Top 50 Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology 2016

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By Kristen Fescoe
Posted September 2016

Students who earn their bachelor’s degree in psychology will have a range of options for their next academic or career step. For students who hope to enter a career as a professional psychologist, counselor or therapist the next step would be entrance into either a master’s or doctoral program in the field. Other students may use their undergraduate psychology degree to enter graduate school or the workforce in a range of potential areas, including medicine, law, law enforcement, human resources, business and many others. Regardless of how the student will use their degree, most bachelor’s degree programs in psychology offer students training in the breadth and depth of the field of psychology. Students will learn about the many theories, methods and applications of psychological principles. They will have an introduction to conducting, analyzing and using psychological research. Many students will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research projects. Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from a top school will prepare students for a range of career and academic opportunities.

For information about how we developed this ranking, please see the methodology statement at the end of the article.

Ranking Top 50 Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology

#50: Boston University – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychological Sciences

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The College of Arts and Science

Points: 5
Program Website

Students at Boston University have the unique opportunity to pursue directed study, where they can design, implement and interpret their own novel research project.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#41 Best National University
#46 Best Psychology Program
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $32,539
Accreditations:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#49: New York University – New York, New York

New York University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Affiliations:
The College of Arts and Sciences

Points: 6
Program Website

The backbone of the Department of Psychology is the highly regarded and nationally recognized faculty. Three faculty members have won the University’s Distinguished Teacher Medal, six have won Golden Dozen teaching awards from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate Teaching Assistants have won numerous awards.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#32 Best National University
#30 Best Psychology Program
#21 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #30
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $35,543
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#48: University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

University of Pittsburg Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Points: 6
Program Website

The psychology major is offered as part of the natural science department, with a strong emphasis on research and analytic skills, while exposing students to a range of topics in the field, including clinical, cognitive, developmental, health, and social psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#82 Best National University
#30 Best Psychology Program
#34 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $23,489
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#47: Northwestern University – Evanston, Illinois

Northwestern University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Affiliations:
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Points: 8
Program Website

Psychology majors are required to complete two courses in social/personality/clinical psychology, two in cognitive/neuroscience, an upper level research course, and a number of high level courses. This is designed to train students outlining the breadth and depth in the field.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#12 Best National University
#14 Best Psychology Program
#19 Best Value School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #25
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $28,667
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#46: Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland

Johns Hopkins University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Points: 8
Program Website

The psychology major is presented using a broad scope, with courses in psychology as well as related disciplines that extend outside of the department. This includes courses at the following departments Biology, Biophysics, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Philosophy, Sociology; the Mind-Brain Institute; as well as departments in the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, the Peabody Conservatory, and the Applied Physics Laboratory.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#10 Best National University
#26 Best Psychology Program
#20 Best Value School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #27
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $25,207
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#45: Vanderbilt University – Nashville, Tennessee

Vanderbilt University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychological Sciences

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The Peabody College

Points: 8
Program Website

Vanderbilt offers a multitude of options for those interested in psychology and human development. There is a major and minor in general psychology as well as majors in Child Development, Cognitive Studies, and Child Studies.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#15 Best National University
#30 Best Psychology Program
#12 Best Value School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $22,173
Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

#44: University of Kansas – Lawrence, Kansas

University of Kansas Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Bachelor of General Studies in Psychology
Affiliations:
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Points: 8
Program Website

With a bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and a unique bachelor of general studies, students at the University of Kansas can earn their psychology degree that is broad enough to be applied to a wide range of fields or graduate programs. All degrees cover research methodology, critical analysis, data and statistic collections and assessments, ICT skills, and project management.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#115 Best National University
#40 Best Psychology Program
#55 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $17,985
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#43: Stony Brook University – New York, New York

Stony Brook University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The College of Arts and Sciences

Points: 8
Program Website

Students in the undergraduate psychology program have the ability to complete courses both inside and outside the department. Departmental courses are offered in five major areas of psychological inquiry: Biopsychology, Clinical & Abnormal Psychology, Cognition & Perception, Developmental Psychology and Social Psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#39 Best National University
#46 Best Psychology Program
#37 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #26
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $13,352
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#42: Pennsylvania State University – University Park, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The Division of Undergraduate Studies

Points: 9
Program Website

Penn State offers undergraduate training at the main campus location, as well as a range of satellite campuses and the fully online World Campus.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#47 Best National University
#30 Best Psychology Program
#14 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #29
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $24,220
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#41: Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience
Affiliations:
The Division of Social Science

Points: 9
Program Website

In addition to the traditional bachelor’s degree in psychology, students at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences can earn their undergraduate degree in neuroscience.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#12 Best National University
#46 Best Psychology Program
#9 Best Value School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $21,277
Accreditations:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#40: University of Texas – Austin, Texas

University of Texas Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The College of Liberal Arts

Points: 9
Program Website

With the option to earn either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science, students at UT Austin must decide which psychology degree fits their career goals. The BS program is designed for students who plan to pursue medical school or a professional health field.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#52 Best National University
#14 Best Psychology Program
#16 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #22
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $16,832
Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

#39: Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan

Michigan State University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
College of Social Sciences

Points: 9
Program Website

Students pursuing a bachelor of arts or science in psychology at MSU are encouraged to enhance their degree by choosing a dual major, a minor or an area of specialization to hone in their training.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#75 Best National University
#46 Best Psychology Program
#29 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $14,791
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#38: Cornell University – Ithaca, New York

Cornell University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Points: 10
Program Website

Cornell’s Psychology department offers a range of undergraduate degree options and concentrations. In addition to a major and minor in psychology, students may combine the psychology major with a Cognitive Science minor. They may also choose to specialize in behavioral and evolutionary neuroscience or personality and social psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#15 Best National University
#14 Best Psychology Program
#17 Best Value School
#12 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #21
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $28,537
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#37: Emory University – Atlanta, Georgia

Emory University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Dual Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Linguistics
Dual Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology
Affiliations:
The College of Arts and Sciences

Points: 10
Program Website

Emory’s Department of Psychology uses a curriculum heavily based in the scientific study of behavior, with a balance of courses in experimental, psychobiological, social/personality/clinical, and cognitive/developmental areas. Students can also pursue a joint major in Psychology and Linguistics and an Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#21 Best National University
#38 Best Psychology Program
#18 Best Value School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $28,203
Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

#36: University of Colorado – Boulder, Colorado

University of Colorado Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience
Affiliations:
The College of Arts and Sciences

Points: 10
Program Website

The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience supports two degree options, one in psychology and the other in neuroscience using a pioneering curriculum and state of the art research facilities. Students can begin engaging in research projects from the first year of study.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#89 Best National University
30# Best Psychology Program
#37 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #14
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $21,053
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#35: Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Specializations Offered:
General Psychology
Clinical Psychology and Individual Differences
Developmental Psychology
Organization and Performance
Social Psychology and Personality
Biological Bases of Behavior
Psychology Research
Affiliations:
The College of Arts and Sciences

Points: 10
Program Website

The psychology program can be earned with seven optional minors to allow students to begin specializing at an early stage. The available minors include General Psychology, Clinical Psychology & Individual Differences, Developmental Psychology, Organization & Performance, Social Psychology & Personality, Biological Bases of Behavior and Psychology Research.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#52 Best National University
#21 Best Psychology Program
#16 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $18,215
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#34: University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The College of Letters and Science

Points: 10
Program Website

As the largest major at the College of Letters and Science, students will have the support of a large, innovative, focused faculty. The curriculum focuses heavily on five areas in the field, including biological, clinical, cognitive & cognitive neuroscience, developmental, and social & personality.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#41 Best National University
#9 Best Psychology Program
#11 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #16
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $16,131
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#33: University of Arizona – Tucson, Arizona

University of Arizona Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
Affiliations:
The School of Mind, Brain and Behavior
The College of Science

Points: 10
Program Website

In addition to traditional psychology degrees (BA and BS), students at the School of Mind, Brain and Behavior can work towards and innovative bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#121 Best National University
#40 Best Psychology Program
#58 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $15,681
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#32: University of Maryland – College Park, Maryland

University of Maryland Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Points: 10
Program Website

In order to offer a top-notch undergraduate program in psychology, the University of Maryland Department of Psychology uses the American Psychological Associations undergraduate teaching guidelines as their grounding principles.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#57 Best National University
#40 Best Psychology Program
#19 Top Public School
#21 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $14,833
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#31: University of Iowa – Iowa City, Iowa

University of Iowa Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychological and Brain Science

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Points: 10
Program Website

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers a BA degree in psychology with five optional areas of emphasis: behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, clinical psychology, developmental science, cognition and perception, and social psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#82 Best National University
#30 Best Psychology Program
#34 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $14,315
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#30: Washington University in St. Louis – St. Louis, Missouri

Washing University in St Louis Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Specializations Offered:
Cognitive Neuroscience
Cognition in Children
Reading, Language and Language Acquisition
Cognitive Neuroscience
Lifespan Development
Personality and Individual Differences
Experimental Psychopathology
Affiliations:
College of Arts and Sciences
University College
Division of Professional and Continuing Education

Points: 11
Program Website

Students can pursue their bachelor’s degree in either general psychology, industrial/organizational psychology or psychology with a specialization in cognitive neuroscience. Psychology majors can pursue one of the following six concentrations: Cognition in Children; Reading, Language, & Language Acquisition; Cognitive Neuroscience; Lifespan Development; Personality & Individual Differences; and Experimental Psychopathology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#15 Best National University
#14 Best Psychology Program
#23 Best Value School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $33,374
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#29: University of Southern California – Los Angeles, California

University of Southern California Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science
Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences
Dual Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Business
Specializations Offered:
Psychology (Social Sciences BA)
Psychology and Law
Consumer Behavior
Forensics and Criminality
Affiliations:
USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Points: 11
Program Website

Students with an interest in psychology and development can choose from a wide range of degree options at the USC Department of Psychology. The department offers a bachelor’s in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Social Sciences with Emphasis in Psychology, as well as minors in Psychology, Psychology and Law, Consumer Behavior and Forensics and Criminality. The final degree offering is a dual bachelor’s in Psychology and Business.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#23 Best National University
#40 Best Psychology Program
#39 Best Value School
#13 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $31,189
Accreditations:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#28: University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia

University of Virginia Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Points: 11
Program Website

Psychology is among the most popular liberal arts majors at the University of Virginia, with approximately 250 students graduating each year with a bachelor’s degree in this area.
US News and World Report Ranking:
#26 Best National University
#26 Best Psychology Program
#33 Best Value School
#3 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $14,069
Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

#27: Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana

Purdue University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychological Science

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Psychological Science
Bachelor of Science in Brain and Behavioral Sciences
Affiliations:
The College of Health and Human Sciences

Points: 11
Program Website

The Department of Psychological Sciences offers innovative degrees in this area, including a bachelor’s degree in psychological sciences and another in brain and behavioral sciences.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#61 Best National University
#46 Best Psychology Program
#21 Top Public School
#21 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #11
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $13,081
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#26: Carnegie Mellon University – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Carnegie Mellon University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience
Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science
Specializations Offered:
Health Psychology
Cognitive Neuroscience
Developmental Psychology
Cognitive Psychology
Social-Personality Psychology
Clinical Counseling Psychology
Affiliations:
College of Human and Social Sciences

Points: 12
Program Website

Students can opt to earn their degree in generalist psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, health psychology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, social-personality psychology and clinical counseling psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#23 Best National University
#21 Best Psychology Program
#37 Best Value School
#11 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #15
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $33,670
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#25: Brown University – Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Neuroscience
Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science
Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science
Affiliations:
The College

Points: 12
Program Website

Brown University uses a unique approach to grouping departments and divisions throughout the university, in what is called a Departmental Undergraduate Group (DUG) (a group of concentrators who work collaboratively to create a sense of community. Psychology is part of a DUG that combines cognitive science, linguistics studies and psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#14 Best National University
#26 Best Psychology Program
#10 Best Value School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #24
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $21,193
Accreditations:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#24: University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, Illinois

University of Illinois Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Points: 12
Program Website

Psychology majors in this program are offered courses ranging from the study of single cells to courses covering the whole person. The major requires a minimum of 32 hours of work (generally 10 classes), with a strong focus on statistical analysis, understanding of the biological processes of behavior, and acquisition of research techniques and methodologies.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#41 Best National University
#7 Best Psychology Program
#11 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #8
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $16,249
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#23: University of California – Davis, California

UC Davis Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Specializations Offered:
Perception, Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience
Biological Psychology
Social-Personality Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Quantitative Psychology

Points: 12
Program Website

The UC Davis psychology major can be earned with a specialization that allows students to customize their academic plan. The available specializations include Perception, Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience, Biological Psychology, Social-Personality Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Quantitative Psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#41 Best National University
#21 Best Psychology Program
#49 Best Value School
#11 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $16,231
Accreditations:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#22: University of Oregon – Eugene, Oregon

University of Oregon Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The Division of Social Science
The College of Arts and Sciences

Points: 12
Program Website

Interested students are encouraged to gain additional research experience through research assistant positions in faculty labs and the undergraduate Honors thesis program. The psychology major affords students great flexibility in selecting upper-division courses to fit individual goals and interests.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#103 Best National University
#30 Best Psychology Program
#47 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #20
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $14,179
Accreditations:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

#21: University of California — Irvine, California

UC Irvine Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The Department of Psychology and Social Behavior
The School of Social Ecology
The Department of Cognitive Sciences
The School of Social Sciences

Points: 12
Program Website

Students with a passion for the human mind can earn their degree in either psychology or cognitive science. While many of the classes are similar, the focus is varied between the two programs.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#39 Best National University
#30 Best Psychology Program
#31 Best Value School
#9 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $12,072
Accreditations:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#20: University of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois

University of Chicago Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The Social Sciences Division

Points: 13
Program Website

The Department of Psychology is structured as specialized programs that replicate the current state of the discipline in addition to the varied interest of the faculty. The specialty areas are Cognition, Developmental Psychology, Integrative Neuroscience and Social Psychology, with many faculty members teaching in several disciplines.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#4 Best National University
#21 Best Psychology Program
#15 Best Value School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #9
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $34,352
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#19: University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Affiliations:
The School of Arts and Sciences

Points: 13
Program Website

The psychology major at Penn requires 13 credits of courses highlighting the principal areas of scientific psychology. The curriculum introduces students to modern understandings of how people perceive, learn, think, and interact with one another, as well as other important developmental areas.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#9 Best National University
#12 Best Psychology Program
#11 Best Value School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #3
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $22,694
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#18: University of California – Santa Barbara, California

UC Santa Barbara Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychological and Brain Science

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in BioPsychology
Affiliations:
The College of Letters and Sciences

Points: 13
Program Website

The focus of the Department of Psychological and Brain Science is on experimental research psychology, with a bachelor of science in biopsychology and a bachelor of arts in generalist psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#37 Best National University
#40 Best Psychology Program
#40 Best Value School
#8 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $14,966
Accreditations:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#17: University of Florida – Gainesville, Florida

University of Florida Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Analysis
Affiliations:
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Points: 13
Program Website

The psychology faculty offers training using their own professional expertise in Behavior Analysis, Counseling Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Behavioral & Cognitive Neuroscience and Social Psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking:

#47 Best National University
#40 Best Psychology Program
#14 Top Public School
#18 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $14,786
Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

#16: University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

University of Washington Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The College of Arts and Sciences

Points: 13
Program Website

The psychology major is the largest major at the College of Arts and Sciences and is taught using a unique curricular approach, referred to as “the Mountain.” Students complete courses of increasing levels to “climb the mountain” and earn their degree.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#52 Best National University
#14 Best Psychology Program
#16 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #19
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $10,374
Accreditations:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

#15: Columbia University – New York, New York

Columbia University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Affiliations:
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences
The Division of Social Sciences

Points: 14
Program Website

Columbia’s undergraduate psychology program offers students a comprehensive curriculum that includes psychological science, research methods, perception, cognition, neuroscience, developmental, social, personality, and clinical areas.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#4 Best National University
#14 Best Psychology Program
#6 Best Value School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #10
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $20,838
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#14: University of Minnesota – Twin Cities – Minneapolis, Minnesota

University of Minnesota Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The College of Liberal Arts

Points: 14
Program Website

The Department of Psychology teaches students in a unique way that combines the schools rich history with an innovative academic program that offers experiential learning opportunities, study abroad experiences, student research, and excellent career development for undergraduate students.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#69 Best National University
#9 Best Psychology Program
#25 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #5
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $15,589
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#13: Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Specializations Offered:
Clinical Psychology Certification (BA & BS)
Neuroscience Certification (BA & BS)
Affiliations:
The College of Arts and Sciences
The Division of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Points: 15
Program Website

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences is unique in that there is a wide range of areas to choose from at the undergraduate level. In addition to a traditional BA and BS in psychology, there is a degree and certification in Neuroscience, a certificate in Clinical Psychological Science and an Interdepartmental Major in Psychology and Speech & Hearing Sciences.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#75 Best National University
#26 Best Psychology Program
#24 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #13
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $11,573
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#12: Duke University

Duke University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience
Affiliations:
Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

Points: 16
Program Website

Duke offers undergraduate majors and minors in both psychology and Neuroscience. Psychology students can train in five topic areas: Abnormal/Health, Biological Bases of Behavior, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Social Psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#8 Best National University
#21 Best Psychology Program
#7 Best Value School
#7 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #28
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $21,764
Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

#11: Princeton University

Princeton University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Affiliations:
The Division of Natural Science

Points: 16
Program Website

Princeton’s undergraduate psychology degree is heavily based in active research. Students are required to participate in a total of four hours of experimental sessions per course completed, or else they must complete an alternative writing requirement. They must also complete two junior research papers and a senior thesis under the guidance of a faculty member.
US News and World Report Ranking:
#1 Best National University
#7 Best Psychology Program
#1 Best Value School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #18
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $18,885
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

#10: University of California – San Diego, California

UC San Diego Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The Division of Social Science

Points: 16
Program Website

Students are encouraged to engage in faculty research, complete internships for credit, enhance their education by studying abroad, and build the framework for graduate study by participating in the honors program.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#39 Best National University
#14 Best Psychology Program
#48 Best Value School
#9 Top Public School
#21 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #11
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $13,693
Accreditations:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#9: Arizona State University – Tempe, Arizona

Arizona State University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychological Science
Affiliations:
The College of Liberal Arts and Science

Points: 17
Program Website

Arizona State University students can work towards a bachelor of arts or science in psychology, a bachelor of science in psychological science and even earn a bachelor of arts fully online.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#129 Best National University
#38 Best Psychology Program
#62 Top Public School
#1 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: Not Applicable
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $12,191
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#8: University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, North Carolina

UNC Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Affiliations:
The College of Arts and Sciences

Points: 17
Program Website

The UNC psychology major provides students with a robust introduction to the behavioral sciences with an emphasis on statistical and research tools used in psychological research. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for a career in psychology or a number of other professional areas.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#30 Best National University
#12 Best Psychology Program
#13 Best Value School
#5 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #23
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $10,936
Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

#7: Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, Massachusetts

MIT Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Brain and Cognitive Science

Points: 19
Program Website

The rigorous undergraduate program uses a tiered system that builds upon the expertise gained at the previous level. In the first year students are introduced to neuroscience, cognitive science and computation, with an emphasis on acquiring skills in programming and statistics. Courses will then increase in intensity to provide students with all the important knowledge they will need for graduate training.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#7 Best National University
#9 Best Psychology Program
#5 Best Value School
#5 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #17
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $22,212
Accreditations:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#6: University of California – Berkeley, California

UC Berkeley Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Affiliations:
The College of Letters and Sciences

Points: 20
Program Website

Berkeley’s Psychology Department emphasizes the six key areas of research, which include Behavioral & Systems Neuroscience, Clinical Science, Cognition, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology and Social-Personality Psychology. In addition to these specialization areas, the program focuses on enhancing procedural, statistical and critical thinking skills.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#20 Best National University
#2 Best Psychology Program
#1 Top Public School
#21 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #6
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $16,655
Accreditations:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#5: University of California – Los Angeles, California

UCLA Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in PsychoBiology
Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science

Points: 20
Program Website

Psychology majors can earn more than a traditional psychology bachelor’s degree at UCLA. They can choose from a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science, a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology, as well as minors in Cognitive Science and Applied Developmental Psychology. The degree plans overlap in some basic skills sets; they vary in their focus and required course plan.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#23 Best National University
#2 Best Psychology Program
#2 Top Public School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #12
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $12,510
Accreditations:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

#4: Yale University – New Haven, Connecticut

Yale University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Specializations Offered:
Neuroscience Track (BA & BS)
Affiliations:
Yale College

Points: 25
Program Website

Students at the Yale Department of Psychology can choose from a Bachelor of Arts or Science in Psychology, as well as pursue a concentration in neuroscience or a dual Computer Science and Psychology major.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#3 Best National University
#4 Best Psychology Program
#3 Best Value School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #2
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $19,317
Accreditations:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#3: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan

University of Michigan Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCN)
Dual Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Neuroscience
Dual Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Cognitive Science
Affiliations:
The College of Literature, Science and the Arts

Points: 25
Program Website

The Psychology Department offers an extensive array of degree programs, with several undergraduate options. The department wide goal is to offer students a comprehensive background in the analysis and scientific methods used to study behavior.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#29 Best National University
#4 Best Psychology Program
#4 Top Public School
#8 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #4
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $15,850
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCACS)

#2: Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Science in General Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology – Honors Program
Bachelor of Science in Psychology – Study Out of Residence
Bachelor of Science in Psychology as a Secondary Field
Bachelor of Science in Psychology Life Sciences: Cognitive Neuroscience & Evolutionary Psychology Track
Bachelor of Science in Psychology with Mind/Brain/Behavior: Cognitive Science Track
Specializations Offered:
Cognitive Neuroscience Track
Evolutionary Psychology Track
Cognitive Science Track
Affiliations:
Harvard College
The College of Arts and Sciences

Points: 25
Program Website

Harvard’s prestigious Psychology Department teaches students about the fundamental psychological processes, with the ability to help conduct research on the cause, development, and treatment of psychopathology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#2 Best National University
#4 Best Psychology Program
#2 Best Value School
#8 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #7
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $15,095
Accreditations:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

#1: Stanford University – Stanford, California

Stanford University Best psychology Bachelors Degree
The Department of Psychology

Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Affiliations:
The School of Humanities and Sciences

Points: 27
Program Website

Stanford’s psychology department offers a Bachelor of Arts program that offers students training in the best ways to understand human behavior by employing empirically sound methodologies. The program is designed to serve as a background for careers in Business, Education, Law, Medicine, and Social work as well as Psychology.

US News and World Report Ranking:
#4 Best National University
#1 Best Psychology Program
#4 Best Value School
#2 Most Innovative School
Gourman Report Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking: #1
Average Cost of Four Year Attendance: $17,952
Accreditations:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Opportunities for a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from a top school allows students opportunities in so many different areas. For some students it will serve as a terminal degree, granting them entrance into an entry-level position in business, human resources, case management and many others. For others it will be a stepping-stone towards graduate study in psychology or any related field. Most psychology undergraduate programs are based strongly in the liberal arts, which means that students are exposed to much more than just psychology. In addition to the psychology curriculum, students will complete courses in math, science, history, liberal arts, and in a wide range of elective areas of study. The psychology curriculum will vary slightly from school to school but most will cover the rudimentary areas of the field as well as how to conduct research. By earning a degree from these prestigious programs, students are given endless opportunities for academic and career success.

Ranking Methodology

This ranking list has been created to outline the 50 best bachelor’s degree programs in psychology. Factors considered:

Net Cost of Attendance – Four Years

One of the major factors considered is the average annual graduate tuition. Data was collected from the College Navigator Tool.

Points:
Under $13,000 / $13,001 – $15,00/ $15,001 – $18,000
3 Points / 2 Points / 1 Point

Number of Degree Options or Areas of Specialization

While it may not be imperative in some fields to offer an array of areas of specialization, psychology is not one of those fields. With a vast number of possible specializations and concentrations it is important to graduate psychology students to have the ability to pursue a degree specialized to fit their career goals.

Points:
Number of Available Degree Options or Areas of Specialization
More than 1 Degree Options = 2 Points
More than 1 Specialization or Concentration Options = 2 Points

College Ranking

The next consideration was whether or not a school has been granted acknowledgement by a national ranking body. The major source of such national notoriety comes from the US News and World Report and the Gourman Report for best undergraduate psychology degrees.
Points:
US News and World Report Best National University Ranking, Top Public School Ranking, Best Value School Ranking, Most Innovative School Ranking and Best Psychology Program Ranking:

Top 5 / Top 10 / Top 25 / Top 50
5 Points / 3 Points / 2 Points / 1 Point

Gourman Report Best Undergraduate Psychology Degree Ranking:
Top 5 / Top 10 / Top 20 / Top 30
5 Points / 3 Points / 2 Points / 1 Point

Accreditation

In order to be included in this ranking list an appropriate ranking body must regionally accredit each college or university.

Points:
Each Accreditation: 1 Point

Likelihood of Acceptance

As more and more individuals are pursuing psychology degrees the ability to be accepted to a college program is becoming increasingly competitive. Those schools with higher acceptance rate were given additional points. US News and World Report provided the data for this score.

Points:
Acceptance Rates Above 50% / Above 60% / Above 70%
1 Points / 2 Points / 3 Points

Grading Process

Once the points have been tallied the schools are arranged into groups by the amount of points they have earned. In the cases of ties, preference was given to those schools with the lowest tuition rates.

About the Author

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University and then a Master of Science in Clinical and Forensic Psychology from Drexel University, Kristen Fescoe began a career as a therapist at two prisons in Philadelphia. At the same time she volunteered as a rape crisis counselor, also in Philadelphia. After a few years in the field she accepted a teaching position at a local college where she currently teaches online psychology courses. Kristen began writing in college and still enjoys her work as a writer, editor, professor and mother.