The best psychology programs for a bachelor’s degree include flexible and affordable programs recognized for their excellence in the field. Psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate degrees in the United States and can prepare you for a wide range of career paths. The topics studied in psychology will give you a view into human behavior and assessment which will be attractive to future employers in a variety of careers. Additionally, an understanding of human psychology will benefit you in both professional and personal relationships.
Best Health Degrees has drilled through school websites and identified psychology degree programs to help simplify your school search to find the ones which suit your ambitions. We condensed this information to give you a general sense of the program courses, admission requirements, and also cost. Additionally, these best undergraduate schools for psychology admit transfer and international students. But, the descriptions in this ranking review the major requirements for first-time psychology students.
Our Method: Ranking the 25 Best Undergrad Psychology Programs for a Bachelor’s
To rank the 25 Best Psychology Bachelor’s Programs, Best Degrees editors researched accredited, trusted programs of all kinds. From our initial pool, we ranked programs according to price, accreditation, reputation, and salary potential, using college data from IPEDS and Niche, U.S. News and World Report, and other higher education rating publications.
The programs are all accredited and accept federal student assistance. Be certain to apply for aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®.)
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Long known for its technical education programs, MIT has an outstanding curriculum, expert faculty, and commitment to research opportunities. The BS degree from the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences uniquely focuses on three areas of brain studies.
Those three areas include Course 9: Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Course 6-9 Computation and Cognition, and Course 6-9 Master of Engineering in Computation and Cognition (open only to those in Course 6-9.) The undergraduate psychology degree requires 180 credit hours for completion and includes general education studies as well as courses in the major. Studies will involve broad subject matter in neural computation, probability, statistics, psycholinguistics, and also genetic engineering. Furthermore, hands-on opportunities for research students let them collaborate with faculty and other psychology students.
Admission to MIT is extremely selective and has stringent deadlines. Additionally, psychology students must submit an online application with the required $75 fee. Applicants need to answer several short questions in lieu of essays. Additionally, they need to submit official academic transcripts and two letters of recommendation. The school suspended the test score requirement during the COVID pandemic. However, the policy is subject to change. So, check with the school to determine if you need to provide ACT test scores or SAT test scores.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $53,450/per academic year
Fast Fact: MIT ranks #2 in U.S. News as Most Innovative Schools
2. Stanford University
Opened in 1891, Stanford University in San Francisco, has an international reputation for quality education. The BS in Psychology provides an understanding of psychological theory as well as training in the analysis of problems by using specific methodologies.
The curriculum includes general education studies as well as those in psychology. Some of the courses you’ll take in the major include introductory studies in Cognitive Neuroscience, Cultural Psychology, Personality and Affective Science, and also Cognitive Neuroscience. You’ll also explore topics in aging, cognitive processes, social perception, psychopathology, and others.
As a first-year Stanford University student, admission requirements include submission of either the Common Application or Coalition Application (requiring a $90 nonrefundable fee), letters of recommendation from two teachers, official transcripts, school report and guidance counselor recommendation, as well as ACT/SAT (check with the school on test requirements due to Covid).
Estimated Tuition Cost: $56,169/per academic year
Fast Fact: Money rates Stanford University #2 in its 2020 Best Colleges rankings
3. Princeton University
New Jersey’s Ivy League school, Princeton University, offers a BS in Psychology through the Department of Psychology in the Division of Natural Sciences.
The program requires prerequisite studies in Social Psychology, Fundamentals of Neuroscience or Functional Neuroanatomy, and Introduction to Psychology. During your junior and senior years, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in early research alongside a faculty member as well as do empirical research through Independent Work. You can review further details of the course offerings to see if this is the right psychology degree program for you, based on your career goals.
Admission to Princeton University is competitive and begins with the submission of either the Common Application, QuestBridge, or Coalition Application (you’ll complete the Princeton Supplement.) The 2021-2022 application period will not require ACT/SAT test scores. Prospective psychology students should be ready to provide academic transcripts, mid-school reports, recommendations from teachers and guidance counselors, and also a school report. Princeton also asks for a copy of a Graded Written Paper.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $48,502/per academic year
Fast Fact: U.S. News considers Princeton University as #1 in National Universities and #2 in Best Value Schools
4. Duke University
The renowned Duke University awards a BS or AB in Psychology. The degree focuses on human and animal behavior and the consequences, process, and also origins. This program will prepare you to enter the field of psychology in research, mental health, consulting, and more.
You’ll have a wide selection of coursework for this degree, some of which involve studies in mental health, biological foundations of behavior, research and statistical methods, child clinical psychology, and also stress and coping techniques. Classes concentrate on abnormal, biological, cognitive, and also social developmental psychology studies. You may want to examine the department’s description of the major or minor in psychology.
You’ll begin your admission process by submitting one of the following applications: Common Application, QuestBridge, or Coalition Application (along with an $85 fee). Duke admission is test-optional from 2021 to 2022 and you’ll submit academic transcripts, three recommendation letters from your guidance counselor, and two references from teachers. Additionally, the school may request an applicant interview with a Duke alum.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $57,633/per academic year
Fast Fact: Duke University is in Durham NC and ranks #12 in National Universities by U.S. News
5. University of Pennsylvania
UPenn is another Ivy League school offering a BS in Psychology. It is the oldest university with a continuously functioning psychology department in the US and North America.
The foundation of this undergraduate degree is in psychology as a science with studies in behavioral, cognitive, and also social science areas. Furthermore, this degree program provides a strong basis for graduate work and additional training. Your studies will begin with Introductory Psychology, with subsequent courses in Cognitive Neuroscience, Abnormal Psychology, Evolution of Animal Behavior, and also others. Additionally, psychology students must conduct empirical research and take at least one statistical course.
To apply to the University of Pennsylvania, complete the Coalition Application, QuestBridge, or Common Application with the $75 fee. Additionally, applicants need to submit letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and school reports. ACT test scores and SAT scores were optional during the 2020-21 academic year due to Covid. And, if needed, the school can use additional criteria in the admission process.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $60,042/per academic year
Fast Fact: UPenn opened in 1740 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. U.S. News and World Report call it the #8 in National Universities as well as #17 in Best Value Schools.
6. Columbia University in the City of New York
We continue our ranking with another Ivy League School awarding an undergraduate degree program in psychology from New York’s Columbia University.
The Department of Psychology regularly reviews and updates the curriculum for the BS in Psychology. Studies can include Introductory Psychology, Science of Psychology, Theories of Change in Human Development, Critical Periods in Brain Development & Behavior, Topics in Clinical Psychology, and also others. Furthermore, psychology students must take at least one required course each in statistics, seminar, and research methods. You’ll need to take classes to satisfy the requirements in three groups. The groups include Perception & Cognition, Psychobio & Neuroscience, and also Social, Personality, & Abnormal.
Columbia uses the Coalition Application, QuestBridge, or Common Application ($85 processing fee), academic transcripts, and teacher and guidance counselor recommendations, as ACT/SAT scores for admission.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $61,671/per academic year
Fast Fact: Columbia ranks #3 in the National Universities rankings of U.S. News and World Report
7. University of Washington
The Department of Psychology at the University of Washington offers both a BA or BS in Psychology and provides an excellent comparison of the two degrees to help you decide which is best for your career goals.
Both the BA and BS degrees require Introductory Psychology, Fundamentals of Psych Research, Biopsychology, and math courses. With either curriculum, you’ll also study statistics, research methods, psych labs, and three core courses. The core courses include classes in Social Psychology, Sensory Perceptual Processes, Animal Behavior, and more. The program calls for Independent Studies Experiences for either the BA or BS degree. The school offers study abroad as well.
Applications for admission to the University of Washington accept the Coalition Application along with a school $80 application fee. SAT/ACT test scores are not required nor are letters of recommendation.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $11,745-$39,114/per academic year
Fast Fact: Niche places UW #91/1,059 in its Best Colleges for Psychology in America
8. University of California Los Angeles
UCLA’s College of Life Sciences has three of the best psychology degrees for undergraduate students in Southern California. The college offers a BS in Cognitive Science or Psychobiology and a BA in Psychology. For this ranking, we’ll look at the BA in psychology.
Among the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) classes in the BA curriculum are Introductory Psychology, Introduction to Cognitive Science, Student Research Program, Psychological Statistics, Basic Processes of Motivated Behavior, Decision Making and Brain, and much more. You’ll also enroll in Seminars like Stress, Adaptation, and Coping, Variable Topics in Psychology, and Student Research Program. For program admission, psychology students need to complete five core courses and one laboratory course.
Applying for UCLA admission uses a universal school application (with a $70 fee) and doesn’t require ACT scores or SAT test scores. Documents you need to submit include academic transcripts, information on your activities, and any awards you’ve received. Additionally, applicants may need to answer “personal insight” questions.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $13,249-$43,003/per academic year
Fast Fact: UCLA ranks #1 in the 2021 Public University National Ranking of U.S. News and World Report
9. University of California Berkeley
There’s a lot to recommend about the University of California at Berkeley’s BA in Psychology which covers prominent areas of research.
Those areas involve studies in Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience, Clinical Science, Cognition, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental, and Social-Personality Psychology. This UC Berkeley major incorporates methodology, critical thinking, and statistics. Courses in General Psychology, Emotional Intelligence, Psychology of Gender, Supervised Independent Study and Research, represent a sampling of the curriculum options available to you.
It costs $80 to apply to the University of California Berkeley using the University of California system application. To study psychology, you need a 3.0 GPA in your last two years of high school (or GED), AP or IB exams, and SAT test scores. Additionally, you may need to provide additional information like academic transcripts and letters of recommendation.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $14,312-$44,066 (per academic year)
Fast Fact: Niche ranks UC Berkeley #28/1,069 Best Colleges for Psychology in America
10. University of Virginia
Located in Charlottesville, and designed by President Thomas Jefferson, UVA offers a BA in Psychology through the College of Arts and Sciences.
There are four pillars to the UVA psychology studies in Systems that include Behavioral Neuroscience and also Clinical and Social Psychology. You’ll choose one psychology course from each of the four pillars. Furthermore, students take Fundamentals in Psychology and Research Methods and Data Analysis, along with electives. Among courses included in the curriculum are Abnormal Psychology and Child Development. You may also opt to complete an internship through UVAs Internship Placement Program, you may even be paid depending on your internship.
Your admission steps include submission of a Common Application and you’ll need to provide academic transcripts, achievements and honors, your personal activities, and other documents. UVA is ACT/SAT test-optional during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 application years.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $18,960-$52,843/per academic year
Fast Fact: U.S. News and World Report ranks UVA #4 in Top Public Schools
11. Carnegie Mellon University
You have your choice between a BA or BS in Psychology from top-tier Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
With either of these best psychology degrees, you’ll explore research options and methodology in the state-of-the-art research laboratory along with didactic coursework. Both programs require the same core coursework in topics like Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods, Calculus, Statistics, and electives. The main difference between the BA and BS is you’ll take two biology classes for the BA and four biology courses for the BS. As an added benefit, you’ll be able to customize your studies by working on research projects conducted by faculty members.
Carnegie Mellon uses the Common Application for admission. In addition, prospective psychology students submit other documents such as academic transcripts, personal essays, teacher and counselor recommendations, and more.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $58,810/per academic year
Fast Fact: Forbes ranked Carnegie Mellon University as one of America’s Best Value Colleges.
12. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
There are several options in psychology you can take in this BS in Psychology degree awarded by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Psychology.
Among the ten concentrations from which you can pick are Diversity Science, Clinical/Community Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Organizational Psychology, Interdisciplinary Psychology, Personality Psychology, or Cognitive Neuroscience. The department offers Community Internships in a number of areas and facilities. Psychology students must take general education courses as well.
You can apply for UI Urbana Champaign admission using the Coalition Application or Common Application and submit the $50 application fee. Among the documents, you’ll need are academic transcripts, personal essays, and ACT/SAT test scores are optional.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $15,150-$32,600/per academic year
Fast Fact: This IL program is ranks #66 of 1,069 in Niche’s Best Colleges for Psychology in America
13. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
You’ll want to review the BA in Psychology at the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus through its College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), since it’s one of the best psychology degrees in the US.
This degree is broad-based and examines the various approaches in analysis and research to understand behavior, personality, and human relationships. The department offers nine specialties with concentrated curricula in the following areas of Organizational Psychology and Management, Development, Psychopathology, and Mental Health, Culture, Context and Communities, Evolution and Behavior, Health, Development and Aging, Intergroup Relations, Gender and Feminist Psychology, Language, Thought, and Culture, and Law, Criminal Justice, and Forensics. You should also investigate the joint programs offered in Women’s and Gender Studies and Psychology and Social Work and Psychology.
For admission, you’ll need to submit ACT/SAT test scores, either the Common Application or Coalition Application (with a $75 application fee), a school report, and a teacher evaluation. The school may request additional materials.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $15,948-$52,266/per academic year
Fast Fact: UM-Ann Arbor ranks #3 in Top Public Schools and #24 in National Universities by U.S. News and World Report
14. University of Texas at Austin
If you’re looking for a program that gives you options, you may want to look at the BA or BS Psychology degrees at UT-A. The BS option emphasizes the scientific and the BA degree studies a variety of psychology studies (with more classes in electives) you should look at the degree from UT-A. The university offers eight fields of psychology study.
The courses for these best psychology degrees prepare you for work in graduate programs, psychological research projects, or other fields. You can take Introduction to Psychology, Psychological Methods and Statistics, Biopsychology, Perceptual Systems: Neurons, Behavior, and Evolution, Principles of Conditioning and Learning, Behavioral Neuroscience, Neural Plasticity and Behavior, and others. You may also choose an internship as part of your elective requirements.
UT-A uses the ApplyTexas or Coalition Application admission application. It requires a $75 application fee and students must answer three short questions and write an essay. Additionally, you’ll need to submit academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and residency status information (if requested). The school waived the ACT test and SAT test scores for Fall 2022. If you’re applying for a later admission date, be sure to check if ACT/SAT scores are necessary.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $11,448-$40,032/per academic year
Fast Fact: U.S. News rates UT-A #6 in Top Public Schools
15. University of Wisconsin-Madison
Psychology is the largest major in UW-M’s College of Letters and Science and examines several areas of psychological science. Among those areas are social & personality, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, biological, clinical, perception, and developmental. The College offers both a BA and BS degree in Psychology.
Classes are in research, psychology introduction, statistics, research methods, animal behavior, and others. This program’s objectives are to prepare you for entry-level positions or graduate/professional studies, develop communication and analysis skills, and enhance critical thinking abilities. The school uses “breadth courses” developed to introduce you to the wide, psychology discipline. An example of breadth course subsets are classes in biological, developmental, clinical, cognitive/perceptional, as well as social and personality areas of psychology. A capstone project culminates with the degree.
To apply to the University of Wisconsin Madison, you’ll complete the UW System Application or the Common Application with an application fee of $60 and submit two essays, academic transcripts, and one letter of recommendation. ACT/SAT test scores are optional through the Spring 2023 term.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $10,742-$38,630/per academic year
Fast Fact: UW-M, founded in 1848, ranks 13th in Public Universities from the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education
16. University of California San Diego
You may not find another BS and BA Psychology program that offers as many specializations as this degree awarded by the University of California-San Diego.
The BA degree is a broad-based study that will introduce you to the sub-disciplines in psychology and how psychology influences our daily experiences. The BS program examines statistics and research in the field. Among the eight, BS psychology concentrations are Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Human Health, Sensation and Perception, Social, Business, and Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience. You can get a good feel for the courses the department offers, which may help you decide on which degree (BS or BA) to choose to meet your goals.
As part of the University of California Regents System, UCSD uses The University of California Application for admission. You may need to submit academic transcripts, recommendations, and other documents. First-year students will need a 3.0-3.4 GPA, depending on residency status, for admission.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $14,648-$44,402/per academic year
Fast Fact: UC-SD ranks in the top 10 of Niche’s Best Colleges for Psychology in America
17. Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is in Nashville, Tennessee. This premier, private university opened in 1873. The Department of Psychology offers one of the best psychology degrees that cover the key areas in the discipline.
Students can take the general psychology curriculum or participate in the research-based Honors Program which is a more intensive course of study and requires a separate application. Courses for the general major include core courses in General Psychology, Experimental Design, and Quantitative Methods. Distribution Courses include Social Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and electives. The Department of Psychology offers a BA/MA accelerated program which students can finish in five years.
Vanderbilt accepts admission applications from one of the following: Coalition Application, Common Application, or QuestBridge (along with a $50 application fee), letters of recommendation from two teachers and your guidance counselor, academic transcripts, with other documents requested as needed. Due to Covid, Vanderbilt has extended the test-optional requirement for 2022 applicants.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $54,158/per academic year
Fast Fact: U.S. News and World Report ranks Vanderbilt #14 in its National Universities ratings
18. Rice University
Offered through the university’s College of Social Sciences’ Department of Psychological Sciences, Rice University offers one of the best psychology degrees in the nation, a BA degree in psychology.
This degree will provide a foundation for understanding the importance of psychology in a variety of areas. Core courses in this program include studies in general, social, and cognitive psychology theories and research, research methods and social sciences analysis. Other courses in the field from which you can choose, include areas in Memory, Psychology of Aging, Psychology of Language, Developmental Psychology, and also Psychology of Gender. In order to offer a complete understanding of psychology, you’ll participate in psychological experiments conducted under stringent requirements.
Admission for undergraduates requires either Coalition Application or Common Application with a $75 application fee. You’ll be asked to submit academic transcripts, recommendations from two teachers, and also a guidance counselor. The ACT/SAT test scores are optional for 2021-22 applicants. Interviews are optional.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $51,107/per academic year
Fast Fact: Rice’s School of Social Sciences ranks #6 in Niche’s Best Colleges for Psychology in America
19. Johns Hopkins University
The Kreiger School of Arts and Sciences offers a BA in Psychology through its Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences.
This curriculum has specific courses majors must complete in Research Methods and also Design & Statistical Analysis for Psychology. Furthermore, students take introductory courses in Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Foundations of Brain, and also Behavior and Cognition. The department has an impressive catalog of other courses available in the major for undergraduates. Also, there is an honors program for exceptional psychology students.
You can apply for admission using the Coalition Application or Common Application. The ACT/SAT test-optional requirement extends through the Class of 2026. The school will also request two letters of recommendation and a school report.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $54,160/per academic year
Fast Fact: Johns Hopkins ranks in the top 10 of U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities
20. Cornell University
The renowned Cornell University joins the best psychology degrees with its BA in Psychology.
Core courses in Behavioral and Evolutionary Neuroscience, Social and Personality Psychology, and Perception, Cognition, and Development. The Department of Psychology has a robust selection of courses in the three areas mentioned. You can choose from classes such as Psychology and Law, Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience, Statistics and Research Design, The Psychology of Good and Evil, Stress and Coping, and others. A field practicum is available.
Cornell accepts the Common Application with an $80 application feed, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, mid-year report, a school report, and other documents. Requirements for ACT/SAT test scores are suspended for 2021 and 2022 applicants.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $59,282/per academic year
Fast Fact: Forbes named Cornell University in its America’s Best Value Colleges and Top College rankings for 2019
21. Washington University in St. Louis
Here are two psychology majors in the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department which awards degrees in BS in Psychological and Brain Sciences or BS in Cognitive Neuroscience. You can choose to add a concentration. As the department’s Guide to Concentration states, “The six concentrations currently offered are Cognition in Children; Cognitive Neuroscience; Lifespan Development; Reading, Language, & Language Acquisition; Experimental Psychopathology; and Personality & Individual Differences.”
Each of these best psychology degrees requires core coursework, some of which is common to both majors. Shared classes include Introduction to Psychology, Experimental Psychology, and Introduction to Psychological Statistics. The BS in Cognitive Neuroscience has prerequisites in Calculus and Principles of Biology and requires a Capstone Project. The department has created an in-depth guide for the undergraduate psychology major which provides terrific information on these degrees and requirements.
WU in Saint Louis accepts either the Common Application or Coalition Application for admission consideration. These applications request letters of recommendation from teachers and guidance counselors, academic transcripts, supplemental essays, and more. ACT/SAT test scores are optional for applicants for Fall 2022.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $57,386/per academic year
Fast Fact: This university ranks #16 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities and #20 in Best Value Schools
22. University of Minnesota
Offered through College of Liberal Arts, you can earn a BS in Psychology or BA in Psychology, depending on your career interests.
Both of these best psychology degrees share core, foundational psychology courses in Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Psychological Measurement and Data Analysis, and Introduction to Research Methods. The curriculum is divided into Distribution Areas in Individual Differences, Quantitative, and Applied, Clinical, Personality, and also Social Cognitive and Brain Sciences. A Capstone Project is required for either the BS or BA degrees. Furthermore, prospective psychology students should review the program options for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) to determine the best track.
The application for admission will not be available until August and the school accepts the Golden Gopher or Common Applications. Be prepared to pay a $55 application fee and submit academic transcripts. You won’t be asked for ACT/SAT test scores for admission during the Fall terms of 2021 and 2022.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $15,027-$33,325/per academic year
Fast Fact: Niche places this program at #45 in its Best Colleges for Psychology in America
23. University of California, Davis
UC-Davis has two of the best psychology degrees. This California university offers a BA in Psychology and a BS in Psychology.
The BA covers psychology with a liberal arts slant while the BS degree in psychology includes more science courses and is good preparation for graduate school or pre-med. UC-D has a helpful chart showing some of the coursework differences between the two. With the BA course of study, you’re offered courses in four core course groups. These areas include Perception, Cognition, & Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychobiology, Developmental, and also Social Personality. The BS in Psychology offers the same core groups but with a biology emphasis and classes in clinical psychology, neurology, and health.
Depending on your state residency, most applicants need a 3.0 to 3.4 cumulative GPA to qualify for admission. If you’re a California resident, you’ll want to look into the two admission pathways specifically for residents. UC-D uses the University of California application (requiring a $70 fee). Additionally, psychology students do not have to submit scores from the ACT test or SAT test through the fall of 2024.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $14,597-$44,351/per academic year
Fast Fact: U.S. News and World Report ranks UC-D #11 in its Top Public Schools and #39 in its National Universities ranking
24. University of Iowa
You can opt for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Psychological and Brain Sciences from the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
These best psychology degrees share core classes in Elementary Psychology, Research Methods and Data Analysis in Psychology, and also Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience. Furthermore, the introductory courses are in Social Psychology, Developmental Science, Cognitive Psychology, and Clinical Psychology. This BA program curriculum also requires you to take either computer science or statistics classes. If you take the BS curriculum, it includes natural science studies, experimental psychology laboratory class, math, and also statistics or computer science.
UI accepts the University of Iowa Application, Common Application, or Coalition Application for admission (along with a $40 fee). ACT/SAT test scores are requested but if you’re unable to supply scores, may be asked for additional academic documents, transcripts, or personal statement. Other documents may be requested as your application is reviewed.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $9,606-$31,569/per academic year
Fast Fact: Forbes ranked this university as one of its Top Colleges in its 2019 survey
25. Indiana University-Bloomington
This university awards both a BA and a BS in Psychology in three separate areas: Psychology, Organizational and Business Psychology, and Neuroscience.
Two of the best psychology degrees share foundational courses in a variety of disciplines in Animal Behavior, Addiction, Health, Child and Adolescent Behavior, Cognition, Neuroscience, Social Psychology, as well as Research Methods, and more. The curriculum allows students to explore areas of psychology that meet their educational and career goals. You can enroll in classes with lab experiences with research faculty members and the department has recently started offering certificates to demonstrate your psychology and field-based experiences.
Admission is highly selective. Some prospective psychology students may need to provide additional documentation such as academic transcripts, recommendations, and also personal essays. If you’re ready to become an Indiana Hoosier, you’ll complete either an Apply Indiana Application or Common Application and provide a $65 application fee. Indiana is ACT and SAT test optional and will need to apply as such.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $11,221-$37,600/per academic year
Fast Fact: Indiana University-Bloomington ranks #76 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities
Why Should You Get a Psychology Degree?
Psychology delves into the mind and behavior of humans and animals and offers a wide range of employment opportunities as well as a strong stepping stone to a graduate degree in the field. Some academics believe psychology originated in Ancient Greece in 400-500 BC. As a field of science, the discipline dates back about 150 years.
Psychology degrees can offer a broad range of entry-level roles in related careers. The bachelor’s degree can be a prerequisite for many occupations or graduate programs. Or psychology can offer a specific career path in counseling or psychology.
What Can You Do With a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?
Depending on your career goals, a baccalaureate degree prepares students to work in professional psychology jobs, business, counseling, marketing and behavioral decision making, or Social Work. Psychology graduates also take roles in health psychology or applied psychology. Additionally, many psychology students with this undergrad degree go to law school, medical school, and graduate school. Many in doctoral programs choose a clinical psychologist career path.
What are the Different Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology?
Psychology degrees are available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels There are two main undergraduate programs for a bachelor’s degree. You can earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology The BA typically includes a foreign language as part of the curriculum. Or, you can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in the field which requires additional math and statistical studies. Psychology students can also pursue one of the many specialties in the field or choose a minor in a related area. Additionally, there are applied psychology, traditional campus top psychology programs, and also online programs.
How Do You Choose the Best Psychology Program?
What are the best undergraduate psychology schools? Depending on what your ambitions may be for a future work environment, you can earn either a BA or BS in psychology. Does the clinical side of psychology interest you? If so, look for a BS degree that offers studies in research, assessment, and evidence-based practices. A BA will be a great choice, emphasizing a liberal arts education, that will prepare you for non-clinical employment in business, government, education, teaching, and the marketing industry.
Prospective psychology students should also look at research areas and opportunities for undergraduates. Does the program offer a positive hands on experience? Other factors to look for when you search for the best school include the overall quality of the program, acceptance rate, and net price.
How Long Does it Take to Complete a Bachelor’s in Psychology?
A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years to complete. Undergraduate students complete two years of general education before they apply to be psychology majors. Basic courses include philosophy, history, and english. Once accepted to one of the psychology schools, they complete two more years of specific coursework to gain knowledge and learn to analyze research. They focus on development classes.
Psychology schools with a small student population or student body will have a more intimate department. These peer institutions often have interdisciplinary study and independent research opportunities. Other universities with larger psychology programs may have a less flexible format. So, sometimes the best undergraduate psychology programs are the smaller ones.
How Much Can You Make with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook provides some valuable information on career opportunities for psychology majors in areas such as education, Human Resources, social services, administrative position, and more. The BLS sets the median salary for entry-level psychology careers at $48,000 annually and a 59% employment rate for positions that require an undergraduate degree.
Individuals who study psychology and earn an advanced degree can make a much higher salary. With a master’s degree or doctoral degree in Psychology, a clinical psychologist can earn six figures. For example, individuals with doctoral degrees from Yale University in New Haven, CT are some of the highest-paid professionals in the field.
Should I Get My Psychology Degree Online or On-Campus?
That depends on your personal preferences and whether university campus life is something you want to experience. Many first-year students will opt for the campus experience, but if you’re a transfer student, the on-campus experience may not be as important.
Online Psychology classes follow the same curriculum. So, the same faculty member teaches an online and a campus course. There will also be the same internship opportunities for online psychology students. Usually, online bachelor’s degree programs tend to be more intensive with classes being shorter in duration. Courses are frequently provided in relatively short 5-8 weeks in length (depending on the subject and degree). Another benefit of online programs is that they allow you easier contact with professors, students, and student services.
Online programs often charge out-of-state students the same tuition costs as in-state students, which may allow you to earn a psychology degree from a university outside of your state. The best schools offer robust financial aid for online and campus programs. But, work study aid is usually only available for campus programs.
Why Should I Look for an Accredited Program?
Accreditation is a measure of a program’s quality as determined by standards of independent, Department of Education approved, organizations. Furthermore, accrediting entities can be regional, national, or program-specific. While the American Psychological Association (APA) does not accredit undergraduate psychology programs, many schools will draw from APA curriculum recommendations in developing their curriculum.
There are seven, regional accrediting agencies. They include The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), and also the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
All schools referenced in this ranking hold accreditation.
What are Some Specializations in Psychology?
You can earn a General Psychology degree or you can also choose a psychology concentration, to better meet your personal and career goals.
Among concentrations in the field are counseling, education, psychotherapy, clinical, industrial-organizational, behavioral, cognitive, abnormal, developmental, school psychology, and also childhood development, depending on the program. Additionally, many of the top psychology programs will allow you to “design” your undergraduate program by the concentrations or specialties the school offers.
Clinical specializations typically will require advanced studies in either a master’s or doctoral program. However, there are some excellent online programs that award MA, MS, or also PhD psychology degrees. Doctoral degrees are the highest level professionals can earn. For example, Yale University in New Haven, CT offers a PhD in Psychology. But, whatever your career path may be, there is a program for you!
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