The Ecological-Community Psychology program welcomes applications for graduate study from all individuals interested in pursuing a research-based PhD in Community Psychology. We are committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment for community-based research and action, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically under-represented and marginalized groups. Each year, we typically admit 5 – 6 new students for PhD study. Our amazing past graduates have gone on to diverse careers as academic faculty, consultants, practitioners, and evaluators.
There are many great Community Psychology graduate programs around the country, but there are a few things that we think really sets our program apart:
All students begin the program with a temporary advisor. During the first year, students select a more permanent advisor from the core Ecological-Community faculty, usually based on intellectual and personal fit. In some cases the same person will advise a student through the whole program, while in other cases a student may change advisors when transitioning from one project or program milestone to the next.
Incoming PhD students usually follow a standard course sequence:
All students complete the same basic program milestones:
Along the way, our students participate in a wide range of other experiences:
For a detailed description of all the program's course and degree requirements, please take a look at the current program handbook here. You can also view syllabi for past graduate courses in the department here.
The admissions committee, in consultation with the full faculty of the program, consider a wide range of factors when making admissions decisions, including:
Depending on the availability of funding, students often receive funding by working as research assistants on faculty-led projects or as teaching assistants in psychology courses. In addition, a number of competitive fellowship opportunities are also available through Michigan State University. Fellowships provide a monthly stipend, tuition waiver, and health care, but do not require service as a Teaching or Research Assistant. You can find additional information about fellowships here. Some of our students have also secured funding from external sources including the National Institutes of Health.
Application to the Ecological-Community Psychology graduate program requires an online application to Michigan State University and an online application to the Psychology Department. In your psychology department application, you will be able to indicate that you are interested in the Ecological-Community program. You can find links to both online applications here.
Where do graduate students live? Most graduate students rent apartments or homes in Lansing within biking distance of campus. Real estate is affordable in the area, so some graduate students have also bought homes.
How long does the program take? It depends on a lot of factors. Students entering without an MA often complete their MA by year 2 or 3, their comprehensive exam by year 4, and their PhD by year 5 or 6.
What questions should I be asking about programs? There are a lot of different factors to consider when trying to decide which Community Psychology program is the best fit for you. But, here is a list of questions you might want to think about, and to ask faculty and students in the programs you are considering.
Who should I contact if I have more questions? Feel free to directly email any of our current faculty or grad students if you have questions about the program or our research; we would love to hear from you. If you have more general questions, you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @msu_compsy.
Ecological-Community Psychology Welcome Guide – A brief guide to the resources in the ECO program and at MSU.
Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA, APA Division 27) – The division of the American Psychological Association that represents Community Psychology.
Global Urban Studies Program (GUSP) – An interdisciplinary specialization students can pursue alongside the Community Psychology PhD.
Council of Graduate Students (COGS) – Lots of helpful information for MSU graduate students, on topics ranging from health and wellness to career development opportunities.