The Community Research and Action (CRA) Doctoral Program provides high-quality graduate students with the expertise necessary for academic, practitioner, or policy-related careers as public scholars prepared to address critical local and global issues. Alumni from our program value the integration of diverse theories and research methods necessary for effective collaboration with communities and other scholars in the pursuit of social change.

Applicants entering the doctoral program must have already earned a master's degree, typically coming from such diverse fields as counseling, human development, psychology, public administration, social work, sociology, political science, student affairs, education, or another related social science discipline or profession.

Prior to applying, it is important that you make sure our program is a good fit. Please make sure you:

  1. Meet with the program director either in-person or virtually to discuss your research interests, and whether you plan to take the program on a part-time or full-time basis.
  2. Use tools such as Google Scholar to find out more about current research underway by CCPA faculty members.
  3. Meet with several CCPA faculty members to discuss their research interests and to share your interests.

Learn more about our eligibility guidelines and the application process below, and reach out to us with any questions.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible to apply, you must provide a complete set of undergraduate and graduate transcripts showing one of the following:

  • You have an earned bachelor's degree and master's degree (or their equivalents) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university; or
  • You are within one academic year of earning a master's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university; or
  • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University.

Your transcripts should demonstrate that you have earned:

  • At least a 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career, and/or
  • At least a 3.0 GPA in a graduate program, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail").

 FYI — In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, the program director and Doctoral Program Committee evaluates international transcripts individually to determine whether they demonstrate meeting one of the above requirements.

Ready to apply? Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate level coursework.
  2. A recently updated Curriculum vitae or résumé.
  3. A written statement of approximately 2-3 (single-spaced) pages that describes:

(a) the applicant's training and professional background as well as interest in issues facing communities;

(b) research interests and associated relationships(s) to social justice, health and well-being, human rights, public service, social welfare and/or community transformation;

(c) career goals (academic, research or policy-related) associated with pursuing a research degree; and

(d) names of several (2-3) faculty members in the College of Community and Public Affairs whose scholarly interests align with yours (make sure to describe how as this helps to identify whether you are a match for our program).

  1. Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic background and record that address potential for advanced graduate study.
  2. If an international student, proof of English proficiency and immigration and financial documentation. See the Graduate School website for updated information.

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend you contact the program director with questions about program-specific requirements.

Class Profile

Total Enrollment: 42
International / Non-Citizen Enrollment: 19%


Degree Fall Spring
Community Research and Action January 15 (Funding) / March 15 N/A


  • Applications received by January 15 will be given full consideration for admission and funding for the following fall. Applications received after this date will be given equal consideration, but support can only be given to the extent funds are available.
  • Applications received after May 1 will be moved to the next application cycle. 


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