Department Profile

State University of New York – New Paltz

Department of Psychology
JFT 314
75 South Manheim Blvd.
New Paltz, NY 12561

Barbara Novick , Department Secretary
(845) 257-3470; Fax: (845) 257-3474

The Psychology Department was founded in 1968. The 13 current faculty members represent both research-oriented and applied fields within psychology. The Department is dedicated to teaching, research, and public service. Instruction in the methods and content of the field of psychology is provided within the liberal arts and sciences’ tradition of encouraging intellectual and personal development. The curriculum offers a diversity of learning situations and includes many opportunities for writing, independent study, and research with faculty members. Further, two psychology clubs, one for undergraduates and one for graduate students, in addition to a local chapter of Psi Chi, all play active roles in the campus community.

Research and Practicum Facilities
The department has a variety of research and practicum facilities designed partially to extend students’ experiences outside the classroom. Research facilities include the following kinds of laboratories: Cognitive/Linguistic, Cognitive/Experimental, Infant Social Interaction, and Group Process. Additionally, Social Psychophysiological, Social Perceptual, and Counseling laboratories are currently being created. The recently-developed “Human Subjects Pool” comprised of undergraduate participants is very useful for research in the department. Practicum experiences include assignments with local hospitals, health departments, and on-campus facilities (e.g., the University Counseling Center).

Future Directions
The department is currently moving forward on several fronts. The graduate program is undergoing revisions that will lead to a tripartite program including distinct counseling, industrial/organizational, and general/experimental tracks. Further, the counseling track is undergoing several revisions that will afford students graduating with this degree more options in terms of practicing after graduation. Also, a variety of research initiatives on the part of faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students are in varying stages of development. It is truly an exciting time to be part of this department.


Michael Gayle
Department Chair
Jason D. Carter
Maryalice Citera
Jennifer E. Combs
Phyllis R. Freeman
Glenn Geher
Giordana Grossi
James Halpern
Douglas Maynard
Alison Nash
Jonathan Raskin
David Schiffman
Carol A. Vazquez

Graduate Program
Currently, the department serves approximately 30 graduate students, several of whom have teaching assistantships. The graduate program currently includes a terminal MA in general/experimental psychology with an optional concentration in psychological counseling. In addition to a standard set of core courses, graduate students are required to pass two comprehensive examinations and to complete a thesis. Students choosing the counseling concentration have a variety of other requirements as well, including fieldwork. The program prepares students for entry into doctoral programs or employment in a variety of settings. Many alumni of the program have obtained PhD’s in psychology from a variety of schools including the University of Maryland, SUNY at Albany, and Columbia University. Further, several alumni have gone on to become psychology faculty members at other institutions including Tufts University, College of New Rochelle, and Emerson College. The Graduate Psychology Association is a club run by psychology graduate students to enhance the graduate school experience.

Undergraduate Program
The undergraduate program is designed to provide students with a rigorous, research-oriented education in psychology. The department currently serves approximately 300 majors. In addition to General Psychology and Statistics, majors are required to take either (a) a rigorous course in experimental psychology that includes a laboratory component and that requires them to complete all the steps of an original empirical project or (b) an intensive sequence of courses related to psychological writing including both courses in research methods and an upper-level senior seminar. Concentration in psychobiology and industrial/organizational psychology are available to interested students. Interested and qualified undergraduates may join the Psychology Club and/or our local chapter of Psi Chi.

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