Psychology Practicum

Practicum (PSY 498)

What is Practicum?

It is a valuable opportunity to gain hands-on field experiences while gaining course credit. As a student, you may choose a placement that fits your interests and areas of study.

Practicum experiences are available in the following categories of psychology:

  • Child, Family & Community
  • Counseling
  • Forensic
  • Industrial/organizational
  • School
  • Sports


  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Must be enrolled as a Senior or second semester Junior 

Choosing a Practicum Site:
It is best to begin by discussing your interests with the faculty advisor and/or Professor Akin.

  • They can recommend placements, assist with choosing a practicum site, and help you recognize academic/career goals  

Next, contact the organization to discuss your interest and to express your desire to complete your practicum there.

  • The organization will need to have 120 hours of psychology related work for you to complete during the semester

Lastly, secure a placement with a Practicum Application

  • Your Practicum site must be approved by Professor Akin & Dr. Goodsell

How to Apply:
Complete the Practicum Application.

For further information, contact Professor Akin at HS208 or

Common Practicum Sites: 
(* on-campus sites)

Clinical, Community, & School Settings With Children Clinical & Community Settings With Adults Forensic, Industrial/Organizational & Sports Settings
Buffalo Centre for the Treatment of Eating Disorders Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers Buffalo Junior Sabres
Buffalo Guidance Group Buffalo Psychiatric Center Canisius College: Public Safety*
Buffalo Hearing & Speech Canisius College: Griff Center* Gelia
Child & Adolescent Treatment Services: Building Better Futures Program City Mission Macy's
Compass House Erie County Medical Center Niagara Fall's Powerhawks Junior Hockey Club
Electric Gaming Therapy Independent Living Inc. Wende Correctional Facility
Gateway-Longview Jewish Family Services 43 North
Gay & Lesbian Youth Services Lakeshore Hospital  
Hillside Family of Agencies Moving Miracles  
Institute for Autism Research* People Inc.  
Olmstead Center - Early Education Program Spectrum Human Services  
Pediatric & Adolescent Urgent Care Transitional Services Inc.  
Special Friends Program: Lancaster Schools Veteran's One Stop Center of WNY  
The Summit Center WNY Veterans Affairs Hospital & Recovery Center  
We Can Daycare & Preschool    
WNY Children's Psychiatric Center    
Women & Children Hospital of Buffalo    

A Highlight of On-Campus Practicum Opportunities:

Institute for Autism Research (IAR)

Researchers at the IAR are committed to training the next generation of researchers and practitioners through advanced academic, research, and clinical and community-based experiences. Graduate and undergraduate students work closely with members of the IAR on a range of research and clinical projects that enhance their professional development. The IAR primarily provides intervention to school-aged children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD).

The IAR conducts studies and implements programs throughout the academic year and during the summer. These require the involvement of many graduate and undergraduate research assistants in all facets of the projects. Students gain critical research and clinical skills while also having the opportunity to earn academic credits and/or a stipend (when funding is available). 

Undergraduate and graduate student positions on the team are competitive.

If you have questions, you may contact Dr. Rodgers at or 716-888-2815

Overview of Our MAX Programs:
The focus of all of our MAX programs is to teach social skills and provide multiple opportunities for the children to practice skills taught.  

Specifically, we work on areas that are problems for children HFASD: social skills, interest expansion, interpretation of non-literal language (idioms), and face and affect recognition.  

Each day/session is divided into treatment cycles (number and length of cycles is dependent upon program). Each cycle consists of instruction in social skills that include role play and modeling, followed by a therapeutic activity in which they practice the skills in a cooperative group exercise.

summerMAX – Children 7-12 years old receive intervention 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, over 5 weeks during the summer. This intervention has three randomized clinical trials establishing its impact on children’s social performance and ASD symptoms. The intervention is held each summer with between 36-60 children, with positions for 9-15 clinical staff.

summerMAX YC – Children 4-6 years old receive intervention 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, over 5 weeks during the summer. This intervention has two pilot studies establishing its potential.

schoolMAX – Children in 1st to 5th grade receive intervention integrated into their school day throughout the school year. Teachers and school staff primarily conduct this intervention, but student research assistants provide support and monitor fidelity. This intervention has two pilot studies and a large-scale randomized clinical trial establishing its impact on children’s social performance and ASD symptoms.

MAXout – Children receive intervention 2 times per week, 90 minutes each session, for 18 weeks. This intervention has been tested in a pilot trial and a randomized clinical trial was just completed.

homeMAX – Parents are trained to implement the MAX intervention elements directly with their children. Research assistants will support and monitor fidelity throughout implementation. This program is in development.