Psychology Department

The Department of Psychology, in the College of Arts and Sciences, is one of Stony Brook’s largest graduate departments. More than 800 Ph.D. degrees have been awarded since the program began more than 40 years ago. In recent years the population of students has been about 60 percent female, 15 percent minority, and 10 percent international students.

The department is administratively organized into four program areas: Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Science, Integrative Neuroscience, and Social and Health Psychology. Students must be admitted to one of these four program areas, but they are encouraged to receive training in more than one program area if appropriate. In conjunction with the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Brookhaven National Labs, and the Department of Psychiatry, interdisciplinary training is offered in behavioral neuroscience. In conjunction with the Departments of Linguistics and Computer Science, interdisciplinary training is offered in cognitive science. Course offerings and research training are structured in such a way that students can meet the requirements for a Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Science, Integrative Neuroscience, or Social and Health Psychology. Stony Brook’s doctoral program in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association. A detailed description of the graduate programs, including requirements for students in each area of graduate studies, is available from the departmental graduate office or from our Web site:www.psychology.sunysb.edu.

In all four program areas, the primary emphasis is on research training through apprenticeship, advisement and independent research. New students are encouraged to become involved immediately in ongoing research and to engage in independent research when sufficient skills and knowledge permit, with the goal of becoming active and original contributors. 

Description of the Masters Program in Psychology 

The full-time program begins with the first summer school session and includes the second summer session and the next two academic semesters. The program is generalist in its orientation and provides advanced education that will transfer well either to a career right after graduation or to further graduate education in a variety of fields such as law, business, medical school, social work, and psychology. Specific applied training leading directly to professional licensure is not provided. Instead, the students in the MA program receive traditional and general grounding in psychology via courses chosen from our regularly offered graduate courses.

A faculty director specifically for the MA program is available for consultation on course selection, career opportunities, and professional development. In addition to courses in developmental, clinical, social/health, cognitive/experimental, and biological psychology, professional development workshops that address concerns about graduate school, career and personal choices, professional presentation, are a regular part of the curriculum. Depending on the interests and qualifications of the students, there is the opportunity to engage in research under the direction of Psychology Department faculty. “Brown bag” seminars in Social, Cognitive/Experimental, or Biopsychology provide awareness of ongoing research at Stony Brook and that of guest speakers at other research institutions.