The program in Community Well-Being trains community-engaged action-researchers committed to promoting social justice through rigorous theoretical analysis and community-based research. The program is grounded in the discipline of community psychology and focuses on community-engaged scholarship that involves the researcher in a mutually beneficial partnership with the community. The program prepares scholars for careers in academia, research, and public policy.

Admission Requirements

Admission to all graduate-degree concentrations in the School of Education and Human Development is based on the recommendation of the faculty. Admissions decisions are based on faculty review of the following general requirements that apply to all Graduate Programs in the School as well as specific documents listed under each concentration.

Applicants must:

  • provide official transcripts showing completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and an acceptable undergraduate grade point average. A minimum of 3.0 undergraduate GPA is required. Official transcripts from every institution attended by an applicant, whether or not the applicant completed a degree program at the institution, are required;
  • provide three letters of recommendation that address the issues and meet the criteria established by the program being applied to;
  • provide a personal statement that addresses the mission and purpose of the program being applied to;
  • resume;
  • submit a writing sample of at least ten pages;
  • take part in an admissions interview (required by some programs); 
  • exhibit personal and professional experiences and characteristics that are relevant to the profession and/or field and/or degree program for which the application is being submitted; and
  • International applicants whose native language is not English or applicants whose degrees are from a non-U.S. University must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS).

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

In addition to the factors listed as general requirements for all applications to the SEHD’s graduate programs, consideration for admission to the Ph.D. program will include the following:

  • letters of recommendation should address the applicant’s academic potential;
  • available student space in the program;

International Applications

All international applications must provide additional information and meet additional requirements as required by the UM Graduate School and the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. For an appropriate link to these requirements, please visit the Graduate School website.

Admission Decision

Once an applicant has been admitted to graduate study, that individual should meet with the faculty advisor who was appointed to serve in that capacity and whose name appears in the admissions letter. This advisor will help the student enroll in courses that are appropriate to the program; to develop and to refine a Program of Study that must be on file in the Office of Graduate Studies by the end of the first academic year of enrollment.

Honor Code/Handbook of Policies and Procedures

The School of Education and Human Development follows the Graduate School’s Honor Code. All students are required to review the Graduate Student Honor Code and the School of Education and Human Development’s Handbook of Policies and Procedures for Graduate Students and submit the signed Acknowledgement of Receipt located on page 3 by the end of their first semester of enrollment.

Curriculum Requirements

Foundational Courses
EPS 622Community Well-being and Change: Theory and Practice3
EPS 623Development and Change in Community Organizations: Theory and Practice3
EPS 624Essentials of Research in Social and Behavioral Sciences3
EPS 625Program Evaluation3
EPS 626Multicultural Communities in a Globalized Society3
EPS 628Social Change Praxis3
EPS 629Seminar in Community and Social Change3
EPS 700Quantitative Methods I3
Electives 1
EPS-600, 700 or 800 level courses6
Core Courses
EPS 725Seminar in Community Well-Being6
EPS 731Theories of Community Research and Action3
EPS 732Community Based Participatory Action Research3
SOC 601Classical Sociological Theory3
Research Competencies
EPS 701Introduction to Research Methods3
EPS 702Quantitative Methods II3
or EPS 703 Applied Multivariate Statistics
EPS 708An Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling for Multivariable Data3
EPS 714Qualitative Methods I3
EPS 715Qualitative Methods II: Case Studies and Grounded Theory3
EPS 830Pre-Candidacy Dissertation Research6
EPS 840Post-Candidacy Dissertation Research6
Total Credit Hours72

See Graduate Program Director for assistance.

Sample Plan of Study

This is a sample Plan of Study. Your actual course sequence may vary depending on your previous academic experience as well as current course offerings. Students should meet with their academic advisor each semester to determine the appropriate course selection.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
EPS 622 Community Well-being and Change: Theory and Practice 3
EPS 623 Development and Change in Community Organizations: Theory and Practice 3
EPS 624 Essentials of Research in Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
 Credit Hours9
EPS 625 Program Evaluation 3
EPS 626 Multicultural Communities in a Globalized Society 3
 Credit Hours9
EPS 628 Social Change Praxis 3
EPS 700 Quantitative Methods I 3
 Credit Hours6
Year Two
EPS 701 Introduction to Research Methods 3
EPS 702 Quantitative Methods II 3
EPS 725 Seminar in Community Well-Being 1
EPS 731 Theories of Community Research and Action 3
 Credit Hours10
EPS 703 Applied Multivariate Statistics 3
EPS 725 Seminar in Community Well-Being 2
EPS 830 Pre-Candidacy Dissertation Research 3
 Credit Hours8
EPS 629 Seminar in Community and Social Change 3
 Credit Hours6
Year Three
EPS 714 Qualitative Methods I 3
EPS 725 Seminar in Community Well-Being 2
EPS 830 Pre-Candidacy Dissertation Research 1
SOC 601 Classical Sociological Theory 3
 Credit Hours9
EPS 715 Qualitative Methods II: Case Studies and Grounded Theory 3
EPS 725 Seminar in Community Well-Being 1
EPS 732 Community Based Participatory Action Research 3
EPS 830 Pre-Candidacy Dissertation Research 1
 Credit Hours8
Year Four
EPS 830 Pre-Candidacy Dissertation Research 1
 Credit Hours1
EPS 840 Post-Candidacy Dissertation Research 2
 Credit Hours2
Year Five
EPS 840 Post-Candidacy Dissertation Research 2
 Credit Hours2
EPS 840 Post-Candidacy Dissertation Research 2
 Credit Hours2
 Total Credit Hours72


The mission of the program is to produce community-engaged scholars who promote individual, relational, and collective well-being through community-based research and action.


Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate a breadth of knowledge and understanding of the main perspectives, theoretical approaches, and meta-competences in community psychology.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills with research designs and methods used in community research.
  • Students will demonstrate a deep understanding and mastery of ONE SPECIFIC AREA OF FOCUS that contributes to scholarship and generates new knowledge relevant to community psychology and community well-being.