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University of New Haven

Program in Community Psychology

West Haven, CT


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University of New Haven


Graduate Community Psychology Programs at a Top University for Career Services

The University of New Haven is a small private, secular school established in 1920 in West Haven, Connecticut. Today, the university has four campuses in Connecticut as well as one in Italy. It has been named one of US News & World Report's "Best Regional Universities – North" and one of The Princeton Review's "Best 382 Colleges" and "Best Northeastern Colleges." The Princeton Review has also named the University of New Haven to its top 20 US colleges for "Best Career Services." The main campus is accessible by rail to Boston and New York City.

A Well-Established Graduate Program in Community Psychology

The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Haven offers a Master of Arts degree program in Community Psychology. The program, developed over four decades, offers three areas of concentration: program development, forensic psychology, and community-clinical services. These programs are designed to help mental health and human services professionals develop the knowledge and experience they need to build and run service programs, work with criminal offenders and law enforcement agencies, and help communities and individuals cope with mental health challenges.

The MA in Community Psychology requires students to complete 45 credits, including 24 core-curriculum credits, 12 concentration credits, and 9 elective credits. Core coursework includes

  • Survey of Community Psychology
  • Psychometrics and Statistics
  • Research Methods
  • Program Evaluation
  • Consultation Seminar
  • Consultation Fieldwork
  • Individual or Systems Intervention Seminar
  • Individual or Systems Intervention Fieldwork

Together, the core courses give students in the program a thorough grounding in the history and current state of community psychology theories and best practices, tools for researching and evaluating methodologies, and practical experience with consultation and intervention. Upon graduation, students will have 45 of the 60 credits needed for professional licensure as counselors.

The MA in Community Psychology with a Concentration in Community-Clinical Services

This concentration is recommended for students who work or plan to work in clinical, mental health, and related human-service settings. Students must complete four of the following six classes for this concentration:

  • Life Span Developmental Psychology, which covers normal and abnormal development as well as the influences of factors like family, community, and education as well as age, gender, race, social class, and more.
  • The Interview, which uses role-playing and other learning methods to help students improve their skills at gathering client information, diagnosing issues, and finding solutions with
  • Introduction to Psychotherapy and Counseling, which delves into theory, research, and best practices.
  • Group Counseling, which covers the broad goals, ethics, and practices of group therapy as well as the finer points of managing group dynamics and taking diverse experiences into account.
  • Family Therapy, which focuses on the skills and communication patterns that are specific to effective family therapy.
  • Abnormal Psychology, which covers a range of abnormal development pathways, mental health issues, and personality disorders.

The goal is for students who complete this concentration to refine their skill at working with individuals.

The MA in Community Psychology with a Concentration in Program Development

This concentration prepares students for careers that emphasize the administration of both traditional and non-traditional programs and services and addresses planning, development, and evaluation of innovative approaches to treatment and prevention in the public and private human service sectors as well as in business and industry. These four courses are required for this concentration:

  • Organizational Behavior, which covers theories of group behavior related to its structure and processes, predicting behavior within group frameworks, fostering positive behavior, and managing conflict.
  • The Interview, which helps students develop their information gathering and interpersonal relationship gathering skills.
  • Public Policy Formation and Implementation, which explores the ways in which program administrators can connect with other change agents to pursue policy change.
  • History and Development of Health Care Institutions, which gives students background and perspective on the current system of care.

Students also complete practical work in a community care setting or service organization.

The MA in Community Psychology with a Concentration in Forensic Psychology

The concentration in Forensic Psychology includes both psychology and criminal justice department coursework and prepares students for careers in the management and care of offenders in forensic settings. The four required courses for the concentration are:

  • Mental Health Law, which covers criminal and civil statues, professional responsibility and ethics, and other elements of the intersection between mental health and the legal system.
  • Abnormal Psychology in Forensic Populations, which builds on previous abnormal psychology coursework to focus on behaviors that are predatory, violent, and psychopathic.
  • Forensic Assessment, which covers evaluation and treatment approaches for offenders, along with risk and potential violence assessment tools.
  • Forensic Treatment Models, which covers methods such as medication, therapy, life skills development, and high-risk population management.

This concentration is designed to meet the career development needs of working law enforcement, legal system, and community service professionals, as well as students who intend to work with inmate populations.

Faculty with Deep Experience in Community Psychology

Associate Professor Melissa L. Whitson directs the master's degree program in community psychology at the University of New Haven. Dr. Whitson's background includes a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Columbia University, a Yale postdoctoral fellowship in community psychology, and research on the effects of trauma on children and their families.

Other faculty in the community psychology program include Kendell L. Corker, PhD, JD, who is the faculty chief researcher at the university's Tow Youth Justice Institute; Alexandria Guzman, PhD, whose research focuses on human cognition, reading, and educational processes; and Stuart Sidle, PhD, whose academic focus includes organizational management and leadership.

Fieldwork Opportunities and Career Support in Community Psychology

Graduate students in the community psychology program work with local organizations and community groups to practice their assessment, intervention, counseling, and related skills. They also have access to the university's top-rated Career Development Center, which offers internship location help, interview practice, and other services. Program graduates have gone on to pursue work in public defense, risk-mitigation services, shelter and supportive housing programs, and mentorship programs.

Financial Aid Options for Graduate Students

The University of New Haven offers a number of merit-based assistantships for full-time graduate students to defray the cost of tuition and provide an earned wage. These include the Provost's Assistantship, which offsets 75% of tuition expenses and provides 15 to 20 hours per week of research or teaching experience, and the Dean's Scholarship, which covers up to half of the recipients' tuition.

A Working and Accomplished Faculty

The UNH community psychology faculty has varied experience as practicing community and clinical psychologists in public and private sectors, as well as a broad range of teaching and research interests. For example, Michael Morris, Ph.D., director of the community psychology program, also consults part-time with several human-service, non-profit, and public-sector organizations, specializing in organizational development and the enhancement of collaborative relationships among organizations.

Financial Assistance Available

The campus Center for Graduate and Adult Student Services offers assistance for admissions, course registration, and financial aid for University of New Haven students. In addition, the center helps students secure placement in graduate assistantship positions, which pay 50 percent tuition plus an hourly stipend for up to 20 hours per week.

Convenient Suburban Location Close to New Haven

The university is situated on a hill overlooking Long Island Sound, within minutes -- less than 2 miles -- of Atlantic Ocean beaches. UNH offers shuttle service to downtown New Haven with its many cultural, recreational, shopping, and entertainment opportunities, as well as transportation to bus and train stations for easy access to Boston and New York.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Arts (MA) Community clinical services
Master of Arts (MA) Forensic psychology
Master of Arts (MA) Program development
(Graduate Certificate) Applications of psychology
Master of Arts (MA) Community psychology

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 26

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
Distance learning programs available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Thesis Alternate accepted


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?
Applications processed
on a rolling basis?

Entrance Requirements

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards May 1
Types of financial support available Research Assistantships
Teaching Assistantships
Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)
Out-of-state students


Hispanic/Latino 8.11%
Black or African American 18.92%
White or Caucasian 59%
American Indian or Alaska Native 2.7%
Asian Not Reported
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races 2.7%
Unknown 8.11%


Male (5%)
Female (94%)

Location & Contact

Address 300 Boston Post Road
West Haven, CT  06516
United States
Contact Dr. Michael Morris
Phone: 203-932-7289