Melissa Goodwin, Chair
Psychology is the science of behavior and the physiological and cognitive processes associated with behavior. Psychology is also the profession that applies the science of behavior to practical problems. Psychology is an interdisciplinary scientific field that draws on theories, concepts, and methods of inquiry from neighboring natural science and social science disciplines. All inquiry in psychology is guided by the scientific method, a process of answering questions about behavior that involves forming theoretical explanations and testing those theories against real-world observations.
The psychology department at St. John Fisher College offers the following undergraduate degree programs:
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology
The B.A. program prepares students for advanced degree programs at the master’s level and higher, and provides ample flexibility for students who want to combine their interests in psychology with their studies in another area (e.g., business, education, pre-law, pre-med). Students in the B.A. program must have a minor area of study, choosing from a wide variety of programs in consultation with their advisors.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology
The B.S. program places greater emphasis on research experience, quantitative skills, and breadth of study in the subfields of psychology, and is best suited for students who plan to pursue graduate degrees in psychology or related fields. A minor is not required of students in the B.S. psychology program.
Our fieldwork program enables students to engage in and earn course credit for applied experiences beyond their academic course work in psychology. Students may take a fieldwork course (PSYC 490) for 1–6 credits. In addition, the course may be repeated. During a fieldwork placement, students are required to work three hours per credit, per week (e.g., 9 hours a week for students enrolled in 3 credits) for 13 weeks at a public or private agency approved by the field experience supervisor. Contacts are available at many existing fieldwork sites. The department also works individually with students to find placements that are relevant to their career goals.
Student Research Opportunities
Students may receive course credit for faculty-guided reading and research (PSYC 496/497) on a variety of topics. We also offer an Honors Program for qualified psychology majors during their junior and senior years, which allows them to work closely with faculty members to undertake more challenging reading and research (PSYC 496H/499H) in their own area of interest. They pursue an independent-study readings course in a particular area of interest under the guidance of a faculty member.
Students may take a combination of fieldwork and research opportunities (PSYC 490, PSYC 496/497, PSYC 496H/499H) for a total combined number of credit hours not to exceed 12. Location of PSYC 490 may be repeated/maintained for a total of 6 credits per location. PSYC 496/497 may be repeated with a faculty member on a specific project for up to 6 credits per project.