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Which degree(s) do you need to pursue a career in community psychology?

August 28, 2018

Categories: Blog

Published: August 28, 2018

The field of community psychology is gaining popularity. But how do you become a community psychologist? We explain the process from undergrad to licensure.

Community psychology is quickly becoming one of the most dynamic branches of psychology today. This discipline focuses on how people affect and are affected by their environments. More than other types of psychology, community psychology is focused on the big picture. By focusing on the social system at large, those with a degree in community psychology have access to a broad range of career options.

But what degrees or licenses do you need to pursue a career in community psychology? The educational trajectory of someone who wishes to become a community psychologist is outlined here.


Step 1: Bachelor’s Degree

Like any psychology professional, community psychologists must start with their bachelor’s degree. Many psychology programs may be suitable to prepare you for the next step toward becoming a community psychologist, but some programs are more focused than others.

Receiving an education specifically tailored to community psychology can provide students with a strong foundation in the field. Yet very few colleges offer a bachelor’s degree in community psychology. Pacific Oaks College offers in-person and online programs specifically for community psychology to help students develop their skills and graduate with a firm understanding of the discipline.

Whether or not a student pursues a master’s or doctoral education afterward, a bachelor’s degree in community psychology from Pacific Oaks can prepare them for a career in education, government, or community development.  It can also empower students to become social workers, digital marketers, counselors, and more.


Step 2: Graduate-level Degree

While a degree in community psychology certainly provides access to an array of related careers, those looking to become a community psychologist are encouraged to further their education by enrolling in a graduate-level degree program.

It’s most common for community psychologists to pursue their Doctorate. Prior to earning a Ph.D. or Psy.D., students may or may not receive a master’s degree in community psychology. Doctoral programs for community psychology generally include internships and include research that provides students with field experience. Through this experience, students can confidently enter a career as a clinical community psychologist.


Step 3: Licensure

To practice as a clinical community psychologist with a doctorate degree, state licensure is required. If you pursue a career in a related field, licensure may not be required. In addition, licensure is not usually required to conduct research as a community psychologist.

Clinical community psychologists must receive a doctorate that has been APA approved. Studying at an accredited university can help ensure graduates are well prepared to pass state licensure exams.


Following these steps, you can feel confident when pursuing a career in community psychology. For more information on this dynamic career path, or to learn more about Pacific Oaks’ degree in community psychology, visit our program page. You can also fill out the information below to request more information.


Categories: Blog

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