Community psychology is a subject that explores the relationships between individuals and the communities and societies around them. By understanding these relationships and how they affect one another, community psychologists work towards improving quality of life. Community psychology is closely related to the fields of ecological psychology, environmental psychology, cross-cultural psychology, social psychology, political science, public health, sociology, social work, and community development.
In pursuing a Master of Science (MS) degree in community psychology, students learn how psychological variables influence individual and group roles, norms, values, interactions, and mental health within a community or culture. This degree generally takes two years to complete. Coursework includes the core subjects of psychology, along with classes relevant to community psychology, such as cultural competence, health promotion, organizational and program evaluation, and grant writing, among others. After completing this degree, students can pursue career opportunities in the field of applied mental health or other professional areas that utilize psychologists, including social work, medical and health service management, and school counseling. Some students continue their educations and earn doctorate degrees in psychology or related fields.