Program Description

A Critical Perspective on Human-Environment Relationships

Our work, broadly defined, addresses the relationships between people and place. This includes the social, cultural, psychological and political issues involved in the production, use, design, and occupation of space, place, and nature.

Environmental Psychology is a research-based interdisciplinary doctoral program at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. We are housed in the psychology program but our program has a broader perspective on the field of Environmental Psychology, which is also referred to as Environmental Social Science.

The field draws on work from a number of disciplines including anthropology, geography, sociology, psychology, history, political science, planning, architecture, urban studies, and design. Our research concerns are largely urban and generally involve field studies that take advantage of the many opportunities available in the New York City area. Our work focuses on the serious problems associated with the urban environment with a view towards affecting public policy.

Our faculty and students use various research methods to investigate their research interests and answer questions about their surrounding world. Public space, children’s environments, housing and homelessness, participatory design and evaluation, political participation, sustainable lifestyles and development are among the interests of our faculty and students.

Mission Statement

Our research and pedagogy have evolved in important and distinctive ways since the Environmental Psychology program was established. Bringing together the knowledge we were gaining about the intertwining of social and environmental problems we developed a wide repertoire of quantitative and qualitative methods and a distinctive commitment to participatory action research. Critical visual methods and mapping became core to our endeavors. We emphasize critical and contextually grounded theory at both the psychological and social level.

Similar developments in critical social/personality psychology have recently led us to find ways to collaborate deeply as we move into a greater sharing of courses, colloquia, and other programmatic activities. At the same time, we also share commitments to fully embracing the spatiality and materiality of social and psychological life with the program in human geography at the Graduate Center. Our work extends beyond the walls of academia. We work in partnership with community based, national and international organizations concerned with the developing a more just and socially and materially sustainable world. Together we form a vibrant community of social inquiry aimed at furthering useful knowledge, an inclusive democratic society, and a more sustainable environment.

Contact + Visit

We invite you to write to us, visit our program, and connect with students and faculty about your interests. Prospective students are always welcome to visit the program, sit in on classes, and talk with professors and students. We have weekly program meetings during the lunch hour, where program members or guests will speak about …

Course of Study

THE STUDY OF PEOPLE AND PLACE. The Environmental Psychology Program provides a range of learning experiences, combining theory, research and application. The curriculum is structured, yet flexible, balancing required coursework, elective seminars, working groups, independent studies, research, and practicum experiences. Although most students take a full program of courses, we’ve also instituted a flexible plan …

Degree Requirements

STEP-BY-STEP: THE MAJOR BENCHMARKS There are a few basic requirements which are outlined below, but please see the Program Handbook for further information. 60 Course Credits – Coursework includes 10 required and 10 elective courses. 1st Doctoral Examination – The first-year examination is a twenty-four hour long intensive exam comprised of four questions that span …

Environmental Psychology Program Handbook (ed. 2018)

Environmental Psychology Ph.D. Program Handbook (ed. 2014 Revised, Spring, 2018; additional revisions expected with new configuration of Critical Social and Environmental Psychology.) The Environmental Psychology Program Handbook is the essential guide to the program, approved by the program’s executive committee. To view or download a PDF click here: Environmental Psychology Handbook. OVERVIEW Section 1: Admitted …

Program By-laws

GC CUNY ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY Ph.D. SUBPROGRAM BY-LAWS ADOPTED by the Executive Committee 2010 December 1st 1. The ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY SUBPROGRAM is an interdisciplinary doctorate program governed by the rules of the Psychology Council of the Ph.D. Program in Psychology through the Psychology Executive Officer within the governance structure of the Graduate Center, The City University …

Prospective Students

We Welcome Your Application Ph.D. study requires a major commitment of time and resources and includes field research leading to a dissertation. Typically it takes six to seven years to complete. Prospective students are always welcome to visit the program, sit in on classes, and talk with professors and students to find out if you …

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 Supported by the CUNY Doctoral Students Council.