Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is your MA program’s emphasis?
A. We have two main areas of emphasis in our MA program. The first is an emphasis in the clinical area of psychology, where a main objective of graduate study is to provide outstanding training in psychopathology and DSM-IV diagnosis, psychological assessment, and therapy. In other words, we teach clinical skills. Our MA students learn a broad range of clinical activities applicable to child, adolescent and adult populations in both inpatient (institutional, residential) and outpatient settings. The second is an emphasis in psychological research. Here, our main objective is to teach both the theoretical and practical aspects of conducting, interpreting, and using research. Our MA students learn research methods, statistical analysis, and apply this knowledge in independent and thesis projects. One of our program’s greatest strengths is its emphasis in methods of observation, intervention, and research with behavior disorders and developmental disabilities, but students will be able to explore research opportunities with faculty members with expertise in many different areas of psychology. We want our MA graduates to be well-equipped to enter into a variety of mental health service occupations or to pursue doctoral-level training.
Q. What are your criteria for acceptance into the program?
A. We seek students with a strong interest in both science and practice in clinical psychology. Accordingly, we look for excellent grades (accepted students often have a GPA of 3.5 or higher), GRE scores of at least 500-530 (verbal and quantitative) and excellent letters of recommendation. We also prefer that at least two of an applicant's three required letters of recommendation be from professors who have taught them in more than one course, and/or were supervisors for an applicant's undergraduate research or independent study experiences.
Q. Will completing an MA at The College at Brockport increase my chances of successful acceptance into a doctoral program?
A. Students aiming for PhD-level work should choose either the clinical track with research emphasis or the general track with research emphasis. In these tracks students will complete a master's thesis (of publishable quality), and may present their work at regional or national conferences. Your successful completion of a thesis project, involvement in additional research projects, and an outstanding record at The College at Brockport can certainly increase your chances of successful acceptance into a doctoral program.
Q. Will taking courses on a non-matriculated basis improve my chances of acceptance into the MA in Psychology program?
A. Possibly. Students who enroll for courses on a non-matriculated basis and then apply for admission have the greatest chance of acceptance if they: a) earn a 4.0 GPA in all courses taken as a non-matriculated student; b) take courses offered by Department of Psychology faculty, including at least one 600-level course; and c) receive a strong letter of recommendation from the Department of Psychology faculty member(s) who taught them while in non-matriculated status. Your academic record as an undergraduate, however, is also crucial in evaluating your suitability for master's-level training.