Improve Lives, Especially Your Own, with a Psychology Degree

The study of psychology will give you an in-depth understanding of the diverse nature of people, how to think scientifically, an idea of how the human mind works, and a strong sense of ethics to guide your research and testing.

As a Psychology major, you can choose one of three concentrations: developmental disabilities, forensic psychology, or mental health. If you’re interested in working with children and families, you can easily double major in Child and Family Studies along with psychology.

Through theory and hands-on experience, you’ll be prepared for further graduate study or a variety of career opportunities that include family services, psychiatry, psychology, child protection services, or school guidance counseling.

Psychologist talking to a young child and looking at her drawing

Get Real Psychology Experience

Real-world, hands-on experience is an important part of your Psychology degree.

The Keuka College Field Period® gives you the chance to have four separate internships in Psychology, starting your freshman year.

Learn More

Program Overview

Psychology Major

The Keuka College psychology program offers unique concentrations you won’t find anywhere else to customize your psychology degree in the areas of mental health psychology, developmental disabilities and forensic psychology.

These areas of focus are uniquely suited to build upon your knowledge of human development and behavioral concepts to help you hone in on a specific career path that can lead to diverse opportunities within each specialty.

When combined with the experiential learning we offer within the classroom and our hands-on Field Period® program, you will graduate with a solid toolkit of skills ready to apply across the field of human services.

Psychology Concentrations

If you desire to work in a counseling setting with individuals or families, consider our mental health psychology concentration. The range of courses within this concentration include the assessment of dysfunctional and maladaptive behavior; the primary approach to psychological intervention; and theories of psychopathology, treatment planning, implementation, and evaluation.

You will complete a practicum (lab) experience in a mental health or health care setting, and both a junior and senior research seminar where you’ll focus on more advanced topics in research methods and associated statistical analysis.

If you have a desire to work with people disabilities in non-educational settings, our developmental disabilities concentration may be right for you.

Thanks to a range of courses in education for youth and those with special needs, as well as courses in behavior analysis and modification, you will gain a foundation in meeting the unique needs of this at-risk population. Further, hands-on experience can be added to your knowledge through direct work with our D.R.I.V.E. students, a group of young adults ages 18 - 25 with developmental disabilities who are mainstreamed into select campus courses.

D.RI.V.E students may attend a range of courses from our psychology, social work, education and occupational therapy programs, and they can earn an educational certificate for completing life-learning skills in those classes, assisted by OT, social work, education and psychology majors. D.R.I.V.E. is a collaboration between the Penn Yan Central School District, ARC of Yates County and Keuka College.  

Forensic psychology is where the criminal justice system and the study of psychology intersect, and if you become a specialist within this field, you are likely to provide mental health services to those within prisons or on probation.

Courses involving psychological tests and measures, deviance and social control, abnormal psychology, constitutional law, and ethnic diversity will prepare you to provide a range of support to law enforcement, caseworkers, and judicial officials.

Psychology Minor

Keuka College also offers a minor in psychology that pairs well with any major, but especially so with:

Learn More About the Psychology Program

All psychology majors will complete an independent senior research project over a series of two courses. The senior research project is self-directed, but guided by a faculty member, and will reflect your personal areas of interest. By intent, your research project will be professional caliber and some students have chosen to further enhance their study by pursuing academic publication of their research.

Capstone research projects have recently explored issues such as:

  • whether student-athletes are more motivated during their sports season or during the off-season;
  • how students’ sense of well-being may be impacted by perceptions of discrimination in regards to race, religion or other factors and whether an increase in include in alcohol use may result;
  • mindfulness (the trait of being fully present), and various impacts and effects mindfulness may have in performance across a range of activities.

In contrast to other regional colleges or universities, Keuka College requires each undergraduate student to complete four 140-hour Field Period® experiences, (one per year) which may take the shape of a real-world internship, cultural study at home or abroad, community service project, artistic endeavor or spiritual exploration.

Keuka College psychology majors have conducted personal Field Period® experiences in sites such as prisons, jails, public school psychology or counseling offices, acute or chronic care mental health facilities, residential treatment programs for individuals with emotional or behavioral disturbances, or those with developmental disabilities.

Our unique Field Period® program means you’ll graduate with more applied experience in psychology than any other school in the region.

Our faculty boast a wealth of clinical experience, which will impact your classroom studies and academic advisement. A licensed, clinical psychologist leads the program, bringing experience in forensic evaluations, developmental disability assessments, child custody evaluations, and mental health services within local county governments.

Additional supporting faculty bring expertise in abnormal psychology/psychopathology, physiology of the brain and related behaviors, the dynamics of child and family behavior, as well as clinical interventions, therapies, and various types of mental illness.  

Christopher Alterio, Dr.OT, OTR/L

Founding Dean, School of Health and Human Services
Professor of Occupational Therapy
Director of Disability Services

Academic Credentials

Nova Southeastern University
SUNY at Buffalo


Dr. Alterio graduated cum laude from the SUNY at Buffalo Occupational Therapy program in 1987. He worked as a clinician, educator, and manager before completing his post-professional clinical doctorate at Nova Southeastern University in 2007.

He authored the textbook “Clinically oriented theory for occupational therapy” and co-authored "Caring for someone in your home." He writes extensively on a professional blog that covers occupational therapy topics. His clinical experience ranges across practice areas but his primary interest and focus is in pediatrics. He has presented at state and national conferences on topics ranging from pediatric clinical care and injury prevention programs, certification standards for occupational therapists, occupational therapy history, and appropriate use of social media in a professional context.

He has volunteered for 27 years for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, serving as pediatric subject matter expert on various exam and product development committees, and in all Board of Director leadership positions including Board Chairperson from 2010-12. He owns ABC Therapeutics, a private occupational and physical therapy practice in Western New York. He has served at Keuka College in various roles since 1992 and is currently Associate Professor, Chair, and Program Director of the occupational therapy division.

Professional Interests

Pediatrics, private practice, entrepreneurship, social media, occupational therapy theory, occupational therapy history.

Dr. Jason McKinney

Division Chair
Associate Professor of Social Work

Academic Credentials

University of Rochester
Roberts Wesleyan College
Roberts Wesleyan College


Dr. Jason McKinney earned a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Social Work from Roberts Wesleyan College and a PhD in Human Development from the University of Rochester. Dr. McKinney has authored articles in peer reviewed journals, including Child and Family Services Review and The Journal of Critical Social Work. He has also published articles in The New Social Worker. His research interest is in the developing self across the life span, and most recently within caregiver-child interactions. In 2006, Dr. McKinney received the Scandling Scholar Award from the University of Rochester. Dr. McKinney's practice experience includes family therapy, parent-training curriculums, and the design and implementation of a successful therapeutic foster care program in Rochester, NY. Prior to joining Keuka College, Dr. McKinney taught at Ashland University as an Assistant Professor of Social Work and adjunct at The Greater Rochester Collaborative, State University of New York (SUNY, Brockport) and Nazareth College, and also at Roberts Wesleyan College. He places a strong emphasis on the need for research in social welfare and enjoys providing students with opportunities for meaningful research.

Professional Interests

Research in Selfhood and Identity Development within Cultural Categories Across the Lifespan Using Socio-Linguistic and Discourse Analytic Methodology, Effects of the Child Welfare System on Children and Families, Community-based Action Research on Aging Well.

Contact Information

Dr. Nicholas Koberstein

Associate Professor of Psychology

(315) 279-5456
[email protected]