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50 Best Value Colleges For A Psychology Degree

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Best Schools For A Psychology Degree

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By Iris Stone

For years, psychology has been one of the most popular choices for undergraduate majors. On the one hand, the chance to study the human brain and what motivates behavior is tempting to the majority of 20-somethings. At the same time, psychology is appealing because it’s broad enough to give graduates the space to pursue careers in business, marketing, law, education, social services, medicine, healthcare the list goes on.

In other words, it’s hard to go wrong with a degree in psychology. If you’re in the market for a B.S. or B.A. in Psychology, you’re probably interested in two things: affordability and selectivity. Fortunately, this list considers both factors.

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Best Colleges for Psychology Degrees

  1. CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College. New York, NY
  2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC
  3. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Socorro, NM
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology. Atlanta, GA
  5. Brigham Young University at Provo. Provo, UT
  6. College of William and Mary. Williamsburg, VA
  7. University of California Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA
  8. Stony Brook University. Stony Brook, NY
  9. University of California San Diego. San Diego, CA
  10. University of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA

Methodology

First, we used College Navigator to search for any type of undergraduate, four-year psychology program, whether clinical, biophysical, cognitive, developmental, or educational, whether a bachelor’s of science or arts. We then filtered the results to show only selective institutions – in other words, colleges that admit 50% of students or fewer and require minimum SAT scores of 540 in each category.

At this point, we sorted the results by net price and chose the 50 least expensive schools. For reference, “net price” is different than tuition; it takes into account tuition, room and board, living expenses, educational fees, institutional scholarships, federal loans, and other monetary factors, offering a single annual cost that approximates how much the average student can expect to pay for a year of school at that university.

The results are below. They include Ivy League colleges, top national universities, renowned psychology programs, and some schools that don’t yet get enough credit for their caliber. But regardless of reputation, these 50 psychology programs are all affordable enough to put a great education within arm’s reach.


  1. Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    For one of the most affordable psychology programs in the country, choose CUNY Bernard M Baruch College. A net price of just $8,000 a year 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. And like all good psychology schools, CUNY supports an almost overwhelming list of elective courses that cater to every interest, including the Psychology of Religion, Political Psychology, and Sexuality.

  2. Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of North Carolina is well known for touting top academic programs, and its Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is no exception. Students 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. UNC's department is rife with extra options for ambitious students; in addition to an Honors Program, psychology majors 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. Less exclusive - but still fun - activities include the Minority Psychology Student Association, the Neuroscience Club, and the Psi Chi National Honor Society.

  3. Location

    Socorro, NM

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    This tech school has a reputation for programs in science and engineering, but it has plenty to offer outside the "hard sciences" 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 psychology majors 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 for students who want to conduct independent projects.

  4. Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The B.S. in Psychology at Georgia Tech offers a versatile program that can launch students' careers in a variety of industries. Graduates 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 students to develop "global competence" during their 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 psychology students more targeted training in experimental design - an ideal choice for those who see grad school in their futures.

  5. Location

    Provo, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Good psychology schools often emphasize research as an important aspect of academics; at BYU, 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. Curious students are regularly involved in projects on family relationships, physical health, neuropsychology, clinical assessment, cognitive development, and more. Undergraduates can participate through the SONA Research System, get help finding internships in the social services sector, or talk to an advisor about graduate school. B.S. students 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.

  6. Location

    Williamsburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The interdisciplinary psychology degree at William and Mary gives students the option to combine multiple areas of interest under the umbrella of cognition and human behavior. For example, B.S. students might lean heavily on coursework in biology or kinesiology, while B.S. students 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.

  7. Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  8. Location

    Stony Brook, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  9. Location

    La Jolla, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  10. Location

    Charlottesville, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

Sources:
College Navigator
Most Popular College Majors

About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates’ careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile

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