Undergraduate Catalog


Phone: 845-257-3470
Location: Wooster Hall 361
Web address: www.newpaltz.edu/psychology Link opens in a new window

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.  

Psychology is an empirically based science. Therefore, it is desirable for psychology majors to have the skills to interpret and generate new information. To that end, courses in statistics and research methodology are required of all majors. In addition, psychology majors take a writing-intensive capstone 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 the Liberal Arts. Taking a variety of elective courses in other disciplines is strongly recommended.

In addition to the general 44-credit Psychology major, students may choose to complete either the 59-credit Psychology major with a concentration in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, or the 59-62-credit Psychology major with a concentration in Psychobiology. These concentrations offer more specialized and less general versions of the Psychology major.

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 (4 if declaring the psychobiology concentration). They must also have completed PSY101 Introduction to Psychology with a minimum grade of C-.

The Psychology Department also offers two minors. The 18-credit Psychology minor provides a representative sampling of psychological research, theory, and practice. This minor is valuable to anyone whose career might benefit from a deeper understanding of human thought, emotion, or behavior. The 19-credit 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 Studies majors.

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 (18 credits)
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 Disaster Response), 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 Amy Nitza (845-257-3479 or nitzaa@newpaltz.edu).

Minor in Evolutionary Studies (18 credits)
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. Tom Nolen (845-257-3753 or nolent@newpaltz.edu) or its founding director, Dr. Glenn Geher (845-257-3091 or geherg@newpaltz.edu).

Psychology Program

Notice to Persons Who Have Prior Felony Convictions

State University of New York (SUNY) policy prohibits SUNY New Paltz admission applications from inquiring into an applicant’s prior criminal history.  Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet the licensure requirements for certain professions, including programs in Psychology. 

Individuals with prior criminal histories are advised to seek advice and guidance from the chair of the academic department regarding the impact of a criminal record on meeting the requirements of the major/professional licensure or certification prior to declaring the major.