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  • Program Overview

    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.

  • Admissions

    Admissions Requirements for the MA in Psychology

    The requirements for admission to masters study, in addition to the minimum Graduate School requirements, ordinarily include:

    A. A bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology, or in a program providing adequate preparation for the intended area of study (ordinarily including statistics, research methodology, and/or psychology laboratory).

    B. An average of 3.25 or better in all graded academic undergraduate coursework.

    C. One official copy of all previous college transcripts, with certified English translations of any transcripts in a foreign language.

    D. Letters of recommendation from three instructors or academic advisors.

    E. The GRE is not required.

    F. For international students, TOEFL or IELTS scores (unless their native language is English) and the International Student Financial Affidavit.

    G. Students who do not meet these requirements may also apply if they feel that special circumstances should be considered.

    H. Acceptance by the department and Graduate School.

    The Master's Program begins Summer Session I. Applications are accepted January 15 through February 28th. All applications must be submitted online through the Graduate School. Admission questions and application instructions are available at the Graduate School website at:

  • Degree Requirements

    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.)

    • 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.



    • 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:




    Summer session 1

    Professional Skills Seminar (PSY610)


    Summer session 2

    Graduate Statistics (PSY501)



    Weekly seminar (PSY581, 583, or 585)



    First year seminar (PSY504)



    Course in Abnormal Psychology



    Course in Social Psychology









    Weekly seminar (PSY582, 584, or 586)



    Course in Cognitive Science



    Course in Integrative Neuroscience



    Research or other elective








  • Facilities

    Facilities of the Department of Psychology

    Faculty in each area maintain active laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment for research and graduate training.  Faculty, students, and postdoctoral associates have access to the Psychology Department's large volunteer pool of human subjects.  In addition, the program supports the development of teaching and professional skills.

    The  Clinical  Program's research interests of the core faculty center on depressive disorders (child, adolescent, adult), anxiety disorders (child, adolescent, adult), autism spectrum disorders, personality, child maltreatment, close relationship functioning (e.g., discord and aggression among couples, romantic competence among adolescents and adults, relationship education), lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues (among youth and adults), emotion regulation processes (e.g., cognitive, interpersonal, neurobiological), and emotion and attention processes in normal and pathological conditions. Faculty labs are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including equipment for observational research (e.g.,digital cameras and DVDs), psychophysiological equipment (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate,) as well as electrophysiology (EEG, ERP). The clinical area also utilizes a number of other on- and off-campus facilities for clinical research and training, including the Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience Center for neuroimaging, and the Krasner Psychological Center, a training, research, and service unit that provides psychological services and consultation to the community and as well as a site for graduate practica. Within the Krasner Psychological Center, an Anxiety Disorders Clinic provides assessment and treatment of various anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder. The University Marital Therapy Clinic provides therapy for couples and individuals in the community who are experiencing relationship difficulties. Personnel at the Marital Clinic also provide forensic assessments for child custody and therapeutic visitation for the Supreme and Family Courts of Suffolk County, NY. Affiliations have been established with the University’s Health Sciences Center, numerous other local hospitals, and local public schools.

    The  Cognitive Science  Program offers broad training in cognitive science through its affiliations with the Departments of Linguistics and Computer Science, and in cognitive neuroscience, in cooperation with the Integrative Neuroscience Program, the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, and Brookhaven National Laboratory's Medical Department. Laboratory facilities include a state-of-the-art research dedicated 3T fMRI scanner housed in our new NSF-funded SCAN (Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience) center, electrophysiology (EEG, ERP) labs, multiple eyetrackers for psycholinguistics and visual cognition studies, rooms equipped to study electronic communication and human-computer interaction, sound-isolated chambers for perception and psycholinguistics experiments, multimedia workstations for presenting stimuli and collecting data, and computer-controlled choice stations for testing human and non-human subjects. Faculty research is particularly strong in language, memory, attention, visual cognition, perception, and decision making. Most research programs are funded by agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Defense.

    The  Integrative Neuroscience  Program provides opportunities to learn the neurobiology, genetics, anatomy, physiology and neurochemistry underlying a comprehensive array of behaviors and human disorders, including Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, autism and depression.  The broad range of faculty expertise within the program introduces students to social, affective, cognitive and clinical neuroscience at all levels of analysis, from molecular/genetic to human brain imaging and behavioral and cognitive testing  and at all ages across the lifespan.  In addition to gaining core knowledge, students also develop the cutting edge research expertise which is essential to successful careers in neuroscience. Students have access to facilities for histological and neuroanatomical analysis, behavioral analysis, and animal models of human diseases, molecular and genetic analysis, human electrophysiology and fMRI imaging.  Students have the opportunity for research training with core faculty or with affiliated faculty in the Departments of Neurobiology, Psychiatry and Neurology as well as at Cold Spring Harbor Labs. The curriculum supports the development of broad content knowledge, while research training provides development of skill expertise. In addition, the program supports the development of teaching and professional skills.

    The  Social and Health  Program offers predoctoral training for students who are interested in a research career in social psychology, health psychology, or the interface between these two disciplines (e.g., application of social psychological theory to health problems). Areas of particular strength in the faculty’s research in social psychology include the study of attachment, close relationships, and social rejection in adults and children; social cognition; social-cognitive development; social identity, prejudice, and stereotyping; academic achievement; and the representation and processing of social experience, motivation, and self-regulation. Health psychology focuses on identifying, evaluating, and enhancing the psychosocial and behavioral factors that promote health, prevent disease, or affect adjustment to illness. Faculty research topics in health psychology include the impact of stress on health; the role of social support in dealing with health problems; coping with breast cancer; reproductive health; and behaviors that promote or impair health; and aging and health. Social and Health Area faculty have affiliations with the College of Business, Department of Psychiatry and other departments in the University, and they collaborate with researchers and clinicians in the Stony Brook School of Medicine, Dental School, and University Hospital. Students in our graduate program work collaboratively with faculty members on research projects of mutual interest. A variety of courses are offered so that students can fulfill requirements by selecting the courses that best fit their interests and needs. Students may also take courses in other departments of the university, such as Political Science, Public Health, or Women’s, Gender, and Sexual Studies. In addition, students have the opportunity to receive training in methodological and quantitative techniques such as structural equation modeling and meta-analysis and they may elect to complete a quantitative minor. Seminars are offered on topics such as career issues, teaching methods, and grant writing. Another important feature of our program is its cultural and ethnic diversity. We strive to integrate cultural and ethnic concerns into all aspects of graduate training.

  • Faculty

    Faculty of Psychology Department

    Distinguished Professors

    Goldfried, Marvin, Ph.D., 1961, University at Buffalo: Psychotherapy integration; Gay/lesbian/bisexual issues. Clinical Program

    Klein, Daniel N.,Associate Chair, Ph.D., 1983, University at Buffalo: Mood disorders in youth and adults; temperament and personality development. Clinical Program

    O’Leary, K. Daniel,Ph.D., 1967, University of Illinois: Etiology, prevention, and treatment of psychological and physical aggression in intimate relationships; multivariate models (biological, psychological, and social) of intimate partner aggression; the bidirectional role of marital problems and depression; marital and dyad based treatments for clinical depression; prevalence and correlates of intense love. Clinical Program

    Rachlin, Howard, Emeritus, Ph.D., 1965, Harvard University: Choice, decision making, behavioral economics, self-control, addiction, gambling, and time allocation in humans and other animals. Cognitive Science Program


    Aron, Arthur, Research Professor, Ph.D., 1970, University of Toronto, Canada: Motivation and cognition in close relationships; intergroup relations; social neuroscience. Social and Health Program

    Brennan, Susan E., Ph.D., 1990, Stanford University: Language production and comprehension in spoken dialogue; multimodal communication; speech disfluencies; human/computer interaction; computational linguistics; eye gaze as a measure of language processing and as a cue in conversation. Cognitive Science Program

    Canli, Turhan, Ph.D., 1993, Yale University: The genetic and neural basis of personality and emotion. Integrative Neuroscience Program, Director of the SCAN Center

    Davila, Joanne, Director of Clinical Training Program, Ph.D., 1993, University of California, Los Angeles: Development and course of interpersonal functioning and psychopathology (especially depression) among adolescents and adults; Romantic competence among adolescents and adults; Romantic relationship education for adolescents and young adults; Well-being among LGBT individuals. Clinical Program

    Gerrig, Richard, Director of Graduate Studies, Ph.D., 1984, Stanford University: Psycholinguistics; text understanding and representation; nonconventional language; cognitive experiences of narrative worlds. Cognitive Science Program

    Hajcak (Proudfit), Greg , Ph.D., 2006, University of Delaware: Psychophysiological approaches to studying emotion and cognition in the context of psychopathology and risk; developmental psychopathology; adolescence; anxiety disorders; depression; psychosis and schizophrenia. Clinical Program

    Levy, Sheri, Chair, Ph.D., 1998, Columbia University, Prejudice and stigma based on age, ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status; beliefs systems and intergroup relations; role models;  social identity and transitions; student engagement in STEM fields, Social and Health Program

    Lobel, Marci, Director ofSocial and Health Program, Ph.D., 1989, University of California, Los Angeles: Stress, coping, and physical health; psychosocial factors in pregnancy, birth, and reproduction; social comparison processes. Social and Health Program

    O’Leary, Susan G., Emerita, Ph.D., 1972, Stony Brook University: Theoretical and applied research on discipline practices in the home; prevention and early intervention vis-a-vis oppositional and conduct-disordered children. Clinical Program

    Rajaram, Suparna, Ph.D., 1991, Rice University: Social Memory and Cognition; social transmission of memory; collaborative remembering and collective memory; social memory and aging; learning and education; social and nonsocial scaffolding of knowledge representation; emotion and memory; human memory and amnesia; implicit and explicit memory distinctions. Cognitive Science Program

    Robinson, John, Ph.D., 1991, University of New Hampshire: Behavioral Neuroscience. Integrative Neuroscience Program

    Samuel, Arthur G., Ph.D., 1979, University of California, San Diego: Perception, psycholinguistics, and attention; perception of speech as a domain of study in cognitive psychology; spatial and temporal properties of visual attention. Cognitive Science Program

    Squires, Nancy K., Emerita, Ph.D., 1972, University of California, San Diego: Neuropsychology; neurophysiological measures of sensory and cognitive functions of the human brain, both in normal and clinical populations. Integrative Neuroscience Program

    Vivian, Dina, Clinical Professor and Director, Psychology Center, Ph.D., 1986, Stony Brook University: Marital therapy; communication skills in maritally discordant couples; communication and problem solving in physically abusive couples; cognitive and affective processes in physically abusive and maritally discordant couples. Clinical Program

    Waters, Everett, Emeritus, Ph.D., 1977, University of Minnesota: Social and personality development; parent-child and adult-adult attachment relationships. Social and Health Program

    Waters, Harriet Salatas, Emerita, Ph.D., 1976, University of Minnesota: Cognitive development (comprehension and production of prose; memory and problem solving) and social cognition (mental representations of early social experiences, construction and socialization processes). Social and Health Program

    Whitaker-Azmitia, Patricia, Director of Integrative Neuroscience/Biopsychology Program. Ph.D., 1979, University of Toronto: Animal models of autism and Down syndrome; serotonin and its role in brain development. Integrative Neuroscienc Program

    Wortman, Camille, Emerita, Ph.D., 1972, Duke University: Reactions to stressful life experiences; the role of social support and coping strategies in ameliorating the impact of life stress; predictors of good psychological adjustment among those who experience major losses, including bereavement and serious injury; others’ reactions to those who experience life crisis. Social and Health Program

    Zelinsky, Gregory, Director of Cognitive Science Program. Ph.D., 1994, Brown University: Visual attention, eye movements, and visual working memory; Object category representation and detection; Object and proto-object image segmentation; Neurocomputational and deep neural network models of attention and fixation prediction. Cognitive Science Program

    Associate Professors

    Anderson, Brenda J., Ph.D., 1993, University of Illinois: Rodent models of the effects of exercise and stress on brain structure, metabolism, and function. Integrative Neuroscience Program

    Franklin, Nancy. Ph.D., 1989, Stanford University: Memory, particularly false memory, eyewitness memory, and the relationship between emotion and cognition. In addition to collaborating on research projects in the lab, interested students have the opportunity to train as expert witnesses within the criminal justice system. Cognitive Science Program

    Freitas, Antonio L., Ph.D., 2002, Yale University: Social cognition, motivation, self-regulation. Social and Health Program

    Leung, Hoi-Chung, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Ph.D., 1997, Northwestern University: Prefrontal and parietal function in human cognition; neural mechanisms underlying information processing and response control; FMRI applications in cognitive neuroscience. Integrative Neuroscience Program

    London, Bonita, Director of MA Program, Ph.D., 2006, Columbia University: Social identity and intergroup processes; stereotyping and prejudice; academic achievement. Social and Health Program

    Luhmann, Christian, Ph.D., 2006, Vanderbilt University: High-level cognition; causal and associative learning, probabilistic reasoning, economic and perceptual decision making, neuroimaging and computational modeling. Cognitive Science Program

    Mohanty, Aprajita, Ph.D., 2011, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign: Neural mechanisms of emotion-cognition interactions; effect of emotion on perception and working-memory in anxiety and schizophrenia; using pattern information in fMRI and computational modeling to study perception and emotion. Clinical Program

    Moyer, Anne, Ph.D. 1995, Yale University: Psychosocial issues surrounding cancer risk: research synthesis and research methodology. Social and Health Program

    Assistant Professors

    Bernard, Kristin, Ph.D., 2013, University of Delaware: Child maltreatment; neurobiological consequences of early life adversity; parent-child relationships; early parenting interventions; psychobiology of parenting and attachment. Clinical Program.

    Eaton, Nicholas, Ph.D., 2012, University of Minnesota: Classification and structure of psychopathology, personality, and other constructs; sexual orientation, gender diversity, and LGBT issues; quantitative methods and psychometrics; human sexuality; individual/group differences and mental health. Clinical Program

    Hymowitz, Genna, ResearchAssistant Professor, Ph.D., 2011, Stony Brook University: Cognitive biases and chronic medical conditions; biopsychosocial processes in obesity and obesity treatment; stress and gastrointestinal illness; interdisciplinary interventions for chronic illness. Clinical Program

    Jarcho, Johanna, Ph.D., 2010, University of California, Los Angeles: The relationship between brain function and social cognition across development; brain function and behavioral profiles associated with risk for psychopathology; peer victimization (i.e., bullying); behaviorally inhibited (i.e., extremely shy) temperament; social anxiety and its treatment. Clinical Program | Social and Health Program

    Lerner, Matthew, Ph.D., 2013, University of Virginia: Models of social competence & deficits in youth; social competency interventions for developmental disorders (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorders & Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder); therapeutic process variables (mediators and moderators of outcomes); peer relations and their impact on developmental psychopathology. Clinical Program

    Nelson, Brady, Research Assistant Professor, Ph.D., 2013, University of Illinois-Chicago., Emotional and motivational mechanisms of anxiety disorders and depression; developmental psychopathology; EEG; fMRI; reward sensitivity; startle reflex; uncertainty and unpredictability. Clinical Program

    Parsons, Ryan, Ph.D., 2008, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Neurobiology of learning and memory; memory consolidation; fear extinction; anxiety; neural plasticity.  Integrative Neuroscience Program.

    Scott, Stacey B., Ph.D., 2009, University of Notre Dame:  Stress, emotions, health, lifespan development, longitudinal and intensive measurement designs and analysis.   Social and Health Program.

    Joint and Associated Faculty

    Biegon, Anat, Senior Scientist, Medical Department, Brookhaven National Labs, Ph.D., 1980, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel: Brain response to traumatic, ischemic or inflammatory insults. Integrative Neuroscience Program

    Brown, Stephanie L., Associate Professor, Medicine and Society, Ph.D., 1999, Arizona State University. Altruism, prosocial behavior, and health; compassion neuroscience; hormones and behavior; evolutionary constraints on social relationships and the "caregiving system". Social and Health Program

    Caprariello, Peter, Assistant Professor of Marketing, College of Business, Ph.D., 2012, University of Rochester. Consumer relationship processes; how consumers spend money pursuing happiness. Social and Health Program

    Crowell, Judith A., Professor, Professor, Psychiatry: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, M.D., 1978, University of Vermont: The attachment system across the life span; parent-child and adult-adult interactions. Social and Health Program

    Evinger, Leslie Craig, Ph.D., 1978, University of Washington: Motor control and learning; movement disorders. Integrative Neuroscience Program

    Fischel, Janet, Professor, Pediatrics, Ph.D., 1978, Stony Brook University: Behavioral and developmental pediatrics; developmental language disorders and emergent literacy skills; psychological management of disorders of elimination. Clinical Program

    Fontanini, Alfredo, Assistant Professor, Neurobiology, M.D., Ph.D., Brescia University: Neural basis for rich perceptual experiences; how populations of cortical neurons process the multiple physical and psychological dimensions of taste. Integrative Neuroscience Program

    Hsu, David, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, Ph.D., 2002, University of Wisconsin, neural pathways linking stress with psychiatric disorders; social rejection, acceptance, and support; the endogenous opioid system; PET and fMRI; genetic variations

    Huffman, Marie K., Associate Professor, Linguistics, Ph.D., 1989, University of California, Los Angeles: Phonetics; phonology. Cognitive Science Program

    Hwang, Jiwon, Assistant Research Professor, Ph.D., 2011, Stony Brook University: Linguistics, phonetics, phonology, Lecturer, Asian Studies.  Cognitive Science Program.

    Kritzer, Mary, Professor, Neurobiology and Behavior, Ph.D., Yale University, 1989: Gonadal hormone influence over function and dysfunction in the cerebral cortex. Integrative Neuroscience Program

    Krupp, Lauren, Professor, Clinical Neurology, M.D., 1981, Albert Einstein College of Medicine: Neuropsychological and neurobehavioral characteristics of chronic mental illness; interrelationship between memory performance and mood disturbance in chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, and Multiple Sclerosis. Integrative Neuroscience Program

    Kotov, Roman, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry: Psychiatric Epidemiology. Ph.D., 2006, University of Iowa: Classification of mental illness; relationships between personality and psychopathology; clinical assessment. Clinical Program

    London, Manuel, Dean and Professor, College of Business and Center for Human Resource Management. Ph.D. 1974, Ohio State University: Organizational psychology; person perception applied to performance ratings, feedback, and performance management systems; group learning and team development; dispositional factors affecting involvement in social advocacy. Social and Health Program

    Powers, Alice, Ph.D., 1969, Bryn Mawr College: Comparative and physiological psychology; brain and behavior of turtles, with the aim of understanding the evolutionary history of the mammalian brain; habituation and affective modification of the blink reflex in humans. Integrative Neuroscience Program.

    Van Snellenberg, Jared, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, Ph.D., 2012, Columbia University, neural underpinnings of psychotic and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia and related disorders, using multimodal neuroimaging methods to measure brain activity and neurochemistry

    Adjunct Faculty

    Sternglanz, Sarah, Assistant Professor Emerita, Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Program, Ph.D., 1973, Stanford University: Human ethology; sex roles; social learning theory; female academic and career success

  • Contact

    Department of Psychology

    Dr. Sheri Levy, Psychology B 154 (631) 632-7808

    Graduate Program Advisor 
    Dr. Bonita London,

    Graduate Program Coordinator 
    Marilynn Wollmuth, Psychology B 150 (631) 632-7855

    Web Site

    Degrees Awarded 
    MA in Psychology


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