Students in our program are guided to conceptualize their research topics across multiple levels of analysis (individual, organizational, community and societal), emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary approaches for community inquiry. Within this work, our students are encouraged to focus on issues of race, class, sexuality, faith tradition, ethnicity, gender and physical ableness.
Another unique emphasis within our program is training in community-based research methods like social network analysis, critical ethnography and youth-led participatory action research that incorporates contextual information and allows for exploring complex processes among individuals, the organizations serving them, as well as the communities and societies in which they are embedded.
Our courses emphasize the importance of academics as public scholars working in collaboration with communities as we seek understanding and solutions.
Integrated theories and methods
Our doctoral program focuses on training in three primary areas: (1) community theory and research methods; (2) critical theories and social justice; and (3) linking research and policy for social change. Each of these areas integrates theories and/or methods across disciplines to create more holistic understandings of complex issues. Across our curriculum, we emphasize the importance of academics as public scholars working in collaboration with communities as we seek understanding and solutions.
Faculty and community engagement
Students are encouraged to collaborate with faculty to develop research studies that advance individual, organizational, and/or community health and wellness, build empowerment and seek social justice.
Working alongside faculty in schools and communities, as well as on college campuses, students in our program are researching issues such as local food insecurity, community collaboration with public schools and gender-based violence on college campuses.
Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs (i.e., internships or clinical courses/placements) and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. Students who have concerns about such matters are advised to contact the PhD Director.