Chairperson: Tim Bockes, Ph.D. Professors: Bush, Ph.D., Bockes, Ph.D., Enerson, Ph.D. and Steitz, Ph.D.; Associate Professors: Fahy, Ph.D. and Gutheil, Ph.D.; Assistant Professors: Fessler, Ph.D., LaPlant, Ph.D., O’Loughlin, Ph.D.
The goal of the psychology program is to reinforce Nazareth College’s mission by giving students a solid grounding in the discipline’s diverse theoretical perspectives, research methods, and empirical findings, and invite students to explore the relevance of psychology to their lives and to the improvement of society. Successful graduates of the program will be well prepared to undertake graduate study in psychology, but that is by no means the only objective. Rather, we give prominence to research and experiential learning to encourage students to think and communicate clearly using evidence to support their conclusions. We encourage students to examine human behavior from multiple coherent perspectives, which serves not only as preparation for graduate school but also for a more sensitive, open-minded, and enlightened relationship with their community and themselves.
The psychology major is a liberal arts major and not a pre-professional program. Work within the field of psychology requires a minimum of a master’s degree in the discipline. Many students combine their study of psychology with a major in inclusive childhood/middle childhood education (New York State certifications: Childhood Education, Teaching Students with Disabilities at the Childhood Level, Middle Childhood Education, and Teaching Students with Disabilities at the Middle Childhood Level). These students usually find employment within school systems soon after graduation and within five years earn the required master’s degree for professional certification. Most students pursue advanced degrees within psychology in areas such as counseling, school counseling, or school psychology in preparation for work in human services or education. Some seek a doctorate for careers in college/university teaching and research while others obtain graduate degrees in related disciplines such as business (e.g. human resources or organizational development) or social work. An optional psychology honors program is available and is designed to give the serious psychology major a more in-depth experience in research as a preparation for graduate study.
The department offers a B.A. in psychology and minors in gerontology and cognitive neuropsychology.