Phone : (845) 257-3470
Location : Jacobson Faculty Tower Room 314

The Psychology program at New Paltz has been designed to reflect the varying needs and interests of undergraduate psychology majors. The interests of students who major or minor in psychology generally fall into one of three categories:

  1. those who want a general background in psychology but don't intend to seek employment in the field of psychology,
  2. those who want to apply some principles and techniques of psychology in an employment situation; and
  3. those who want to pursue a career in psychology with a graduate degree.  

Since psychology is an empirically based science, it is desirable for psychology majors to have the skills both to interpret and to generate new information.  To that end, courses in statistics and research methodology are required of all majors.  In addition, all psychology majors take a capstone, writing intensive seminar in which they demonstrate their mastery of the techniques and the content areas of the discipline.  Students majoring in psychology are advised to acquire a broad range of training in Liberal Arts.  Elective courses in anthropology, biology, business, communications, computer science, history, philosophy, political science, and sociology are strongly recommended.

To declare a major in Psychology, students must have at least a 2.75 total cumulative grade point average and a Math Placement Level (MPL) of 3 or higher. They must also have completed PSY272 Introductory Psychology.

The Psychology Department also offers two minors. The Psychology minor provides a representative sampling of psychological research, theory, and practice. This minor would be valuable to anyone whose career would benefit from a deeper understanding of human thought, emotion, or behavior. The Industrial-Organizational Psychology minor provides a background in the application of psychology to business and other organizational settings. This minor is particularly appealing to Business Administration and Communication & Media majors. Both are 18-credit (6-course) minors.
Students also have the opportunity to minor in either or both of the following interdisciplinary programs housed within the Psychology Department:

Minor in Disaster Studies

The Disaster Studies minor introduces students to both practice and research in disaster studies with a focus on the emerging field of disaster mental health. The minor includes two required classes (Disaster Psychology and Practicum in Psychology), plus three courses in anthropology, black studies, communication, geography, political science, psychology, or sociology. Students interested in learning more about this minor should visit the Institute for Disaster Mental Health website or contact IDMH director, Dr. James Halpern (845) 257-3479; .

Minor in Evolutionary Studies

The Evolutionary Studies minor is designed to offer undergraduates the opportunity to develop a deep, broad, and critical understanding of evolutionary principles. The minor includes an Evolutionary Studies Seminar plus selected courses in anthropology, biology, English, economics, geology, and psychology. Students interested in learning more about this minor should contact the program's director, Dr. Glenn Geher (845) 257-2379 or (845) 257-3091; ).


PSY093. Psychology Research Experience. 0 Credits.

Direct experience in psychology research, including experiences as a research participant and/or attending lectures on psychology reserach, or related activities.

PSY193. Psychology Select Topic. 3-12 Credits.


PSY272. Introductory Psychology. 3 Credits.

Introduction to psychology. Topics include research methods, states of consciousness, cognition, sensation and perception, developmental psychology, brain and behavior, personality, learning, motivation, social psychology, psychological disorders and treatment.

PSY273. Psychology of Adjustment . 3 Credits.

The adjustment processes through childhood, adolescence, and aging. Topics include: motivation, emotion, learning, marriage, divorce, group behavior, stress, illness, and rehabilitation.

PSY275. Psychological Statistics . 4 Credits.

Introduction to descriptive and inferential statistical procedures commonly used in psychological research. Includes correlations, interval estimation, hypothesis testing with z and t tests.

PSY293. Psychology Select Topic. 3-12 Credits.


PSY295. Indep Study Psychology. 1-12 Credits.


PSY302. History and Systems in Psychology . 3 Credits.

Philosophies and approaches that have led to contemporary psychology. Major contributors such as James, Freud, Watson, and Skinner, and their psychological approaches.

PSY303. Introduction to the Psychology of Learning . 3 Credits.

Experimental findings in and contemporary theories of learning.

PSY304. Industrial Psychology . 3 Credits.

A survey of how psychological principles (social perception, learning, cognition, motivation, psychological measurement) are applied to human resources decisions (selection, training, performance appraisal). Fairness and legal implications of such decisions are considered.

PSY305. Psychology of Perception . 3 Credits.

Perceptual processes of form, color, movement, space, localization, and constancy. The psychology of consciousness.

PSY306. Social Psychology . 3 Credits.

Theories and research regarding social behaviors such as conformity, altruism, aggression, attitude-formation, and discrimination.

PSY307. Evolutionary Psychology . 3 Credits.

A detailed, critical exploration theory as applied to behavior of humans and other species. Research addressing evolutionary underpinnings of behavior is presented in regard to several classes of behavior (e.g., mating, aggression, cooperation).

PSY308. Psychology of Motivation . 3 Credits.

Identification of basic concepts, theories, and experimental findings of the psychology of motivation.

PSY309. Constructivism. 3 Credits.

Reviews, theories, research, and clinical applications of constructivist approaches to psychology-including, but not limited to, personal construct psychology, radical constructivism, and social constructionism.

PSY310. Psychology of Memory and Thinking . 3 Credits.

Theories and research regarding the mental processes of acquiring and retaining information for later retrieval, and the manipulation of that information for complex skills such as reasoning, decision-making, and problem solving.

PSY311. Research Methods in Psychology . 4 Credits.

Research methodology in psychology: scientific reasoning and critical thinking, correlational and experimental research approaches, including control, designs, statistical analyses, and hypothesis testing.

PSY313. Psychology of Personality . 3 Credits.

This course reviews theoretical and empirical issues regarding personality psychology. Evolutionary, psychoanalytic, physiological, cognitive, social, and life story perspectives are addressed. Empirical issues include the measurement of personality and the person situation debate.

PSY315. Basics of Organizational Psychology . 3 Credits.

Introduction to organizational behavior and management, emphasizing psychological and social-psychological theories and findings. Research methods, learning, motivation, stress,communication, leadership, and other topics are discussed, both in general and in relation to work settings. Students may not take both this course and BUS321 for credit.

PSY318. Group Behavior . 3 Credits.

Participation in face-to-face small groups focusing on the group's own behavior. Emphasis is on an understanding of leadership, power, and authority as primary elements of social behavior. Each student is expected to participate actively in group sessions. Available as an alternative to traditional educational approaches. Because of this approach some students may experience stress.

PSY320. Behavior Modification: Principles and Procedures . 3 Credits.

The application of operant learning principles to improve behavior in school, home, institution, and work settings, as well as for personal self-improvement. Practical procedures of changing behavior in he natural environment are discussed.

PSY330. Crisis Intervention . 4 Credits.

Basic counseling and crisis intervention skills using a didactic/experiential approach under professional psychological supervision. Theory of intervention in suicide, substance abuse, and developmental crises. Role play practice.

PSY343. Psychology of Infancy and Childhood . 3 Credits.

Theories and research on social, emotional, perceptual, and cognitive development. Implications of this information for child-rearing, education, and society.

PSY344. Psychology of Adolescence and Adulthood . 3 Credits.

Emphasis on the issues, trends, and information pertinent to development from adolescence through death. Particular attention to problems of the adolescent, the aged, and the family in today's society.

PSY350. Psychology of Women . 3 Credits.

The psychology of women as conceptualized within traditional psychological as well as feminist theory. A survey of findings on women from various fields: personality, cognition, physiological, social, developmental and abnormal psychology.

PSY393. Psychology Select Topic. 3-12 Credits.


PSY399. Modular Course. 1-12 Credits.


PSY402. Psychology of Language . 3 Credits.

Study of language behavior and its relation to learning and thought processes. Attention to language acquisition and psychological phenomena of speech and speech perception. Social aspects of language and non-verbal communication.

PSY403. Health Psychology . 3 Credits.

An examination of how biological, psychological, and social factors interact to influence individual behavior related to promoting health, preventing illness, and coping with illness, pain, and stress. Research techniques and ethical dilemmas in health psychology. Students will keep an Intellectual Journal.

PSY412. Abnormal Psychology . 3 Credits.

Symptoms, causes, and therapies of anxiety disorders, psychoses, and personality disturbances.

PSY436. Physiological Psychology . 3 Credits.

The functioning of the brain and its role in learning, eating, drinking, aggression, and behavioral abnormalities.

PSY440. Clinical and Counseling Psy . 3 Credits.

Review of clinical and counseling psychology, focusing on theory, practice, research, and professional issues.

PSY442. Psychological Study of Social Problems . 3 Credits.

Study of one or more current social problems, such as violence, poverty, education, drug use, war, through an examination of psychological and social-psychological data and theory.

PSY456. Disaster Psychology . 3 Credits.

The psychological impact of disaster and trauma including normal and severe reactions such as PTSD and Acute Stress Disorder will be studied. Acute and long-term interventions, vicarious traumatization and self-care will be examined.

PSY458. Introduction to Psychological Testing . 3 Credits.

Uses and limitations of present psychological techniques for assessing ability, achievement, intelligence, personality, and abnormality. Objective and projective personality tests.

PSY493. Selected Topic. 3-12 Credits.


PSY494. Fieldwork In Psychology. 1-12 Credits.


PSY495. Independent Study Psychology. 1-12 Credits.


PSY497. Internship in Psychology. 3 Credits.

Supervised experience working in an applied setting related to psychology. This course is repeatable up to a maximum of 15 credits in practicum, fieldwork and independent study credits.

PSY498. Seminar in Psychology . 3 Credits.

Advanced study in a specific area of research, theory, or practice. Writing intensive.


EVO301. Evolutionary Studies Seminar. 3 Credits.

An interdisciplinary seminar featuring bi-weekly presentations by experts on evolution. Speakers will represent areas of scholarship that have been addressed in terms of evolutionary themes such as anthropology, biology, English, and psychology.

EVO493. Evo Studies Selected Topic. 3-12 Credits.

PHI465. Philosophy of Social Science . 3 Credits.

An examination of some of the basic assumptions, concepts and special problems of the social sciences, the nature and limits of their explanations and predictions, and the objectivity of their inquiries. Examples will be taken from contemporary work in anthropology, sociology, economics or social psychology.