Our Identity

We are recognized as an international leader, dedicated to scholarship and committed to preparing our graduates for a changing society.

At Derner, students engage in academic studies and clinical practice, which help them obtain the necessary skills for a wide range of careers, while also improving their understanding of human behavior.

Thanks to a dedicated and knowledgeable faculty, our programs successfully integrate research, theory and practice—a winning combination for our students.

Our Legacy

In 1950, Gordon Derner came to what was then Adelphi College with a vision to train clinical psychologists with both a strong foundation in the principles of psychological theory and research, as well as an orientation to professional service and practice. Accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1957, Adelphi’s doctoral program in clinical psychology was recognized as the forerunner in the field of professional psychology.

Initially known as the Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, the School functioned as a graduate department in the School of Arts and Sciences at Adelphi until 1972, when it became the nation’s first university-based professional school of psychology.

Our Evolution

Today, Derner continues to evolve and to further its international recognition as a leader in the field of psychology. Recently renamed Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology, it currently comprises majors in undergraduate psychology and neuroscience, master-level education in school psychology, mental health counseling and general psychology, doctoral training in clinical psychology (PhD) and school psychology (PsyD), as well as postgraduate programs in psychoanalytically informed interventions.


Derner’s mission is to generate and disseminate knowledge about psychological and behavioral aspects of human experience, with an emphasis on knowledge that can be applied to help those who are struggling with psychological difficulties. Our goal is to provide students at all levels with a deeper understanding of both the mind and the brain and to prepare them for a range of professions, including mental health–related professions. We are dedicated to using science and clinical expertise for the benefit of our students and professionals who will then use those skills to help others. We are an integrative, empirically-informed school of psychology with a long psychoanalytic tradition and commitment to social justice that continues to shape all that we do.

Commitment to Diversity

Special care is taken to recruit quality students from diverse backgrounds (from racial and ethnic minority groups and a broad array of underserved populations) and to provide financial assistance that will enable them to flourish during graduate school and beyond. A Derner-supported minority student organization participates in recruitment of faculty and students and in the planning of special programs, minority student orientation, advisement and networking with active minority alumni.

Diversity Statement

The Derner School of Psychology is committed to creating an inclusive environment in which:

  • All members of its community can develop and thrive
  • Diverse points of view are welcomed, encouraged and respected
  • Individual differences are explored, recognized, celebrated and facilitated
  • Equity and social justice are actively promoted
  • The historical, social and political forces and contexts that create and sustain structural inequalities are considered
  • There is on-going learning about different worldviews, strategies for addressing biases and becoming advocates for self and others
  • Self-awareness is encouraged to address biases by race, ethnicity, gender, religion, social class, age, disability, nationality, immigration status, sexual orientation etc. and their intersections.
  • There is accountability and endeavors to create awareness, educate and repair when people struggle to recognize their biases, and decisive action is taken to combat them
  • Our teaching, research, practice and policies recognizes and incorporates the diversity that exists in today’s society
  • Students are prepared to work with and promote the health and well-being of diverse individuals, groups and communities
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