Psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate majors in the United States. Psychology graduates find careers in many different spheres, including law, education, and social work.
Some go on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology, eventually becoming practicing licensed psychologists. With about 192,300 psychologists working as of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the industry could grow by 3% from 2019-29.
Psychology students at all levels can choose from on-campus and online program options. An increasing number of students are taking advantage of distance learning programs, which allow degree-seekers to listen to lectures and complete coursework at home, on their own time. This flexibility and convenience especially appeals to working professionals.
Are you looking for colleges with psychology majors? The following list includes the best colleges for psychology in the country.
Undergraduate offerings include degrees in clinical psychology, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, and business psychology. Students begin the program learning calculus, computer science, chemistry, and statistics.
Degree-seekers participate in hands-on labs and independent studies. Experiential learning is integral to the program, with students gaining credit toward their major or minor through teaching apprenticeships, internships, or study abroad trips.
Undergraduate and graduate students can assist faculty members with research projects in social psychology, sensation and perception, developmental psychology, and cognitive psychology.
The psychology advising office helps graduates find jobs in counseling and healthcare. Alumni 101 also offers workshops in conjunction with the department and the school's alumni association to give students networking advice and career tips.
With a legacy that dates back more than a century, UC Davis ranks among the top psychology schools. The public institution offers 101 graduate programs, with more than half featuring interdisciplinary studies.
The university's Ph.D. in psychology fosters an intimate learning environment, as candidates, guided by faculty members, work toward publishing their research. The program concentrates on five areas of study: developmental psychology, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, biological psychology, social personality, and quantitative research.
The department of psychology creates an informal learning environment in which students benefit from the supportive faculty. The department's annual conference offers the chance for Ph.D. candidates to present their research.
The program is open to bachelor's degree-holders and features a master's-to-Ph.D. pathway. Applicants do not need to take any prerequisite courses and may not need to submit GRE scores. Applications must include letters of recommendation, transcripts, a statement of purpose, personal history and diversity statement, and application fee.
Degree-seekers complete 68 major credits on subjects like abnormal psychology, personality, cognition, and sensation and perception. Students then choose from specialized courses in 17 interdisciplinary clusters, including educational psychology, society and psychology, forensic psychology, and artificial intelligence and information science.
Candidates can further customize their studies by double majoring in one of 11 optional areas, including American Sign Language, business administration, criminal justice, data science, or economics.
The program offers five-year and four-year plans. Learning extends beyond classrooms at Northeastern, with students studying in 148 countries and 2,000 employers offering career experience through the school's Experiential Network.
The college accepts some 2,800 transfer and first-year students each fall. The admissions committee accepts applicants with strong transcripts, letters of recommendation, resumes, and essays.
Established in 1636, Harvard is the nation's oldest institution and one of the most prestigious. The Ivy League university's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers degrees in 58 fields and features one of the top psychology schools in the United States.
Students can earn a Ph.D. in one of four research areas: clinical science; social psychology; developmental psychology; and cognition, brain, and behavior. The program also includes concentrations in clinical science or a common curriculum.
The clinical science and experimental psychology concentration trains future clinical psychologists for licensure in Massachusetts. This research-based program takes five years to complete.
Ph.D. candidates in the developmental psychology track study the human mind through the university's Laboratory for Developmental Studies. Students in the cognition, brain, and behavior concentration research track study mental imagery and sensation in humans and animals. Social psychology Ph.D. candidates research human behaviors in the business school, medical school, and Kennedy School of Government.
All Ph.D. candidates receive five years of guaranteed funding.
Founded in 1701, Yale enjoys a reputation for providing a top-tier education from its campus in New Haven, Connecticut. The school is also known as one of the best colleges for psychology in the nation.
Yale's Department of Psychology offers a bachelor's degree in psychology and a Ph.D. that features research opportunities in clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, neuroscience, and social/personality psychology.
While students work primarily in their chosen specialty area, they also participate in labs focused on other subject areas. Undergraduate psychology majors must complete a senior essay of more than 5,500 words.
Graduate students enrolled in the clinical track complete their practicum over eight semesters at Yale partnerships sites, such as the Connecticut Mental Health Center, Yale-New Haven Psychiatry Hospital, and the Yale Neurology Department.
Admissions requirements vary by program. Only 15 graduate students are admitted to the Ph.D. in psychology program each year. The graduate program requires three recommendation letters and research samples. Applicants can voluntarily submit GRE scores.
Established in 1889 as an all-female branch of Columbia University, Barnard provides women psychology majors with a first-rate education that combines knowledge and experience.
Undergraduates take core courses in statistics, perception, introduction to neuroscience, and clinical psychology. The program also includes four labs, including one experimental lab in any science field, and lectures from other departments such as astronomy, chemistry, or biology. Labs take place on campus or at outside healthcare sites. Mentorship opportunities offer students the chance to gain research experience and career contacts.
The program culminates in a capstone project or independent study. Degree-seekers can also write and present a thesis to fulfill their senior requirements. Joining Psyched: The Barnard Psychological Society offers additional opportunities to meet like-minded peers at panels and movie screenings.
Transfer and first-year students applying to Barnard must submit ACT or SAT scores and their official transcripts.
Colorado College is a private institution founded in 1874. The school's bachelor's degree in psychology prepares candidates for graduate studies or entry-level careers.
The program comprises 12 sequential courses. Degree-seekers must complete prerequisite courses every year prior to taking major courses and complete an introduction to psychology course before enrolling in research design. Research design coursework provides the foundation for concepts in abnormal psychology.
The four-year program culminates in a psychological investigation, literature review, or field study. Candidates perform independent research with faculty guidance and may publish their findings. Students must earn a "C-" or higher in all major courses to graduate.
Admission requirements vary according to the applicant's status. Candidates may submit standardized test scores voluntarily. The admissions department considers applicants based on their academic and extracurricular accomplishments.
Students at Minnesota-based Carleton benefit from an intimate learning environment, enjoying a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. Working under close faculty supervision, candidates pursuing a bachelor's degree in psychology explore pedagogy and develop their academic writing and research skills.
The psychology program emphasizes three specializations: biological and behavioral processes; cognitive studies; and social behavior, development, personality, and clinical psychology. Experiential learning shapes the student experience at Carleton.
Programs in Prague and Denmark present opportunities to study abroad. Labs feature a collaborative environment in which students study human and animal subjects. Prior to declaring a psychology major, freshman and sophomores can apply to work in the health psychology lab, language and cognition lab, Meerts Hormones and Behavior Lab, perception lab, or primate cognition lab.
Regardless of their status, all students start classes in the fall. Carleton does not charge an application fee. Degree-seekers must complete introductory psychology courses as prerequisites or earn a passing score on the assessment exam.
Ranking among the top psychology schools, Bates College honors diversity, equity, and accessibility. In keeping with these values, the psychology department requires students pursuing a bachelor's degree in psychology to study related topics.
The psychology curriculum consists of "breadth" and "depth" intermediate and upper-level classes. Students can pursue concentrations like philosophy and psychology, Asian modernity, the human body, and sound.
Learners examine how people think and behave during labs and study abroad opportunities. In their final year, candidates demonstrate their cumulative knowledge through a community-based research project, empirical thesis, or theoretical review and integration paper. The community-based research project lets students engage with outside groups, while the other options require students to examine psychological literature.
Candidates leave the program with strong critical thinking skills, research methods, and sociocultural and international awareness. Graduates work as undergraduate school fundraisers, art therapists, guidance counselors, and scientific writers.
CMC is a small private institution that enjoys access to resources from Claremont College's seven other schools. The college offers a bachelor's in psychology degree that focuses on public affairs.
Learners pursuing a psychological science degree study leadership, legal studies, and cognitive neuroscience in sequential order. Students can also take psychology courses at CMC's sister schools: Scripps, Pomona, Harvey Mudd, and Pitzer College.
Degree-seekers explore applied psychological methods relevant to business, education, health, and medicine in campus research laboratories.
At the end of their junior year, students complete a practicum with courses in statistics and research methods. Graduates find jobs in education, marketing, consulting, and human resources.
To graduate, learners must complete either a one- or two-semester thesis. The one-semester thesis option does not require data collection and analysis. The program offers the option to complete a year-long thesis for potential publication.
Founded in 1905, UChicago's psychology department offers a 1,200-unit bachelor's degree in psychology that features a broad curriculum and ample research opportunities.
Courses cover biological psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, and sensation and perception. Students can customize their degree by choosing six electives on topics like adolescent development, sensation and perception, and biological clocks and behavior. Candidates also explore statistics and research methodologies during research projects through the Undergraduate Research Initiative.
The department encourages high-achieving students to participate in the Psi Chi organization, which hosts panel discussions and networking events with researchers. UC Psych also hosts social events and academic functions for undergraduate psychology majors, including covid-friendly online meetings.
Prospective psychology majors must subscribe to the psychology department's listhost service, which highlights job openings, fellowships, and research positions. Candidates must also complete an enrollment form.
This private Philadelphia institution encourages psychology majors to personalize their studies through research opportunities and major coursework.
Candidates pursuing a bachelor's degree in psychology complete research positions in areas of perception and action, self-control, depression prevention, and neuroscience. Students gain empirical research experience by participating in seven psychology studies.
Learners can also create a custom major, with department approval. The psychology department offers dual majors in neuroscience or education. Students interested in studying the psychological principles and methods can opt for an honors major or minor.
Study abroad placements and summer research fellowships through the social sciences divisions and natural sciences and engineering department provide additional opportunities to earn credit.
Prerequisites for the major include introduction to psychology and a first-year seminar in early social cognition. Degree-seekers can take an advanced placement test to fulfil the prerequisite requirements.
Davidson ranks among the best colleges for psychology, offering a bachelor's program that emphasizes one-one-on learning. Candidates enjoy access to multiple laboratories with neuroscience and psychopharmacology equipment, human subject laboratory equipment, and statistical analysis software.
In their junior year, students meet the psychology department's chair to declare their major. Degree-seekers are assigned an advisor who helps them develop an educational plan.
The curriculum comprises 10 classes in three subfields: cognitive and neuroscience, developmental and clinical, and social and industrial-organizational. Students take 32 courses in total, including a thesis or capstone seminar. Many gain ideas for their thesis projects by serving as summer research assistants alongside faculty members.
Davidson College offers funding for independent psychology projects. The summer research fellowship awards $4,000 for a 10-week project.
Founded on the principles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Utah-based BYU offers 187 undergraduate majors. The 120-credit bachelor's in psychology degree honors the restored gospel by including religious coursework in the core curriculum.
Required religious classes include eternal family, foundations of the restoration, Jesus Christ and the everlasting gospel, and the teachings and doctrine of the Book of Mormon. To earn a degree, students must complete at least 30 credits of daytime classes at the main campus. Many diversify their studies by taking a minor from another department.
The program's broad curriculum covers foundational courses in statistics and research design and analysis. Degree-seekers also learn about multicultural and gender issues in psychology. Expanding on the knowledge gained through classwork, students engage in research opportunities and internships. Further opportunities come through the Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology's local chapter.
A capstone seminar lets students experience teaching, community projects, and hands-on research in psychology.
Established in 1833 in downtown Philadelphia, Haverford College is a private institution with a student body of 1,353. The college offers an interactive learning experience and ample academic resources.
Emphasizing hands-on learning, Haverford's bachelor's in psychology program lets undergraduates research topics like music, neuroscience, and identity. The Bryn Mawr-Haverford Education Program allows psychology majors to earn a concentration in education and eventually apply psychological theories in a classroom setting.
Research plays an integral role in the undergraduate psychology curriculum. The psychology department features labs for behavioral neuroscience, developmental psychology, human cognitive neuroscience, personality and social psychology, cognition, and cultural psychology. All labs feature computer rooms and space for students to work on their senior projects.
Graduates apply their acquired knowledge and skills to jobs in psychology and positions in other fields, such as law, education, or policy.
Located on the border of Pennsylvania and New York, Binghamton ranks among the best colleges for psychology, offering three Ph.D. programs in the discipline.
Candidates can choose from programs in clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, and behavior neuroscience. The Ph.D. in clinical psychology includes classes in research design, methodology, data analysis, and individual and group intervention.
The curriculum also requires two advanced seminars and clinicals in professional and ethical issues, psychopathology, assessment, and treatment of children and adults. Placement agencies for clinical work include the Addiction Center of Broome County, Ithaca Psychological Testing, and Binghamton University Counseling Center.
Ph.D. candidates train at the school's Psychological Clinic, which features seven therapy rooms with two-way observational mirrors. Clinical work lets students provide individuals, couples, and groups with psychotherapy under faculty supervision.
Ph.D. candidates receive funding for five years. Students can also receive departmental funding for working as teaching assistants, in addition to stipends and tuition scholarships.
Home to seven schools and 50 programs, TCNJ offers a bachelor's degree in psychology that lets candidates enrich their studies through internships and faculty-led research.
Core courses include methods and tools of psychology, design and statistical analysis, and a research seminar. Learners also complete specialized courses and a senior experience. Mentorships allow students to interact one-on-one with faculty in 20 labs throughout campus.
Candidates who double major in elementary education, early childhood education, special education, or nursing can tailor the curriculum to their specific career interests. Graduates find careers in psychology, law, healthcare, and business.
The application process varies for each student. An applicant's academic record primarily influences their chances of gaining admission to TCNJ. Supplemental materials, such as recommendations, personal essays, and resumes also influence applicant eligibility.
The BA/MA in psychology program provides an accelerated pathway to graduation, featuring customizable coursework. Students complete the program in five years, taking at least 32 credits at the Claremont Graduate University. Advanced undergraduate classes at Pitzer count toward 16 graduate credits.
Possible courses include research methods, psychological statistics, the brain and behavior, and small group processes. Students can also earn credit through internships, independent studies, and first-year seminars. More than 70% of Pitzer students study abroad.
Pitzer accepts students based on their social consciousness, maturity, and academic background. The New Resources program allows students older than traditional college undergraduates to transfer in 64 credits from a community college.
Psychology is one of the most popular majors at St. Olaf College, a private school located on the Dakota Nation homelands. Some 60-70 psychology majors graduate each year.
The 125-credit bachelor's of psychology degree comprises 11 courses, including an introductory statistics course in statistics, foundational and core classes, level III capstone courses, and one elective.
Candidates may explore their academic interests in greater depth, with courses in sensation and perception, conditioning and learning, personality psychology, and psychopathology. Some pursue a neuroscience concentration, which includes a behavioral neuroscience course.
With department approval, learners may also perform independent research on a topic of their choice.
Students complete a capstone internship in their last year. In the past, psychology majors have interned at Merrill Corporation, Big Brother Big Sister, YMCA Camp Menogyn, Cedar House, and Children's Minnesota hospital. Graduates find careers in business, law, and human services.
One of seven majors offered through Penn State's College of Education, this educational psychology doctoral degree challenges students to study issues in schools. Practicum experiences serve as a core learning component. Doctoral students administer psychological and education tests to children, adolescents, and young adults at the Herr Clinic.
The doctoral program incorporates the principal elements of school psychological practice, including assessment and diagnosis, intervention, and consultation. Students complete a pre-dissertation and thesis. On average, candidates earn their Ph.D. in five years.
Applicants must hold a master's degree in psychology or a related field. Funding opportunities come from fellowships, assistantships, and hourly positions. The department considers all students seeking an assistantship.
Wesleyan University's combined bachelor of psychology and master of psychology program lets students earn two degrees in five years.
Candidates pursuing this combined degree must meet with a faculty research advisor to develop an educational plan when they apply for admission.
Undergraduate students pick a faculty advisor for their graduate studies. For 20 hours a week, students prepare for their master's thesis by conducting research. Degree-seekers may opt out of the undergraduate thesis. Those who do not select a three-person committee to assess the final 15-45 minute thesis presentation and oral defense.
Along with 32 major credits, students take six graduate-level courses like advanced research seminars. The university does not provide credit for teaching or research apprenticeships.
The psychology department welcomes applicants with strong academic records, prior research experience, and a clear proposed research project.
Founded in 1826 in Easton, Pennsylvania, Lafayette serves about 2,610 students through 51 bachelor's programs.
The bachelor's degree in psychology features a specialized curriculum for students who want to pursue a double major. Degree-seekers can earn a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science. BA-seekers take a double major in fields, such as foreign language, economics, or business.
Courses introduce fundamental research strategies, quantitative methods, and research design. Labs focus on perception, physiological, and social psychology. In a final capstone class, students examine psychology from various perspectives.
Juniors and seniors can take a practicum to gain professional experience, working 9-10 hours a week to complete the required 80 hours and final research paper. Past work sites include Arcadia Health Services/Compassionate Care Hospice, Coordinated Health, and the American Cancer Society.
Founded according to Jesuit Catholic principles in 1843, Holy Cross' bachelor's degree in psychology encourages students to pursue interdisciplinary studies and research.
Students must take 10 or more psychology courses to earn a degree. Sequentially, they take introduction to psychology, then statistics and methodology. A neuroscience concentration lets students take courses through the biology department.
Learners enrolled in the research methods course collaborate with other students and enjoy opportunities to present their findings at the Research Methods Colloquium or the school's academic conference.
Electives, such as directed readings and research projects, provide further independent research opportunities. Students can assist faculty members researching grief and bereavement, sleep, or health psychology.
Undergraduates can get an early start in research by volunteering in a lab. Juniors and seniors enjoy access to internships through Holy Cross' Academic Internship Program, the Washington Semester, and the Semester Away Program.
Bryn Mawr is a small women's school located outside of Philadelphia. The college's customizable bachelor's in psychology program lets students tailor their studies through research and seminars.
Degree-seekers explore fundamental concepts in biological, clinical, cognitive, development, health, and social psychology. Undergraduates can prepare for future careers or studies through minors in child and family studies, computational methods, health studies, or neuroscience.
Students must declare a major in their sophomore year. Requirements include an introductory psychology course, two labs, and six upper-level classes. Psychology majors also take a "Junior Brown Bag," which introduces students to faculty research work.
For their senior project, students complete either a psychology seminar or two supervised research classes. The program prepares students to pursue graduate school or work in journalism, medicine, or human resources.
This psychology degree serves both students and working professionals who need added flexibility, offering both evening classes and online options.
The 36-credit program includes twelve credits in research, applied statistical analysis, personnel psychology, and organizational psychology. Electives let degree-seekers explore topics, such as motivation, survey research in organizations, leadership and managerial development, and emotions in the workplace.
The thesis, or non-thesis option, makes up the final six credits. Students writing a thesis work with an advisor to perform independent research. The non-thesis option allows students to create a collaborative project with classmates.
Applicants must submit officials transcripts, a personal essay, resume, two letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.
Applying to a Psychology Program
Admission requirements for psychology programs vary by school and degree type.
Prospective undergraduate students applying to a BA or BS in psychology program typically need a high school diploma with at least a 2.0 GPA, along with competitive SAT or ACT scores. At this level, applicants do not need any research or work experience in the field. However, good recommendation letters, a well-written personal essay, and volunteer experience can help candidates stand out.
Master’s degree candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree. Some schools require candidates to have majored in psychology as undergraduates. Many master’s programs require incoming students to possess a minimum 2.5 GPA and provide GRE or MAT scores.
Doctoral programs do expect applicants to demonstrate an academic background in psychology. Candidates should possess a high GPA, research experience, and impressive master’s theses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do psychologists work?
Psychologists work in many different settings. While some maintain private offices in their homes or rented-out office space, others find jobs in healthcare settings like hospitals and clinics. Schools and colleges, criminal justice agencies, and corporate businesses all employ psychologists for specialized roles.
What is accreditation and why is it important?
Nobody wants to invest their time and money into a degree that doesn’t prepare them for their careers. This is where accreditation comes into play. Accreditation agencies evaluate schools and academic programs, ensuring students receive a valuable education. In addition, aspiring psychologists need accredited degrees to qualify for licensure. Psychology students should look for programs accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).
How much do you make with a degree in psychology?
A psychology degree can prepare students for many professions and industries, and the potential salaries for graduates vary enormously. According to PayScale data, psychology BS graduates make an average income of about $59,000, while BA graduates bring home average earnings of over $61,300. The APA reports that the median annual income for psychologists is about $85,000, but professionals usually need a doctoral degree in psychology to become psychologists.
What can I do with a degree in psychology?
Many people go into psychology because they want to become practicing psychologists, assisting people facing mental, emotional, and behavioral issues. However, individuals need a doctoral degree to become licensed psychologists. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field can also open doors to a variety of different careers, including positions in research, social work, law, criminal justice, and education.