Training in psychology can open up a wide variety of career options.
The kinds of options available depend on many factors, including the student's interests and their willingness to acquire training beyond the undergraduate degree.
Students who aspire to careers as psychologists or in professions directly related to psychology. Normally such a career requires a graduate degree, although there are some types of psychology-related employment that can be achieved with a bachelor's degree.
The Psychology Department's MA program serves the needs of essentially two types of graduate students. Some students are seeking the master's degree as a terminal degree. These may be students who already are employed in Monroe County or nearby areas and are seeking additional credentials for job advancement, recent graduates from undergraduate programs who aspire to a position that requires a master's degree, or students with other similar goals. Other graduate students wish to use the master's degree as a stepping-stone into a doctoral program. Our graduate program has a very successful history of meeting all these needs.
With regard to doctoral study, many of our graduates are successful in gaining admission to doctoral programs in psychology following graduation with their MA degree in Psychology. The graduate programs listed below are among those that have accepted our graduates for their PhD, PsyD or EdD programs:
- Alfred University
- Antioch New England Graduate School
- California School of Professional Psychology
- Florida State University
- Georgia State University
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania
- Kent State University
- Michigan State
- MCP Hahnemann University
- Nova University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Syracuse University
- Texas A & M University
- University of Dayton
- University of Florida
- University of Hartford
- University of Rochester
- University of Toledo
- University of Washington
- Warner School of Education at University of Rochester
For those students preparing for master's-level positions in human services and the mental health fields, the MA program is based on the scientist-practitioner model, which holds that modern methods of scientific investigation should be employed in the analysis and modification of human behavior, decisions regarding treatment methods and outcomes should be based on empirical data that are verifiable, and the practitioner has an obligation to keep abreast of, and to incorporate, improvements in assessment and treatment methods in understanding behavioral disorders.
The program's curriculum is designed to provide courses and practicum experiences that are directed toward all these goals. The Department of Psychology is a member of both the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology and the Council of Applied Master's Programs in Psychology (CAMPP). SUNY Brockport's MA in Psychology program meets CAMPP standards of training, formulated at the 1990 National Conference on Applied Master's Training in Psychology. For those graduates seeking psychology-related employment, the MA program has a 100 percent success rate in placing its alumni.
Career skills and opportunities
The MA in Psychology program graduate can serve as a team player in multi-disciplinary settings, adding a behavioral perspective to client/patient growth and development. Examples of specialized clinical skills include:
- making objective and measurable assessments of client/patient skills and behaviors
- creating long- and short-term goals based upon client/patient skills and abilities
- developing intervention strategies to achieve behavior change
- providing behavioral intervention(s) to individuals and/or groups
Graduates integrate their skills into existing programs or new ones, working in a variety of clinical settings to help a broad range of clients/patients with:
- developmental disabilities, anxiety disorders, adjustment disorders
- substance-related disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders
- cognitive disorders, problems of infancy, childhood or adolescence
Graduate students in our MA program learn a common "core" knowledge base and set of skills in their required courses. Prior to completion of the degree, students combine their developing clinical skills with their unique personal strengths through a carefully selected, individualized 600-clock-hour practicum at many agencies in Western New York.
Our students have a strong history of being hired for jobs by the agencies where they complete their practica. Graduates are employed in a wide array of public-sector human services settings, both in the Monroe County area and nationwide. Regionally, the most frequent employers of our MA graduates are developmental disability service offices (DDSOs), mental health agencies, and continuing and day treatment programs for the mentally ill.
Positions held by our MA-level graduates:
- Behavior Specialist/Behavior Management Technician
Completes behavioral observations, monitoring and recording behavior of developmentally delayed clients in group home and residential treatment settings. Utilizes knowledge of applied behavior analytic principles to assess, manage, and improve behavior for independent living and vocational skills and socialization. Additional certification in the field is required.
- Psychology Associate
Serves in full capacity as a therapist and diagnostician for outpatient mental health concerns, under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. Conducts group and individual therapy for depression, anxiety disorders and adjustment disorders. Performs psychological testing, including intellectual and personality assessment and court evaluations.
Conducts neuropsychological screenings and testing to assess brain function and recovery in brain-injured clients. Presents results at case staffings and works with neuropsychologists, therapists, and other clinical staff to integrate recovery and aftercare.
- Health Project Coordinator
Administers structured psychiatric interviews for clinical research protocols; coordinates patient contacts for grant-funded clinical trials; and collects, analyzes and aids in interpretation of outcome data for psychological and psychiatric interventions.
Additionally, in many cases our graduates have utilized their master's degree to attain supervisory-level positions in area agencies, as team leaders, program supervisors, and project coordinators.
Local employers who have hired our graduates include the following:
- ARC of Genesee County
- ARC of Monroe County
- Catholic Family Center
- Continuing Developmental Services
- DePaul Community Service
- East House
- Genesee Mental Health Center
- Heritage Christian Homes, Inc.
- Lifetime Assistance, Inc.
- Mary Cariola Children's Center
- NYS Developmental Disabilities Service Offices in Wayne County, Monroe County, West Seneca and Canton
- NYS Division of Probation
- NYS School for the Blind
- Park Ridge Mental Health Center
- Park Ridge Chemical Dependency
- People, Inc., Buffalo
- Rochester Mental Health Center
- Rochester Police Department Family and Crisis Intervention Team
- Rochester Rehabilitation Center
- Mt. Hope Family Center
- Strong Memorial Hospital Center for Developmental Disabilities
- Strong Ties Community Support Program
- Unity Health Systems Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit
- University of Rochester Medical Center, Division of Neuropsychology
- University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry
- Veterans Administration Medical Centers in Canandaigua and Syracuse