Health Promotion in Underserved Communities


Participants taking a yoga class


The Department of Psychology’s summer institute on Health Promotion in Underserved Communities presents students with an opportunity to examine the role of psychological and behavioral factors in health promotion and disease prevention. The institute will simultaneously examine the critical associations of cultural, racial, ethnic and other diversity factors with psychological and behavioral health outcomes.

The institute is designed especially for students who are interested in pursuing graduate study in clinical, health or social psychology or are preparing for careers in public health, medicine or allied health professions. All courses count toward appropriate major and CCAS requirements.


Program Overview

  • May 17–July 24, 2021
  • Up to 13 credits
  • Deadline: Apply by May 15



This institute is open to current and visiting GW undergraduate students, particularly those with an interest in clinical and social psychology, medicine, public health and health policy. Post-baccalaureate students who are pursuing graduate programs in psychology may also be interested in this program.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, continuing until all slots are filled; therefore early applications receive priority consideration.



  • PSYC 3126: Multicultural Psychology (3 credits)
  • PSYC 3128: Health Psychology (3 credits)
  • PSYC 4202W: Research Lab in Applied Social Psychology: Topics in Health Psychology (4 credits)
  • PSYC 3592: Field Internship (3 credits)

PSYC 3592: Field Internship involves applied field experience in a facility or organization related to the institute's focus. 

PSYC 4591: Independent Research may be used as an alternative to PSYC 3592 Field Internship if appropriate opportunities are available. PSYC 4591 involves research related to the institute's focus supervised by a PBS faculty member, by arrangement with the faculty member and institute director.

Prerequisites are PSYC 1001 (General Psychology) and PSYC 2101 (Research Methods) or the equivalent.

Note:  Students can take the full 13-hour package or, if they have already had one of the offerings, participate in the Institute by taking 3 of the 4 courses or making a substitution.

Contact the director for questions about coursework or prerequisites.



Tuition for this institute is $14,153.75* (13 credits), which reflects a 35% discount rate. There will also be a $3.00 per credit hour Student Association Fee.

*Tuition amounts are estimates, based upon 2020 tuition; please check back in spring for final 2021 costs.

Financial aid may be available through certain non-federal student loans. This discounted program may be especially beneficial for students who wish to reduce their overall tuition costs, graduate a semester early and/or take a semester abroad.


Meet the Program Director

Dr. Stephen Forssell is the director of this 17th annual offering of the institute; Sarah Shomstein, the chair of the department, serves as co-director.