Requirements of the Masters Program in Psychology

The 1-Year MA Program in General Psychology provides an advanced education preparing students for a career in psychology or related fields directly after graduation or to further graduate education in psychology or related fields such as business, law, medicine, and social work. 

The full-time program begins with the first Summer Session and continues through the second Summer Session as well as the Fall and Spring academic semesters.

  • MA students are required to enroll in a statistics course during the Summer (PSY501).  Students are also required to enroll in a weekly seminar in the Fall semester with all first year graduate students (PSY504), which include discussions of current research and research practices by faculty and visiting speakers.
  • MA students can select among a wide range of courses in the Psychology Department from clinical psychology, cognitive science, developmental psychology, integrative neuroscience, and social and health psychology.  For information on the courses offered, see the link below.  (Note: not all courses are offered every year.)

http://sb.cc.stonybrook.edu/gradbulletin/current/courses/psy/

  • In the Fall and Spring semesters, MA students have the opportunity to enroll in weekly seminars in either Cognitive Science, Integrative Neuroscience, or Social and Health Psychology (PSY581, 582, 583, 584, 585, or 586).  These seminars include presentations on current research problems.
  • MA students have a faculty advisor specifically for the MA program who is available for consultation on course selection, career opportunities, and other matters.
  • The MA program includes professional development opportunities that address students’ concerns about graduate school, career and personal goals, professional presentation, etc.
  • Depending on students’ interests and qualifications, MA students have the opportunity to engage in research under the direction of faculty in the Psychology and Psychiatry Departments. 
  • A wide variety of internships are available to MA students, which provide them with experiential learning relevant to their future careers.
  • Applicants to the MA program will be evaluated on the basis of their GPAs (minimum 3.25), three letters of recommendation, and their personal statement. GREs are optional.

 

TIMELINE:

  • End of February: Application period ends.
  • March and April: Offers of admission are made.
  • End of May (Summer Session 1): Program begins.
  • Mid-May of the following year: Graduation.

In light of the extraordinarily short period between admissions offers and the start of the MA program, applicants should carefully consider whether they will be able to satisfy all bureaucratic and practical tasks to join the MA program on time.

  • Completion of the MA program will be contingent on completion of 30 credits with at least a 3.0 GPA, as per the regulations of the Graduate School. Additionally, students are expected to earn grades of C or better in all courses.

 Sample Curriculum:

Semester

Title

Credits

Summer session 1

Professional Skills Seminar (PSY610)

3

Summer session 2

Graduate Statistics (PSY501)

3

Fall

Weekly seminar (PSY581, 583, or 585)

0

 

First year seminar (PSY504)

0

 

Course in Abnormal Psychology

3

 

Course in Social Psychology

3

 

Research

3

 

Internship

3

Spring

Weekly seminar (PSY582, 584, or 586)

0

 

Course in Cognitive Science

3

 

Course in Integrative Neuroscience

3

 

Research or other elective

3

 

Internship

3

Total

 

30

Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree in Psychology

The receipt of the Ph.D. signifies both a scholarly mastery of the field of psychology and the ability to conduct independent research. In addition to the Graduate School’s degree requirements, students must satisfy the following requirements (as well as requirements of their area of studies):

A. Course Requirements
A student must maintain a graduate G.P.A. of at least 3.0 and successfully complete an approved program of study with a grade of at least B in each required course. Two semesters of quantitative methods and three breadth courses selected from outside the student’s area of graduate studies are required. In addition, two semesters of First-Year Lectures (no credit) and two semesters of a practicum in statistical computer applications are required. The four training areas of the department have additional course requirements. Following admission, students with graduate training elsewhere can petition to satisfy course requirements on the basis of their previous graduate work. No more than three departmental course requirements will be waived. Petition to waive requirements or to satisfy them on the basis of previous graduate work should be directed to the Psychology Graduate Office. Petitions concerning area requirements should be addressed to the student’s area head.

B. Yearly Evaluation
The progress of each graduate student is reviewed at the end of each academic year by the student's area's faculty. This provides opportunities for both positive feedback about the student's achievements and constructive feedback for improving or accelerating the student's progress. We expect that all students admitted to the Ph.D. program have the potential to succeed; however, any student whose performance is below the standards established by the department and the area may be dismissed or asked to withdraw. Under certain circumstances a student may be permitted to obtain a terminal Master of Arts degree satisfactorily completing the required courses and 30 graduate credit hours of study, and writing a second-year research paper.

C. Second-Year Paper 
At the end of the second year of study, each student must submit an original research paper to the advisor and the area head. Although the form of this paper and the date it is due varies by area, all second-year papers must include data collection and analysis. The second-year paper must be approved prior to the specialties paper (see item E). A copy of the approved paper must be provided to the Psychology Graduate Office.

D. M.A. Degree in the Course of Doctoral Studies 
The department will recommend granting an M.A. degree to students who have successfully completed the second-year requirements, including the second-year research paper, upon the recommendation of the faculty in the student’s area of graduate studies. This process is not automatic; students wishing to obtain an M.A. degree must file for one.

E. Specialties Paper and Examination 
This requirement should be completed by the end of the sixth semester of study. The specialties paper is a review/research paper suitable for submission to a refereed journal. The paper must be presented to and defended before a committee. The form of the specialties paper depends upon the student’s area of graduate studies, but all areas require its completion by the end of the third year in order for a student to be considered to be on track.

F. Advancement to Candidacy 
After successful completion of the specialties paper and examination, all required coursework, two SDI courses (see G), and the requirements of the student’s area of studies, a majority vote of the faculty of the student’s area is required to recommend advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. The Graduate School requires that students must advance to candidacy at least one year before defending their dissertations.

G. Research and Teaching 
All four graduate training areas focus heavily on research; research activity from the time of admission through the fourth year is required. Students who are funded on state lines serve as teaching assistants (TAs) for classes taught by departmental faculty and instructors. For all students, regardless of source of funding, two semesters of substantial direct instruction (SDI) in the classroom or laboratory is required (one of which must be PSY 310). Students may satisfy this requirement by providing significant hours of lecturing and student contact in a class for which they are serving as a TA, or by serving as the instructor of record for a class of their own. During these semesters, graduate students must receive teaching evaluations from their students.

H. Residence 
Minimum residence of two years and the equivalent of three years of full-time graduate study are ordinarily required. Unless admitted as part-time students (which happens very rarely), residents must register for full-time study until they are advanced to candidacy. Full-time study is 12 credits during the first year and nine thereafter.

I. Dissertation 
The approval of the dissertation proposal and successful oral defense of the completed dissertation are required.

Within Area Course Requirements: In addition to satisfying Graduate School and departmental degree requirements, students must satisfy all of the course requirements of their training programs.

Clinical Psychology

Complete the following courses in the first year (required of all Clinical Area students):

PSY 534 Assessment: General Principles, Clinical Interviews, and Adult Psychopathology

PSY 602 Assessment: Personality Testing, Intellectual/Cognitive Testing, and Child/Parent Assessment

PSY 537 Methods of Intervention: Treatment of Internalizing Disorders

PSY 538 Methods of Intervention: Treatment of Externalizing Disorders and Relationship Problems

PSY 545 Psychopathology: Conceptual Models and Internalizing Disorders

PSY 596 Psychopathology: Externalizing and Psychotic Disorders

PSY 603 Ethics and Professional Issues

Complete the following courses in the second year (required of all Clinical Area students):

PSY 535 Advanced Research Methods

PSY 604 Intervention Practicum

PSY 605 Advanced Clinical Practicum

PSY 606 Supervised Practice

PSY Breadth Course 1

Complete the following courses in the third year:

PSY 533 Principles Applicable to Clinical Psychology: Historical & Systemic Perspectives

PSY 606 Supervised Practice (Fall and Spring)

PSY Breadth Course 2

PSY Breadth Course 3

PSY 698 Research (Fall and Spring)

Complete dissertation (PSY 699) during the fourth year and complete internship (PSY 608) in the fifth year.

 

Cognitive Science

Complete three of the following:

PSY 513 Attention and Thought

PSY 514 Sensation and Perception

PSY 518 Memory

PSY 520 Psycholinguistics

PSY 610/620 Seminars in Selected Topics: Cognition

Sign up for the following sequence each year (required of all students):

PSY 583 Experimental Colloquium I

PSY 584 Experimental Colloquium II

The Cognitive Science Area also requires submission of a First-Year Research Paper requiring data collection and analysis. This paper must be submitted to the advisor and area head at the end of the second semester of graduate study.

 

Integrative Neuroscience

Complete the following courses (required of all Integrative Neuroscience Area students):

PSY 561 Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience I

PSY 562 Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience II

Complete at least two of the following courses:

PSY 560 Neuropsychology

PSY 565 Functional Neuroanatomy

PSY 564 Neuropsychopharmacology

PSY 620 Seminars in Selected Topics: Affective Neuroscience

PSY 620 Seminars in Selected Topics: Cognitive Neuroscience)

Sign up for the following sequence each year (required of all Biopsychology Area students):

PSY 581 Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Colloquium I

PSY 582 Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Colloquium II

 

Social and Health Psychology

Complete two of the following courses:

PSY 541 Social Psychology of Close Relationships

PSY 543 Attachment

PSY 544 Emotions & Cognition

PSY 549 Prejudice & Discrimination

PSY 555 Social Psychology

PSY 558 Theories of Social Psychology: Health Applications

PSY 559 Psychology of Women’s Health

Complete an additional special topics course in the Social and Health Area (PSY 610 or PSY 620). Alternatively, students can complete an additional course from the preceding category.

Students must complete one of the quantitative courses listed below or an additional methods or statistics course as approved by the student’s advisor or Area Head.

PSY 505 Structural Equation Modeling & Advance Multivariate Methods

PSY 506 Psychometrics

PSY 535 Advanced Research Methods

PSY 610 Seminars in Selected Topics: Meta-Analysis

Cognitive Neuroscience Certificate:

Integrative Neuroscience students must take 3 of the following courses from the Cognitive Science Area:

PSY 513 Theories of Attention

PSY 516 Judgment and Decision Making

PSY 518 Memory         

PSY 520 Psycholinguistics

 

Cognitive Science/Experimental students must take 3 of the following courses from the Integrative Neuroscience Area:

PSY 610/620 Current Issues in Brain Imaging

PSY 561 Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience I

PSY 562 Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience II

PSY 565 Functional Neuroanatomy

PSY 560 Cognitive Neuroscience

PSY 610/620 Seminars in Selected Topics: Hormones & Behavior

PSY 610/620 Seminars in Selected Topics: Molecular Psychology

PSY 610/620 Neuroscience: Applications in Psychology

 

Quantitative Methods Certificate

Students must complete both of the following courses:

PSY 501 Analysis & Design

PSY 502 Correlation/Regression

Students must complete three (3) additional quantitative courses from the following list (instructors may change; courses outside Psychology require the permission of those instructors). Any substitutions must be approved by the Graduate Director in advance by providing a syllabus of the course to be substituted.

 PSY 505 Multivariate Methods/Structural Equation Modeling

PSY 506 Psychometric Methods

PSY 507 Meta-Analysis

PSY 508 Introduction to Computer Applications in Statistics

PSY 535 Advanced Research Methods

PSY 610/620 Computational Modeling

POL 602 Applied Data Analysis I: Probability Theory

POL 603 Applied Data Analysis II: Regression

POL 604 Applied Data Analysis III: Maximum Likelihood Estimation

POL 606 Duration & Panel Models

POL 610 Experimental Design

POL 676 Advanced Topics: Methods

CSE 507 Introduction to Computational Linguistics

CSE 529 Modeling and Simulation

AMS 571 Mathematical Statistics II

Teaching Requirement:

Students must serve as the instructor of one of the following courses:

PSY 201 or PSY 301

OR Serve as a Teaching Assistant in one of the following courses:

 PSY 501 or PSY 502.