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Build Community in CP

Community psychology (CP) focuses on research, evaluation and action to improve community conditions that may influence individual health and well-being. Practitioners prioritize the prevention of harm to individuals and groups, and improvements to quality of life, though some interventions may occur after a negative outcome has been detected.

A minor or specialization in community psychology will allow you to gain experience in working with community-based organizations, mental health, social services and healthcare organizations to enhance their program and evaluation capacity.

Community psychologists rely on evidence – both research evidence and community expertise to address ongoing societal challenges that hinder community well-being. Community psychologists often work closely with communities on their self-identified needs both prior to and after engaging in research.

Career Options

Community psychologists may collaborate as applied academics or as paid consultants with community-based organizations. They may use their skills to assist groups with research and evaluation intended to:

  • Identify emerging or persistent community needs.
  • Assess and evaluate existing programs and interventions.
  • Generate community-led solutions for social problems.
  • Facilitate program renewal within an organization.

Program Options

At Laurier, undergraduate students from other majors can acquire a Minor in Community Psychology and Social Change, while undergraduates majoring in Psychology can qualify for a Specialization in Community Psychology.

Minor in Community Psychology

The Minor in Community Psychology consists of 2.5 credits and can be declared and pursued beginning in second year. Some credits are mandatory while other credits are electives selected from a variety of program theme areas, including:

  • Community research and action;
  • Environmental sustainability;
  • the psychology of oppression;
  • Indigenous studies; and
  • Health and well-being.

Note that eligible Health Science courses are available only to Health Science students interested in the Minor in Community Psychology.

Specialization in Community Psychology

The Specialization in Community Psychology consists of 4.0 credits. Mandatory courses include a broad selection of Psychology courses and a capstone course, while electives are selected from a variety of program theme areas, including:

  • Community research and action;
  • Environmental sustainability;
  • the psychology of oppression; and
  • Health and well-being.

The specialization is designed for students already in the Psychology program who would like to have a focused area of study in Community Psychology. Interested Psychology students must indicate their interest in declaring the specialization prior to their third academic year.

Community Psychology Faculty

"I enjoyed the incorporation of Community Service-Learning courses. These courses allowed me to work with community partners and apply what I was learning in class to a real-life setting. [...] These courses enriched my understanding of course material while allowing me to give back to the Waterloo community, which is an experience I'm very grateful for."

Emily Weatherhead, Psychology graduate