School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Educational Experience

The School of Social and Behavioral Sciences provides programs that stimulate academic engagement and inform personal and professional values in a spirit that embraces human dignity, social justice and inspires service to the community. Programs foster respect for all as we engage our students in helping people improve their lives through varied and substantial experiential learning. We instruct students in the use of research and intervention methods that are contemporary, rigorous, and evidence-based. We strive to develop life-long learners who are critical thinkers, innovators and collaborators.

Photo of student presenting research

Student Research

Photo of student presenting researchFor students who are interested in careers that focus on research, or who aim to further their education in master’s level and doctoral programs, we understand that they need to be engaged in research projects.  Sometimes students will assist faculty with their ongoing scholarship, and sometimes they propose their own projects for development.  Students have the opportunity to have 1:1 mentorship with faculty as they engage in independent research.  Our students regularly present their work at local and regional conferences, including the Eastern Psychological Association, American Society of Criminology, New York State Social Work Education Association Conference, and the Council for Exceptional Children.  These are wonderful opportunities for students to immerse themselves in the field, learn the cutting edge developments, and meet prospective colleagues and employers. Learn more >>

Experiential Learning

Marist Social and Behavioral Science students get the practical experience they need to succeed in careers in human service through the undergraduate study of psychology, education, criminal justice and social work/sociology; these areas are further developed at the graduate level to include, counseling, education and school psychology. Our network of alumni at schools, community service agencies, government, and non-profits offers students learning and mentoring experiences that complement those presented in the classroom. All of our departments provide a variety of internship opportunities. All of our majors engage in internship or other hands-on learning experiences outside of the classroom.  

Photo of student teacher with students

These experiences not only serve to shape career goals, but can sometimes result in job offers upon graduation.  Our student teachers are offered opportunities to be placed in underprivileged areas, and all of our teacher candidates complete two student teaching assignments, including one with a special education population.  Our psychology students choose from about 100 sites, which include psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, research institutes, occupational therapy programs, substance abuse programs, US Military Academy West Point, Anderson Center for Autism, and many more.  Our criminal justice students complete local internships with jails, prisons, judges, police, and courts, but also have completed national internships with the US Secret Service, US Marshalls, FBI, and NCIS.  Our social work students are in an accelerated program that allows them to enter Master’s in Social Work programs at other schools with advanced standing – such that they need to complete only one year of graduate work instead of two years.  Thus, their senior year with us requires intense involvement with a variety of internship placements to secure the hours needed for graduate school.  These experiences include domains such as aging, child and family services, domestic violence, homelessness, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, and many more.

Graphic of: Internships at Marist. 83% of students participated in one or more internships while at Marist and many credit them as a primary reason they were hired.


Student Involvement

Outside of class, students have the opportunity to become involved in a variety of clubs. 

Criminal Justice

  • Photo of Criminal Justice student at job fairCriminal Justice Club: The Criminal Justice Club is a group which aims to give students the opportunity to get in contact with other Criminal Justice majors and minors. Meetings and activities allow students to develop personal relationships with the faculty and develop contacts in the field.
  • Alpha Phi Sigma: Alpha Phi Sigma is the Criminal Justice National Honor Society, the goals of which are to honor and promote academic excellence, community service, educational leadership, and unity.


  • Teachers of Tomorrow: Teachers of Tomorrow promotes aspiring educators in their efforts to better prepare themselves for an ever-changing profession. Through hands-on events, lectures, community service efforts, and interactions with children and administration at local school districts, the members are able to achieve a greater understanding of the education world.
  • Kappa Delta Pi: Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), the International Honor Society in Education, fosters excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching.
  • Best Buddies: Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization that is dedicated to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of people with both intellectual and developmental disabilities.


  • Psychology Club: The Psychology Club is for students interested in establishing relationships with faculty and learning more about psychology outside of the classroom. We organize a number of events including psychology student/faculty socials, guest speakers, and a disability awareness workshop for middle school students. These events provide our community with knowledge about and experience in the different areas of psychology. All are encouraged to join!
  • Psi Chi: Psi Chi is the International Honor Society in Psychology and was founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Currently there are over 1000 Psi Chi Chapters located at colleges and universities across the United States and Canada. The Marist Chapter of Psi Chi was chartered in 1979. Our chapter provides students with the opportunity to join Psi Chi if they meet certain standards required by Psi Chi and the Association of College Honor Societies (a governing body for college honor societies).

Social Work

  • Social Work Association: The Social Work Association works
  • to promote the core values, knowledge, and skills of the social work profession, which entails a commitment to promoting self-awareness, social justice, and community engagement to better ourselves as well as society.


Photo of faculty member teaching a classOutside of class, students have the opportunity to become involved in a variety of clubs. Our students benefit from the rich and diverse backgrounds of our faculty.  We have a unique blend of full-time faculty with doctorates from prestigious institutions and part-time faculty who are active in their fields (e.g., lawyers, judges, counselors, social workers, teachers, and psychologists).  This critical mix allows our students to examine their fields through the guidance of classroom scholars, as well as successful practitioners.  Moreover, our scholars represent great diversity within each of the four departments.  For example, our psychology faculty have doctorates in such domains as clinical, developmental, social, cognitive, experimental, school, and counseling psychology.  The same can be said of the criminal justice, education, and social work faculty.


Photo of students volunteeringIn addition to the many opportunities for internships and independent research, our students are engaged in community service.  You will find our students everywhere!  Recently, they hosted an evening to raise awareness of homelessness that required students to sleep on the campus green overnight; the event also raised funds and supplies for the homeless.  They volunteer to support local students struggling with literacy and math.  They create STEM fairs at local schools for parents and children to engage in real-world “puzzles” that they are challenged to solve.  They design “discovery boxes” for our local children’s museum to engage young learners.  They bring local middle school students to campus for a day of diversity awareness that includes exercises to make them more aware of what it is like to engage with the world with a variety of disabilities.  They create support groups at a local women’s prison.  The list goes on and on.  Our majors are “doers.”