1997-98 UAF Catalog

Degrees and Programs

Course Description Index

Community Psychology

College of Liberal Arts
Department of Psychology
(907) 474-7240

Degree: M.A.

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 48 credits

The M.A. program in community psychology seeks to train graduate level practitioners in mental health and community development who can work sensitively and effectively in cross-cultural community contexts, and particularly in Native settings in rural areas and urban settings with multicultural populations. The program attempts to meet the demand for trained mental health professionals in rural Alaska.

Graduates have also become employed in settings in rural America and internationally. Of particular interest to the program is to prepare individuals who are interested in strengthening a sense of community and promoting the assets of communities as resources for primary prevention. The objectives of the program are:

  1. To train masters level psychologists for rural and cross-cultural settings.
  2. To place masters level psychologists in human and social service agencies in Alaska and in both rural and semi-urban areas with large cross-cultural and rural populations.
  3. To provide in-service and continuing education opportunities for mental health professionals with a special emphasis on rural and cross-cultural issues.

The program prepares generalists who are capable of doing individual counseling, designing and evaluating community based interventions, facilitating social change, and who understand assessment and diagnosis. Students are expected to become cross-culturally competent in those areas critical for a rural, community psychologist. The program is practice oriented and seeks to educate reflective practitioners who can integrate theory and practice and have the requisite research skills to facilitate change at the individual and community level. The program considers prevention to be a major responsibility of the rural practitioner. Prevention and treatment are seen as inseparable tasks for the rural provider as they work to build intact communities capable of meeting human needs and enhancing the strengths and competencies of their members.

Core courses cover the content areas of counseling, prevention, assessment, and research. Students build their graduate study plan with electives available both in the psychology department and other department in the university. A full-time or part-time internship is required of all students as well as a thesis. All courses present a cross-cultural perspective.

Graduate Degree Requirements

Community Psychology -- M.A. Degree

Admission Requirements
Students are accepted in the spring for the fall semester. Applications are due by March 1. Notification of admission will occur prior to the end of the spring semester. The program will accept a maximum of 10-12 students per year, with the option to accept less given limited resources. Requirements:

  1. Completion of the baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in counseling, psychology, sociology, social work, human services, education or related helping professions. A minimum grade point average of 3.25 and/or evidence of personal and professional suitability for community psychology work and interest in rural practice will be sought. In part, this will be inferred from the participant's academic and employment history and an interview when possible.
  2. Three letters of reference will be required endorsing the applicant's admission to the community psychology program.
  3. Scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) normally exceed the 50th percentile.
  4. Persons who have a nonsocial science background may be accepted but must complete the necessary undergraduate prerequisites as delineated by their advisor prior to advancement to candidacy. These include Abnormal Psychology, Social or Community Psychology, Research Methods, and Statistics.
  5. Part-time students will be accepted. The student must enroll in one core required course during the first semester.

Degree Requirements

  1. Complete UAF degree requirements
  2. Complete a written comprehensive exam which will occur typically in the spring of their second semester
  3. Complete a thesis, and an oral defense of the work.
  4. Complete an internship under the supervision of a qualified psychologist, mental health or human services practitioner. The internship is for either a full-time, one-semester or part-time, one-year; placements are arranged after at least 24 credits are completed.
  5. Course Requirements (48 credits):
    The program requires a 24 credit core of courses with a 0-12 credit internship, 6 credits for project or thesis, and 6 credits of additional electives to make up the 48 credit requirement for coursework. *By approval of committee, additional elective credits may be substituted for all or part of the 12 hours required for internship credit.
    Core Courses (24 credits)
    PSY 630 -- Community Psychology (3 credits)
    PSY 631 -- Community Psychology: Cross-Cultural Applications (3 credits)
    PSY 635 -- Field-based Research Methods (3 credits)
    PSY 638 -- Proseminar in Community Psychology (3 credits)
    PSY 660 -- Counseling Theories and Applications (3 credits)
    PSY 662 -- Counseling Theories and Applications II (3 credits)
    PSY 663 -- Clinical Methods & Assessment (3 credits)
    PSY 678 -- Psychological Assessment-Personality (3 credits)
    Internship (0-12 credits)
    PSY 690 -- Internship in Community Psychology 0-12
    Thesis (6 credits)
    PSY 699 -- Thesis (6 credits)
    Electives (6 credits from designated courses approved by committee as written in graduate study plan)