Learn Outside the Classroom

Psychology students at Canisius supplement classroom learning through a variety of professionally experiences. Our majors have been involved in research projects studying everything from animal to sports behavior. Many students have the opportunity to present research papers at conferences before they graduate. 

Research Opportunities

Research is particularly important in facilitating admission to graduate school and our research facilities and equipment help students to gain valuable professional experience. The department has its own well-equipped studio with elaborate videotape equipment (cameras, monitors, and playback units), which students use in their course work and independent study. 

The psychology laboratory includes rooms separated by a one-way mirror for observational purposes, a suite of rooms for research in counseling and social psychology, and an animal laboratory for physiological demonstrations and learning studies. Behavioral research with larger land and aquatic mammals can be pursued through the cooperative use of the facilities at the Buffalo Zoo and the Niagara Falls Aquarium. Former students have worked with a giraffe, orangutans and dolphins. 

Through research seminars, research assistantships, and laboratory work, there are many opportunities to gain experience in psychological research which is an important asset when applying to graduate schools or industrial selection committees. The results of our students' research, either independent or in collaboration with faculty, have been published or presented in local to international forums. 

Individual Study and Research

There are a few opportunities for advanced students to gain non-classroom experience including independent study and independent research.  

Independent study allows a student to do intensive supervised reading in an area of his/her particular interest. It typically results in a formal paper or presentation. 

Independent research provides experience in performing a directed empirical investigation. It typically results in an empirical research paper written in approved journal (APA) form. Such research may also be done in conjunction with a faculty member's current research.

Internship Opportunities


Canisius psychology graduates cite practicum experience as one of the most valuable aspects of their undergraduate training. Our practicum or internship program provides an opportunity for out-of-classroom experiences in a student’s area of interest. Local schools, businesses, hospitals, and agencies cooperate to provide senior students with an opportunity to gain hands-on training as part of their degree work. 

In the practicum, students with diverse interests obtain supervised experience in developing and applying such skills as testing, counseling, interviewing and consulting in a cooperating agency.  These agencies include: 

  • Gateway-Longview Serving Children, Youth, and Families
  • People Incorporated Non-profit Human Services Agency
  • Action for Mental Health Services
  • Brylin Hospital
  • Buffalo Psychiatric Center
  • Child & Family Services Foundation
  • Camp Caring Love
  • Baker Victory Services
  • Institute for Autism Research

Practicum experience helps students evaluate their job choices by engaging in the real and pertinent activities of that particular profession. Students also have the opportunity to make contacts and preliminary inquiries into future job and training opportunities after graduation. 

The department offers four distinct practicum areas, each supervised by a relevant staff member: clinical/counseling psychology, forensic psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and school psychology. These practica are open to students who have completed prerequisite course work and who have obtained the permission of the supervising faculty member. 

Associated Student Clubs

Psychology student clubs and honor societies help our students identify specific careers to pursue and bring together psychology students for fun and informative events.

The Psychology Club is a social organization which brings Psychology majors and non-majors together to participate in activities related to psychology. Through this club, students educate themselves in the field of psychology, take part in community service activities, provide opportunities to network in the psychology field, and have fun while doing it. The club’s annual event is Psychology Week, which takes place in November. Events in the past have included a Stress-Less day, a movie night, speaker seminar on a variety of careers in psychology as well as other events by chosen members.

Psi Chi is the National Honor Society in Psychology, founded for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship and undergraduate students who are psychology majors and who meet the following qualifications: 

  • Junior or Senior Status
  • Nine credits of psychology courses at Canisius
  • Overall GPA of 3.25 and 3.50 in Psychology Courses

Over the course of the year, Psi Chi sponsors many academic and social activities. Events typically include research presentations, career nights, college workshops, and many others.