The average adult brain contains 100 billion neurons. Each one makes up the unique personalities in all of us . . . with all our quirks, neuroses, pathologies, and feelings. The field of psychology studies the intricacies of the human brain. What makes us act the way we do? What brings out the best and worst in us?
If those big questions interest you, then psychology is the perfect field for you! Lucky for you, we’ve gathered the 50 best Bachelor’s in Psychology programs in the nation. Read on!
What kind of Bachelor’s in Psychology degree should you get?
Not all bachelor’s degrees in psychology are the same – you’ll want to pay close attention to the key differences in order to pick one that works best for you. For instance, you’ll likely choose between a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
Here’s the main difference: the core coursework. A BS in Psychology will involve more science- and math-related classes. You’ll jump into labs, research, and quantitative data. On the other hand, a BA in Psychology will focus more heavily in the social sciences.
Undergraduates who earn a BS typically pursue roles in medicine, science, and beyond. Those with a BA in psychology tend to follow counseling roles.
If you’re looking for a psychology degree that can fit your busy schedule, then maybe an online program is right for you. Check out the College Choice Best Online Bachelor’s Programs of 2019.
What can you do with a Bachelor’s in Psychology degree?
As a field, psychology has numerous sub-domains. Psychologists work in many different settings doing many different things. As you’ll see in the bachelor’s programs below, students can specialize in these core areas. Common sub-domains include:
- Social Psychology
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience
This career could take you into the legal system, the medical world, a private practice, a school setting, a laboratory, a retirement home, and beyond.
No matter which one of these subdomains you choose, your career at its core will cover common tasks: observe human behavior, identify patterns in that behavior, diagnose possible disorders at the root of that behavior, and work with clients to find strategies to move forward.
How much money do people make with a Bachelor’s in Psychology degree?
Psychologists (in their many career forms) can make a highly lucrative income, especially with advanced degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychologists make anywhere from $79k to $129k per year.
The lower income brackets fall to clinical and counseling psychologists, while the higher annual incomes tend to be for industrial-organizational psychologists. The job outlook for psychology graduates looks increasingly positive, too. In the next seven years, psychologists will see an employment growth of 14 percent.
What are the best Bachelor’s in Psychology degrees?
We’ve found that the best degrees are those that offer not only fair prices, but ample flexibility and convenience as well! To find the best degrees for you, we look at the best schools in the country based on reputation, student satisfaction, program quality, and return on investment. Then we review the bottom line – just how much is this going to cost? Check out our methodology page for a more in-depth description of our data.
The schools below not only house the best psychology programs in the nation, but are also some of the best universities in the nation. You really can’t go wrong with any of the 50. Consider which career path within psychology you want to pursue, and charge onward!
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $16,562
Stanford University earns the No. 1 spot for its Bachelor’s in Psychology program for good reason. The Silicon Valley-based research university not only houses the top psychology program nationally, but it also ranks globally (No. 3, in fact, according to US News & World Report).
The Psychology major at Stanford encompasses 180 total credits, but 70 of those will be specifically in psychology. During the final year, psychology honors students will spend a full year immersed in research. The program also allows students to concentrate their studies on one of four focus tracks:
- Cognitive Sciences
- Health and Development
- Mind, Culture, and Society
Stanford’s program stands out for its high-level research opportunities. Undergraduates can take advantage of the Psych-Summer Research Program. They will receive a $7,500 stipend to spend the summer researching closely with a faculty member.
University of California – Berkeley, California
College Choice Score: 96.99
Average Net Price: $18,178
A shining public research institution of the west coast, UC Berkeley stands out for its well-developed psychology program. In fact, it stands tied with Stanford University for the No. 1 ranking, according to US News & World Report. It only falls second here for its lower global ranking.
The BA in Psychology at UC Berkeley takes seriously five core areas of study within the program: Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience; Clinical Science; Cognitive Neuroscience; Developmental, and Social-Personality Psychology. The entire 120-credit curriculum revolves around these areas with courses like:
- Psychology of Personality
- Contexts of Early Development
- Brain, Mind, and Behavior
- Data Science for Cognitive Neuroscience
If research is your thing, you can jump into the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program. Or, you can work on keeping your GPA above a 3.5 and be admitted into the Honors Program. There, students will take four additional courses to deepen their expertise in psychology.
College Choice Score: 96.16
Average Net Price: $18,053
A cornerstone of higher education in the United States, Yale University is an Ivy League institution with a history that reaches back to 1701. The Department of Psychology is a popular place for undergraduates. In fact, PSYC 157, “Psychology and the Good Life” is Yale’s most attended class in its history.
You’ll choose between a few factors within the Department of Psychology at Yale. You can earn a BA or a BS in Psychology through the General Track or the Neuroscience Track. Everything but the course content is the same for both tracks. Between the two, you’ll take courses like:
- Theory and Practice of Early Childhood Education
- Introduction to Cognitive Science
- The Criminal Mind
- Attraction and Relationships
The degree itself is quite interdisciplinary at Yale. It leaves lots of room for students to explore their own research interests. In fact, the final Senior Requirement is a two-course endeavor that includes either a non-empirical literature review or an empirical research experiment.
College Choice Score: 96.04
Average Net Price: $17,030
Known as the nation’s oldest university, Harvard was founded in 1636. Just to put that in perspective, that’s over 100 years before the United States officially became a nation. Psychology is one of the most sought-after majors for Harvard undergraduates.
At Harvard, undergraduate psychology majors can choose between three core pathways: the General Track, the Cognitive Science Track, and the Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology track. Each include 12-14 fascinating upper-level courses such as:
- Psychopaths and Psychopathy
- The Role of Music in Health and Education
- Measurements of the Mind
- Exploring Addiction
Harvard makes it clear that psychology students can only pursue one concentration within the major. But there are other ways to specialize. You’ll find research opportunities in and out of the Psychology Department, as well as grants and scholarships for summer research.
College Choice Score: 93.85
Average Net Price: $16,302
Princeton University adds its own presence and academic excellence to the Ivy League strongholds on the east coast. The New Jersey-based research university has a top-ranked Department of Psychology with award-winning faculty members.
A total of 11 core courses are required for the BS in Psychology at Princeton – three prerequisites and eight major courses. In addition to the core degree program, Princeton offers certificate programs for undergraduate psychology students in areas such as:
- Cognitive Science
- Applications of Computing
- Gender and Sexuality Studies
- Language and Culture
At Princeton, you don’t have to wait until you are a junior or senior to get started in research opportunities. The program integrates lab options into early coursework so that younger students will be more than prepared for independent research later.
University of Pennsylvania
College Choice Score: 93.63
Average Net Price: $24,539
Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania is an academic and historical hub of Philadelphia. It ranks among the first tier research universities in the nation for its academic research productivity. Penn’s Department of Psychology is one of the oldest continuously running departments in the country.
The BA in Psychology at Penn keeps students on an organized, core-based curriculum plan. The 33-credit major covers groupings of courses in Biological Behavior, Cognitive Behavior, Individual/Group Behavior, and more. Here’s a look at more specific courses:
- Language and Thought
- Physiology of Motivated Behavior
- Sex and Human Nature
- Chronobiology and Sleep
Students have the chance to step up their game in a number of ways at Penn. For one, they can join the Honors Program in Psychology, which includes a faculty-guided research project. You can also join the Penn chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology.
University of California Los Angeles
College Choice Score: 92.48
Average Net Price: $14,760
Over on the west coast, UCLA is one of California’s beloved public research universities. It is home to over 45,000 students. Between a robust curriculum, fieldwork, special programming, and student organizations, psychology students at UCLA leave well-equipped for their future careers.
Wide-reaching and interdisciplinary in nature, the Department of Psychology offers undergraduates three degree options: BA in Psychology, BS in Cognitive Science, and a BS in Psychobiology. While each share core classes, their speciality requirements are totally unique. Here are some course highlights:
- Animal Behavior
- Learning and Memory
- Health Psychology
Unique to UCLA, students can get involved with the Undergraduate Research Journal of Psychology of UCLA. This is a student-led academic journal that has the potential to deepen your experience in both research and academic publishing. It’s the perfect thing to have on a resume.
University of Michigan
College Choice Score: 92.22
Average Net Price: $16,408
As Michigan’s oldest university, UM is a large public research university with lots to offer. It outpaces nearly every other university in its research productivity, with annual expenditures averaging over $1.5 billion! Psychology students are privy to UM’s research strengths already starting at the undergraduate level.
Undergraduates will earn either a BS in Psychology or a BS in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience at the University of Michigan. Both tracks include engaging methods lab courses, upper-level courses, internship opportunities, and more. Here’s a sampling of electives:
- Human Neuropsychology
- Social Development
- Psychology and Law
If you already know you want to earn an advanced degree in psychology, the University of Michigan has got your back! The Accelerated Master’s Degree Program allows students to take graduate-level courses during their senior year. It acts as an apprenticeship program where students are invited to participate from faculty mentors.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 91.06
Average Net Price: $15,283
The University of Florida is a research university that boasts land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant designations. UF consistently ranks as a “Best Value Public College” by Forbes and others. The UF Psychology Department offers specializes in five core areas for undergraduate and graduate students.
UF features a 120-credit psychology major that branches into three tracks: General Psychology, Behavior Analysis, and Behavioral & Cognitive Neuroscience. Each track includes a minimum of 30 credits in the major. You’ll have access to a whole range of elective coursework, such as:
- Functional Neuroanatomy
- Social Cognitive Development
- Black Psychology
If you’re a working student or live outside of Florida, you can still earn this degree through the online BA in Psychology. This program doesn’t offer the specialty tracks, but provides ultimate flexibility in being able to earn your degree online. You can finish this program in four years.
College Choice Score: 90.99
Average Net Price: $22,824
A private Ivy League based in the “Big Apple,” Columbia University is one of New York’s finest. It ranks globally (No. 6) for its Psychiatry & Psychology programs, according to US News & World Report. Columbia’s Department of Psychology was officially established in 1881.
The coursework in the psychology major at Columbia University includes a little of everything – foundations, research, and statistics. Students will also take select classes from three categories: Perception & Cognition, Psychobiology & Neuroscience, and Social, Personality, & Abnormal. More specifically, courses might look like this:
- The Brain and Memory
- The Psychology of Stereotyping and Prejudice
- The Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging
Students at Columbia University have the unique opportunity to expand their learning circles to “sister school” Barnard College. Numerous courses at Barnard are cross-listed for Columbia students. Undergraduates can take up to nine psychology credits at Barnard College.
University of Chicago
College Choice Score: 89.78
Average Net Price: $34,834
Globally renowned, the University of Chicago is a school that will get you places. The University of Chicago has graduated historical figures such as John Dewey, founder of functional psychology. It’s no surprise, then, that psychology is still one of its most popular undergraduate majors.
The BS in Psychology at the University of Chicago brings together courses from a broad range of disciplines – everything from biology to statistics to the social sciences. The curriculum features core courses, a breadth requirement, a research requirement, and psychology electives. Some of those classes include:
- Sensation and Perception
- Neuroscience of Communication
- Biological Clocks and Behavior
There’s more to this degree than just classes and studying. Through Psi Chi, the undergraduate psychology club, students will be able to connect with their peers. The club features movie nights, lectures, workshops, and other social events.
College Choice Score: 89.00
Average Net Price: $24,131
Based in Houston, Texas, Rice University is a mid-sized private research university that excels in its small class sizes (6:1 student to faculty ratio) and strong academics. Around 7,100 students attend each year. The Department of Psychological Sciences puts a deep emphasis on research opportunities.
Psychology students at Rice University will complete a total of 120 credits, with 47 of those directly relating to the major. The core requirements are intended to give an introductory overview of the major philosophies in modern psychology. As such, all students will take:
- Introduction to Social Psychology
- Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
- Psychology Research Methods
- Psychology Statistical Methods
In order to graduate with honors, Rice students in their final year can apply for a specific research project or honors thesis. This is a competitive qualification, and qualifying students must have a minimum GPA of 3.7 in the major.
College Choice Score: 88.59
Average Net Price: $25,651
Undergraduates will need to work hard to be admitted to Brown University. This Ivy League university has an acceptance rate of just 6.6 percent. However, once you’re admitted, Brown University will offer you a rigorous and rewarding education. The school is known for its Fulbright scholarship winners.
You can earn either a BA or a BS in Psychology at Brown. The only difference between the two is that the BS requires four additional science courses and a lab experience. All students begin with the introductory course, “Mind, Brain, and Behavior.” From there, the curriculum pivots around three core subsections within the major:
- Perception and Cognition
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Social Psychology
The elective course options for psychology undergraduates at Brown shine bright in this curriculum. Students can devote four of their 12-17 course requirements to electives. Some include Animal Cognition, Sleep and Chronobiology Research, Child Language Acquisition, and more.
College Choice Score: 87.85
Average Net Price: $12,488
The largest university in the state system, IU-Bloomington is a “Public Ivy” of Indiana. It enrolls close to 44,000 students annually. The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences is home to 52 tenured faculty members. Psychology programs at IU receive over $10 million each year in research funding.
Other than the choice between a BA or a BS in Psychology, IU-Bloomington doesn’t incorporate any additional tracks or concentration. Rather, the philosophy is that will work closely with faculty members and select coursework that fits with their particular interests. Here are some you might select:
- Reproductive Neuroscience
- Consumer Psychology
- Social Influence Processes
- Behavior Modification
While there are not designated concentrations in this program, IU-Bloomington does offer three unique undergraduate certifications. They include: Certificate in Clinical Psychological Science, Certificate in Psychology of Business, and a Certificate in Neuroscience.
College Choice Score: 87.67
Average Net Price: $23,295
Founded in 1873, Vanderbilt University has been an academic center in Nashville for nearly 150 years. Despite its size of around 13,000 students, class sizes remain intimate, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. Vanderbilt thrives on research, and is a member of the SEC Academic Consortium.
Undergraduate psychology students at Vanderbilt will take either 36 hours in the General track or 42 hours in the Honors track. One element that separates Vanderbilt’s psychology program from others is its comprehensive final requirement. Coursework highlights include:
- Human Memory
- Animal Behavior
- The Visual System
- Social Cognition Neuropsychology
The faculty members in Vanderbilt’s program know that many students are working toward graduate school. This program has built-in opportunities to get you closer to that goal. For example, students can take upper-level statistics courses, directed research work, and more.
University of Wisconsin – Madison
College Choice Score: 87.05
Average Net Price: $15,910
The University of Wisconsin – Madison proudly stands as the oldest and largest university in the state. It annually enrolls around 44,000 students, most of whom are undergraduates. According to US News & World Report, undergraduate programs at UW-Madison rank in the top 50 in the nation.
The curriculum map for the BS in Psychology at UW-Madison is pretty straightforward. You’ll take 33 credit hours in four core sections: foundation courses, breadth courses, depth courses, and a capstone. The depth courses allow students to specialize in areas such as:
- Critical Issues in Child Psychopathology
- Hormones, Brain, and Behavior
- Cognition in Health and Society
- Psychological Effects of the Internet
The breadth requirement in this curriculum makes sure you graduate with a solid grasp of core psychology subcategories. As such, students will take three classes from at least three of the following breadth areas: Biological, Clinical, Cognitive and Perceptual Science, Developmental, Social and Personality.
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
College Choice Score: 86.02
Average Net Price: $16,808
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities straddles two campuses – Minneapolis and St. Paul. It claims the status of the Minnesota’s oldest university. The Department of Psychology is the school’s largest department. Over 1,500 University of Minnesota undergraduates major in psychology annually.
Whether you choose a BA or a BS in Psychology, the program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is full of amazing opportunities. You can go abroad for a term through Psychology & Research in Madrid. Or you can stay on campus and take fascinating coursework like:
- Attitudes and Social Behavior
- Brain and Emotion
- Neuroscience, Philosophy, & Ethics
- Computational Vision
If finances are a concern for you, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has numerous scholarship options and awards within the psychology program. Among them is a Psychology Engagement Award, intended for students who are interested in applying psychology in their community.
The University of Texas at Austin
College Choice Score: 85.90
Average Net Price: $14,356
UT Austin is a large “Public Ivy” university that is a leader in academic research, both within the South and among other large universities. In fact, last year UT Austin’s research expenditures totalled $615 million. The majority of undergraduate psychology students decide to go on to graduate school.
Depending on your future career goals, students at UT Austin will complete either a BA or a BS in Psychology. The BS is intended for students who plan on pursuing a professional health career. For both degrees, students will take two core classes then 21 credits in related coursework such as:
- Behavior Problems in Children
- Functional Neuroanatomy
The Departmental Honors Program at UT Austin is a two-part process for psychology undergraduates. Over the course of two semesters, honors students will take three upper-level research courses, and then complete an original research project. Students must also maintain a 3.24 GPA.
Carnegie Mellon University
College Choice Score: 85.54
Average Net Price: $29,817
A leader in all things STEM, Carnegie Mellon University also offers a top psychology program for undergraduates. This Pittsburgh-based research university has nearly 150 talented faculty members to lead students through the psychology curriculum. CMU also offers access to amazing technology for brain and cognitive research.
CMU offers a strong BS or BA in Psychology. The curriculum is split into three camps: Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Social/Personality/Health Psychology. Research is deeply embedded throughout the program, and applied in coursework throughout. Here’s a look at some sample courses:
- Psychology of Gender
- Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Cognitive Modeling
In addition to the BS and BA degrees, which follow a general psychology curriculum track, CMU offers majors in Cognitive Science and Neuroscience. These psychology-adjacent degrees are perfect for students who want to specialize their studies and pursue laboratory research.
University of Southern California
College Choice Score: 85.41
Average Net Price: $32,892
An academic splash in the midst of Los Angeles glam, the University of Southern California proudly stands as the oldest private research university in California. For nearly 150 years, USC has educated brilliant minds – from Rhodes Scholars to MacArthur Fellows. Undergraduate psychology students learn from the best at USC.
The BA in Psychology at USC takes a more generalist approach to the field. Undergraduates will take five required courses to create a foundational knowledge. Then, they branch out and take one course in each of the following psych categories: Cognitive, Developmental, Clinical, Biological, and Social. Courses include:
- Psychophysiology of Emotion
- Origins of the Mind
- Learning and Memory
A huge opportunity available to psychology students at USC is a study abroad trip to Hong Kong. In addition to taking classes at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, students will be able to explore the geography, traditions, and cuisine of China.
College Choice Score: 84.90
Average Net Price: $26,099
A global university based in the “Windy City,” Northwestern University extends its talent beyond Chicago. It maintains campuses in Qatar, Miami, San Francisco, and beyond. The Department of Psychology was founded in 1909 and has grown to host a strong faculty force of 41 members.
The major in psychology at Northwestern covers a total of 45 credits within the larger credit requirements. After taking a series of core classes like Statistical Methods, Research Methods, and Intro to Psychology, students will get into the “meat” of the major. Courses include:
- Psychology of Evil
- Language and Thought
Classes are designed in a way that accommodates working students. Courses are offered at both the Evanston and downtown Chicago campuses. Additionally, classes are held just once per week, oftentimes in the evening or on the weekend.
University of California - San Diego
College Choice Score: 83.69
Average Net Price: $14,616
Perched on the Pacific coast, UC San Diego is more than just a prime location. The “Public Ivy” university is a productive leader in academic research, often surpassing $1 billion in research expenditures. The Psychology Department was founded in 1965 and houses around 1,500 undergraduate majors.
You’ve got lots of options through UC-San Diego. The Department of Psychology not only provides the standard BS and BA in Psychology, but also a BS in Psychology degree in the following areas: Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Health, S&P, and Social. Specific coursework includes:
- Delay of Gratification
- Hormones and Behavior
- Control and Analysis of Human Behavior
At UC-San Diego, you’re able to take your degree “beyond the classroom.” You’ll encounter experiential learning opportunities like internships in Washington D.C., study abroad trips, research projects alongside faculty members, and more.
University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
College Choice Score: 83.67
Average Net Price: $16,638
Nestled within sister cities in central Illinois, the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign is the flagship campus of the state system. It enrolls around 33,600 undergraduate students each year. Among public universities, US News & World Report ranks UIUC as No. 13 in the nation.
The psychology program at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign gives students the option to specialize early. Aside from the General Psychology track, there are 10 additional concentration areas that students can pursue. Each require one extra class beyond the core requirements. Concentration options include:
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Clinical/Community Psychology
- Diversity Science
- Personality Psychology
There are lots of ways for psychology students to receive recognition for their academic success at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign. More specifically, there are three financial awards that include monetary prizes of $500 to $2,500.
College Choice Score: 83.15
Average Net Price: $22,011
A strong Southern research university, Duke University is based in Durham, North Carolina. The Sociology-Psychology department is located in the hub of Duke’s campus. Even more, the faculty members are engaged in world-class research; undergraduates often are included in that work.
Undergraduate psychology students at Duke University are divided between the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees. The BS involves more quantitative coursework. Additionally, it requires three more courses than the BA (14 rather than 11). Shared courses include:
- Biological Bases of Behavior
- Learning and Adaptive Behavior
- Behavior and Neurochemistry
Closely related, and housed in the same department, Duke undergraduates can also major in Neuroscience (earning either a BS or BA). Numerous psychology courses are cross-listed in the Neuroscience curriculum. This degree is more suited for students eager to pursue an advanced degree.
College Choice Score: 82.96
Average Net Price: $31,449
A private research university in upstate New York, Cornell University is a mid-size school with a large-scale vision. The core curriculum has an interdisciplinary and global reach. Graduates from Cornell include Nobel laureates, Rhodes Scholars, and politicians.
The 40-credit psychology curriculum at Cornell is split into three core areas: Perception & Cognition, Behavioral & Evolutionary Neuroscience, and Social & Personality Psychology. Students will also experience research opportunities in coursework such as:
- Computational Psychology
- Behavioral and Brain Sciences
- Statistics and Research Design
- Biopsychology Laboratory
This year, the Psychology Department held the first annual Cornell Undergraduate Psychology Conference. Students are given a tangible way to present and discuss their ongoing research in an academic setting. This is a fantastic leadership opportunity, as well as a resume booster.
University of California - Irvine
College Choice Score: 82.85
Average Net Price: $13,944
One of the 10 universities in the larger state system, the University of California – Irvine enrolls around 35,200 students each year. The school is home to numerous research organizations, which is a testament to UCI’s productive research output. One organization of note is the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience.
UCI students interested in psychology can pursue it through two different departments: the Department of Cognitive Sciences or the Department of Psychological Sciences. The first includes more technical and quantitative approaches, while the latter follows a more field-based study, with focus areas such as:
- Psychology and Law
- Environmental Psychology
- Behavioral Disorders
One requirement included for students in the Department of Psychological Sciences is a course in experimental psychology. This fulfills a research requirement. Students can choose from options like Effective Graphical Presentation of Data, Cognitive Robotics, and more.
Pennsylvania State University
College Choice Score: 81.34
Average Net Price: $25,346
A massive “Public Ivy” university, Pennsylvania State University is known as one of the largest in the nation, with a collective student population of around 99k students. The school ranks in the top 10 according to the National Science Foundation standards of STEM research. The Department of Psychology is home to numerous centers and labs.
Depending on students’ future career plans, they can customize their BS in Psychology degree to one of four areas: Life Sciences, Neuroscience, Business, or Quantitative Skills. In total, the major encompasses 50 credits. Here’s a look at a few courses:
- Psychological Foundations of Leadership
- Cognitive Psychology
- Fundamentals of Social Development
Beyond basic coursework, Penn State has huge opportunities to engage students in psychology. For example, students can study abroad at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Or students can join the Schreyer Honors College and jump into advanced research.
University of Washington - Seattle Campus
College Choice Score: 81.01
Average Net Price: $9,443
Located in the beautiful Puget Sound, the University of Washington is one of Seattle’s shining elements. UW is highly selective, and consistently ranks among the top in the nation for its research budget. In 2017, UW had over 1,000 psychology undergraduate majors.
The psychology program at the University of Washington is very transfer-friendly. The school accepts up to 90 credits from another program. The program also emphasizes research as a core tenet of the curriculum. Some of the ongoing projects that students and faculty are working on include:
- Family Adjustment and Child Emotional Development
- Stereotypes, Identity, and Belonging
- Short-term Exposure for PTSD
If you’ve always wanted to travel, the psychology program at UW will get you on a plane! Students have the option to complete an International Field Study Program in Indonesia. This is a research-based study abroad trip in which students will conduct field work on a remote Indonesian island.
College Choice Score: 79.99
Average Net Price: $29,449
A small school with a global perspective, Tufts University holds its own up against the academic titans of the east coast. This Massachusetts-based private university has an acceptance rate of just 14 percent. The psychology program is among the largest majors for undergraduates at Tufts.
At Tufts University, students can specialize in a concentration area from the get-go. They have numerous options: General Psychology, Biopsychology, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive and Brain Sciences, and Engineering Psychology. The coursework offers engaging electives like:
- Emotion Laboratory
- Psychiatric Medication in Children
- Behavioral Endocrinology
- Statistics for Behavioral Sciences
Tufts University makes room for students to shine. Through six specific departmental awards, students are acknowledged for their academic work in the field. All of these are monetary awards, and all have been set up (or in honor of) previous psychology alumni at Tufts.
University of California – Davis
College Choice Score: 79.99
Average Net Price: $16,446
A prominent research university in the California state system, UC Davis comes third in terms of overall enrollment numbers in the UC system. Undergraduates choose from four different academic colleges, the most relevant being the College of Biological Sciences.
The BA in Psychology at UC Davis centers its curriculum around four “core groups,” or concentrations within the major: Perception/Cognition/Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychobiology, Social/Personality, and Developmental. The curriculum also includes a generous amount of elective credits, like:
- Neuroeconomics & Decision Making
- Gender & Human Reproduction
- Developmental Disorders
- Psychology of the Self
UC Davis maintains over 20 psychology research labs that are faculty-maintained and student-assisted. Undergraduates can pursue highly specific research projects such as Epigenetics of Maternal Behavior, Mind-Emotion Development, Psycholinguistics, and more.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
College Choice Score: 79.84
Average Net Price: $11,100
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the oldest public universities in the nation. The school started in 1795 and continues to be an academic force in the south. The psychology major is one of 71 bachelor’s programs that UNC offers to its over 18k undergraduates.
UNC Chapel Hill delivers a BA in Psychology that will prepare students for a wide variety of career options. In the core curriculum, students will take classes from four of the five psychology areas: Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Social, and Behavioral Neuroscience. That plays out into courses such as:
- Sensation and Perception
- Abnormal Psychology
- Child Development
UNC Chapel Hill has some great ways to augment your experience. For example, you can join the Carolina Neuroscience Club or the Undergraduate Minority Psychology Student Association. Or you can take your work internationally with a study abroad trip to Peru, New Zealand, and beyond.
Arizona State University-Tempe
College Choice Score: 79.72
Average Net Price: $12,947
A massive public university with over 80,000 students dispersed between its many campuses, Arizona State University delivers over 350 degree options to its students. The Tempe campus is the largest of the school branches. ASU consistently ranks as the No. 1 Most Innovative School in the nation by US News & World Report.
Whether they earn a BS or BA in Psychology, students at ASU-Tempe will complete a total of 120 credit hours in their four-year program. The curriculum is divided into general education requirements, psychology core, breadth, depth, and elective courses. Here’s a closer look:
- Adolescent Psychology and Psychopathology
- Personality Theory and Research
- Embodied Cognition
If you are a veteran or in active duty, ASU-Tempe offers generous military benefits and scholarships to offset tuition costs. You’ll have access to the ASU Veterans Education Fund, the Purple Heart waiver, Marine Corps Scholarships Foundation, and more.
New York University
College Choice Score: 79.69
Average Net Price: $36,256
An icon of New York City, New York University also reaches the far corners of the world. With campuses in Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, and beyond, students will truly experience a global education. NYU is home to hugely successful graduates, such as Nobel Laureates, National Academy of Science members, and more.
NYU does things slightly differently. The school offers a BS in Applied Psychology, which is an interdisciplinary and interactive approach to the field. The curriculum is constructed out of research, field experiences, electives in counseling, and other hands-on applications. Here’s a look at a few course options:
- Educational Psychology
- Social Intervention in Schools & Communities
- Psychology and Social Change
You can also channel this degree into a career-specific field through the BS in Applied Psychology with a concentration in Global Public Health. This cross-pollination of two strong departments creates an amazing curriculum and the perfect preparation for graduate school. Students also are able to experience psychology applications at an international level.
University of Notre Dame
College Choice Score: 79.54
Average Net Price: $27,453
One of the premiere Catholic institutions in the nation, the University of Notre Dame is highly respected for its history and academic rigor. Notre Dame graduates are known to land highly competitive positions in fields across the board. Similarly, Notre Dame undergraduates are reported to earn an average mid-career salary of $110,000.
If you’re a psychology major at Notre Dame, you’ll take a total of 30 credits toward the major. This includes nine credits in core requirements, and 21 credits spent in upper-level coursework and electives. Seniors complete their degree with a final thesis or internship experience. A sampling of courses includes:
- Cognitive Aging
- Personality Psychology
- Behavioral Genetics
The internship experience is the pinnacle of the psychology program at Notre Dame. This is the chance for students to apply their learning in a career setting. Past students have interned as research assistants in the Yale University Medical School, a business analyst at Capital One, and more.
University of Virginia
College Choice Score: 78.96
Average Net Price: $16,594
Founded by Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia holds deep historical roots. Around 24,300 students attend annually. UVA is an up and coming university for its research and innovation.
The psychology curriculum at UVA analyzes all of the core subjects in the field: cognitive, developmental, social, biological, and clinical psychology. Students also spend significant time (10 credits) completing coursework in research methods and data analysis. Take a look at a few courses:
- Child Development
- Neural Basis of Behavior
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Introduction to Data Science
UVA notably hosts an accelerated option for undergraduates to complete both their bachelor’s and master’s degree in Psychology Research Methods in just five years. Students can choose either the 4+1 track or the accelerated 3+1 track.
Emory University – Atlanta
College Choice Score: 78.45
Average Net Price: $26,867
Known as a leading research university, Emory University is a point of pride for Georgia. The university maintains the largest healthcare system in the state, and is a hub for healthcare training and education. Emory ranks as producing “very high research activity” by Carnegie classification standards.
The Emory psychology curriculum incorporates 12 total courses (or 39 credits) within the major. Undergraduates start with four core courses, which include statistics, research methods, and more. Then they take courses from three breadth areas: Social/Personality/Applied, Neuroscience & Animal Behavior, and Cognition/Development. Here’s a closer look at some courses:
- Childhood Psychopathology
- Neural Basis of Learning and Memory
- Perception and Action
Emory University is a hub for research and higher learning. The school houses a number of relevant centers and institutes for psychology students to access – for example, the Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture, the Psychoanalytic Studies Program, and more.
University of Iowa
College Choice Score: 78.38
Average Net Price: $14,845
The oldest higher education institution in the state, the University of Iowa was founded in 1847. The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences not only educates both undergraduates and graduate students, but it also runs the Seashore Psychology Clinic. This is a training center for students and a huge resource for the community.
Students at the University of Iowa will decide between a BS or a BA in Psychology. The BA offers slightly more curricular flexibility, while the BS keeps a pre-set curriculum. Regardless, both require lower-level and upper-level coursework. Here’s a sampling of a few core courses:
- Introduction to Clinical Psychology
- Research Practicum in Psychology
The Iowa Students Psychology Association is a perfect way for undergraduates to click into their college experience beyond the classroom. This organization hosts lectures, films, conferences, and even career fairs. The ISPA brings together social interaction with academic relevancy.
University of North Carolina Wilmington
College Choice Score: 77.94
Average Net Price: $16,831
Part of the larger state system, the University of North Carolina Wilmington enrolls around 16,700 students each year. The Department of Psychology is staffed by talented faculty. UNC Wilmington recently opened up the Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health, which is both an educational and functional resource.
After a series of pre-requisites, psychology students at the University of North Carolina Wilmington will launch into a sequence of core courses. These include Introduction to Statistics for Behavioral Sciences and Experimental Psychology. After that, students can specialize in a specific area of psychology, including:
- Social and Personality Psychology
- Cognitive Psychology
- Abnormal Psychology
- Learning and Behavior Analysis
Undergraduates have the chance to apply their coursework in practical settings. They can team up with faculty members and participate in laboratory experiments and research. Or students can attend regular Psi Chi Faculty Research lectures.
University of Georgia
College Choice Score: 77.03
Average Net Price: $15,934
The University of Georgia is one of the oldest public institutions of higher education in the nation. Founded in 1785, it is a stronghold of higher education. The Department of Psychology is a prominent feature of the university. In fact, there are over 1,600 undergraduate psychology majors at UGA.
Offered through the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the psychology major at UGA is versatile and engaging. Overall, students will take 39 credits in the major, with 21 of those devoted to upper-level coursework. The electives in this curriculum unpack the intersection of psychology and topics like:
- Psychology of Health
- Psychology of the Workplace
- Psychology of Women
The University of Georgia offers an additional perk. Students who are more interested in the science aspects of psychology can pursue the general major with an emphasis in Neuroscience. Alternately, students can also add a second major like Biology or Cognitive Science.
University of Colorado – Boulder
College Choice Score: 76.80
Average Net Price: $20,323
Located with a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, the University of Colorado – Boulder offers both scenic views and academic promise. CU Boulder is the flagship university in the state system and enrolls around 33k students annually. The school maintains 11 research institutes, including the Institute for Behavioral Genetics.
The BA in Psychology at CU Boulder is housed in Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. The major encompasses 36 credit hours and is interdisciplinary in nature. It brings together core psychology courses, laboratory and methods courses, and natural sciences coursework. Here’s a sampling:
- Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
- Psychological Testing and Assessment
- General Biology
If you want to add to your bachelor’s degree, CU Boulder offers students a Neurosciences and Behavior Certificate. This certificate draws from outside the department, and dips into physiology, medicine, and beyond. This is a great gateway achievement for advanced education.
University of Oregon
College Choice Score: 76.54
Average Net Price: $15,100
Located in the beautiful Willamette Valley, the University of Oregon is a public research institution. UO’s Department of Psychology was founded in 1876, making it one of the oldest of its kind in the west. The department is staffed by 31 talented faculty members. Three of them have the honor of being National Academy of Sciences members.
The University of Oregon delivers both a BA and a BS option for psychology undergraduates. Both degrees begin with two specific prerequisites: Mind & Brain, and Mind & Society. From there, students take upper-level specialty courses for a total of 68 credits in the major. Here’s a look at a few specialty courses:
- Brain Mechanisms of Behavior
- Cognitive Development
Three awards are set aside for undergraduates who show excellence in psychology. For example, the Leona Tyler Scholarship is awarded to students who are committed to work related to diversity, human development, and the promotion of peace. These awards include a financial benefit.
Stony Brook University
College Choice Score: 76.02
Average Net Price: $14,330
Stony Brook University is a mid-sized public university that was founded in 1957. The Department of Psychology was started a few years later in 1965 and remains one of the most popular undergraduate degree programs. It hosts programs in Cognitive Science, Clinical Psychology, Social and Health, and Integrative Neuroscience.
Stony Brook University is home to a strong and vibrant psychology program that offers both a BA and a BS. Unfortunately there is not a Psychology minor offered. The curriculum outlines a few core classes, some survey courses of the overall field of psychology, and upper-level courses. Here’s a closer look:
- The Psychology of Language
- Judgment and Decision Making
- Physiological Psychology
If students reach their junior year and have maintained a strong GPA in the psychology major, they are eligible to apply for the Honors Program. This stipulates that they have a GPA of at least 3.5 within the department. Honors students will be paired with a faculty member and work on collaborative research with them.
University of Maryland
College Choice Score: 74.86
Average Net Price: $17,241
The University of Maryland marks itself as the largest research university in the area. Although it is located in Maryland, the university’s proximity to Washington D.C. gives students amazing access to internships, networks, and connections. Psychology is one of 92 undergraduate majors.
The entire curriculum at the University of Maryland revolves around three core themes in the major: Mind, Brain, and Behavior; Mental Health and Interventions; and Social, Developmental, and Organizational Studies. Students will dip into all three areas, but ultimately choose a focused path. A sampling of a few courses would look like this:
- Science of Sleep and Biological Rhythms
- Child Psychopathology
- Psychology of Adulthood and Aging
Toward the end of the program, students have the opportunity to get specific with their psychology inquiries. The Advanced Special Topics series are semester-long courses set up by individual faculty members. Some examples include Evolution of the Forebrain, Social Media and Social Computing, The Psychology of Terrorism, and more.
Brigham Young University
College Choice Score: 74.02
Average Net Price: $12,979
Brigham Young University is a private university affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In fact, 98 percent of the student body are active members of the LDS church. The school puts a distinct emphasis on exposing undergraduates to academic research.
Students completing the BS in Psychology at Brigham Young University will take at minimum 52 credits in the major. The upper-level coursework is separated out into clusters: Developmental and Clinical Psychology, Social Psychology, and Behavior, Brain, and Cognition. Here are a few course options:
- Drugs, Reward, and Addiction
- Psychology of Religion
- Abnormal Psychology
BYU’s curriculum includes a unique element that separates it from the rest. Students must take both a Multicultural Issues course and a Gender Issues course. They are able to choose the course from a cluster of options. This requirement shows BYU’s commitment to interdisciplinary approach to psychology.
College Choice Score: 72.41
Average Net Price: $30,784
Unique in its use of the cooperative education model, Northeastern University stands apart from other schools in the region. This Boston-based private research university ranks 1st in “Best Schools for Internships” by Princeton Review for that very reason. Close to 18k undergraduates attend annually.
Research is the focus of the BS in Psychology at Northeastern University. Students have the chance to work closely with faculty in laboratory experiences, as well as participate in the co-op programs. The curriculum blends Social and Biological Psychology with statistics, research, and more with classes like:
- Social and Affective Neuroscience
- Behavioral Modification
- Learning Principles and Behavior Analysis
Northeastern University makes it simple for students to earn a combined degree or to add a minor. The BS in Psychology with a minor in Behavioral Neuroscience is a common pathway for students. Others add a double major in areas like ASL, Data Science, Linguistics, and more.
Michigan State University
College Choice Score: 72.31
Average Net Price: $16,684
Michigan State University is one of the largest public universities in the nation by attendance. Around 50,000 students are enrolled annually. U.S. News & World Report ranks its Department of Psychology in the top 50 nationwide. The department maintains six unique sub-programs within psychology.
There are 23 requirements in total for the BA in Psychology at Michigan State University. They range from core university classes to psychology electives to experiential learning courses. In total, the undergraduate degree requires 120 credits to graduate. Some of the highlight classes include:
- History of Modern Psychology
- Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
- Data Analysis in Psychological Research
- Brain and Behavior
Michigan State University stands out for its flexibility in coursework options. If undergraduates want to accelerate their degree, they can take online courses during the summer. There are two summer terms, which gives students ample opportunity to take multiple courses.
University of Rochester
College Choice Score: 72.06
Average Net Price: $37,064
The New York-based University of Rochester is a small, private research university that makes a big impact. Though it only enrolls around 5,600 undergraduates annually, it has a $346 million research budget. The Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology Department excels in research areas like Developmental Psychopathology, Motivation, and more.
Unique in its form, the University of Rochester delivers an accelerated BS in Psychology that acts as a degree completion program. This means students will enter the program already having completed the general education requirements. From there, the curriculum contains 46 credits, with courses like:
- Substance Abuse and Addictive Behaviors
- Cognitive Psychology
- Psychology of Group Processes
A few things stand out about this program in particular. One, you can complete the degree in just 16 months. Courses are offered both online and in person. Additionally, the school is founded on Christian principles, so expect to take at least one or two courses in religion.
University of Miami
College Choice Score: 71.10
Average Net Price: $42,204
Located in sunny Florida, the University of Miami is home to a thriving student body. Undergraduates enjoy the choice of 138 degree programs, psychology being one of the most popular options. The Department of Psychology is operated by 49 talented faculty members.
The BA and BS programs at the University of Miami are highly competitive. The curriculum is hands-on, research-heavy, and introduces the core psychology theories. A large chunk of the course requirements are designated toward electives. Here’s a quick look:
- Attitudes and Persuasion
- Psychology of Language Development
- Applied Behavioral Analysis
There are two exciting research opportunities for UMiami students during the summer term. The first, PRIME Summer Research Scholarship, is a 10-week research project that prepares students for graduate school. The second is the Lois Pope Neuroscience Summer Research Scholarship, which is perfect for students interested in neuroscience.
University of Arizona
College Choice Score: 70.53
Average Net Price: $15,758
The first institution of higher education in the state, the University of Arizona was founded even before Arizona was ratified as a state. Since 1885, it has served as a public research university. The psychology program is housed in the School of Mind, Brain, and Behavior.
The University of Arizona has a straight-forward BA in Psychology program. The curriculum features required coursework from the three major areas of psychology: Clinical Science, Social-Personality Science, and Cognitive Neuroscience. The major requirements total 33 credits with courses like:
- Evolutionary Psychology
- Brain Rehabilitation
- Human Memory
The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is not the only degree option at the University of Arizona. Students can also choose the BS in Psychological Science, which spends more time on research, quantitative skills, and science. There is also an online BA program that students can access.
Ohio State University – Columbus
College Choice Score: 70.22
Average Net Price: $18,042
Ohio State University is the largest public research university in the “Buckeye State.” Students in the Department of Psychology learn from 50 full-time faculty members. There are over 1,800 undergraduate majors in psychology, making it one of the largest degree programs at OSU.
OSU teases out four core areas from which to base their BS and BA in Psychology: Brain & Behavior, Cognitive Psychology, Clinical and Developmental Psychology, and Social Psychology. Students will get a taste of each area throughout the 36-credit major, with classes like:
- Memory and Cognition
- Psychology of Adjustment
- Stereotyping and Prejudice
Since Psychology is one of the largest departments and undergraduate majors at OSU, it is no surprise that there are many options to take your degree further. You can apply to the Honors Program, study abroad in England, participate in the three-year Research Mentorship Program, and more.