Psychology has long been a popular choice for undergraduate majors, and once you look at the data, it’s easy to see why. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the demand for psychology jobs to grow by about 3% between 2019 and 2029— an average growth rate for most jobs. A job in the psychology field can also pay well — as of 2019, this field had a median salary of $80,370 — and it can be especially lucrative if you obtain your doctorate degree.
Psychology is also an appealing route for students because it’s broad enough to give you the space to explore careers in other industries, such as business, marketing, law, education, social services, medicine, and healthcare.
Keeping job growth opportunities and median salary in mind, a psychology degree can be a great way to start carving a path to future employment. If you’re considering your undergrad options and are thinking of pursuing a B.S. or B.A. in Psychology, you’re probably weighing multiple factors, including affordability and selectivity, while looking for the colleges with the best schools for psychology. Keep reading to learn more about how to get the most value out of your dollar and the best education in a college psychology program.
Featured Online Programs
Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.
Have Questions About Psychology Degrees? We Have Answers.
What is the best college to get a psychology degree?
The best college to get a psychology degree depends on what you think makes a school stand out. If you’re looking for the most affordable option, consider schools such as CUNY Bernard M Baruch College and the University of North Carolina, both of which offer low tuition costs for residents. If you’re looking for a top-rated school, consider University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, though it is a bit more expensive.
Is it worth it to get a degree in psychology?
A degree in psychology can be worth it if you enjoy studying how the mind works and/or if you are interested in taking your education beyond your undergrad. If you’re considering the financial aspect of a degree in psychology, the median salary for a psychologist is $80,370 and the growth rate for industry is rising at a steady 3%.
Can you get a good paying job with a psychology degree?
Yes — the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median pay for psychologists as $80,370 per year and $38.64 per hour. However, in order to earn this type of salary, you’ll typically need to pursue a doctorate degree. That said, in some instances, a masters degree is considered sufficient.
Our Top 10 Best Value Colleges for Psychology Degrees
At Best Value Schools, we help students of all ages get the best possible value for their education. When choosing the best schools and programs, we prioritize tuition rates, student debt, financial aid opportunities, graduation rates, and the availability of online programs.
We source unbiased data from government and educational databases like the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 6,374 schools across the U.S. We organize that data into five weighted categories to compile our school rankings.
Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates
Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid
Admission and enrollment rates
Number of program options
Online Enrollment Score
Portion of learners taking at least one online course
You can read more about our comprehensive evaluation process on our methodology page.
Psychology Degree Overview
The requirements to graduate with a degree in psychology will depend on which school and program you choose to attend. However, there are generally a few typical expectations you’ll need to meet in order to graduate from most psychology programs. These include:
General education courses
Most universities and colleges require you to take general core classes and electives in order to graduate with a degree in your major. This can include courses in math, science, English, languages, and communication. These courses will give you a chance to explore introductory classes to other programs at your school and provide you with a well-rounded education.
Major course requirements
If you want to graduate with a degree in psychology, all universities and colleges will require you to complete courses specifically focused on psychology. At Georgia Tech, you’ll have to take a general psychology course before moving on to more in-depth psychology classes, such as Cognitive Psychology, Human Development Over the LifeSpan, and Abnormal Psychology.
Many psychology programs will require you to take coursework that isn’t specifically focused on your major but will tie in to your studies. For example, the University of North Carolina requires B.A. psychology majors to take Principles of Biology as well as a computer programming or calculus course in order to graduate.
Senior thesis, capstone, or internship
To finish off your undergrad in psychology, most programs require you to complete a senior thesis, capstone, or internship to graduate. At BYU, for example, students can choose to take an academic internship or senior practicum course in either teaching, research, or community projects. These types of experiences will offer more practical experience in the specific areas of psychology you’re interested in working in.
Common Psychology Degree Courses
Most psychology programs will offer an introduction to psychology course that you will have to complete. This class will often serve as a prerequisite for your other psychology courses. In a general psychology class, you can expect to learn an overview of the major principles of psychology and scientific approaches to thoughts and behavior.
In an abnormal psychology course, you’ll learn the most common forms of psychological disorders. You’ll also learn about the major theories regarding the causes of abnormal psychology and how to classify and treat psychological disorders.
In a course like child psychology, you’ll learn about the social and intellectual behavior developments in children as well as the processes that guide these progressions. Courses like this typically emphasize theory and research.
Research Methods in Psychology
Psychology is a major that relies on and heavily utilizes research, so chances are you’ll have to take a research course or two to learn how to conduct research. In a course like this, students will explore the various methodologies used in psychology to conduct research. These approaches vary depending on the practice. Students can also expect to conduct research on their own and write up the results of their project.
Career Path for Psychology Degrees
One of the perks of getting a psychology degree is the wide range of career options you have at your disposal once you graduate. However, while you may get hired if you only have your undergrad or masters degree, many positions in the psychology field will require you to take the steps to obtain your doctoral degree.
Career options within the psychology field include conducting research, meeting with clients or patients, and working in healthcare, social work, or in schools. Most psychologists will also be required to get a license, especially if you choose to work with clients.
Job Outlook & Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average income for a psychologist is $80,370, as of May 2019. Employment opportunities for psychologists are projected to grow by about 3% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average occupation.
In particular, these states pay the highest median wages for psychologists: Oregon ($112,010), California ($111,750), District of Columbia ($106,900), New York ($96,170), and Louisiana ($96,040). Keep in mind, however, that most high-paying job prospects for psychologists are geared toward those who obtain their doctoral degree in psychology. That said, your masters or even your undergrad degree can also be considered suitable depending on the specific field you go into.
Scholarships & Financial Aid for Psychology Students
The American Psychological Association lists more than 100 financial aid opportunities for high school and undergrad students alone. Some options you can consider applying to include:
Point Foundation LGBT Scholarships: The Point Foundation provides scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated leadership and academic excellence and identify as a member of the LGBT community. To qualify, you must be at least a senior in high school and be enrolled full-time for a full academic year.
Amount: $5,000 to $28,000
Deadline: January 30, 2022
Sharon Stephens Brehm Undergraduate Psychology Scholarships: The Brehm Scholarship recognizes psychology undergraduate students who demonstrate academic excellence as well as financial need. To qualify, you’ll need to provide a resume, your transcript, a personal essay, a letter or recommendation, and the following documents to demonstrate financial need: your most recent financial aid award letter from your college or university, your FAFSA Student Aid Report, cost of attendance, expected family contribution (EFC), and amount of financial aid.
Amount: Six $5,000 scholarships
Deadline: July 1, 2021
AP-LS Award for Best Undergraduate Paper: This award recognizes outstanding undergraduate research papers focused on the study of psychology and law. To qualify for this award, you’ll need to submit an APA-style paper of up to 25 pages as well as a letter of recommendation.
Amount: $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $150 for third place
Deadlines: June 30, 2021; June 30, 2022; June 30, 2023
Common Psychology Degree Majors
In a neuroscience major, you’ll study subjects like psychology and chemistry in order to understand the human brain and nervous system. With a degree in neuroscience, you can pursue careers in medicine, research, clinical psychology, and pharmaceuticals.
If you pursue a degree in social work, you’ll learn how to offer support services to children, adolescents, and adults. To do this job well, you’ll need to have some working psychology knowledge in order to better understand those in your care. With a social work degree, you can find work as a social worker or work in other various human services positions.
With an education degree, you’ll be learning how to teach and manage students within the K-12 grades. A working knowledge of psychology within this field will also come in handy — child psychology in particular — so you can best understand how to help the students you’re working with. Careers with this major include teaching or tutoring.
The Best Value Colleges for Psychology Degrees, Ranked 1-50
For one of the most affordable psychology programs in the country, you may want to choose CUNY Bernard M Baruch College, a public university in New York City. With an in-state tuition cost of about $7,462 per year and out-of-state cost of about $15,412 a year, this university will keep your student debt low, freeing you to focus on more important matters - like psychology! The university has two options for students interested in human behavior, including a general track and a focused track in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The latter trades coursework in abnormal and developmental behavior for classes in personality theory, occupational health, and diversity in the workplace. A psychology major here will take you about four years to graduate. Like all good psychology schools, CUNY supports a long list of elective courses that cater to every interest, including the Psychology of Religion, Political Psychology, and Literature and Psychology.
The University of North Carolina is a well-known public institute that touts top academic programs, and its Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is no exception. You have the option to earn either a B.A. or B.S. in the subject, or tack on a Cognitive Science minor to another academic interest. Both a B.A. or B.S. in psychology will take you about four years to complete. UNC's department is rife with extra options if you’re feeling ambitious; in addition to an Honors Program, you can also strive for the prestigious (and paid) Karen M. Gil Internship, which offers extensive hands-on training to the school's brightest future psychologists. Other activities include the Minority Psychology Student Association, the Neuroscience Club, and the Psi Chi National Honor Society. In-state tuition at UNC is an affordable $8,980. If you live out of state, however, a psychology degree at this school is going to be more expensive, with tuition averaging about $36,159 for out-of-state students.
The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is a public tech school with a reputation for programs in science and engineering, but it has plenty to offer outside of these programs as well. NMIMT is a good school for psychology majors who prefer the B.S. to the B.A. approach. The curriculum requires multiple biology and mathematics courses in addition to a long sequence of psych requirements. You should also note that New Mexico Tech's general curriculum mandates that all students complete coursework in computer science, chemistry, and physics, so you will need to be just as good with numbers as words. The psych courses emphasize research and techniques for testing variables, and they typically include lab experiences. The university even has an animal care facility if you want to conduct independent projects. In-state tuition here averages about $8,361, while out-of-state tuition averages about $24,190. If you choose to go with NMT’s psychology degree, expect it to take you about four years to complete.
The B.S. in Psychology at Georgia Tech offers a versatile program that can launch your career in a variety of industries. You may attend law or medical school, choose another graduate program, or find a job in business, advertising, or computer science. Uniquely, GT incorporates an "International Plan" into its psychology coursework that allows you to develop "global competence" during your studies. In addition to all the typical psych requirements, International Plan members must also take three specified international courses, demonstrate language proficiency, and complete a capstone class that focuses on a global experience. Alternatively, the "Research Option" gives you more targeted training in experimental design - an ideal choice if you see grad school in your future. In-state tuition here will cost you about $12,852 per year, while the pricier out-of-state tuition is about $33,964 per year. Like most undergrad degrees, a B.S. in psychology at Georgia Tech will take you about four years to complete.
Good psychology schools often emphasize research as an important aspect of academics; at Brigham Young University, a private university based in Utah, busy labs and active faculty provide plenty of evidence for quality in this regard. Programs are available from the undergraduate to doctoral level and include both general and clinical options. As a student, you would be regularly involved in projects on family relationships, physical health, neuropsychology, clinical assessment, cognitive development, and more. As an undergraduate, you can participate through the SONA Research System, get help finding internships in the social services sector, or talk to an advisor about graduate school. You can also join the Psi Chi Honors Society, network with classmates through the Psych Association, or potentially get research published in Intuition, the on-campus academic journal. At BYU, tuition only costs $5,970 per year on average, and an undergraduate degree in psychology will take you about four years to complete.
The interdisciplinary psychology degree at William and Mary, a public institute, gives you the option to combine multiple areas of interest under the umbrella of cognition and human behavior. For example, if you pursue a B.S. in psychology, you might lean heavily on coursework in biology or kinesiology, while the B.A. tract might sample a great deal of coursework from sociology or anthropology. Regardless of the path you take, the college will give you plenty of opportunities to participate in research with faculty, even at the undergraduate level. Professors have a reputation for both their excellence in research and their attention to students — just two ways William and Mary has earned its position as a college with a good psychology program. Should you choose to pursue a psychology degree at William and Mary, expect it to take about four years to complete. In-state tuition here will cost you about $23,628 per year, while the much more expensive out-of-state tuition is about $46,854 per year, making attending William and Mary much more affordable for residents of Virginia.
UCLA attracts students for a variety of reasons, only one of them being the beautiful weather in Southern California. For psychology students, UCLA is a top choice for its selection of degree paths; undergrads can get a B.A. in Psychology, a B.S. in Psychobiology, or a B.S. in Cognitive Science. Plus, extracurricular opportunities abound at UCLA, from the Cognitive Science Student Association to the Undergraduate Research Journal of Psychology. Students can also participate in the annual Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference or even sign up to volunteer as participants in on-campus experiments. The curriculum also creates space for students to complete fieldwork, internships, and assistantships in the surrounding community. At UCLA, a psychology degree will take you about four years to complete. In-state tuition at this public university costs about $13,249 per year. Out-of-state tuition is more than three times more expensive at about $43,003 per year.
Stony Brook's two psychology degrees provide a broad foundation across a multitude of subjects, and both will adequately prepare you for graduate school. The relevant coursework spans the five essential areas of study: clinical and abnormal psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, cognition and perception, and biopsychology. SBU also emphasizes experiential learning outside the classroom, and students can both network and socialize through the Psi Chi National Honors Society, the Psychology Student Alliance, and the Neuroscience Axis group. Faculty members are also available to help you find psychology-related community service opportunities or internships for credit. A psychology degree at this public university will cost state residents about $10,091 per year, and the out-of-state tuition isn’t bad either at about $27,761 per year. It should take you about four years to finish a psychology degree at Stony Brook.
UC San Diego goes beyond just offering B.A. and B.S. options in psychology. Here, B.S. students can choose to specialize in one of six concentrations: Clinical Psychology, Social Psychology, Human Health, Developmental Psychology, Sensation and Perception, or Cognitive Psychology. Regardless of concentration, psych students can explore learning opportunities in undergrad research, internships, or even apprentice teaching. The latter option turns highly capable students into learning assistants for classes in which they have excelled, letting them solidify their knowledge and help others in the process. The UCSD Psychology Department also supports study abroad opportunities and can help you make sure your international credits will transfer back to San Diego. Tuition at this public university is much more reasonable for residents of California. In-state tuition will cost you about $14,648 per year, while out-of-state students will have to pay about $44,402 per year for tuition. Should you pursue a psychology degree here, expect it to take around four years to complete.
UVA is one of the top public schools and hosts one of the best psychology programs in the nation. In fact, psychology is one of the most popular majors at the University of Virginia, attracting a horde of undergraduate and graduate students every year. For B.A. students, course options include the Neural Basis of Behavior, Research Methods and Data Analysis, Child Psychopathology, and Brain Systems Involved in Memory. The best students can also apply for The Distinguished Majors Program, which turns their fourth year of study into a two-semester, research-intensive project that culminates in a thesis. At UVA, in-state tuition will cost you about $18,960 per year while out-of-state tuition has a much higher price tag at about $52,843 per year. Expect an undergrad degree in psychology to take you about four years to complete at UVA.
Unlike many of the other traditionally good schools for psychology, the College of the Ozarks offers academic instruction "from a Biblically informed Christian worldview." Many students at the college choose psychology as a major because they want to serve their communities and provide religious counseling, and thus integrated religious study is appropriate for this group. Within the core psych courses students can choose from one or more of four elective categories - Directed, Applied, Developmental, or Theory. These options will give you the flexibility to target your experience based on your career objectives, whether you're interested in counseling, clinical research, or social services.
One of the most difficult aspects of psychological research is that despite the fact that good experiments consider just a few variables, human behavior is actually inextricably complex and nuanced. Amherst College takes this seeming contradiction into consideration, developing a program that is focused on experimental design but covers a wide base of topics. Students can take classes in Stereotypes and Prejudice, Memory, Psychology and the Law, Personality and Political Leadership, and plenty of other interesting topics. Amherst also ushers students straight into the realm of research and houses four on-campus laboratories specific to psych experiments: Social/Personality Laboratory, Cognitive Laboratory, Child Learning and Development Laboratory, and the Physiological Psychology/Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory. Amherst students pay about $60,890 per year in tuition, and it will take you about four years to graduate with a psychology degree.
Colleges with psychology majors come in all shapes and sizes, but few beat the University of Central Florida in scope. In terms of student enrollment, UCF has the largest psychology department in the entire Western hemisphere, with more than 3,400 undergraduates alone. The psychology department also hosts nearly 200 graduate students and is one of the best-funded programs at the university. Millions of dollars each year support research in social and cross-cultural behaviors, human factors, industrial psychology, and clinical matters, as well as many other areas of interest. Undergraduate students can participate in this research (as assistants or participants, or both) or can spend their time outside of class networking; campus organizations include the Psi Chi Honors Society, the Multicultural Psychology Student Association, and the Western Region Psychology Club. This public university offers affordable tuition for both in- and out-of-state residents. Residents of Florida can attend UCF for about $6,368 per year, while non-resident tuition costs about $22,467 per yera. An undergrad degree here will take four years to complete.
Although a professional career in psychology requires a graduate degree, a B.S. in the field will still get you far in business, marketing, communications, education, and select mental health fields. That's why the University of Florida keeps its program intentionally broad, offering up a list of general courses that will let you pursue a variety of careers. On the other hand, the program also includes a specialization in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience - a track that leans more heavily on the biological and laboratory sciences than the general alternative. UF also favors experiential learning opportunities in the form of research, teaching, and community service; working as an undergrad teaching assistant or boning up on your social skills training with a local organization will more than keep you busy between classes. Tuition at University of Florida is extremely affordable for Florida residents and isn’t bad for non-residents either. In-state tuition at this public university costs about $6,381 per year and about $28,659 per year for out-of-state tuition. If you’re thinking of obtaining a psychology degree at the University of Florida, it will take you about four years to complete.
Become a "PSYCH Terp" at the University of Maryland, home of the Terrapins. UMD is overflowing with options for curious and inquisitive psychology majors, including research and teaching assistantships. The university supports other experiential learning opportunities as well, and you will have significant freedom to gain credit outside the classroom, whether through internships or service learning ventures. This last option encompasses social justice activities, alternative Spring Break trips, and other volunteer projects related to social services. Students at this good psychology school can also enjoy some interesting campus organizations, such as "Active Minds," a club that focuses on raising awareness about mental health on college campuses. In-state tuition at this public university is about $10,779 per year, while out-of-state costs are nearly triple what in-state residents pay, with tuition running about $36,891 per year. At UMD, an undergrad degree in psychology will take you the typical four years to complete.
To many, Harvard University represents one of the top colleges in the nation, characterized by a rich academic history and a long-standing commitment to nurturing the best and brightest. Colleges with good psychology programs combine an informative curriculum with extracurricular opportunities that keep students learning outside the classroom, and Harvard checks all the boxes. Both coursework and research tackle the big questions, melding psychology and philosophy as you study memory, emotion, decision-making, social relationships, and even people's perception of reality. "Concentrators" in psychology complete rigorous tutorials and seminars, finally choosing an emphasis in either Cognitive Science or Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology, as well as potentially earning an honors credential and completing a thesis project. While Harvard is a top-notch school, its tuition price tag can be intimidating at about $54,002 per year. A psychology degree at this private university will take about four years to complete.
Binghamton's psychology department enjoys an "exceptional national reputation" in the field. Ranked well inside the Top 100 programs from year to year, SUNY at Binghamton provides a platter of benefits to serious students, including small class sizes, intensive research experiences, collaborative projects, and one-on-one support from advisors. In the off-chance that you're interested in graduate study, you can continue on at one of Binghamton's quality programs in Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Clinical Psychology. Students who prefer to proceed right to industry can join Binghamton's other psychology graduates in industries such as business, law, public affairs, healthcare, and education. At Binghamton University, you can expect a psychology degree to take four years to complete. At this public institute, the in-state tuition will cost about $10,014 per year, while the slightly more expensive out-of-state tuition is about $27,604 per year.
Get involved in your major from day one at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, an inarguably good college for psychology. Research experiences come in all shapes and sizes, from working as an undergraduate lab assistant to enrolling in a special summer program. Community engagement is another area of interest for many students, such as participating in an internship or fieldwork, volunteering with an organization off-site, or even applying to the YMCA Community Leadership Intern Program (CLIP). And still, there's more. Student organizations like the Psychology Club and Psi Chi Honors Society give you a forum to meet like-minded, while the Sentience Journal will give you a great opportunity to publish early research. If you decide to pursue a psychology degree at this public university, expect it to take about four years to complete. In-state tuition here will cost you about $15,027 per year, while the much more expensive out-of-state tuition is about $33,325 per year.
In addition to the traditional psychology degree, U of M offers a rare alternative in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. This program even goes beyond a typical concentration in Neuroscience, building an entire undergraduate degree on the study of cognitive psychology, behavioral ecology, biochemistry, perception, mental processes, and even the philosophy of cognition. An honors program is also available to qualified students. In addition to simply earning a special credential on your diploma, this path puts you in the position to do one-on-one research with faculty, attend professional conferences, and complete two semesters of independent study courses with a mentor. At this public institution, in-state tuition — which runs about $15,948 per year — is more than four times less expensive than out-of-state costs — which costs students about $52,266 per year. An undergraduate psychology degree U of M will take you about four years to finish.
UC Berkeley - one of just several California institutions on this list - has a reputation for excellence in myriad subjects. The university earns its stripes as a good school for psychology in more ways than one; from its stellar academics to world-renowned research capabilities. The department supports six main areas of research: Social-Personality, Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience, Clinical Science, Developmental Psychology, Cognition, and Cognitive Neuroscience. Furthermore, to support the deluge of undergraduates who become psychology majors (it's the most popular discipline at Berkeley) this school offers exchange programs that allow students to attend summer sessions and secure work study positions within the department. At UC Berkeley, tuition is much more affordable for in-state students than it is for out-of-state students. In-state tuition runs about $14,312 per year on average, while out-of-state tuition is about $44,066 per year on average. It will take you around four years to finish a psychology degree at this public university.
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
Enjoy an active and engaged academic experience at Cal Poly, a West Coast school that puts a premium on diversity, cultural opportunities, and hands-on learning. Most colleges with psychology majors provide the basic research and academic experiences, but the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo exerts a lot of energy to make sure you stay involved; between the Psi Chi Honors Society, the Psychology Club, and the Poly Child Development Club, there is no shortage of ways to socialize and network. Other unique opportunities include the Community Counseling Clinic, the Preschool Learning Lab, and the Bakari Mentoring Program, which assists under-served youth at local high schools in San Luis Obispo County. At this public university, California residents will only have to pay about $10,071 per year in tuition, while out-of-state students will have to pay about $25,971 per year. A degree at Cal Poly will take you around four years to complete.
The University of Texas at Austin isn't interested in just furthering the status quo in psychology - the school wants to push boundaries and encourage students at all levels to think outside the box. Undergraduate students gain a solid foundation of the basics as they learn about the cultural, gender, and behavioral influences on human society. The department, which hosts more than 1,500 psychology majors each year, also provides a space for students to develop their research, analytical, and critical thinking skills. With a broad base of information and a wide set of useful skills, psych graduates at UT Austin find success in a number of professions. More than half of students choose to attend graduate school, nearly a quarter go into business, and the rest opt for careers in social services, law, and education. The University of Texas at Austin offers low tuition rates for Texas students, who pay, on average, about $11,448 per year. Unfortunately, the tuition for non-Texas students isn’t nearly affordable at about $40,032 per year. A psychology degree at this public university will take your roughly four years to complete.
Stanford is one of the highest-ranked universities in the country, and saying it's a "good college for psychology" would be an understatement. The department carefully selects and cultivates the best possible classes for its curriculum, putting students in the position to find work in business, law, psychology, social work, education, or medicine after graduation. You can pursue honors in the subject or apply for the Coterminal M.A., a highly selective program that lets accomplished students accelerate their studies through graduate school. You can also partner with prestigious professors on research in Affective Science, Neuroscience, or Cognitive, Social, or Developmental Psychology. Other opportunities include research on childhood development at the Bing Nursery School and social events with the Black Psychology Students Association. Should you pursue a psychology degree at Stanford, tuition will cost you about $56,169 per year on average. Expect it to take about four years to complete your degree.
Delve into the inner-workings of human cognition, behavior, and emotion at Colby College. The curriculum includes all that you would expect from colleges with good psychology programs, including classes in the Biological Basis of Behavior, Research Methods and Statistics, Human Neuropsychology, and Theories of Learning. An optional concentration in Neuroscience steers psychology majors toward the anatomy and physical biology of mental processes as they study neural plasticity, evolution and diversity, and the cellular basis of life. As far as research is concerned, Colby sees it as a two-sided process: students can sign up to participate in studies through the Experimetrix online system, apply for independent study credit, or work as volunteers or paid lab assistants. At Colby College, tuition costs about $59,430 per year on average. A degree at this private college will take you about four years to complete.
Reed College emphasizes "the science of the mind," encouraging students to tackle the big questions in the form of research projects and independent study. Professors receive funding for topics ranging from addiction to motivation to neuroscience, and students often assist faculty on these thought-provoking projects. There are also several other lab initiatives on campus, including the Adolescent Health Research Program, the Children's Motivation Project, the Cognitive Electrophysiology SCALP Lab, the Learning and Adaptive Behavior Laboratory, and many others. If research isn't enough for you, check out the Psychology Colloquium Series (which features TED Talk authors!) or the Squier Retreat, at weekend trip that brings faculty and students together for fun discussion over serious ideas.
Students at Silver Lake College can choose from two psychology tracks - the traditional option and an accelerated version for adult learners. Both options are comprehensive and will give you a solid foundation in the psychological sciences, but the latter track offers weekend and evening courses at multiple campuses to give you maximum flexibility. Many colleges with psychology majors try to provide ways for students to double major or pursue multiple interests at once; at Silver Lake, you can opt for an additional certificate in Social Work Training or a minor in Family Services.
As one of the oldest and most recognized names in American education, Princeton University has much to offer serious academic students. Princeton, like many of its Ivy League neighbors, refers to its majors as "concentrations," and its students as "concentrators." Psychology concentrators do much more than check off a list of coursework; they also participate in research studies, work as research assistants, and complete Independent Work in their junior and senior years. More specifically, the Independent Work Project asks students to develop a thesis question, conduct a literature review, and offer an independent analysis of the topic. The goal of this long-term project is to help concentrators become familiar with empirical research - a skill that will serve them well in graduate school.
If you're looking for a broad-based study of human behavior, the University of Connecticut will be a good psychology school for you. UConn separates its major tracks into a few different categories; both B.A. and B.S. majors have the option to pursue a standard degree, add a research concentration, or graduate with honors. The research concentration is just what it sounds like - students must take additional courses in experimental/laboratory work, such as by designing a special topics class or completing independent study. Alternatively, the honors track is only available to psych majors who have been accepted to the separate University Honors Program.
The College of New Jersey offers a highly organized degree path for motivated psychology students. Program members progress through a series of core and foundational courses, which include Methods and Tools of Psychology and Development Across the Lifespan, before tackling a group of specialized classes. Students can specialize in one of six different areas, enabling learners to pick the concentration that best suits their interests. These six areas - Biopsychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Counseling/Clinical Psychology - each prepare students for slightly different career paths. Finally, you'll tackle a "Senior Experience," a student-led class that combines field study and integrative seminars.
Pomona College is one of the top psychology programs in the nation, as far as PhDs go. Although we're only interested in bachelor's degrees in this article, the quality of a school's graduate program is often an indication of its overall commitment to the discipline. The funding, resources, and commitment pouring into PC's psychology department benefits students at all levels - including undergraduates. Classes within the B.A. program include Psychological Approaches to the Study of People, Memory and Language, Asian American Psychology, and The Social Brain. In addition, all seniors must complete a final capstone and thesis project; this requires them to develop a hypothesis and personally conduct a study, then present their findings to a group of faculty members.
Ivy League schools are traditionally synonymous with academic excellence, and any one of them is likely a good college for psychology. For students at Yale, majoring in psychology means choosing to emphasize in either Neuroscience or Cognitive Science. The former is ideal for students who are interested in the structural components of the brain, while the latter attracts undergraduates who prefer the thought processes the brain supports, including problem-solving. And because of Yale's big name, the university is rife with opportunities to connect with important professors who are conducting important research. You can even find job postings online; current openings are available in cancer treatment, social emotions, pain and pleasure, anxiety disorders, goal attainment, and more - the list goes on!
Vassar may be a traditional liberal arts school, but it has plenty to offer in the way of scientific resources. Good psychology schools require stellar laboratories and facilities to support serious study, and Vassar is well on its way to blowing through this standard through the Integrated Science Center (under construction). But even without the completed ISC, psych students can access everything they need through state-of-the-art labs, sophisticated audio and video recording equipment, and testing suites. Vassar is also home to the Wimpfheimer Nursery School, which serves as a laboratory for research in child development, educational theory, and developmental psychology.
Williams is a small liberal arts college that offers a different environment for focused psychology students. Unlike larger state schools, WC brings together an intimate group of faculty who can give undergrads plenty of individual attention. Professors act as mentors who teach students how to be critical thinkers and engaged researchers, whether they're taking a class in social psychology or conducting a study on neuroscience. Williams College is also a huge fan of interdisciplinary programs and encourages students to either double major or find a way to bring multiple fields together. For example, you might combine Psychology with a program in Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Legal Studies, or Teaching.
Certain aspects of Rice University's program are no different than any of the other good colleges for psychology - 120 credit hours cover social psychology, cognitive psychology, human behavior, and research methods. Students can also participate in research or design their own experiments as part of a special "Supervised Research" course. But one of the more unique features at Rice is the GATEWAY Program, which helps students answer that age-old question, "What do I do with my degree?" You can get assistance finding internships or fellowships, applying to international programs, and landing research assistantships. Rice University also supports the Global Urban Lab, which gives students an avenue to take college courses and do research alongside faculty in other countries, including England and Turkey.
At Washington and Lee University, the scientific aspect of psychology demands that students take an active role in their academic experience. Multiple courses require students to complete lab assignments, design experiments, and even run their own studies. Faculty regularly include undergraduates in their own research projects - a feature that distinguishes W&L as a good psychology school and provides a solid foundation for graduate-level work. In the classroom, coursework covers all the principles of the field, from abnormal behavior and social psychology to gender-role development and stereotyping. In addition, fourth-year students all complete a final tutorial and "directed individualized study," which include advanced reading assignments, internships, seminars, and independent research projects.
Students seeking a psychology degree program that offers significant breadth and depth can turn to Columbia University. Not only does Columbia tailor its curriculum to reach students with a wide array of backgrounds, but it also prepares them for graduate work as well as jobs in law, education, and medicine. As a student at Columbia, you will delve into biochemistry, neuroscience and cognition, and abnormal psychology. Along the way, the university folds in practical opportunities for research, critical analysis, and the proper use of data and statistics. Furthermore, you'll take time to learn about the ethical dilemmas in the field and how long-held tenets shape professional practice.
Understanding the way the mind works - and the reasons humans make every day decisions - is at the heart of Middlebury College's undergraduate psychology program. These insights include emotional and cognitive effects on behavior, as well as the various effects that psychological conditions have on memory. Students also use data and statistics to find effective solutions to everyday problems in the field, to form new theories, and to help explain the science behind behavior. As such, Middlebury encourages students to explore their own research. Highly qualified students can also elect to complete an honors thesis in consultation with a faculty member.
Brown University's psychology degree program features close collaboration between students and faculty, with the opportunity to conduct independent research. Students will take courses in perception and cognition, personality, quantitative methods, and laboratory techniques, among other subjects. Qualified undergraduates can also work as teaching assistants, and some students can enter the Honors program to complete one-on-one research with a professor for a particular project. Honors students write a thesis and give an oral presentation on their project, securing a particularly impressive diploma that will serve them well in the job hunt. Brown offers both an A.B. and a Sc.B. degree. Brown also offers concentrations in cognitive neuroscience and linguistics and is highly rated among colleges with psychology majors.
You have the chance to enter a rigorous, varied degree experience that explores the intricacies of human nature in Wellesley College's psychology program. Wellesley guides students in investigation of the mind, how culture and environment affect humans, and social interaction, among other areas. Faculty at this good college for psychology urge students to craft productive questions in this field, as well as critically analyze the answers via data and appropriate methodology. Graduates leave equipped to pursue post-graduate education, as well as take their Wellesley education into real-world situations. Students may also work with the Child Study Center - for children aged two to five - or join the Psychology Club.
Dartmouth College offers its students a major and minor in both psychology and neuroscience, providing two separate perspective on the brain, its function, and various pathologies. Dartmouth is also a best value among colleges with psychology programs, bringing reputable academics together with generous financial and scholarships. The psychology major includes courses in sensation and perception, the physiology associated with behavior, and cognition and cognitive neuroscience. You can conduct research in conjunction with prestigious faculty on various topics relating to the mind, brain, and behavior. Recent findings include the science behind "super recognizers" who can expertly remember faces, an "off switch" for bad habits, and how music and movement communicate emotion.
The psychology program at Colgate University immerses students in courses that explore a wide range of topics in behavioral science. Majors at Colgate, a popular good school for psychology, may choose to participate in advanced seminars that cover the current issues in the field. However, Colgate encourages students to select those courses that assure breadth of exposure rather than specialization in only one area of interest. Additionally, each summer more than 150 undergraduates work with faculty on research projects, often co-author publications, and present as co-authors at professional conferences. The department is also the home of Colgate's interdisciplinary neuroscience program, which is associated with the Center for Language and Brain.
The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Trinity College at Duke features 33 core faculty, 12 allied faculty, and over 40 adjuncts. The sizeable program offers two majors (A.B. and B.S.) and a minor in Psychology. Students at this good psychology school focus on five topic areas: abnormal/health, cognitive psychology, biological bases of behavior, cognitive psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology. The mission of the program is to provide you with a dynamic, interactive learning experience that confers a strong background in psychology as a science. You'll spend time critically evaluating current topics and discussing real world applications in lectures, small group formats, and one-on-one independent study experiences.
Students in the psychology program at Barnard College will encounter many perspectives on psychological evidence and technique through classroom learning, courses in the field, and time in the laboratory. Barnard, ranked among the best colleges with psychology majors, exposes students to the science behind everyday emotions, including aggression, love, and even sexuality. You will have ample opportunities to conduct original research and delve into both tangible and theoretical concepts. What's more, the Toddler Center and a course in Field Work in Psychological Services provide first-hand contact with the study of psychology. Psyched: The Barnard Psychological Society is a club open to all students interested in psychology (not just majors and minors).
The psychology program at Vanderbilt University offers an undergraduate major and minor in the areas of clinical science, human cognition and cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, neuroscience, and social psychology. Vanderbilt also offers a research-based honors program, which brings undergraduates together with the department's faculty, research fellows, and graduate students to conduct a wide variety of research projects. This research ranges from simple tests of perception to state-of-the-art brain imaging studies. The department encourages majors to work with faculty in the department for pedagogical training and to gain valuable research experience.
Hamilton College is a good psychology school for those interested in a broad-based knowledge of the field because the program includes each of the major branches of contemporary psychology: clinical, cognitive, developmental, educational, personality, physiological, sensory, and social psychology. Majors may choose from a variety of electives, such as Adult Psychopathology, Child Development, and Social Psychology. Lab work begins with the first course, and this hands-on approach to study confers an early grounding in the scientific method. Along the way, there are opportunities for research and fieldwork, such as a semester at the New England Center for Children. And ultimately, the Senior Project will require you to engage in extensive research, an oral presentation, and thesis.
Haverford College provides students with an understanding of human behavior that will allow them to contribute to scientific research; assist community members; and become educated, informed professionals. Students master theoretical concepts and competence at this good school for psychology, as well as methodologies professionals use in day-to-day practice. Because majors must focus on research, they must think scientifically about psychological questions and understand empirical approaches to complex problems. Haverford offers real-world training and insight into unique research, as well as positions as research assistants on ongoing faculty research projects.
The goal of the psychology program at Davidson College is to provide thorough, accurate, up-to-date knowledge of research methods, philosophical and ethical issues, principal subfields, and laboratory experience and field research. One of the hallmarks of the program is collaborative research between faculty and students. Many students work directly with department faculty as part of research teams, and students often co-author publications and present as co-authors at professional conferences. As a psychology major, students will learn a broad discipline incorporating the scientific approach with the study of human and animal behavior and the physiological and cognitive processes underlying that behavior.
The bachelor's degree in psychology prepares students to understand diverse modes of psychological inquiry and approaches to various problems encountered in social and life sciences, as well as in the humanities. Swarthmore College offers a major and minor, honors major and minor, as well as special majors in neuroscience, psychology, and education. Students may even develop individualized special majors, and work as part-time research assistants in faculty laboratories or carry out independent projects under faculty supervision. Several students remain on campus each summer to conduct studies, and the program culminates with a mandatory research experience; students may choose a research project, a thesis, or a practicum in this field.
While there are many colleges with good psychology programs, the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania is the oldest continuously functioning psychology department in North America. Majors take lecture courses in various areas of the discipline: perception, learning, thinking, and the theory behind the human personality. Students also explore psychological pathology and its biological and environmental roots. Undergraduates must distribute core courses across three of these content areas to guarantee broad coverage and perform at least one semester of empirical research. The Undergraduate Psychology Society holds events that foster students' growth in the community - both at Penn and the community at large.
Claremont McKenna College seeks to educate students for thoughtful and productive lives in business, government, and the professions. Its motto, Crescit cum commercio civitas, means "Civilization prospers with commerce." Claremont students learn to apply psychology to various fields including law, education, and medicine. Majors receive a breadth of knowledge and use those theoretical tools to explore the science behind this field and how it can be applied professionally. Interdisciplinary sequences in neuroscience help students fold psychology into other academic areas and turn them into real-world success. This good college for psychology also grants expertise that will expand their career options. Claremont offers opportunities for applied research, including positions at several laboratories that offer paid research assistantships and internships.
Amanda Push is a freelance writer who covers education topics for Best Value Schools, Grad School Hub, and Criminal Justice Degree Schools, and others. Her writing has also been featured at TheSimpleDollar.com, Interest.com, MyMove.com, and Safety.com.
Get prepared for your next steps
Use articles and resources to uncover answers to common questions, get guidance on your goals, and learn about applying to schools.
Mental health counseling jobs exist across many settings — from hospitals and government agencies to schools and private practices, and they’re projected to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)...
Discover a program that is right for you.
Explore different options for you based on your degree interests.