Top 25 Doctoral Programs in Psychology 2018

In the United States, earning a Ph.D. in psychology paves the way to a career as a licensed psychologist. As our understanding of and treatments for mental illness continue to advance and improve, highly trained and educated psychology professionals become more important and more valuable. When applying for your Ph.D. in psychology, you often receive a chance to specialize in a particular branch of psychology.

Depending on the school, specialities may be in clinical psychology, counseling, neuroscience, and/or cognition. Many schools allow you to blend multiple specialities into one. Like most psychologists, you will also get the choice between working in the medical, scientific, or academic fields. Some psychologists choose to work on the cutting edge, developing and testing new treatments and/or assessment methods. Some work directly with patients, helping identify or treat various illnesses. Others work in academia, either advancing research or training future psychologists. The choices you make for your training and specialization during this graduate degree inform your later career path.

For details on how these programs were selected, see the methodology statement at the end of the article.

Ranking Top 25 Doctoral Degree Programs in Psychology

#25 – University of Southern California – Los Angeles, California

University of Southern California Best PhD Psychology
USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 16
Program Website

The doctoral program from the Department of Psychology at the University of Southern California offers five specializations: Clinical science, brain and cognitive science, developmental psychology, social psychology, and quantitative methods. Students typically complete the Ph.D. in psychology in five years, though the clinical science program often requires an additional year for an internship. For admission, the psychology department suggests students obtain undergraduate credits in research methods, statistics, and various psychology foundation courses. In addition to working closely with their research advisor, graduate students in the psychology program join the Graduate Association for Students in Psychology (GASP), which pairs new students up with current Ph.D. mentors to help familiarize everyone to the program.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $39,109
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 9:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #40
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #18
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#23 Best National University
#39 Best Value School
#13 Most Innovative School

#24 – University of Florida – Gainesville, Florida

University of Florida Best PhD Psychology
The Department of Clinical and Health Psychology

Points: 16
Program Website

Students of the University of Florida (UF) doctoral program in clinical psychology take part in a scientist-practitioner research and training system. Graduate students obtain practical training in clinical intervention and assessment by working in the labs at the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology as well as external internship clinical settings. UF also offers students the opportunity to work directly with patients at the UF Health Shands Hospital and the Psychology Clinic. After choosing a Ph.D. in psychology from UF, clinical psychology students choose a major concentration from the following areas: clinical child/pediatric psychology, neuropsychology and clinical neuroscience, clinical health psychology, and emotion neuroscience and psychopathology.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $12,682
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 22:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #40
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #37
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#47 Best National University
#14 Top Public School
#18 Most Innovative School

#23 – University of Texas – Austin, Texas

University of Texas Best PhD Psychology
The College of Liberal Arts – The Department of Psychology

Points: 16
Program Website

Within the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, graduate students seeking a Ph.D. in psychology choose between seven specializations: Social psychology, behavioral neuroscience, clinical psychology, perceptual systems, cognitive science, developmental psychology, and individual differences and evolutionary psychology. Students typically graduate within four to five years, though clinical psychology often requires six years to complete. For admission, students must boast a 3.0 GPA and completed prerequisites in statistics. Furthermore, while most of the program schedule is individualized, all graduate students must take 2 advanced statistics courses, as well as some core courses in various fields as part of the curriculum.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $10,878
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 18:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #14
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #11
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#52 Best National University
#16 Top Public School

#22 – University of Iowa – Iowa City, Iowa

University of Iowa Best PhD Psychology
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 16
Program Website

At the University of Iowa, the graduate program in psychological and brain sciences allows students to earn a Ph.D. in psychology in three different areas: behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, cognition, and clinical science. The institution also provides training in five specializations, including developmental psychopathology, health psychology, developmental science, social psychology, and visual perception. While each study area features mandatory courses, graduate students, with the help of their mentor, create a curriculum of courses and seminars that inform their individual research. Though not mandatory, the University of Iowa provides a predoctoral preparation program, the Behavioral-Biomedical Interface Training Program (BBIP). This interdisciplinary program helps graduate students understand how best to utilize biomedical methodologies and develop optimal research methods and strategies.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $9,687
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 16:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #30
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #18
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#82 Best National University
#34 Top Public School

#21 – Princeton University – Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton University Best PhD PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 17
Program Website

As part of the graduate program at the Princeton University Department of Psychology, students choose from one of the specializations available: developmental psychology; behavioral economics; psychology of inequality; social neuroscience; cognitive neuroscience; perception and cognition; systems neuroscience; social psychology; and language, learning, and memory. Each specialization leads to a Ph.D. in psychology, though each curriculum is dictated by the student’s individual research and course choices. Princeton University also offers interdisciplinary joint degrees in psychology and social policy and psychology and neuroscience. In addition to the Graduate Record Examination, applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field to be admitted.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $43,720
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 6:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #7
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: NA
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#1 Best National University
#1 Best Value School

#20 – Vanderbilt University – Nashville, Tennessee

Vanderbilt University Best PhD Psychology
The Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Science & The Department of Psychology and Human Development in Peabody College

Points: 17
Program Website

The psychological sciences doctoral program at Vanderbilt University features five study areas: clinical science, neuroscience, developmental science, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, and quantitative methods. Within each of these fields, students customize their curriculum toward their desired career path. The selective admission requirements typically include scores of over 1300 on the Graduate Record Examinations, plus a GPA over 3.5. For admission into the Ph.D. in psychology program, it is important for students to possess research experience as well as upper-level undergraduate psychology credits. Students interested in the cognitive/neuroscience study areas should also take courses in statistics.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $43,190
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 8:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #30
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #14
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#15 Best National University
#12 Best Value School

#19 – Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana

Purdue University Best PhD Psychology
The Department of Psychological Sciences

Points: 17
Program Website

Purdue University offers a psychological sciences doctoral program with six training areas, including neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology, mathematical and computational cognitive science, industrial-organizational psychology, and clinical psychology. The department also offers seven departmental bridge topics, which combine facets from multiple training areas. Additionally, there is a graduate certificate available in psychological statistics. While practical and laboratory experience are major components of all the specializations, the clinical psychology field features an intensive year-long internship as a capstone project. Some of the specializations, such as social psychology and cognitive psychology, lead to master’s degrees while students pursue the Ph.D. in psychology.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $10,002
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 13:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #46
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #47
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#61 Best National University
#21 Top Public School
#21 Most Innovative School

#18 – Northwestern University – Evanston, Illinois

Northwestern University Best PhD Psychology
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 18
Program Website

Offering a Ph.D. in psychology, the Northwestern University Psychology Department seeks graduate students interested in conducting research and working within five specific areas: clinical psychology; cognitive psychology; personality, development, and health psychology; social psychology; and brain, behavior, and cognition. In addition to the studies within their specialization, graduate students receive training in methodology and statistics. Students interested in multidisciplinary studies may blend different field studies into one program. For applicants without a background in psychology, the department advises taking psychology courses and the psychology subject test. Each subject area features its own requirements, but all graduate students must take a minimum of 27 courses.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $47,276
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 7:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #14
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #14
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#12 Best National University
#19 Best Value School

#17 – Washington University in St. Louis – St. Louis, Missouri

Washington University in St Louis Best PhD Psychology
The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Points: 18
Program Website

Washington University in St. Louis and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers a Ph.D. in psychology with four areas of specialization: clinical psychology; aging and development; social and personality psychology; and behavior, brain, and cognition. The department also hosts extensive research opportunities in diversity science. In addition to the standard Graduate Record Examination and bachelor’s degree required for admission, Washington University strongly advises applicants to complete the psychology subject test. The institution also offers a graduate certificate in quantitative data analysis. Transfer credits from prior graduate coursework may be eligible up to a maximum of 24 credits.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $46,010
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 8:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #14
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #14
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#15 Best National University
#23 Best Value School

#16 – University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia

University of Virginia Best PhD Psychology
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 18

The Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia offers students a Ph.D. in psychology with seven fields of study to choose from, including cognitive, community, behavioral neuroscience, social and systems, quantitative, developmental, and clinical psychology. Though students apply to one of these specializations, they can combine and blend fields if it suits their research. While only a bachelor’s degree is required for admission, credits from a master’s degree may be transferable. Upon admission, students gain access to all departmental resources and laboratories, such as the neuroscience labs. Most students complete the Ph.D. in five years.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $16,678
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 15:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #26
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #18
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#26 Best National University
#3 Best Value School
#33 Top Public School

#15 – University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

University of Washington Best PhD Psychology
The College of Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 18
Program Website

Students working toward the Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Washington choose their area of study from one of the psychology department’s seven subdisciplines, which include animal behavior, clinical psychology, developmental, quantitative psychology, behavioral neuroscience, cognition and perception, and social and personality. The department also offers a specialization certificate in diversity science, plus additional program options in data science and advanced data science. The mentor-based program aligns students with faculty members with similar research interests. Mentors help guide graduate students and collaborate with them. While a general bachelor’s degree is the program’s primary prerequisite, experience with psychological research is recommended.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $16,296
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 11:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #14
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #2
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#52 Best National University
#16 Top Public School

#14 – University of California – San Diego, California

UC San Diego Best PhD PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 18
Program Website

The doctoral program from University of California – San Diego (UC San Diego) Department of Psychology matches students up with a faculty advisor in an apprenticeship/colleague system. From the beginning of the first year through to the completion of the Ph.D. in psychology, learners engage with supervised research, even participating in a year-long research project during the first year. While students do not require a specialization, some of the major areas of research at UC San Diego include cognitive psychology, social psychology, sensation and perception, developmental psychology, and cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. Upon admission, students gain access to the facilities, research, and resources at the Center for Brain and Cognition.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $12,829
Accreditations:
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 19:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #14
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #26
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#39 Best National University
#48 Best Value School
#9 Top Public School
#21 Most Innovative School

#13 – University of Minnesota – Twin Cities – Minneapolis, Minnesota

University of Minnesota Best PhD Psychology
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 19
Program Website

A Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota provides students with a broad perspective, as well as the opportunity to specialize the degree in one of eight program areas. Within each discipline, students take core psychology courses, as well as both specialized and interdisciplinary training. The institution encourages students to take courses from other schools and departments as they relate to the learner’s interests and academic focus. To stimulate this breadth of study, students must complete a 12-15 credit minor. The entire degree typically takes five years to complete, but students in the counseling psychology and clinical science concentrations require an additional year for internships.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $16,853
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 17:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #9
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #6
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#69 Best National University
#25 Top Public School

#12 – Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Best PhD Psychology
The Department of Brain and Cognitive Science

Points: 20
Program Website

The graduate program within the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) provides students with interdisciplinary education and extensive practical experience. During the first year of study, students alternate through three different laboratories, gaining first-hand experience. Learners then choose an area of focus and a thesis mentor to help guide them on their path to the Ph.D. in psychology. MIT offers interdisciplinary study options, in addition to more focused tracks, such as cognitive science and systems neuroscience. The program typically takes five to six years for students to complete.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $47,284
Accreditations:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 8:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #9
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: NA
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#7 Best National University
#5 Best Value School
#3 Most Innovative School

#11 – University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan

University of Michigan Best PhD PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 21
Program Website

The Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan Psychology Department is divided into six primary study areas. These include biopsychology, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, social psychology, personality and social contexts, and clinical science. Additionally, the school hosts three interdisciplinary joint programs: education and psychology, social work and psychology, and women’s studies and psychology. Though completion times vary, the program is designed to be completed in five years. For admission, students must possess a four-year bachelor’s degree. The department also strongly recommends students complete psychology and statistical methods courses prior to application.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $20,406
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 15:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #4
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #26
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#29 Best National University
#4 Top Public School
#8 Most Innovative School

#10 – University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Best PhD Psychology
Penn College of Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 22
Program Website

Students seeking a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) begin by taking foundational psychology courses and research experiences. From that point, students choose their focus or emphasis of study, though the program does not define specific concentrations. The psychology faculty does, however, boast research interests which can be separated into two distinct areas: clinical, positive, and social psychology and brain, cognitive, and decision sciences. While the graduate program allows for customization, students interested in clinical psychology must satisfy specific program requirements, such as completing courses in psychodiagnostics and psychopathology, plus three years of supervised practicum.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $32,976
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 6:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #12
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #6
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#9 Best National University
#11 Best Value School

#9 – Stanford University – Stanford, California

Stanford University Best PhD PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 23
Program Website

The Ph.D. in psychology from the Department of Psychology at Stanford University hosts five research areas, including cognitive, affective, neuroscience, developmental, and social psychology. Students that wish to blend disciplines may create a curriculum of their own, permitted that it still emphasizes research and develops the proper skills necessary for a productive career. Though coursework is an essential part of the graduate curriculum, the research-heavy program restricts students from taking more than 10 units of coursework per quarter. This allows students to focus primarily on research, while also completing all required coursework by the end of the fourth year of study.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $44,757
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 4:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #1
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #79
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#4 Best National University
#4 Best Value School
#2 Most Innovative School

#8 – University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, Illinois

University of Illinois Best PhD Psychology
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 23
Program Website

The Department of Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a graduate program that is divided into nine study areas. To earn the Ph.D. in psychology, in addition to completing the oral preliminary examination, the doctoral qualifying examination, and both a master’s and Ph.D. theses, students must complete 96 hours of graduate study. While there are no coursework prerequisites necessary to apply, the department suggests applicants boast 15 hours of psychology coursework, as well as a statistics course. Students typically complete the degree within five and seven years. Clinical psychology students require an additional year to complete a year-long internship.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $17,745
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 18:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #7
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #6
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#41 Best National University
#11 Top Public School

#7 – University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin Best PhD PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 23
Program Website

The Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin features five primary disciplines, including clinical, biological, developmental, social/personality, and cognitive and cognitive neurosciences. Students that wish to blend or combine disciplines may choose an individualized graduate major. While a bachelor’s degree in psychology is not required for admission, prior research experience and psychology education improves an application by ensuring the candidate can navigate the program’s research emphasis. Preference is given to applicants, particularly those applying to clinical psychology, whose intended studies align with the interests and research of the department’s faculty.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $11,865
Accreditations:
Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS)
American Psychological Association (APA)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 17:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #9
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #2
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#41 Best National University
#11 Top Public School

#6 – University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, North Carolina

University of North Carolina Best PhD Psychology
The College of Arts and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 23
Program Website

The University of North Carolina offers students a Ph.D. in psychology with six subfields to choose from: social psychology, developmental psychology, behavioral and integrative neuroscience, clinical psychology, quantitative psychology, and cognitive psychology. Students on one track may choose to attain specialized training from another track or they can combine an academic track with other academic subjects, creating a blended discipline. Some subfields feature additional specializations, including the clinical psychology concentration, which offers adult and child/family clinical tracks. For admission into the graduate program, applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $10,594
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 13:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #12
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #2
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#30 Best National University
#13 Best Value School

#5 – University of California – Los Angeles, California

UCLA Best PhD PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 24
Program Website

The Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) offers eight areas of emphasis, including clinical, behavioral neuroscience, cognitive, developmental, health psychology, quantitative, learning and behavior, and social psychology. Regardless of the discipline or emphasis students choose, UCLA encourages learners to engage with and participate in the related research conducted within other fields and departments. Many of the departmental resources at UCLA boast strong working relationships with the psychology graduate program and its students. Much of the six-year curriculum is determined by the student’s choices, except for clinical psychology which is more regimented because of the required practicum and clinical settings.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $12,571
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 17:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #2
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #1
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#23 Best National University
#2 Top Public School

#4 – Duke University – Durham, North Carolina

Duke University Best PhD Psychology
The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Points: 25

At Duke University, the Ph.D. in psychology offered by the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience features five training areas: clinical psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, and systems and integrative neuroscience. Student must complete concentration-specific courses, but the department encourages interdisciplinary study within other concentrations and fields. Duke University employs an apprenticeship training model in the graduate program, which requires students to work closely with their research advisor. Though students typically complete the graduate program in five years, clinical psychology students require a sixth year to complete a clinical internship.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $46,738
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 7:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #21
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #6
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#8 Best National University
#7 Best Value School
#7 Most Innovative School

#3 – Yale University – New Haven, Connecticut

Yale University Best PhD PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 25
Program Website

The Department of Psychology at Yale University enrolls annually approximately 15 Ph.D. students per year. When seeking a Ph.D. in psychology from Yale, students choose from five areas of concentration: clinical psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and social-personality psychology. While the Department of Psychology places graduate students within a concentration, it encourages them to bridge disciplines. In fact, students must take courses outside their concentration as part of the degree requirements. For students in the clinical psychology concentration, a supervised practicum is required for at least eight semesters. Students from other concentrations can take clinical courses but must formally transfer into the clinical specialization if they seek licensure upon graduation.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $37,600
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 6:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #4
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #2
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#3 Best National University
#3 Best Value School

#2 – University of California – Berkeley, California

UC Berkley Best PhD Psychology
The College of Letters and Sciences – The Department of Psychology

Points: 25
Program Website 

The Ph.D. program from the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley is divided into six different study disciplines: behavioral and systems neuroscience, cognition, clinical science, developmental, social-personality, and cognitive neuroscience. Students seeking a Ph.D. in psychology may choose to specialize in one of these areas, though each of the specializations requires a combination of courses across all disciplines. Graduate students typically complete the doctorate in psychology between four and six years. While neither a master’s degree nor a degree in psychology is required, the department prefers applicants with prior learning in psychology and experience with advanced research.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $12,971
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 17:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #2
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #11
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#20 Best National University
#1 Top Public School
#21 Most Innovative School

#1 – Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University Best PhD PsychologyThe Department of Psychology

Points: 26
Program Website

The graduate program offered by the Harvard University Department of Psychology is split into four fields: social; developmental; clinical science; and cognition, brain, and behavior. Students applying to the Ph.D. in psychology at Harvard may choose between one of two tracks: common curriculum or clinical science. Both tracks confer a Doctor of Philosophy degree, but, once a student is admitted into the Clinical Science track, they are unable to transfer. After admission into the Department of Psychology’s graduate program, students may participate in the seminars and research conducted by faculty across many different themes, including animal cognition, genetics, health psychology, and language.

Average Annual Graduate Tuition: $41,408
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Average Faculty to Student Ratio: 7:1
US News and World Report Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #4
US News and World Report Clinical Psychology Graduate School Ranking: #14
Additional US News and World Report Ranking
#2 Best National University
#2 Best Value School
#8 Most Innovative School

Opportunities for a Doctoral Degree in Psychology

Individuals holding a Doctoral Degree in Psychology from a fully accredited school have a wide array of available options for employment. There are positions ranging from academic research positions, to high-level clinical positions working with patients to positions where you can oversee other mental health practitioners in a hospital or other facility. Graduates from a top rated doctoral program in psychology can forge whatever career path interests them. There is the option of pursuing a highly specialized area of concentration like developmental psychology or clinical psychology. With so much flexibility to pursue the career of your dreams, it is an excellent time to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology.


Ranking Methodology

This ranking has been created to outline the 50 best doctoral psychology programs in the Unites States. Factors considered:

Average Annual Graduate Tuition

One of the major factors being considered is the average annual cost of attendance for a graduate program. Schools offering top-notch academic training while also keeping student costs low are given higher consideration. Data was collected from the College Navigator Tool.

Points:
Under $13,000 / $13,001 – $15,000/ $15,001 – $18,000 / $18,001 – $21,000:
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. Those schools that have received American Psychological Association accreditation are given an edge over schools without the stamp of accreditation.

Points:
Each Regional Accreditation: 1 Point
APA Accreditation: 3 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 Best Colleges List.

Points:

US News and World Report Best Graduate Programs in Psychology, Best Graduate Clinical Psychology Program, Best National University:

Top 10 / Top 20 / Top 35 / Top 50
5 Points / 3 Points / 2 Points / 1 Point

US News and World Report Best Value School, Top Public School or Most Innovative School:

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

Student to Faculty Ratio

For many students it is important to receive the individualized attention of their instructors. Preference is given to those schools that have a low student to faculty ratio.

Points:

10:1 or less/11:1-13:1/14:1-16:1
3 points / 2 points / 1 point

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 annual graduate tuition rates. The main purpose of this list is to outline the best graduate psychology programs in the United States.