Vanderbilt University - Doctorate

Department of Human & Organizational Development

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Community Research and Action Program

Degrees: Doctorate

Program Concentrations 

  • Community Development, Environment & Urbanization 
  • Education & Youth Development
  • Community Health

Program Website:

At A Glance

Full-time Faculty: 18

Full-time Faculty Identifying as Community Psychologists: 7

# of Students Admitted Each Year: 10

Available Student Assistantships: All admitted students are given research and teaching assistantships for full tuition and stipend plus additional scholarship awards and supports for 5 years.

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The Program

We are a unique program in our interdisciplinary/social ecological mix, size [18 full-time core faculty, including 7 community psychologists for about 25-30 PhD students], and strengths in research (including advanced qualitative, quantitative, critical, and participatory methods training), teaching, and field experience. Most faculty and students focus on U.S. communities, but we also have several with significant international interests and experience. Our program has been ranked #2 among all human development-related programs in the U.S. and our College (Peabody) has been ranked the #1 graduate school of education more years than any other over the past 15 years.

Program Alumni Information

The program focuses on training researchers and practitioners. Graduates from the program are typically employed in government, education, healthcare, consulting and/or the nonprofit sector.

Community Psychology Faculty and Research Interests

Community Research and Action core faculty have degrees in psychology, sociology, geography, anthropology, health policy, human development & family studies, human resource development, counselor education, leadership & policy studies, and community research & action. The central concern of the program is the relationship between social systems and individual well being in the community context.

Our main research foci include:

  • Social Justice and Diversity 
  • Community Organizing and Development
  • Prevention, Education and Human Development 
  • Community Health
  • Urban, Environmental, Housing and Homelessness Policy