Department of Psychology

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Department of Psychology

(585) 395-2488

Interim Chairperson and Associate Professor: Kelly Brennan, PhD, SUNY Buffalo. Professors: Stuart Appelle, PhD, George Washington University; Frederick Gravetter, PhD, Duke University.
Visiting Professor of Psychology: Philip Davidson, PhD, George Washington University.
Associate Professors: Sachio Ashida, PhD, University of Nebraska; Lori-Ann B. Forzano, PhD, SUNY Stony Brook; Janet F. Gillespie, PhD, Southern Illinois University; William Riddell, PhD, University of Connecticut.
Assistant Professors: David Abwender, PhD, University of Miami; Stacy Birch, PhD, University of Illinois; Melissa Brown, PhD, Indiana University; Herbert C. Fink, PhD, University of Rochester; 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), 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, so 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.
    Course Number Course Name Credits
    PSH 631 Social-Personality 3
    PSH 634 Psychopathology 3
    PSH 701 Evaluation and Research Methods 3
    PSH 702 Intervention Skills I 3
    PSH 703 Intervention Skills II 3
    PSH 704 Assessment I 3
    PSH 705 Assessment II 3
    PSH 709/710 Practicum 12
  2. 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 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.
  3. A minimum cumulative index 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. Satisfactory progress toward this goal is defined as follows:
    Credits Earned Minimum GPA Required
    6-12 2.50
    13-19 2.75
    30 3.0
  4. 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).
  5. 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 581 Individual Differences. Prerequisite: PSH 202 recommended. Introduces the methodology of study of individual differences. Covers the quantitative studies of the nature of psychological traits and the influence of age, sex, heredity and environment in causation of individual differences in ability and temperament. 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 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 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 737 Normal Child Development from Infancy through Adolescence. Provides comprehensive knowledge of normal child development for the purpose of understanding differences from normal development found in children with autism spectrum disorders. Includes theories of child development, aspects of development and how they relate to behavioral function, and an overview of systems theory. 3 Cr.

PSH 738 Seminar in Autism Spectrum Disorders.Provides an overview of autism spectrum disorders designed to give the student a comprehensive knowledge of the characteristics and manifestations of the disorder. Included is discussion of differential diagnosis, assessment procedures, current treatment approaches, etiology and epidemiology, and family issues. 3 Cr.

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

Last Updated 7/21/22