Critical Psychology and Human Services (MA)

Signature Courses
Concepts in Critical Psychology
Critical Theoretical and Historical Foundations of Psychology
Liberation Psychology
Peace Psychology

Critical Psychology is a rapidly growing field incorporating critical theory, psychology, and social justice. Critical Psychology aims to examine the historical, political, economic, and cultural underpinnings of mainstream psychology as well as its role in issues such as power and oppression. Critical lenses are also employed in understanding the relationships between social issues, such as inequalities, and wellbeing. Finally, Critical Psychology goes beyond critique to generate possibilities for progressive psychologies which emphasize social justice, liberation, and equality in the aim of facilitating the wellbeing of individuals, communities, and societies.

The M.A. in Critical Psychology and Human Services is ideal for students interested in social justice, social issues, mental health, and social service/non-profit work and provides a pathway for compassionate and passionate individuals that have a desire to serve others in their communities and are prepared for deep critical inquiry.

The program will offer two tracks for students to choose from. The Professional Track will focus on providing theoretical knowledge and professional skills for students who wish to pursue work in human services (nonprofits, social service agencies, educational entities, psycho-educational consulting, advocacy work, etc.) and who do not seek a program for state-regulated therapy licensure. The Research/Doctoral Track will focus on providing theoretical knowledge and research skills for students seeking to pursue careers in qualitative research and/or doctoral work in Critical Psychology, Community Psychology, and other related areas.


  • Assess the critical psychological approach to understanding human wellbeing and struggle and facilitating wellbeing and the differences between critical and mainstream psychological approaches.
  • Analyze human wellbeing (on individuals, community, and societal levels) based on the theory and practice of critical psychology.
  • Evaluate the impact of systemic and macro-level factors, including economic, political, and social factors, on individual, community, and societal wellbeing.
  • Implement processes to engage community stakeholders in analysis, research, evaluation, and action toward the facilitation of wellbeing and empowerment of community members.
  • Create action plans to facilitate wellbeing at the individual, community, and societal levels.
  • Apply professional skills relevant to work in human and social service fields.


  • Instructor/Lecturer in Psychology/Human Services
  • Non-Profit Program Director
  • Program Development Associate/Director
  • Human/Social/Family Services Worker/Director
  • Case Manager
  • Grant Writer
  • Community Engagement Manager/Coordinator
  • Non-Profit Consultant


  • Autobiographical essay
  • Completed application
  • Current resume
  • List of 2-4 academic and/or professional references
  • Official transcripts
Your Faculty

Ellen Abell

Instruction|Faculty / Director, BA in Psychology and Human Development


Anita Fernandez

Instruction|Faculty / Director, SJCO and Tucson Center