recommendation. 
  • Letter of Intent.         
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae.
  • International applicants should refer to the Graduate Admission section for additional requirements.

International applicants are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS). The minimum score on the TOEFL is 575 on the paper exam or 88 on the internet-based test of the TOEFL. The minimum score for the IELTS test is 7.0.

The MA in Psychology is completed in four semesters, and offers two cohort schedules beginning in fall and spring. The fall option includes a break over the summer semester and is completed in 20 months. The program that begins in spring runs continuously for four semesters and is completed in 16 months. Students will complete a community internship and thesis during their final two semesters.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate from the Master of Arts in Psychology: Community Psychology (MA PSY) program at Concordia University-Portland, the following requirements must be met:

  • Completion of an Application for Graduation per the instructions listed at http://www.cu-portland.edu/academics/registrar/commencement/applying-graduation
  • Successful completion of a minimum of 36 semester hours
  • Successful completion of all required courses
  • At least:
    • 50% of the credits required for the program have been completed at Concordia University-Portland
    • A 3.0 cumulative GPA has been earned
    • All required courses have been completed with a grade of "B-" or better
      • No grade below a “B-” will be accepted in a course that counts toward completion of the program. Students who receive a “C”or lower in a required course must retake the course and earn a “B-” or higher for the course to count toward completion of the degree.

R. Bryant Carlson, M.S., Assistant Professor, bcarlson@cu-Portland.edu 

CURRICULUM

Core Courses (22)
PSY 570COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY3
PSY 580SOCIAL INEQUALITY3
PSY 581COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION2
PSY 560PROGRAM EVALUATION AND APPLIED QUALITATIVE METHODS3
PSY 519SOCIAL RESEARCH METHODS3
PSY 520STATISTICS AND QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS3
PSY 551RESEARCH WRITING I2
PSY 552RESEARCH WRITING II2
PSY 553RESEARCH WRITING III1
Elective Courses (2)2
Choose one two-credit elective:
PSY 561CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND MEDIATION2
PSY 563HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY2
PSY 562SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF MENTAL HEALTH2
PSY 564SOCIAL POLICY AND ADVOCACY2
Capstone Courses (12)12
PSY 590INTERNSHIP I3
PSY 591INTERNSHIP II3
PSY 593THESIS I3
PSY 594THESIS II3
Total Credits36

PSY 519      SOCIAL RESEARCH METHODS      Credits: 3

This course is designed to deepen students understanding of the methods with which social scientists work to systematically understand social phenomena, including identifying general patterns and relationships, testing and refining theory, and making predictions.

PSY 520      STATISTICS AND QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS      Credits: 3

An extension of PSY 519, this course will be the second course in an applied statistics sequence. Students in this course will obtain a foundational understanding of the various theories underlying probability, statistics, and quantitative data analysis, and will practice with data using statistical software.
Prerequisites: PSY 519 with a B- or higher.

PSY 551      RESEARCH WRITING I      Credits: 2

These seminars will prepare students for professional practice in community psychology settings and further graduate training through workshops (e.g., thesis preparation, constructing a curriculum vitae), guest speakers, and group support.

PSY 552      RESEARCH WRITING II      Credits: 2

These seminars will prepare students for professional practice in community psychology settings and further graduate training through workshops (e.g., thesis preparation, constructing a curriculum vitae), guest speakers, and group support.

PSY 553      RESEARCH WRITING III      Credit: 1

This course will be the third in a series of graduate seminars in research writing. The focus in this seminar will be assisting the preparation of student MA thesis manuscripts for defense and publication in academic journals.
Prerequisites: PSY 551 and PSY 552 with a B- or higher.

PSY 556      FUNDRAISING AND GRANT WRITING      Credits: 2

This course investigates the concepts of grants, investigating grant opportunities, research for grant development, writing grants, receiving and managing grants. Emphasis is also given to skills required for direct solicitation fundraising programs, such as annual fund drives, special events, phone-a-thons, direct mail campaigns and planned giving activities. Students will learn to conduct donor/prospect research and make effective appeals to donors, develop fundraising plans and design positive promotional materials.

PSY 560      PROGRAM EVALUATION AND APPLIED QUALITATIVE METHODS      Credits: 3

This class provides an overview of the field of program evaluation, with an emphasis on providing students with essential knowledge for conducting effective program evaluations in organizations and related community settings. Students will acquire an understanding of the phases of program evaluation, particularly those relevant to conducting needs assessments of various populations.

PSY 561      CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND MEDIATION      Credits: 2

This course provides an introduction and overview of the field of mediation and conflict resolution, with a focus on both the nature of conflict and our understanding of what resolution seeks to achieve. Through small groups, simulated conflict situations, and examples from various community settings, students will learn how to assess common causes of conflict, and its effect on individuals and communities. Students will also learn about different forms of dispute resolution, including recent research on forgiveness completed through the Stanford Forgiveness Project, and the primary models of mediation and the mediation process.

PSY 562      SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF MENTAL HEALTH      Credits: 2

This course will introduce students to interdisciplinary perspectives on the role of culture in understanding human behavior and psychiatric diagnoses. Students will become familiar with different perspectives on culture and mental health, with the goal of refining students’ cultural competence in research and professional practice with diverse individuals and groups.

PSY 563      HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY      Credits: 2

This class provides an overview of the field of health psychology, with an emphasis on how socio-cultural and economic factors influence health beliefs and health behaviors. Students will learn the history of health psychology, major theories in the field, and methods of applying health psychology knowledge to promoting health and preventing diseases.

PSY 564      SOCIAL POLICY AND ADVOCACY      Credits: 2

This course will examine the role of social policy and advocacy in community psychology and public health. Students will explore the roles communities and nonprofits play in influencing the public policy process. This course will analyze the range of advocacy strategies available to communities and individuals, and will provide students with an opportunity to plan, implement, and evaluate an advocacy campaign.

PSY 570      COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY      Credits: 3

This class provides an introduction to community psychology, with an emphasis on the ways in which communities, organizations, and broader social systems are strengthened to meet people’s needs. Students will apply psychological principles to social and organizational issues, and will learn how the field of community psychology plans and implements community changes, advances social justice, and uses research to inform and evaluate this work.

PSY 580      SOCIAL INEQUALITY      Credits: 3

This course will use the research and literature on human diversity and international psychology to deepen students multicultural, cross-cultural, and diversity awareness. An emphasis will be given to the ways in which dimensions of culture, ethnicity, lifestyle, religion, class, and economic status affect individuals and groups. Psychological perspectives and interventions will be studied from across many cultures.

PSY 581      COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION      Credits: 2

This course will introduce students to the primary theories and methods of community prevention and intervention. Students will examine core ecological constructs in community settings, and theories of psychological dysfunction and well-being, stress, and social support. Emphasis in the course will be given to preventing problem behaviors and promoting social change through self-help, empowerment, community-based mental health interventions, social policy and social justice.

PSY 590      INTERNSHIP I      Credits: 3

This is the first of two courses students complete at a local community site. Students will have the opportunity to complete internships at innovative and diverse social organizations in the Portland metropolitan area, including nonprofits, government agencies, healthcare settings, schools, religious communities, and other programs creatively working toward social justice. Students completing internships will acquire and refine skills and competencies essential to both employment and doctoral study.

PSY 591      INTERNSHIP II      Credits: 3

This is the second of two courses students complete to fulfill the community internship requirement. Students will have the opportunity to complete internships at innovative and diverse social organizations in the Portland metropolitan area, including nonprofits, government agencies, healthcare settings, schools, religious communities, and other programs creatively working toward social justice. Students completing the internship will acquire and refine skills and competencies essential to both employment and doctoral study.

PSY 593      THESIS I      Credits: 3

This course is the first of two dedicated to the Master’s Thesis research project. Students will complete a thorough literature review on a topic related to community psychology, including developing both the primary bibliography as well as the introductory sections for a thesis. In addition, a detailed description of the scope or experimental design of the thesis will be produced.

PSY 594      THESIS II      Credits: 3

This is the second and final course dedicated to the Master’s Thesis research project. Students in the course will complete the following: data collection and analysis, written composition of results, completion of the thesis, and a thesis defense.