Curriculum Requirements

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21 Credits Required

EPS 622 Community Well-being and Change: Theory and Practice
This course is designed to promote an understanding of the factors associated with healthy communities. It provides a comprehensive overview of the relevant skills and theories including ecological/systems theory/models; community theories (sense of community, social capital, environmental psychology); and critical social theory, social justice, and social determinants of well-being.

EPS 623 Development & Change in Community Organizations: Theory & Practice
This course is designed to promote an understanding of the factors associated with effective community organizations. It provides a history of organizations in the human services, the non-profit sector, faith-based organizations, and community agencies. Additional topics include the development and process of groups and teams; community organizational vision and mission development; and community organizational systems and structures.

EPS 624 Essentials of Research in Social and Behavioral Sciences
The study of the standards, methods and techniques of research in the behavioral and social sciences. Brief orientation to quantitative and qualitative procedures used in the analysis and interpretation of research data are emphasized. Students will gain an understanding of applied social science research design and methods approaches consistent with the values and principles associated with conducting effective research in community-based, organizational and policy settings.

EPS 625 Program Evaluation
Documenting the Impact of Human Services – This course will provide students with a foundation of knowledge and skills on planning and designing an evaluation of a community/human service program. Students will gain basic understanding of evaluation methods, how to develop a logic model in program evaluation, how program evaluation is used in program planning and implementation and will be exposed to a variety of case studies and illustrations from small scale to large scale evaluations.

EPS 626 Multicultural Communities in a Globalized Society
This course examines the relationships between diversity, globalization, and community well-being. Topics include the dimensions of human diversity, liberation and oppression; identities and acculturation; immigration and adaptation; gender and power; ableism; children and youth; social inclusion; health disparities; poverty; racism; colonization; inequality; globalization and global dimensions of well-being.

EPS 628 Social Change Praxis
This course examines the meaning of social change and the nature of power, examine past and present social movements, and learn about the methods groups have used to build community and deploy collective power in their efforts to change minds, systems, institutions, policies, communities, and nations. Students will learn critical theories of power, collaboration, systems, and social mobilization, and look at real-life cases to see how theory can be applied in practice. In addition to reflecting on values and assumptions as agents of change, students will develop skills for facilitating engaging discussions, recruiting and motivating community members, developing a shared social analysis, mobilizing resources, and building coalitions for social change.

EPS 629 Practicum Seminar (Practicum Seminar and Field Experien
This course is a combination of self-directed and guided elements aiming to build your skills as a reflective, theory and science-based practitioner. To this end, the course provides in-depth exploration and application of core readings and theories in community and social change. The purpose of this course is to apply these core concepts to your practicum and provide a space for critical reflection on your practicum experience (student placement in an organization or a foreign culture). Thus, the course includes both didactic and practicum elements throughout the semester. The didactic aspect focuses on intervention theory and method from a community psychology perspective; the student placement represents a structured opportunity to learn about intervention theory as applied to a particular setting.

Practicum Field Experience:

  • Involve 120 hours in a community placement for a period of one year, supported by in-class meetings during a core course: Seminar in Community & Social Change.
  • Provide opportunities to integrate theory, research, practice, and ethics.
  • Provide opportunities to build skills and practical knowledge for social change.
  • Culminate with a final paper/project and poster presentation.

9 Credits Required

Elective courses allow for deeper specialization in a student’s area of interest. Depending on a students’ place of residence, they may choose to take additional courses within the School of Education and in other Schools and Colleges at UM, or students can find relevant elective courses at other accredited institutions. Students may take up to 6 credits of approved courses at other institutions subject to their advisor’s approval.

Students may look across the University of Miami graduate programs and courses to develop an “Individualized Cognate”. In consultation with their advisor, students may design an interdisciplinary concentration with specific elective courses that match their interests and needs. Some current options for cognate areas of study at UM and partner institutions include:

  • Public Administration (Department of Political Science)
  • Graduate Business Certificate Program (School of Business Administration)
  • Measurement and Evaluation (Department of Educational & Psychological Studies)
  • Counseling and Therapy (Department of Educational & Psychological Studies)
  • Latino Mental Health Counseling (Department of Educational & Psychological Studies)
  • Higher Education (Department of Educational & Psychological Studies)
  • Early Childhood Studies (University of Florida, College of Education)
  • Public Health (School of Medicine)
  • Communication & Social Change (School of Communication)

The purpose of the capstone requirement is to provide a culminating experience that synthesizes student learning and allows students to demonstrate mastery in the field. In consultation with faculty advisors, students choose ONE capstone from among the two options:

  • Independent Community-based Project – Students and/or faculty advisors with an established working relationship with existing community organizations may opt to have students develop and conduct an independent community-based project that is conceived and carried out in collaboration with the organization to fulfill or satisfy an existing need. The timeline will vary based on the details of the project with a deadline for completion by the final weeks in the spring term of the student’s final year. In addition to completing the project the student will complete a detailed report that explicitly characterizes the project processes and outcomes in relation to the theories and methods of community psychology. The report will be read and graded by the student’s advisor and a program faculty ‘second reader’ selected for expertise in the project domain. Examples of potential independent projects may include formal program evaluation conducted for a school or community, comprehensive needs assessment and consultation report for a community or educational organization, or a small scale or feasibility-stage program prevention or intervention design and implementation. If the project or report is deemed insufficient for passing, the student may petition the department for one academic term allowance to correct, adapt, or revise the project and/or report.
  • Master’s Thesis – In some cases, students may wish to complete a master’s empirical or theoretical thesis. Students who have a strong desire to complete a thesis project should consider if they have an existing community project that offers an opportunity for data collection and analysis; if they have a compelling reason for wanting to complete a master’s thesis (e.g. interest in a Ph.D. program); and, if they will be able to gain the support of a core faculty member in the program. A thesis capstone is much more intensive compared to the other options and will require amendments to the traditional program course sequence.