2022-23 University Bulletin 
    Jul 13, 2024  
2022-23 University Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology


Hy Weinberg Center, Room 302
Blodgett, Room 212
p - 516.877.4800
f - 516.877.4805

Jacques P. Barber, Dean
J. Christopher Muran, Associate Dean



J. Christopher Muran, Director of Clinical Training
Jonathan Jackson, Director of Psychological Services and Field Training
Ionas Sapountzis, PhD, Director of School Psychology
Jennifer Durham, PsyD, Director of School Psychology PsyD program
Katherine Fiori, Chair of Undergraduate Program
Errol Rodriguez, Assistant Dean and Director of General Masters Program and Mental Health Counseling
Jennifer Durham, Director of School Psychology Masters Program
Robert Farrell, PhD, Director of Postgraduate Psychotherapy Center


Undergraduate and Graduate Faculty:

Postgraduate Faculty:


Jacques P. Barber
Robert Bornstein
Jean Lau Chin
Rebecca C. Curtis
Jairo Fuertes
Jerold Gold
Mark Hilsenroth
Lawrence Josephs
Karen Lombardi
Robert Mendelsohn
J.Christopher Muran
Joseph W. Newirth
Joel Weinberger


Associate Professors

Jennifer Durham
Katherine Fiori
Ionas Sapountzis
Carolyn Springer
Kate Szymanski

Assistant Professors

Dana Boccio
Laura Brumariu
Chana Etengoff
Dominic Fareri
Nathan George
Lauren Gonzales
M. Joy McClure
Michael Moore
Damian Stanley
Visiting Professor
Lea Theodore

Clinical Faculty

Nicole Daisy-Etienne
Bernard S. Gorman
Jonathan Jackson
Kirkland Vaughans 

Adjunct Faculty

Amira Simha-Alpern

Mission Statement

The Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology has long been recognized as a pioneer in the training of clinical psychologists. The School was founded in 1951 and became the nation’s first university-based professional school of psychology in 1972. Today, the School houses an array of programs emphasizing professional practice integrating psychological science and research through its undergraduate psychology program, master’s program in general psychology, mental health counseling, and school psychology, APA accredited Ph.D. program in clinical psychology and postgraduate programs in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. We are committed to training professionals to meet the needs of a diverse and global society.

The Derner School of Psychology educates students in the discipline of psychology-one that is grounded in both the social and natural sciences; and committed to scholarship, research, and practice that are sensitive to multicultural issues, and integrative of multiple psychological perspectives from cognitive, social, developmental, and psychodynamic perspectives. We provide students at all levels with a rigorous, empirically informed education in psychology that prepares them to be lifelong learners and well-trained professionals who combine scholarly inquiry and professional service. Our faculty draws on and contributes to the evolving body of knowledge about the workings of the human mind and behavior, while our training emphasizes helping students to transform the ways in which they make meaning and relate to others through psychology-our training requires critical reasoning, intellectual rigor, creative imagination, and empathic capacity to work with diverse individuals, groups, and families.

Additional Information for All Derner Students

Independent Study

The purpose of independent study is to allow the student to pursue academic interests that may not be adequately covered by or available within the regular course offerings. Students who demonstrate the ability to undertake independent study may engage in intensive research or in a project on a topic of merit and originality under the sponsorship of a faculty member.

Students interested in undertaking independent study should seek consultation from a faculty member or the department chair. Requests submitted by the adviser or faculty member are approved by the department chair, and then go to the dean for approval. The faculty member must submit the following information on behalf of the student:

  1. Requirements to be completed demonstrating successful completion, e.g., case studies, paper;
  2. Readings where appropriate or review of the literature;
  3. Whether the faculty member is seeking workload credit;
  4. Number of course credits and hours of work per week or semester; and
  5. Evaluation method.

Requests for independent study must demonstrate that the amount of work to be done is equivalent to what would be done in a regular course, i.e., a three-credit Independent Study request should demonstrate that 45 hours of work will be done in addition to assignments, research, and/or readings as would be expected in a regular course. Required courses may not be taken as independent study. Independent Study must be graded and may not be taken for pass/fail. Students can take Independent Study for 1-3 credits. Requests for independent study beyond 3 credits will need approval from the provost.

Independent study is open to junior and senior undergraduate students and graduate students. No student may take more than 12 credits of independent study toward their undergraduate degree or 6 credits toward their graduate degree. Students should consult with their academic adviser about the regulations governing independent study. Permission forms for Independent Study are available from the Psychology Department Office.

Expenses and Financial Aid

Funding for students in the Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology is available in several forms: loans; on- and off-campus employment; and for graduate students, teaching, research, and clinical assistantships; and paid field placements.


Government loans are available through the University. Financial need must be demonstrated. Apply for state and federally funded low-interest loans through the Office of Financial Aid in Levermore Hall.

Scholarships and Fellowships

A limited amount of scholarship money is available to New York State residents through the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Forms are available in the Office of Financial Aid, Levermore Hall. All students should investigate the possibility of obtaining these funds. Further information regarding foundations, fellowships, and grants may be obtained from The Foundation Center, foundationcenter.org.

Deferred Payment of Tuition

Tuition can be paid in installments by arranging in advance with the Office of Student Financial Services, Levermore Hall, and paying an additional fee. No student can graduate until all outstanding debts to the University are paid.

Part-Time Employment

Some jobs, mostly outside the field, are available through Adelphi’s Center for Career Development. Any job related to psychology must be approved by the dean, in regard to legality, professional ethics, and necessary supervision.


See more information in the sections for Undergraduate and Graduate Students.

Undergraduate Information

Educational Strategy

Psychology is the study of mental processes and behavior. It is a central component of the social sciences, and, because its methodologies are similar to those of the natural sciences, acts as a unique bridge between these two domains of disciplines. Psychology focuses on the nature of individuals and their roles within groups. The discipline’s domain ranges from the physiology of the brain to cognitive processes to determinants of change in attitudes and values. Psychologists have been influential in developing research and statistical methods employed in all the social and biological sciences. As an applied discipline, psychology fosters the well-being, self-understanding, and productivity of each individual.

Students majoring in psychology are introduced first to the discipline’s foundation areas. Opportunities are provided for laboratory and experimental work and fieldwork in various clinical and applied settings. Senior-level special topics courses are given in all major areas of psychology. Advanced research and clinical opportunities are readily available. Students are encouraged to become involved in such activities under faculty guidance. Organizations such as the Psychology Club and Psi Chi Honor Society welcome active participation by majors on campus and in the wider community. Upon graduation, many students enter graduate schools to study for advanced degrees in psychology.

Degree Completion Requirements

Apart from the General Education requirements there are specific requirements for students who wish to major or minor in psychology. Psychology majors must complete foundation courses in psychology and demonstrate that they have achieved competency in key areas required to pursue a major in Psychology. Students wishing to continue in the major will submit a portfolio of writing samples which will be used to assess whether they have achieved competency (80 or above) in key areas required to pursue a major in Psychology. For psychology majors and minors, only psychology courses in which grades of C- or above are obtained will fulfill the psychology requirements, and students must have a cumulative grade average of C or above in psychology courses. A signature feature of the undergraduate program is that our graduating seniors benefit from an applied experience in psychology. These experiences will include Senior Applied Experience (SEA) Courses which offer research or clinical practicum.  Selected SEA courses also fulfill the department and University’s Capstone requirement.

Graduate Information

Educational Strategy

Graduate training at the Derner School of Psychology is designed to further the individual’s understanding of psychology as a science of human behavior and as a profession that evaluates, prevents and treats psychological problems. It aims to prepare students in general psychology and for practice in mental health counseling, school psychology, and clinical psychology, including postgraduate training in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Professional training is founded on the practitioner-scholar model that educates a psychologist as a scholar, a consumer of research, and a highly-trained professional practitioner who applies knowledge and techniques.

Master’s Programs

Questions regarding individual programs may be directed to the appropriate program director: for the master’s programs in general psychology, school psychology and mental health counseling, contact us at 516.877.4802.

Additional Information for Derner Graduate Students

Transfer Credits for M.A. Program

Students who have taken master’s level psychology courses may apply for written permission by the dean and program director to transfer up to a maximum of six credits. Transfers are considered only for those courses in which the student received a minimum grade of “B”. Under no circumstances will more than six credits be transferred.

Transfer Credits for Doctoral Program

Students in the doctoral program may request transfer credit only for non-clinical courses that they have already taken at the graduate level, provided they have received a minimum grade of B. Approval for transfer credit must be approved by the dean, and students requesting transfer credit must provide both a transcript and a syllabus. Transfer credits do not shorten the length of the program.

GPA Required for Graduation

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for all graduate students for graduation. The doctoral program in Social Work requires a minimum GPA of 3.3 for graduation.


Students are required to earn grades of “B” or better in all courses in order to remain in the program. If a grade less than “B” is earned in any given course, the student must meet with the program director, and will be placed on academic probation. Grades of below “B” will not count toward graduation. If it is a core course, the course must be retaken. If it is an elective, another elective may be substituted.

Graduate Assistantships

For clinical Ph.D. students, upon acceptance for the group interview, the necessary forms for request for financial aid will be given to the applicant. It is not necessary to apply in advance.

The financial aid that students receive as graduate assistants is provided in the form of tuition remission, and each student is assigned to a faculty member who supervises the student’s work. The student is required to work one hour per week during the academic year for every $1,000 in financial aid, and the most common graduate assistantship is for $5,000, which requires five hours of work per week.

The School’s practice is to award financial aid on the basis of merit, financial need, and possession of relevant skills. Given that, it should be emphasized that the Derner School of Psychology has a commitment to recruit and train racial/ethnic minority students. As part of that recruitment, incoming minority students are particularly likely to be awarded graduate assistantships.

Every student applying must complete the Financial Aid Form and submit a copy to the Chair of the Financial Aid Committee. In addition, students must submit the Derner School of Psychology’s Application for Financial Aid Form, a copy of their most recent federal income tax return as stipulated on the FAF form, and, if according to information supplied on the FAF, the student is classified as dependent, a copy of the parents’ federal income tax return. The original FAF and the income tax return(s) should be submitted to Office of Student Financial Services at Adelphi.

Scholarships and Fellowships

The APA monograph, Graduate Study in Psychology, has additional suggestions regarding financial aid. This monograph is available in the School of Psychology office or in the Swirbul Library. Additional sources of funding may be identified through fastweb.com.

Howard Davis Memorial Fund

A limited amount of money is available for emergency, short-term loans. Specific terms are arranged with the Dean, to whom applications should be directed.

For additional information about Tuition Assistance and Scholarships, please see the section “Additional Information for All Derner Students”.


The Center for Psychological Services is an integral part of Derner, and serves primarily as a practicum training facility for the doctoral candidates in clinical psychology. The Center’s staff and faculty provide professional oversight and supervision to students who provide assessment and psychotherapy services to Adelphi University students and staff and the members of the surrounding communities. The Center also maintains a liaison with community agencies including schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, drug rehabilitation centers, and crisis intervention units.

Off-Campus Classes

In addition to classes at the main campus in Garden City, the Derner offers some classes for the Master of Arts (M.A.) in mental health counseling, and the Master of Arts (M.A.) in school psychology at Adelphi’s Hauppauge Center. The Center is located at 55 Kennedy Drive, Hauppauge, New York.

Leave of Absence Guidelines

The continuity of training and education is an important aspect of the program; the faculty generally will not permit extension of leaves of absence beyond a single year. Under special circumstances, a student may petition for an extension of a leave for an additional year; such a petition must be presented no later than the preceding spring. The petition must present a compelling reason for such an extension, and should also include provision for approved professional activities during the leave period. The decision will be based on the specifics of the case, including the student’s previous performance in the program, and the professional use that will be made of the leave period. If leave is not granted, the student will be expected to return to full-time status; or will have to reapply and be considered as a new student.

Commitment to Recruiting Racial/Ethnic Minority Students

Special care is taken to recruit and to provide financial assistance for qualified racial/ethnic minority students. A Derner School of Psychology supported minority student organization participates in recruitment of faculty and students, selection of students, planning of special programs, and minority student orientation and advisement.

Programs of Study

The Derner School of Psychology offers the following Psychology programs:

Advanced Clinical Psychology: Graduate

Go to information for this department.


Doctor of Philosophy

Postdoctoral Certificate

General Psychology: Combined

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Combined Bachelors/Master’s

General Psychology: Graduate

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Master of Arts

Master of Arts and Certificate

Infant Mental Health: Graduate

Go to information for this department.


Master of Science


Mental Health Counseling: Graduate

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Master of Arts

Psychology: Undergraduate

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Bachelor of Science


School Psychology: Graduate

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Master of Arts

Doctor of Psychology

Postgraduate Certificate Programs

Go to information for this department.


Advanced Certificate

Postgraduate Certificate

Postdoctoral Certificate