50 Best Psychology Degrees

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Psychologists are the brains behind the human brain. Dig into what makes people tick with a top Bachelor’s in Psychology degree.

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!

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Top 10 Psychology Schools

Rank School Location
1 Stanford University Stanford, CA
2 University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA
3 Yale University New Haven, CT
4 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
5 Princeton University Princeton, NJ
6 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
7 University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
8 University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI
9 University of Florida Gainsville, FL
10 Columbia University New York, NY

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!

  1. Stanford University
    Location

    Stanford, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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).

    Features

    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
    • Neuroscience

    Notables

    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.

  2. University of California-Berkeley
    Location

    Berkeley, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  3. Yale University
    Location

    New Haven, CT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  4. Harvard University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  5. Princeton University
    Location

    Princeton, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  6. University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  7. University of California-Los Angeles
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  8. University of Michigan
    Location

    Ann Arbor, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  9. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainsville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Features

    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
    • Gerontology
    • Black Psychology

    Notables

    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.

  10. Columbia University
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

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