MS in Community Psychology

A Master of Science degree in community psychology can take graduates down any number of career paths. It can serve as a stepping stone toward a doctoral degree – a necessary component of becoming a licensed, practicing psychologist – or can lead to career opportunities in various areas of applied mental health services. Community psychologists integrate social, cultural, economic, political, environmental, and international influences in their practice. Opportunities as a mental health counselor, school counselor, or social worker are often present, with expected career and job placement prospects likely to rise over the next 5-to-10 years. Job settings typically include private practices, non-profit agencies, and clinical offices.

Steps Toward an MS in Community Psychology

To become a community psychologist, requirements vary significantly by state. Successful students typically complete the following steps:

  1. Earn proper undergraduate degree (requirements vary by state). Common undergraduate degrees include Bachelor of Science programs in education, psychology or human services.
  2. Earn proper graduate degrees (requirements vary by state) from an accredited institution like Purdue, Liberty, or Walden University. Typically includes completing a Master of Science degree with a concentration in community psychology. To practice independently as a community psychologist, a doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD) is usually required.
  3. Obtain proper licensure (requirements vary by state). Community psychologists usually need a doctorate in psychology, an approved internship, and 1 to 2 years of professional experience. In addition, all applicants must pass an examination in their practicing state. Most state licensing boards administer a standardized test that includes additional oral or essay questions.
  4. Participate in continuing education. Some states require continuing education for renewal of the license.

Professionals in the field should also consider membership as part of the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA), Division 27 of the American Psychological Association. The guiding concepts of the SCRA include being global in nature, use of interdisciplinary approaches, influencing policies based upon community psychology and social justice values, and research and action that promote social justice.

My Degree and What It’s Worth

This degree offers you the ability to apply counseling knowledge on a large scale. A community psychologist is typically responsible for the following job duties:

  • Evaluate strengths and limitations of patients and the community.
  • Provide mental health education for community groups and staff members.
  • Offer case management support and guidance.
  • Analyze statistics and participate in research projects.

Annual salary varies within the profession based on specific type of job, location, and experience. For more on your earning potential as a community psychologist, please visit our salary outlook for counselors page.

Online MS in Community Psychology Degree Programs

Closely Related Programs

The following degrees are closely related to a master’s degree program in community psychology, often allowing you to pursue a career in this field or others:

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