Community Action Psychology

Degree Type

Community Action Psychology is an interdisciplinary minor that equips students to promote individual and community well-being through action and research. Through courses that emphasize lived experience in an ecological context, analyze the causes and consequences of social inequality, explore social change efforts, and apply theories and evidence to real world social issues, the curriculum provides foundational knowledge and skills to build more equitable and just community-based settings, programs, and policies.

The goal of the Community Action Psychology minor is to expand pathways and preparation for students interested in pursuing careers in promoting individual well-being, empowerment, and mental health within community-based settings. Students will learn how to apply research to analyze and address social problems at multiple levels of analysis in a broad range of settings. This minor expands options for students who are interested in a community-based approach to mental health and well-being, while supporting the College’s mission to promote social justice and equip students to become agents of social change.

This minor provides valuable preparation for students interested in pursuing careers in nonprofit leadership, program management, program planning, evaluation and assessment, policy development, advocacy, consultation, health and human services, community-engaged research, human resources, education settings, and corporate settings dealing with community affairs and outreach.


Five courses (18-20 credits) are required for the minor.

Only ONE of the courses required for a student’s major may count for this minor. Courses will be distributed between foundational, social inequality, social change, and capstone domains as outlined here. Additional courses may be considered with prior approval from an advisor in the minor.

Foundational Course

Select ONE. Students will be able to explain how macro- and micro-contextual influences – including historical, cultural, ecological, community, institutional, and interpersonal context – mutually shape individuals’ well-being, thoughts, and behavior.

  • PY3510 - Social Psychology
  • PY3530 - Community Psychology
  • PY4510 - Ecological Context: Theories & Applications
  • SY4400 - Social Psychology

Social Inequality

Select ONE. Students will be able to value diverse worldviews and identities, develop an awareness of one’s own social positionality, think critically about how systems of power and oppression operate in society and shape lived experience, and analyze the causes and consequences of social inequalities.

  • CR 3117 - Policing Bodies
  • CR 4000 - Gender, Crime and Justice
  • PE 3750 - Politics of Race and Class
  • PE 4450 - The Politics of Gender and Sexuality
  • PE 4610 - Political Power and Social Class
  • PH 2900 - Black Lives Matter
  • PH 3600 - Introduction to the Social Determinants of Health
  • PH 4750 - Aging and Social Policy
  • PH 4930 - Immigrant and Refugee Health
  • PY 3710 - Psychology and Social Justice
  • PY 3760 - Psychology of Socioeconomic Inequality
  • PY 4730 - Psychology of Peoples of African Descent
  • PY 4740 - Psychology of Ethnicity
  • PY 4760 - Sexual Identities & LGBTQ+ Psychology
  • SY 3280 - Social Inequality
  • SY 3750 - Medical Sociology
  • SY 3800 - Race & Ethnicity
  • SY4500 - Global Sociology
  • SY 4830 - Gender & Society
  • SY 4850 - Urban and Suburban Sociology

Social Change

Select TWO. Students will be able to identify and understand how relevant macro- and micro-level change efforts are used to promote social justice.

  • IR 3140 - Unions and Public Policy
  • PH 4600 - Health Program Planning and Evaluation
  • PH 4800 - Epidemiology
  • PH 4890 - Environmental Justice
  • PY 4350 - Peace, Violence, & Conflict Resolution
  • PY 4530 - Prevention, Promotion, & Program Evaluation
  • PY 4570 - Peer Support & Community Mental Health
  • PS 3625 - Nonprofit Stewardship and Development
  • PS 3675 - Intro to Social Entrepreneurship
  • SY 3700 - Social Movements
  • SY 4600 - Social Programs, Planning and Policy


Select ONE. Students will conduct an applied research project to use empirical and theoretical social scientific literature to address real-world social issues.

  • PY5510 - Senior Seminar in Social Psychology
  • PY5710 - Senior Seminar in Diversity & Social Justice