The mission of the major is to provide a solid foundation in the discipline of psychology and to help students apply their knowledge toward achieving a sustainable future and just world.

Psychology professors contribute expertise in clinical psychology, gender and sexuality studies, cognitive and brain science, health and sport psychology, indigenous studies, environmental sustainability, and child, adolescent, and adult development to the program. As a result, the classroom experience is quite varied, and the degree can be applied in any number of careers and professional settings.

Students working and learning together
view of the Main bell tower
Time outside
Students presenting their learning

Available as a major or a minor.

Studying the Mind

At its heart, psychology is the study of the mind and human behavior, and students often choose the major simply because they want to be psychologists. In fact, there are no end of options open to you with a psychology degree. You might learn to study culture as a social psychologist, or study the way that children learn to connect with the world in developmental psychology or the ways that people work with others in organizational psychology—not to mention mental health and therapy in clinical psychology, criminal justice and forensic psychology, counseling, cognitive psychology, and more.

To throw the doors open even more, anyone who is going to work with people might want to consider the major or add a psychology minor to another program of study. If you're looking towards a career in law, human services, health care, business, nonprofit work—anywhere you'll be interacting with other people—an education in psychology can be beneficial as you learn to understand people, comprehend their thinking, and judge how to work with them effectively.

The goal of the major is to prepare students to be global citizens—individuals who hold an appreciation of the diversity of human experience as they cultivate a sense of how to make a positive impact on the world through an understanding of self and others.

The Classroom Experience

Our professors contribute expertise in gender and sexuality studies, cognitive and brain science, health and sport psychology, indigenous studies, environmental sustainability, and child, adolescent, and adult development to the program. Introductory classes start you off, providing an overview of common practices and methods as well as the development of the field over time. After that, the classroom experience becomes quite varied, bringing in different teaching styles, discussions, hands on experiences or lab work, and a mixture of writing, presentations, collaborative projects, and firsthand research.

Students in child development design a study and use subjects to test their hypothesis. In psychology of art you might make an elaborate mask using homemade materials, or join classmates in a lab for neuropsychology or linguistics or on a field trip to learn about the psychology of local Indigenous cultures. One thing you can count on is plenty of variety.

Outside the classroom, you'll learn to apply your learning in practical ways. A recent student established a community memorial garden on campus; another took his research on sustainable thinking to a regional conference. The psychology of environmental sustainability class conducts a group project with the goal of changing unsustainable behaviors on campus, and students in psychotherapy hold an event to reduce stigma related to mental illness with posters and announcements related to health psychology.

Psychology combines well with many other programs, too. Education majors take adolescent or child development to support their training as educators. The Sociology and Anthropology program shares many topics and methods, and students in the Sport Management program benefit from the new course in sport psychology. A Women's and Gender Studies student will gain additional expertise towards a career in administration, advocacy, or human services; and Health Sciences students interested in pre-med or medical administration will benefit from psychology classes. In all cases, Wells' liberal arts foundation underlines the value of a diverse and broadly-useful education.

Internship and Study Abroad

Internships—which are required for the major—also vary a lot, providing students with opportunities to explore the realities of careers they're considering. You can work with professionals in residential settings, drug or alcohol rehabilitation, counseling or school psychology, youth camps, or research—for just a few examples. Wells students have recently held internships with:

  • Hillside Children’s Center, Syracuse, NY
  • Sexual Assault Victims Advocate Resource (SAVAR) of Cayuga Counseling Services, Auburn, NY
  • Unity House of Cayuga County, Auburn, NY
  • Direction Behavioral Health Associates, Nashua, NH
  • Cayuga Home for Children, Auburn, NY
  • Opportunities, Alternatives, Resources (OAR), Ithaca, NY
  • Cayuga Counseling, Inc., Auburn, NY

Wells also encourages off-campus study in fascinating programs across the country and around the world. Broaden your understanding of cultural differences in Scotland's Univerity of Stirling, Florence's Italian International Institute Lorenzo de’ Medici, or New Zealand's Victoria University of Wellington. Check out our off-campus study programs.

Career Possibilities

Psychology students from Wells go on to a number of jobs in health care, education, business and human resources, and other fields. Recent graduates are now counseling, performing social work and services, assisting children with disabilities and their families, coordinating clinical work, directing creative arts therapy, teaching at nearly every level, managing and assisting with rehabilitation work, studying law and nursing, and working in many other roles. Psychology faculty are always glad to help with advising and counseling for graduate school and career preparation.

"I'm committed to make change in the world using my discipline."

Milene Morfei '89
Professor of Psychology; Ida Dorothea Atkinson Professor
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Program Faculty
Deborah Gagnon
Associate Professor of Psychology
Sarah Markowitz
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Milene Morfei
Professor of Psychology
Vic Muñoz
Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies
Practical Applications

As one of our most popular majors, the Psychology program offers more than just the study of the mind. Professors often organize trips to nearby student conferences, such as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research or the Farmingdale State Psychology Conference, where you can share your original research. The student Psychology Club organizes a "De-Stress Fest" each semester as well as watching and discussing thought-provoking films. Guest speakers discuss real-world application of theories of mindfulness and the ways that psychological theories can contribute to a better world. Cross-disciplinary work is essential—work with the Center for Sustainability and the Environment, the Center for Business and Entrepreneurship, and related disciplines such as Women's and Gender Studies or Anthropology to apply what you learn to real-life situations and deepen your understanding of your own major.


Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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