What Are the Goals of a Bachelor's Program in Psychology?
Bachelor's programs in psychology introduce undergraduates to the science of human behavior and the mind. Learners take courses in areas like abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, and experimental psychology. Psychology students may also complete an internship or capstone project to gain career-ready skills. A psychology degree builds strong research, analytical, and critical thinking skills.
Graduates can pursue jobs in fields like social services, healthcare, education, and business. Potential roles include social services manager, psychiatric technician, training specialist, and counselor. Psychologists need a graduate degree to practice. Clinical psychologists typically need a doctorate, while school psychologists need at least a master's degree.
A psychology bachelor's program typically takes four years of full-time study to complete. Transfer students with prior college credits can often earn the degree in less time, as can students who choose an accelerated program.
This page introduces the top bachelor's in psychology programs to help students find the right program for their needs. The page also provides information on psychology scholarships, licensure requirements, and career paths.
|What is psychology?||Psychology is the study of human behavior and the mind. The discipline scientifically examines identity, emotion, development, and personality.|
|What kind of degree do I need to be a psychologist?||Most psychologists hold a doctorate, but some roles, including school psychologist and industrial-organizational psychologist, only require a master's degree.|
|How long does it take to earn a bachelor's in psychology?||A bachelor's degree in psychology generally takes four years of full-time study to complete. Incoming students with prior college experience or learners who choose an accelerated program can finish in less time.|
|What is the difference between counseling and psychology||Both counselors and psychologists work with patients on mental health issues. However, psychologists can diagnose mental disorders, while counselors are not authorized to provide diagnoses.|
Top 10 Bachelor's Degree Programs in Psychology for 2020
|1||Purdue University||West Lafayette, IN|
|2||Harvard University||Cambridge, MA|
|3||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC|
|4||Berea College||Berea, KY|
|5||University of Georgia||Athens, GA|
|6||University of Washington||Seattle, WA|
|7||CUNY Hunter College||New York, NY|
|8||Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL|
|9||University of South Florida||Tampa, FL|
|10||Indiana University-Bloomington||Bloomington, IN|
Accreditation for Psychology Programs
Prospective psychology majors should always check a school's accreditation status before applying. Accredited schools undergo a rigorous review process from an independent accrediting agency that verifies the school meets high academic standards.
Accreditation benefits students in several ways. For instance, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept credits and degrees from accredited institutions. Additionally, students may need an accredited degree to qualify for licensure or certification.
Programs within a school may also receive accreditation. Several agencies grant accreditation to psychology programs, including the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists. However, these organizations only grant accreditation to graduate programs. Learn more about the accreditation process.
2020 Top Bachelor's Degree Programs in Psychology
Our list ranks the top bachelor's programs in psychology based on factors such as student experience, school reputation, and graduation record. By choosing a top-ranked program, students can advance their careers and increase their earning potential. Attending one of the best bachelor's in psychology programs can also help students gain admission to a competitive graduate school.
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.
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.
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
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
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
In order to be included in this ranking list an appropriate ranking body must regionally accredit each college or university.
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.
Acceptance Rates Above 50% / Above 60% / Above 70%
1 Points / 2 Points / 3 Points
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.
Purdue boasts the best on-campus bachelor's program in psychology in the United States. Students select one of two tracks: psychological sciences or brain and behavioral sciences. Both programs require 120 credits and 14 psychology courses, and incoming juniors with a minimum 3.5 GPA qualify for the honors program.
Purdue offers several career services, including resume critiques, internship search strategies, and mock interviews. Purdue also maintains a blog and podcast that cover professional development and networking best practices. Thanks to these resources, 95% of recent Purdue graduates report a positive career outcome.
Admission requirements include a high school diploma, ACT or SAT scores, and an essay. Indiana applicants who earned an Academic Honors Diploma in high school have the greatest chance of admission. Out-of-state students pay approximately three times more on tuition than in-state learners. Purdue's College of Health and Human Sciences awards five departmental scholarships to psychology undergraduates.
Harvard's psychology bachelor's program features two concentrations: cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience with evolutionary psychology. The cognitive science track limits enrollment to juniors and seniors with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Learners can customize their educational experience by selecting a secondary field that requires an extra five courses.
Students can enhance a resume or prepare for graduate school by working in one of Harvard's research labs. At the Office of Career Services, learners can research jobs and internships, make resume revisions, and research employers attending upcoming career fairs. Other services include drop-in advising and 30-minute appointments with a career counselor.
Harvard accepts the Common Application, and homeschooled prospective students can apply. High school seniors should ask two teachers for a recommendation letter. Fifty-five percent of undergraduates receive some form of institutional or departmental financial aid, and 20% of learners pay no tuition.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Carolina's bachelor's in psychology program offers two concentration options. Each concentration includes general education, psychology, and statistical analysis courses that prepare students for graduate study.
Nearly 90% of UNC's psychology undergraduates either find a job or enter graduate school within one year of earning a degree. Students can plan for life after graduation by consulting University Career Services' (UCS) Handshake software, internship opportunities, and the Career Readiness Workbook. UCS also offers virtual advising sessions.
Application materials for prospective freshmen include the Common Application, two essays, one recommendation letter, and standardized test scores. Carolina residents save a significant amount on tuition compared to out-of-state learners. Psychology students may qualify for one of seven institutional scholarships and additional institutional financial aid.
Berea's bachelor's program in psychology awards a BA and requires coursework in statistical research methods, principles of learning, and ethology. Students personalize the program by selecting four electives. Additional requirements include a senior research project in which learners design and implement an original experiment.
Berea's Office of Internships and Career Development (OICD) offers numerous events and workshops throughout the year. Other OICD services include a four-year career plan that emphasizes identifying skills and matching them with potential careers. Students can also log in to Handshake to set up a virtual counseling appointment.
Admission requirements include high school transcripts or GED scores, at least one recommendation letter, and ACT or SAT scores. All applicants also submit the FAFSA. Berea does not charge tuition to undergraduate students. Students who complete an internship or study abroad also do not pay out of pocket.
University of Georgia
UGA's psychology bachelor's program emphasizes the five goals that the American Psychological Association recommends for undergraduate programs. Learners can choose between UGA's general BS degree and a neuroscience emphasis. The latter requires additional biology and chemistry courses. Courses in both tracks include quantitative reasoning, research analysis, and learning.
More than 95% of graduates find a job or enter another academic program within six months of earning a degree. UGA achieves this impressive statistic by offering resume templates, portfolio assistance, and a career guide through the Career Center (CC). On the CC website, students can also review blog posts that cover networking best practices and upcoming career fairs.
Application materials include high school transcripts that meet UGA's high school prerequisites requirement, ACT or SAT scores, and two recommendation letters. Georgia residents save approximately 75% on tuition compared to out-of-state students. UGA boasts five institutional scholarships for first-year students.
University of Washington
Students who enroll in UW's bachelor's in psychology program can earn a BA or a BS. In addition to major coursework, learners complete an optional teaching experience, fieldwork, or research course. Additionally, psychology students can enhance the educational experience by participating in a departmental study abroad experience in Indonesia.
UW's Career and Internship Center offers multiple services, including virtual advising, blog posts that highlight career trends, and links to experiences perfect for students considering a gap year after graduation. Other 24/7 resources include virtual workshops and informational videos.
Even after students enroll at UW, they still must meet the psychology program's admission requirements, including an overall minimum 3.2 undergraduate GPA and prerequisite coursework in introductory mathematics and psychology. In-state learners save a significant amount on tuition at UW. The university awards merit-based scholarships to both freshman and transfer learners.
An excellent choice for New York City residents, Hunter's bachelor's program in psychology offers seven concentrations, including in animal behavior and clinical psychology. No matter the concentration, students receive in-depth instruction in statistical methods, laboratory science, and experimental psychology. Additionally, electives allow degree-seekers to earn an honors diploma or complete an internship.
Hunter's career services professionals work one on one with students to create an effective resume, improve interviewing skills, and explore career paths. Learners can also keep track of upcoming career fairs, workshops, and panels on Hunter's website.
Undergraduate admission requirements include high school transcripts or GED scores and ACT or SAT scores. Hunter considers transfer credit on a case-by-case basis and accepts up to 90 credits. New York residents save a significant amount on tuition. Incoming students may qualify for a federal grant, state grant, or institutional scholarship.
Florida State University
FSU's psychology bachelor's program features coursework in research methods, an introduction to the brain and behavior, and human memory and learning. The flexible curriculum allows learners to complete a second major or minor. Additionally, the program offers an optional honors curriculum for qualified students and a study abroad opportunity in London, England.
High-achieving psychology students can join Psi Chi, an honors society in which members network with peers and potential employers. The FSU Career Center also helps degree-seekers by offering virtual advising sessions, resume critiques, and brief videos that convey essential job hunting skills.
FSU accepts the Common Application and GED scores. All applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants should have a minimum 2.0 undergraduate GPA. In-state students save significantly on tuition compared to out-of-state learners. However, some out-of-state students may qualify for a scholarship that reduces tuition to the in-state rate.
University of South Florida
A superb option for Florida residents, USF's bachelor's in psychology includes a 34-credit major curriculum featuring coursework in introduction to psychology, psychological statistics, and research methods. After completing these introductory courses, students select electives in cognitive, social, and applied psychology. In their senior year, learners complete either a directed-study program or an internship.
On the USF Career Center website, students can sign up for a 15- to 60-minute coaching session, view presentations on job search strategies, and complete career modules that impart valuable skills. Degree-seekers can also research and apply for internship opportunities through Handshake.
USF accepts GED scores, and all prospective freshmen submit ACT or SAT scores. The university uses different GPA cutoffs for transfer credit depending on the applicant's educational background. Out-of-state students pay more than double the in-state tuition rate. The Department of Psychology awards two departmental scholarships to qualifying applicants.
Indiana University Bloomington
IU's bachelor's program in psychology includes both a BA and a BS track. Both degrees offer concentrations, perfect for prospective students who want a customizable educational experience. The BS program emphasizes upper-division psychology coursework and requires additional laboratory experiences. Additionally, the program's selective honors program allows students to complete original research and write a thesis.
Students can log in to One.IU to make an appointment with an academic advisor. Career coaches at IU's Career Development Center can direct learners to internship opportunities and networking events. The center also provides students with resume and cover letter workshops.
Prospective freshmen must hold a high school diploma and submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer credit should reflect a minimum 2.3 GPA. In-state students pay a much lower tuition rate than out-of-state learners. IU's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences awards four departmental scholarships to deserving undergraduates.
Heritage's psychology bachelor's program prepares graduates for careers as crime victim advocates, at-risk youth workers, and social services coordinators. Students analyze behavior modification, the history and systems of psychology, and the psychology of adjustment. Additionally, learners complete a research capstone project in their senior year.
Heritage's career services professionals help students fill out scholarship applications, hone salary negotiation skills, and explore career and internship opportunities. On Heritage's website, students can also review upcoming career expos and job fairs and watch prerecorded webinars.
Heritage accepts GED scores and does not require standardized test scores. The university also automatically accepts applicants with associate degrees from Washington state community colleges; these transfer students receive junior standing. Incoming freshmen take a placement test to determine initial English and mathematics courses. Heritage does not charge out-of-state tuition. Each institutional scholarship requires a separate application.
California State University, Long Beach
An affordable option for California residents, CSULB's bachelor's in psychology program features introductory coursework in research methods, psychobiology, and statistics. The rest of the major provides flexibility by offering unique electives in the psychology of happiness, the psychology of stress, and psychopharmacology.
CSULB's Career Development Center connects students with internship opportunities, resume and cover letter assistance, and on-campus workshops. Workshop topics include how joining the Peace Corps can help alumni gain experience and skills that U.S. employers want. The Career Development Center also maintains a job board that features positions throughout Southern California and beyond.
Admission requirements include a high school diploma and standardized test scores. CSULB accepts up to 90 transfer credits, as well. California residents receive a significant tuition discount. Students can use the BeachScholarships website to research and apply for institutional financial aid.
University of Michigan - Dearborn
UM-Dearborn's bachelor's program in psychology emphasizes coursework in the natural sciences, social psychology, and clinical/abnormal psychology. During the program's capstone, learners work with a professor to perform original research and write an extended essay. Motivated students can apply for an on-campus internship and may qualify for the university's honors program.
At UM-Dearborn's Office of Career Services (OCS), psychology students can receive a resume or cover letter critique, review interviewing tips, and perform an interest assessment. Online resources include Focus 2 Career and Big Interview. The OCS website also features videos that cover writing tips and career success plans.
Prospective students who submit the GED must earn a minimum 600 score. All first-year applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores. UM-Dearborn's Course Transfer System allows transfer applicants to determine course equivalencies. The university awards automatic merit-based scholarships to outstanding first-year and transfer applicants.
University of Texas at Austin
UT Austin's psychology bachelor's program offers both a BA and a BS. The BS appeals to learners planning to enter medical school or another graduate program. The BA curriculum emphasizes additional general education courses, including foreign language courses. All learners take courses such as statistics in research design, quantitative reasoning, and ethics courses. Additional requirements include earning a certificate and completing a capstone.
UT Austin's extensive career services resources include one-on-one counseling sessions through Handshake, on-campus career fairs, and career assessments. The university also provides 24/7 online services like writing guides, a career roadmap, and interviewing tips.
In addition to GED scores or high school transcripts, prospective freshmen submit an essay and responses to three short answer questions. UT Austin also requires ACT or SAT scores. The university does not use a GPA cutoff for transfer credit. As the flagship university of the Lone Star State, UT Austin provides in-state students with a tuition discount. Freshmen need not submit a separate application to apply for institutional and departmental scholarships.
University of California, Los Angeles
UCLA's bachelor's in psychology program features majors in psychology, psychobiology, and cognitive science. Each major emphasizes preparation courses such as life sciences, statistics, and introductory psychology. Students can personalize the degree by selecting electives.
UCLA's Psychology Undergraduate Advising Office (PUAO) prepares learners for academic success by providing graduation checks, drop-in advising, and essential forms. The PUAO also offers specialized resources such as application guides, interviewing tips, and a program database. These resources help degree-seekers plan for graduate school admission.
UCLA does not accept freshman applicants who did not graduate high school. Other requirements include ACT or SAT scores, and transfer credit should reflect a minimum 3.2 GPA. Incoming students may qualify for one of over a dozen departmental scholarships and grants.
University of Michigan
U-M's bachelor's program in psychology features an optional concentration in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience (BCN). The BCN concentration emphasizes statistics, data analysis, and the natural sciences. Students can also complete multiple unique electives, including the psychology of thinking. The optional honors program requires original research and a senior thesis.
Joining a student organization such as Psi Chi or the Michigan Association of Psychology Scholars helps psychology students enhance their resume and network with peers. Learners can also find valuable career resources on the Psychology Department's website, including an in-depth guide that explains the degree's many transferable skills.
Undergraduate admission requirements include the Common Application, one teacher recommendation, ACT or SAT scores, and essays. Transfer students should have a minimum 3.0 GPA. In-state degree-seekers save over 75% on tuition compared to out-of-state learners. Prospective students need only submit FAFSA results to apply for institutional financial aid.
Truman State University
Truman's psychology bachelor's program offers both a BA and BS degree and provides a broad curriculum that prepares students for both graduate school and employment. Courses in both programs include the history and systems of psychology, psychological research, and nonparametric statistics. All learners write an extended research essay in the final semester.
Students can prepare for a master's program by completing an undergraduate research project. Truman offers three opportunities in which students can assist professors' research projects during summer break. Learners planning to start a career after graduation can use Truman's Career Center's valuable services, including resume critiques, on-campus career fairs, and the HireTruman job board.
Application materials include high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, a resume, and a 1- to 3-page essay. Transfer students who do not meet Truman's 3.0 GPA cutoff can still receive conditional admission. The university charges out-of-state learners approximately double the in-state tuition rate. Truman's merit-based scholarships award up to $4,000 per year in financial aid.
Oklahoma State University
Future medicine, law, and forensic science professionals can benefit from OSU's bachelor's in psychology program. Students can choose between a BA and a BS, and both degrees feature unique electives in the psychology of art, affective neuroscience, and the psychology of mass media. Additionally, OSU features a unique program wherein learners can earn a bachelor's and a law degree in only six years.
Students can network with peers by joining OSU's Psychology Club. Club members take workshops that cover career readiness and graduate schools. The OSU Career Center offers resume critiques, job fairs, and on-campus internship opportunities.
Freshman admission requirements include a high school diploma and standardized test scores. Transfer applicants with at least 24 credits need not submit ACT or SAT scores, and in-state learners save on tuition compared to out-of-state students. OSU awards automatic, university-assured scholarships to eligible first-year and transfer students.
Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
IUPUI's bachelor's program in psychology offers both a BA and a BS. The program includes many concentration options, and learners choose one of four senior capstones: a laboratory project, a seminar, a practicum, or an honors research project. Additionally, both programs allow students to perform research alongside faculty.
IUPUI offers specialized workshops and seminars for each academic field. Career services professionals work closely with students to research and apply for internship opportunities. IUPUI also helps learners avoid fraudulent job postings and sign up for a federal work-study program.
IUPUI prefers applicants who graduated from an Indiana high school and provides significant tuition savings to in-state learners. The university uses GPA and standardized test score cutoffs. Prospective transfer students should hold an associate degree. Learners can apply for all institutional scholarships by submitting a single application.
Holy Family University
HFU's psychology bachelor's program features five minors, including childhood studies, gerontology, and criminal justice. In addition to the core curriculum, students can select six electives. Elective options include developmental psychopathology, behavioral application in autism, and an introduction to clinical application. All learners must also complete a seminar course during both their junior and senior years.
HFU provides ample research opportunities to undergraduate psychology students. The university's Career Development Center's four-year plan ensures that all learners can discover academic strengths, create a professional image, and explore internship opportunities.
Prospective students with GED scores may apply, and all applicants submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer credits should reflect a minimum 2.5 GPA. Full-time learners who take 12-18 credits per semester pay a flat tuition rate. Incoming students interested in institutional aid should contact the HFU Admissions Office.
Students choose Stanford's bachelor's in psychology program for its customizability. Learners can select from four concentrations: cognitive sciences; health and development; mind, culture, and society; and neuroscience. Required coursework includes cultural psychology, personality and affective science, and abnormal psychology. Motivated learners can apply for the program's senior-year honors program.
The School of Humanities and Sciences employs academic and peer advisors who work exclusively with psychology undergraduates. The Stanford Career Education (SCE) website posts information regarding upcoming career fairs and workshops. During an SCE workshop, students work with an advisor to craft a cover letter or discuss job hunting strategies.
A highly competitive university, Stanford requires the Common Application, ACT or SAT scores, and two recommendation letters. Prospective transfer students submit the same application materials alongside undergraduate transcripts. All university scholarships do not require a separate application, and learners may qualify for additional federal or private financial aid.
Yale's bachelor's program in psychology offers an optional neuroscience track wherein learners take additional upper-division biology courses. Major coursework includes the theory and practice of childhood education, social psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. Additional requirements include a senior capstone in which students write a minimum 5,000-word thesis.
At Yale's Office of Career Strategy learners can receive a resume or cover letter critique. Female students can also join the Rising Star Initiative to create a personal brand, network with peers, and develop professional values.
Prospective freshmen submit high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and two teacher recommendations. Transfer credit should reflect a minimum 3.0 GPA. Learners can also apply under the Eli Whitney Students Program. All newly accepted students receive a Financial Aid Award Letter; the average aid award exceeds $50,000.
University of Illinois at Chicago
UIC's psychology bachelor's program offers an optional concentration in applied psychology. Students in the program analyze the basics of neuroscience, community psychology, and the psychology of women and gender. Additionally, applied psychology students complete a one-semester practicum at a local mental health setting.
UIC provides virtual career services appointments and on-campus student employment opportunities. Resources include resume and interviewing tips, a workshop calendar, and LinkedIn best practices. Alumni can receive specialized support through one-on-one appointments and UICcareers.com, the university's private job board.
Application requirements for freshman applicants include high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Prospective students with GED scores can only apply as transfer students. In-state learners save over 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state students. Both first-year and transfer students may qualify for automatic merit-based scholarships.
University of California, San Diego
Along with awarding a BA and a BS degree, UC San Diego's bachelor's in psychology program offers multiple concentrations, including in clinical psychology, human health, and sensation and perception. The flexible curriculum also allows students to double-major.
No matter which concentration students select, they can find invaluable services at UC San Diego's Career Center, including Handshake, workshops, and resume templates. Other resources include the in-depth Triton Career Guide and walk-in appointments.
Prospective freshmen should hold a high school diploma that meets the UC System's prerequisites requirement. Other application materials include ACT or SAT scores, along with answers to four personal insight questions. Transfer credit must reflect a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. UC San Diego's Department of Psychology website offers over 24 external grant opportunities.
Middlebury's bachelor's program in psychology features courses in psychological disorders, cognitive psychology, and social psychology. Other requirements include at least one advanced seminar and three electives. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can conduct undergraduate research. Additionally, students with a minimum 3.5 GPA can earn an honors diploma by writing an extended thesis.
The Center for Careers and Internships (CCI) runs Midd2Midd, an online platform wherein students can connect with an alumni mentor and network with potential employers. At CCI, learners can also review major guides, explore on-campus internships, and download a cover letter template.
Prospective students can apply for the spring or fall semester, and application requirements include two teacher recommendations, an essay, and high school transcripts. Middlebury does not use a GPA cutoff for transfer credit and charges all undergraduates the same per-semester tuition rate. All incoming students with financial need receive an institutional grant.
Brooklyn College's psychology bachelor's program offers both a BA and a BS option. Both programs include coursework in introductory psychology, experiential psychology, and research. Students earning a BS select fewer electives, as the program requires upper-division courses in biology and anthropology. Motivated students can apply to the Macaulay Honors College.
The college's Manger Career Center (MCC) provides exceptional resources for degree-seekers, including mock interviews, an alumni mentor program, and resume critiques. The MCC also sponsors tours of local companies, giving students an insider's view of different career paths.
Brooklyn College accepts both the CUNY Application and the Common Application. Admission requirements for freshman applicants include high school transcripts or GED scores and standardized test scores. Brooklyn College uses a minimum 2.0 GPA cutoff for an associate degree and a minimum 2.3 GPA cutoff for all other transfer credit. Some in-state students may qualify for a full-tuition scholarship.
California State University, Los Angeles
Los Angeles residents who hold an associate degree should consider Cal State LA's excellent bachelor's in psychology program. All courses take place in the evenings, perfect for students who work full time. The two-year curriculum prepares students for careers as human resources professionals, caregivers, or social workers.
At Cal State LA's Career Development Center, students can take a CareerExpress assessment to reveal skills and traits that employers value in applicants. After learners complete an assessment, they work with a career advisor to develop a bespoke career plan.
Cal State LA accepts new students in the fall semester. Prospective students submit all application materials through Cal State Apply. Undergraduate transcripts must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. All students pay the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of residency. Incoming students can apply for both institutional and federal financial aid programs by providing FAFSA results.
City College of New York
CCNY's bachelor's program in psychology features coursework in psychology in the modern world, applied statistics, and experimental psychology. The program offers four concentrations, including social personality. Undergraduates who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA may qualify for the honors program, which requires academic research and a thesis.
Students turn to CCNY's Career and Professional Development Institute's (CPDI) workshops, job fairs, and recruitment programs to prepare for professional success. The CPDI website features a unique success plan for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Also, alumni can consult an extensive list of top job search websites.
Prospective students can apply for the spring or fall semester, and CCNY accepts GED scores. CCNY considers transfer credit on a case-by-case basis and does not use a GPA cutoff. In-state students save money on tuition by paying a per-semester rate; out-of-state degree-seekers pay a per-credit rate. High-achieving learners may qualify for one of six departmental scholarships.
Louisiana Tech University
Louisiana Tech's psychology bachelor's program awards a BA and requires coursework in statistical methods, social psychology, and the psychology of personality. Students planning to enter a master's program can bolster their application by writing a senior thesis. Additional requirements include an exit examination.
The university's Career Center (CC) works with degree-seekers to identify appropriate services, including the Career Library and Lab, workshops, and on-campus interviews. The CC website also offers multiple resources that learners can access at any time, such as Handshake, resume tips, and Big Interview, an online platform that helps students hone interviewing skills.
First-year application requirements include a high school diploma and ACT or SAT scores. Louisiana Tech does not use a GPA cutoff for transfer credit. Louisiana residents receive a tuition discount. Undergraduates may qualify for one of approximately 25 institutional scholarships that award up to $2,000.
Columbia's bachelor's in psychology program provides students with a holistic educational experience that emphasizes numerous psychology subfields. Degree-seekers have great flexibility in selecting unique electives, including the wandering mind, brain evolution, and primate social psychology.
Along with taking rigorous courses from one of the nation's top universities, students can plan for career success by working with a counselor, creating a four-year career plan, and researching jobs and internships. Columbia's Center for Career Education also maintains a blog that covers salary negotiation skills and job hunting best practices.
Prospective freshmen submit high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and two teacher recommendations. Transfer applicants also provide standardized test scores. Columbia charges the same tuition rate to all psychology undergraduates. Degree-seekers can apply for an institutional scholarship, grant, or work-study program.
University of California, Irvine
A superb school for prospective students living in Southern California, UCI bachelor's program in psychology features two concentrations: cognitive sciences and the psychology of social behavior. Cognitive sciences learners analyze perception, language sciences, and cognitive neuroscience. Talented degree-seekers in either concentration can apply for the honors program, which requires a senior research project.
UCI's Division of Career Pathways hosts career fairs and workshops throughout the year. Online resources include the Career Toolkit, a downloadable file that boasts resume templates and invaluable advice. Students can also receive a resume critique through VMock.
UCI accepts GED scores, and freshman applicants also submit standardized test scores. The university uses a 2.4 GPA cutoff for transfer credit. California residents receive a significant tuition discount. Institutional scholarships require a separate application, and UCI maintains different financial aid deadlines for the spring and fall semesters.
QC's psychology bachelor's program offers a 36-credit major curriculum with coursework in statistical methods, experimental psychology, and lifespan development. Over 24 electives allow learners to customize the degree. Additionally, students can select between two practicum experiences: academic advising and intervention for children with autism.
QC's Center for Career Engagement and Internships (CCEI) offers career assessments, workshops, and cover letter guides. Graduate school resources include a school database and links to outside financial aid assistance. The CCEI awards up to $2,400 to undergraduate degree-seekers who perform an off-campus internship.
Prospective students can submit the CUNY Application or the Common Application. The psychology program does not require any additional application requirements. Full-time out-of-state students do not pay a higher tuition rate, while part-time out-of-state learners pay double the in-state rate. Institutional scholarships award $250-$2,500.
California State University, Fresno
During Fresno State's bachelor's in psychology program, students analyze biological psychology, topics in research design and statistics, and behavioral neuroscience. Many upper-division courses feature a practicum component, perfect for learners interested in research or applying to graduate programs.
Fresno State's Career Development Center provides mock interviews, resume critiques, and guides that pair the university's majors with potential career paths. Students can also research on-campus and off-campus internship opportunities and attend career fairs.
First-year application requirements include GED scores or high school transcripts that meet Fresno State's prerequisites. Transfer applicants should have a minimum 2.0 undergraduate GPA.
Rhode Island College
RIC's bachelor's program in psychology includes a 120-credit curriculum with major coursework in research methods, personality, and human development. Throughout the program, students select electives like social cognition and psychological testing. Learners in the program may complete an optional internship.
RIC's Career Development Center provides internship opportunities, guidance on career paths, and scholarship opportunities. Other resources include industry guides, resume templates, and job hunting advice.
RIC admits new degree-seekers in the spring and fall semesters. Prospective freshmen submit high school transcripts, standardized test scores, recommendation letters, and an essay. The university accepts up to 75 transfer credits, and transfer credit must reflect a minimum 2.0 GPA. RIC considers both financial need and academic merit when making scholarship determinations.
California State University, Fullerton
Both first-time college students and working professionals apply to CSUF's psychology bachelor's program. After completing the core psychology curriculum, degree-seekers personalize their educational experience by selecting electives, including biopsychology, legal psychology, and industrial/organization psychology. During their senior year, students choose between two capstone experiences.
CSUF's career center provides a table that suggests how many credits students should take depending on whether they work full or part time. The career center also helps learners prepare for life after graduation by providing an in-depth career guide, which includes over 50 pages of advice on resume writing, interviewing, and applying to graduate school.
Admission requirements include high school transcripts and standardized test scores. CSUF prefers transfer applicants who earned credit or an associate degree at a partner community college. In-state students save 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state degree-seekers. Incoming students may qualify for one or more institutional scholarships.
Florida Atlantic Unviersity
Established in 1964, Florida Atlantic University enrolls more than 30,000 students across six campuses. The school offers a BA in psychology that gives learners core training in neuroscience and psychological science. Learners study social and personality psychology, cognitive psychology, and developmental psychology. Some graduates may qualify for mental health counseling certification.
The 120-credit psychology program includes a directed independent research requirement. Students also choose between a laboratory or thesis requirement to culminate the degree. Learners must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to graduate. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and submit SAT or ACT scores. Learners can transfer up to 12 credits toward the degree.
University of California - Davis
Founded in 1908, University of California-Davis hosts nearly 40,000 students through over 200 programs. The school offers several bachelor's in psychology programs, including a BA in psychology and a BS in psychology with concentrations in biology and mathematics. Both programs include core courses in four areas: psychobiology, developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and social and personality psychology.
The 120-credit degrees include 60 major credits. To declare a psychology major, enrollees must complete 60 lower-level general education credits and hold a minimum 2.0 GPA in at least three upper-level psychology courses. In-state applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA, while out-of-state applicants need a minimum 3.4 GPA. All applicants must submit transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.
Appalachian State University
Founded in 1899, Appalachian State University is one of 17 schools in the University of North Carolina System, enrolling nearly 20,000 students each year. Appalachian offers BA and BS in psychology programs with concentrations in areas like business, education studies, health studies, and social science.
The 122-credit programs include general education, elective, concentration, and major requirements. Learners culminate the degree with a capstone course or fieldwork. Students can begin in the fall or spring. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer applicants need a minimum 2.25 GPA.
University of California - Riverside
A member of the University of California system, the University of California-Riverside offers more than 80 undergraduate majors. Aspiring psychology professionals can pursue a BA or BS in psychology. Both programs comprise 180 quarter units and emphasize foundational psychology knowledge and skills, but the BS degree places a heavier emphasis on research methodologies.
Psychology students can choose from two-year and four-year pathways, depending on transfer credits. The two-year pathway requires applicants to hold at least 90 transfer quarter credits. All applicants need a high school diploma or GED and a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer applicants need a minimum 2.7 GPA.
University of Minnesota - Morris
In addition to general education and elective courses, students complete major courses like data analysis, learning theory and behavior modification, and multicultural psychology. Students also complete a practicum to gain hands-on experience in the field.
Psychology students typically graduate in four years, taking classes in the fall and spring semesters. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED. Transfer applicants need a minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA.
CUNY Lehman College
Established in 1968 as a member of the City University of New York, CUNY Lehman College enrolls more than 14,000 students across 90 programs. One of the most popular majors in the school, the BA in psychology requires 120 credits, including 35 major credits.
Students take classes on topics like general psychology, history of psychology, statistical methods in psychology, and experimental psychology. Learners can tailor the degree to their interests through psychology electives, including cognitive psychology and psychology of learning.
Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer applicants with 12-24 credits need a minimum 2.3 GPA, while transfer applicants with more than 24 credits need a 2.75 GPA at minimum.
California State University - Northridge
Founded in 1958, California State University-Northridge enrolls more than 38,000 students each year, making it one of the largest schools in the state. The 120-credit BA in psychology includes 42 general education credits and 42 major credits. Learners study a variety of psychology disciplines, such as clinical, cognitive, developmental, and social psychology.
Learners take classes on topics like psychological interventions, applied cognition, and principles of human factors. They also complete a practicum to gain hands-on experience in the field. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA.
University of Iowa
Founded in 1847, the University of Iowa is the oldest university in the state. The school offers BA and BS in psychology programs that comprise 120 credits and include general education, elective, and major courses.
The 41-credit BS program prepares learners for graduate study in psychology or a closely related, research-based discipline, while the 34-credit BA prepares learners to pursue a graduate program that emphasizes applied preparation more than research. Learners in both programs take classes on topics like clinical psychology, developmental science, cognitive psychology, and social psychology.
Applicants need a high school diploma or GED. They must also submit SAT or ACT scores.
University of Utah
Founded in 1850, the University of Utah is the state's flagship university and offers nearly 200 undergraduate and graduate programs. The school's 122-credit bachelor's in psychology includes 41 major credits. Core classes cover topics in clinical psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and health psychology.
Psychology students can optionally complete research courses and internships for credit. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer applicants need a minimum 2.6 GPA. However, applicants with an associate degree may apply with a minimum 2.35 GPA.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Founded in 1848, the University of Wisconsin-Madison hosts 40,000 students across 13 schools and colleges. The school's 120-credit BS in psychology includes 33 major credits. Major courses cover topics like cognitive and perceptual sciences, research methods, basic statistics for psychology, and social development. Students need a minimum 2.0 GPA to graduate.
Students take classes in the fall and spring, typically completing the major within two years. For general admission, applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and submit SAT or ACT scores. To declare psychology as their major, learners must pass several prerequisite courses.
University at Buffalo
The flagship university in the State University of New York system, the University at Buffalo dates back to 1846 and offers more than 400 undergraduate and graduate programs. Students can pursue a BA or BS in psychology. Both programs provide core training in clinical psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, and behavioral neuroscience. The BA offers more customization options, whereas the BS focuses more on scientific aspects of the field.
Programs begin in the spring and fall, and most students graduate within four years. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED. They must also submit SAT or ACT scores. To declare a psychology major, learners must complete psychology and math prerequisites with a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Founded in 1838, Duke University enrolls more than 15,000 students each year and offers BS and BA in psychology programs. BA learners complete 11 required major courses, including a research or independent study course. BS students complete the same requirements, plus a quantitative course and five natural sciences courses.
All students take core courses on topics like social psychology, developmental psychology, and introduction to statistical methods in psychology. Programs start in the spring and fall. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and submit SAT or ACT scores. Duke also offers minors in psychology and neuroscience.
Arizona State University - Tempe
Established in 1885, Arizona State University predates Arizona's statehood. ASU offers BS and BA in psychology programs. The BS program features an optional concentration in psychological science. Both programs comprise 120 credits and include general education, elective, and major courses. Students may take courses on topics like developmental psychology, learning and motivation, and history of psychology.
Applicants need a high school diploma and a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer applicants with fewer than 24 credits need a minimum 2.5 GPA. Transfer applicants with an associate degree need a minimum 2.0 GPA, or a minimum 2.5 GPA if applying from out of state.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Founded in 2013, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is the first new millennium university in Texas. UTRGV offers more than 60 undergraduate programs, including a BS in psychology. The 120-credit program includes 39 major credits. Students take classes on topics like basic statistics for psychologists, research methods in psychology, abnormal psychology, and theories of learning.
The program offers start dates in the fall and spring. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and submit SAT or ACT scores. Applicants who graduated in the top 10% of their high school class typically receive assured admission. Transfer applicants with more than 24 credits need a minimum 2.0 GPA.
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Founded in 1887, North Carolina State University at Raleigh hosts more than 36,000 students through over 300 programs. The school's bachelor's in psychology comprises 120 credits. Students take classes on topics like introduction to psychology, developmental psychology, and cognitive processes. Learners can use electives to tailor the degree to their interests and goals.
Learners must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to graduate. NC State students can join the school's psychology club and participate in a variety of experiential l earning opportunities to enhance their studies. The program offers start dates in the fall and spring, and learners typically graduate within four years. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and submit SAT or ACT scores.
Career and Salary Outlook for Psychology Graduates
Careers in psychology offer above-average salaries and strong demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), psychologists earned a median annual salary of over $80,000 in 2019 and enjoy a much faster-than-average projected job growth rate.
However, psychologists must hold a graduate degree to practice. Most roles, including clinical psychologist, require a doctorate, while a master's in psychology meets the educational requirements to work as a school psychologist and industrial-organizational psychologist. Psychologists must also complete an internship, and many positions require a license.
Graduates with a bachelor's degree in psychology can work as social and community service managers, training and development specialists, and behavioral disorder counselors. These careers also offer strong job growth projections and earning potential. For example, the BLS reports that social and community service managers earned a median annual salary over $67,000 in 2019, while training and development specialists earned over $61,000.
|Bottom 10%||Median Annual Salary||Top 10%|
|Less than $45,380||$80,370||More than $132,070|
Certifications and Licensure for Psychology
Many psychologists need a state license to practice, such as clinical psychologists and school psychologists. However, psychologists who specialize in fields like industrial and occupational psychology and counseling psychology may not need a license to practice.
The requirements for a psychology license vary depending on the state, but most include a graduate degree in psychology and professional experience. After earning a license, psychologists must maintain their credential by completing continuing education requirements. Licensed psychologists can often apply for a license in another state using reciprocity agreements.
In addition to licenses, psychologists can apply for professional certifications. The American Board of Professional Psychology offers specialty certification in 15 psychology specializations. Most certifications require a doctorate and several years of experience in the specialty.
Clinical psychologists must hold a doctorate in their field, complete a one-year internship, and demonstrate at least one year of postdoctoral supervision in clinical psychology.
The counseling psychology credential requires a doctorate in psychology, a one-year internship, and at least two years of postdoctoral professional experience.
Applicants must hold a doctorate in psychology and complete a postdoctoral program dedicated to psychoanalysis to receive the credential. Candidates must also pass an individualized performance examination.
Candidates must hold a doctorate in psychology, complete a one-year internship, and demonstrate at least two years of postdoctoral professional experience to earn this credential.
Candidates must hold a doctorate in psychology, complete a one-year internship, and possess at least three years of group psychology experience.
Specializations in Psychology
The psychology field offers a variety of specializations that lead to various careers. For example, clinical psychologists diagnose and treat mental conditions in a clinical setting. School psychologists work with young learners to address social and educational challenges, while industrial-organizational psychologists research workplaces to improve employee performance.
Some bachelor's in psychology programs offer specializations in areas such as abnormal psychology or developmental psychology. However, most students do not choose a specialization until their graduate training. A bachelor's in psychology provides a broad overview of the field and its methods.
Courses in Psychology Programs
A bachelor's in psychology degree introduces students to major areas of the field, such as clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and school psychology. Many programs also offer specialized courses in areas like neuropsychology and organizational psychology.
Psychology courses strengthen research and analytical skills while providing focused training in psychology. In addition to coursework, psychology majors may complete internships and capstone projects to strengthen their professional skills. The following list introduces sample courses for a bachelor's in psychology degree.
Introduction to Psychology
In introductory courses, psychology majors learn about the psychological sciences, including the theories and methods behind the study of human behavior and mental processes. Learners explore topics like social identity, psychological disorders, and cognitive development. The class prepares students for upper-division psychology classes.
Abnormal psychology classes explore deviations from typical psychological development, including mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia. The course examines theories about abnormal psychological development and the roots of disorders from biological, genetic, social, and psychological perspectives. Students also learn about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
Learning and Behavior
Classes on learning and behavior introduce learners to the principles and methods used to study human learning and its relationship with behavior. Students explore the learning process at different stages of development and the links between learning and behavior. The course prepares students for careers in educational psychology and school psychology.
Research in Psychology
In this class, students learn about psychology research methods and principles, including the statistical techniques used by psychologists. Learners study topics like the role of experimental research, research design, and behavioral research. The course prepares undergraduates to complete a research project or capstone course.
Developmental psychology courses introduce students to human development and its stages. The course may explore topics like the role of genetics and environment in development, the capacity to change traits, and cognitive development throughout the lifespan. The course prepares learners for graduate study in developmental psychology and careers that draw on developmental psych.
Scholarships for Psychology Students
Scholarships help psychology majors pay for their degree. Psychology students may qualify for multiple scholarship opportunities, including scholarships offered by the APA. In addition to the following opportunities, psychology majors can research other scholarships based on their research interests and professional goals.
Division 53 Student Achievement Award
Who Can Apply: The award recognizes an undergraduate psychology major specializing in child or adolescent psychology. Applicants must provide documentation showing their
contribution to the field.
Franklin D. Boyce Health Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Offered by the John Randolph Foundation, the scholarship supports undergraduates earning a degree in a professional health occupation, including psychology.
Applicants must demonstrate financial need and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Students enrolled in an undergraduate psychology program with a focus on mental health and substance use disorders qualify for this opportunity. The scholarship
requires a minimum 3.2 GPA and an essay.
AP-LS Award for Best Undergraduate Paper
Who Can Apply: The American Psychology-Law Society grants a prize for an undergraduate research paper that explores psychology and law. Applicants must submit their paper and a
letter of support from a faculty member.
Division 20 Undergraduate Research Awards
Who Can Apply: Undergraduate students conducting research on adult development and aging qualify for this research award. Applicants must provide a copy of their research
proposal and an overview of their academic and work history.
Financial Aid for Psychology Students
Psychology students may qualify for many forms of financial aid in addition to scholarships. Students at accredited schools can apply for federal financial aid, for example. To receive federal loans or grants, undergraduates must submit the FAFSA every year. The form asks for financial information about the student and their college to determine the student's financial need.
The federal financial aid program offers subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduates. Subsidized loans cover the interest on the loan until six months after graduation. With unsubsidized loans, interest accrues while the recipient earns their degree. Students can also receive federal grants, which do not require repayment.
Undergraduates can also apply for private student loans through banks and other financial institutions. Other common forms of financial aid include employer tuition reimbursement programs. Before enrolling in a bachelor's program in psychology, students should investigate their financial aid options.