Skip Navigation

Graduate Catalog

Department of Psychology

(585) 395-2488

Chairperson and Professor: Robert J. Miller, PhD, The Pennsylvania State University. Professors: Stuart Appelle, PhD, George Washington University; Frederick Gravetter, PhD, Duke University. Associate Professors: David Abwender, PhD, University of Miami; Sachio Ashida, PhD, University of Nebraska; Stacy Birch, PhD, University of Illinois; Kelly Brennan-Jones, PhD, SUNY Buffalo; Lori-Ann B. Forzano, PhD, SUNY Stony Brook; Janet F. Gillespie, PhD, Southern Illinois University; William Riddell, PhD, University of Connecticut. Assistant Professors: Melissa Brown, PhD, Indiana University; Herbert C. Fink, PhD, University of Rochester; David Holtzman, PhD, SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn; Susan Shonk, PhD, University of Rochester.



Masters of Arts in Psychology

Admission Requirements
Admission will be based on scores from the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative and analytical writing), academic transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate course work, letters of recommendation, a completed application form, and a personal interview. Only matriculated students in the program are permitted to enroll in the program's required 700-level courses. Once matriculated in the program, a student may proceed on a part-time basis, as long as reasonable progress is made toward the degree. (Students must enroll for six credits or more per semester.) Applicants will be considered for fall admission only. Complete applications should be received by April 15.

Program Requirements
A minimum of 42 graduate credits is required, including 30 credits of course work and 12 credits of supervised practicum experience in a local placement. Specific requirements are:

  1. The following courses are required and each must be completed with a minimum grade of "B" (excluding the practicum, which is graded Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory). A student receiving a grade of "B-" or lower in one of these courses has one opportunity to repeat the course and earn a higher grade. A student may not repeat more than one course.
    PSH 631 Social-Personality
    PSH 634 Psychopathology
    PSH 701 Evaluation and Research Methods
    PSH 702 Intervention Skills I
    PSH 703 Intervention Skills II
    PSH 704 Assessment I
    PSH 705 Assessment II
    PSH 709/710 Practicum

  3. In addition to the courses above, nine credits of course work elected under advisement are required to complete the 42 credits. Not all 500-level courses are "approved electives" for the graduate program. Elective courses may be selected from a list approved by the Graduate Advisory Committee, or the student may petition to have a nonlisted course approved as part of his/her Plan of Study. Students wishing to conduct a master's thesis (PSH 798) may do so in lieu of six credits of the required nine credits of electives.

  4. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 ("B") is required for the 30 credits of nonpracticum course work (i.e., excluding the 12-credit practicum) required for the Master of Arts in Psychology. After completing nine or more graduate credits, matriculated graduate students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students will receive written notification of their probationary status from the Office of Graduate Studies. A student placed on academic probation is expected to consult with his/ her graduate advisor no later than the first week of the semester to discuss his/her plans to address academic deficiencies. After attempting nine credits in probationary status, the student's file will be reviewed by the Department of Psychology's Graduate Advisory Committee. If the student's cumulative GPA is 3.0 or greater at that time, he/she is automatically removed from probation. If the student does not achieve the minimum 3.0 GPA, the Graduate Advisory Committee will either:

    1. Dismiss the student from the program immediately; or
    2. Continue the student on probation for an additional six credits, with the proviso that dismissal is automatic if a minimum GPA of 3.0 is not then achieved.

    A student who has been dismissed from any graduate degree program at SUNY Brockport for academic deficiencies must wait at least one calendar year before reapplying or enrolling in any graduate course at SUNY Brockport. Readmission and acceptance of any previously earned credits will be at the discretion of the graduate program to which the student has reapplied. Graduate students can be readmitted to graduate study at SUNY Brockport a maximum of one time. Students who are readmitted must meet the requirements in effect at the time of readmission and must meet with their advisor to design a new Plan of Study.

  5. Practicum work may not begin until the 30 credits of course work have been satisfactorily completed (or 24 credits of course work for students electing to do a master's thesis).

  6. Students are required to enroll for a minimum of six credits per semester. The program requires a minimum of four semesters to complete.

Note: Applicants must demonstrate the degree of ethical conduct and responsibility appropriate for a professional service provider, along with the personal characteristics essential for effective clinical involvement. The Department of Psychology has the professional responsibility to deny admission or continuation in the program to any student whose level of performance and/or personal characteristics do not adequately meet academic or professional standards.


Psychology Courses

PSH 529 Research in Learning/Motivation. Prerequisites: A general psychology course (110 or 112) and instructor's permission; PSH 301 highly recommended. Allows students to participate in the scientific investigation of learning and motivation. Requires a faculty-supervised research experience including the development of a research proposal, collection of data and the preparation of a research report. 3 Cr.

PSH 531 Close Relationships. Prerequisites: One general psychology course (PSH 110 or 112) and instructor's permission; PSH 301 highly recommended. Investigates various approaches to the study of close relationships. Explores theories of attachment, evolutionary psychology, communications, and extant social/psychological approaches, including interdependence theory, that are useful in understanding close relationships. Examines the best means of characterizing close relationships, including the development of a single, integrative framework. 3 Cr.

PSH 532 Psychology of Social Issues. Prerequisite: One general psychology course (110 or 112). Covers psychological factors related to contemporary social issues, and evaluation of research. 3 Cr.

PSH 535 Alcohol Evaluation and Assessment. Prerequisites: One general psychology course (110 or 112) and HLS 418 or instructor's permission. Covers the theory and methodology of measurement, assessment and evaluation in alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Studies the more widely researched and utilized methods of assessment: interviews, structured tests, behavioral assessments, objective techniques, neuropsychological evaluation and clinical reports. Extensively uses clinical materials to illustrate the uses and limitations of various techniques. 3 Cr.

PSH 536 Psychology of Aging. Prerequisite: One general psychology course (110 or 112). Provides an overview of adult development, including genetics and longevity, sexual changes with age, cognitive processes and intelligence, social change, work and retirement, sex roles, moral development, mental health, and mental disorders associated with aging. 3 Cr.

PSH 537 Psychology and Jewish Studies. Examines the psychological factors related to anti-Semitism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Holocaust. 3 Cr.

PSH 539 Research in Social/Personality. Prerequisites: A general psychology course (110 or 112) and instructor's permission; PSH 302 highly recommended. Allows students to participate in the scientific investigation of social and personality psychology. Entails a faculty-supervised research experience including the development of a research proposal, collection of data and the preparation of a research report. 3 Cr.

PSH 541 Introduction to Clinical Neuropsychology. Prerequisites: A general psychology course (110 or 112) and PSH 341 or instructor's permission. Introduces human neuropsychological function and disorders. Emphasizes methods of neuropsychological investigation and the links between specific brain regions/structures and higher psychological functions. Explores disorders of emotion, motor and social behavior, speech, memory, and visual-spatial abilities associated with organic brain impairments, including Alzheimer's disease, head trauma, stroke, and other neurologic, psychiatric, and medical illnesses. 3 Cr.

PSH 542 Psychology of Eating and Drinking. Prerequisites: A general psychology course (110 or 112) and PSH 341 or instructor's permission. Provides an in-depth look at the field of eating and drinking. Draws on research from a variety of sub-disciplines within psychology, including biopsychology, learning and motivation, personality, sensation and perception, and social psychology. Includes topics such as theories and mechanisms of hunger and thirst, determinants of food preferences and choices, effects of food on behavior, eating disorders, overeating and obesity, and alcohol use and abuse. 3 Cr.

PSH 545 Psychopharmacology. Prerequisite: PSH 341 or instructor's permission. Covers the effects of psychoactive substances on the central nervous system, behavior, and mood, with emphasis on the role of neurotransmitter systems and receptor sites in the mechanism of drug actions. Includes the pharmacology of recreational drugs as well as those used in the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders. 3 Cr.

PSH 557 Creativity. Prerequisites: A general psychology course (110 or 112), and instructor's permission. Examines anecdotal biographical, observational, questionnaire and experimental evidence and theory from the arts, humanities, and science. Discusses relevance of creativity to education and to healthy personal growth; and explores possibility of training for creativity. 3 Cr.

PSH 559 Research in Perception/Cognition. Prerequisites: A general psychology course (110 or 112) and instructor's permission; PSH 301 highly recommended. Allows students to participate in the scientific investigation of perception and cognition. Entails a faculty-supervised research experience including the development of a research proposal, collection of data and the preparation of a research report. 3 Cr.

PSH 580 Principles of Assessment. Prerequisite: PSH 202 or equivalent. Explores methodological and ethical issues in assessing individuals and groups. Enables students to develop a basic understanding of assessment procedures, test design, test interpretation, and familiarity with selected intellectual academic, employment, and neuropsychological tests. 3 Cr.

PSH 582 Community Psychology. Prerequisite: PSH 336 or instructor's permission. Examines the discipline of community psychology, which deals with theory and practice in the prevention of socioemotional disorders and promotion of psychological well-being. Includes historical background of community psychology (e.g., the community mental health movement); the role of stressful life events/life transitions in adjustment; issues and programs in promotion of social competence; and social policy applications of psychology. 3 Cr.

PSH 583 Behavior Modification. Prerequisite: One general psychology course (110 or 112). Surveys behavior therapy techniques and issues. Considers research evidence for both child and adult therapy methods. 3 Cr.

PSH 584 Adolescence. Prerequisite: One general psychology course (110 or 112). Provides for the application of general principles and theories of development to the adolescent period. Includes topics such as physiological change, cognitive development, social relations, identity, and other issues of adolescence. 3 Cr. Every Semester

PSH 585 Applied Behavior Modification. Prerequisite: PSH 583 or instructor's permission. Investigates specific areas in which the basic principles and techniques of behavior modification have been successfully applied. Includes education, business and industry, institutional behavior, family living and interpersonal relationships. 3 Cr.

PSH 589 Research in Developmental Psychology. Prerequisites: A general psychology course (110 or 112) and instructor's permission; PSH 301 highly recommended. Allows students to participate in the scientific investigation of developmental psychology. Provides a faculty-supervised research experience including the development of a research proposal, collection of data and the preparation of a research report. 3 Cr.

PSH 597 Behavioral Medicine. Prerequisite: PSH 397 or instructor's permission. Explores the interdisciplinary field concerned with the development and integration of behavioral and biomedical science, knowledge, and techniques related to the understanding of health and illness and the application of this knowledge and these techniques to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. Emphasizes mind/body relationships, stress/illness relationships, biofeedback and self-regulation, pain management and the human brain as a health-care system. 3 Cr.

PSH 599 Independent Study. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Investigates theoretical and/or empirical topics in psychology. Arranged in consultation with the instructor. 1-6 Cr.

PSH 631 Advanced Personality Psychology. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Provides an in-depth account and critical evaluation of the major theoretical perspectives and current research on human personality (attachment, evolution, traits, genetics, and neurobiology). Allows students to work toward integrating these ideas into a single framework and, along the way, foster their ability to think critically and write coherently about the personality literature. 3 Cr. Spring

PSH 634 Psychopathology. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Covers theory and research in psychopathology, including the issue of continuity versus discontinuity of normal to pathological behavior. Offers a comprehensive review and critical evaluation of behavioral disorders under the DSM-IV. Examines etiological, diagnostic, and treatment/intervention considerations. 3 Cr. Fall

PSH 636 Seminar in Child Psychopathology. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Provides an empirical survey of childhood psychopathology. Explores theoretical, treatment, and research issues through lectures, readings, seminar exercises and discussions. Develops a basic understanding of historical, ethical, developmental, assessment, and treatment issues in child psychopathology; characteristics and causes of disorders; and the therapeutic efficacy of various treatment methods. 3 Cr.

PSH 638 Developmental Disabilities. Provides in-depth coverage of selected topics of contemporary relevance to theory and practice in the field of developmental disabilities. Issues include community integration of persons with developmental disabilities; prevention; advocacy; and special populations such as autism, behavior disorders, sensory impairments, epilepsy. 3 Cr.

PSH 699 Independent Study. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Investigates theoretical and/or empirical topics in psychology. Arranged in consultation with the instructor. Enrollment normally limited to students matriculated in master's degree program in psychology. 1-6 credits.

PSH 701 Evaluation and Research Methods. Provides an overview of research methods and evaluation, along with associated statistical considerations relevant to applied human services. Focuses on issues such as evaluating and assessing behavior change, empirical means of obtaining data on treatment (intervention) outcomes, research design options in evaluation outcomes, critical evaluation of research, and ethical issues in research in applied settings. 3 Cr. Fall

PSH 702 Intervention I. Examines behavioral intervention techniques, particularly as they apply to children and residential populations. 3 Cr. Fall

PSH 703 Intervention II. Covers the theory, research, and application of selected intervention methods used principally with adults. Includes these topics: progressive relaxation, systematic desensitization, cognitive self-control techniques, assertion training, rational-emotive therapy, and others. 3 Cr. Spring

PSH 704 Assessment I. Provides students with a basic understanding of psychometric theory, test design, and techniques of behavioral observation, clinical interviewing and intellectual assessment. Through lectures and lab experiences, enables students to develop beginning-level skills in behavioral analysis, test administration, and developing rapport with clients. Extensively examines ethical issues in conducting assessments and the use of tests. 3 Cr. Fall

PSH 705 Assessment II. Continues to build on assessment skills and knowledge gained in PSH 704. Includes topics such as report writing, projective and objective methods of personality assessment, neuropsychological assessment, and the relationship between assessment and treatment planning. Allows students to learn to design, conduct, interpret, and write comprehensive psychological assessment batteries. 3 Cr. Spring

PSH 709 Pre-practicum. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all course work. Corequisite: PSH 710. Refines and develops skills necessary for successful practicum placement experience. 3 Cr. Every Semester

PSH 710 Practicum. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all required course work. Corequisite:PSH 709. Provides practical experience in a human service agency. Practicum placements developed individually, based on the specific student and agency involved. Practicum is supervised by an agency staff member and a faculty member from the Department of Psychology. 9 Cr. Every Semester

PSH 735 Perspectives on Disabilities. Provides knowledge of service-delivery models for individuals with a wide range of disabilities, as well as characteristics of disabilities and their effects on children and families. Covers IDEA, Section 504, and ADA legislation relative to impact on children and schools. Involves coordination of services, family-centered services, and ethical issues. Involves practical experience via supervised classroom observation/participation. 3 Cr.

PSH 736 Learning Theory and Behavioral Approaches. Provides advanced knowledge of learning and conditioning with particular reference to application of these principles in behavior change for children with autism. Includes coverage of theories of behavior and operant conditioning (schedules of reinforcement, generalization), and behavioral assessment. Special focus upon task analysis/functional analysis and the development of an interdisciplinary, behaviorally-sound plan for intervention. 3 Cr.

PSH 798 Master's Thesis. Research project to be arranged in consultation with faculty advisor and Thesis Committee. 6 Cr.

The information in this publication was current as of December 2002 when the text was compiled. Changes, including but not restricted to, tuition and fees, course descriptions, degree and program requirements, policies, and financial aid availability may have occurred since that time. Whether or not a specific course is scheduled for a given term is contingent on enrollment, budget and staffing. The college reserves the right to make any changes it finds necessary and may announce such changes for student notification in publications other than the College catalogs. For the purpose of degree and program completion, students are bound by the requirements in effect as stated in the printed catalog at the time of their matriculation at SUNY Brockport. Inquiries on the current status of requirements can be addressed to the appropriate College department of office. Also refer to the Brockport Web site home page at for current information.