2023 Best Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs
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Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student/teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.
Do you want to acquire a bachelor’s in psychology, but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best bachelor’s in psychology programs.
What institution did we forget? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
- Stanford University, Stanford, CA
The Silicon Valley-based research institution not only houses the top psychology degree program nationally, but it also is rated globally. The psychology major at Stanford spans 180 credits, and 70 are in psychology. During the final year, psychology honors learners will spend a full year immersed in research. Stanford’s degree program stands out for its high-level research experiences.
- University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
A shining state research institution of the west coast, UC Berkeley stands out for its well-developed psychology degree program. The BA in psychology degree program comprises five core areas of study: behavioral and systems neuroscience, clinical science, cognitive neuroscience, developmental, and social-personality psychology.
- Yale University, New Haven, CT
Learners will select between a few options offered by the Department of Psychology. Students can earn a BA or a BS in psychology via the general track or the neuroscience track. Everything but the class content is the same for both paths; the programs leave lots of room for learners to investigate their research interests. The final senior requirement is a two-class endeavor that includes either a non-empirical literature review or an empirical research experiment.
- Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Psychology is one of the most popular majors for Harvard undergraduates. At Harvard, undergraduate psychology majors can select between three core pathways: the general track, the cognitive science track, and the cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology path.
Harvard makes it clear that psychology learners can only pursue one concentration within the major. But there are other ways to concentrate. Learn find research opportunities in and out of the Psychology Department, along with grants and scholarships for summer research.
- Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Princeton University adds its presence and scholarly excellence to the Ivy League strongholds on the east coast. The New Jersey-based research institution has a top-rated Department of Psychology with award-winning professors.
A total of 11 core classes are required for the BS in psychology–three prerequisites and eight major classes. The degree program incorporates lab options into early classwork so that younger learners will be more than prepared for independent research later.
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Established by Benjamin Franklin in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania is an academic and historical hub. It is rated among the first-tier research institutions in the nation for its academic research productivity.
The BA in psychology keeps learners on a structured, core-based coursework plan. The 33-credit major covers groupings of classes in biological behavior, cognitive behavior, individual/group behavior, and more. Learners can join the Honors Program in Psychology, which includes a faculty-guided research project. They can also join the Penn chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology.
- University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Between robust coursework, fieldwork, special programming, and learner organizations, psychology learners at UCLA leave well-equipped for their future careers. With a multidisciplinary approach, the Department of Psychology offers undergraduates three-degree options: BA in psychology, BS in cognitive science, and a BS in psychobiology. Unique to UCLA, learners can get involved with the Undergraduate Research Journal of Psychology at UCLA. This student-managed academic journal has the potential to deepen learners’ experience in both research and academic publishing; it’s the perfect thing to have on a resume.
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Michigan’s oldest institution outpaces nearly every other institution in its research productivity, with annual expenditures averaging over $1.5 billion! Psychology learners are privy to UM’s research strengths starting at the undergraduate level. Undergraduates will earn either a BS in psychology or a BS in biopsychology, cognition and neuroscience. Both paths include engaging methods, lab classes, upper-level classes, internship chances, and more.
- University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
The University of Florida is a research institution that boasts land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant designations. UF is rated as a “Best Value Public College” by Forbes and others. The Psychology Department specializes in five core areas for undergraduate and graduate learners. The department has a 120-credit psychology major that branches into three paths: general psychology, behavior analysis, and behavioral & cognitive neuroscience. Each path includes at least 30 credits in the major.
If you’re a working learner or live outside the state of Florida, you can still earn this degree via the online BA in psychology. This degree program doesn’t offer the specialty paths but offers ultimate flexibility by enabling learners to earn their degree online. Most learners finish this degree program in four years.
- Columbia University, New York, NY
A private Ivy League, Columbia University is one of New York’s finest; its Department of Psychology was officially established in 1881. The classwork in the psychology major includes foundations, research, and statistics. Learners will also take select classes from three categories: perception and cognition; psychobiology and neuroscience; and social, personality, and abnormal. Learners have the unique chance to expand their learning circles to Columbia’s “sister school,” Barnard College. Numerous classes at Barnard are cross listed for Columbia learners. Undergraduates can take a maximum of nine psychology credits at Barnard College.
- University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
The University of Chicago has graduated historical figures such as John Dewey, founder of functional psychology. It’s no surprise, then, that psychology is still one of its most popular undergraduate majors. The BS in psychology brings together classes from a broad range of subjects—everything from biology to statistics to the social sciences. The coursework includes core classes, a breadth requirement, a research requirement, and psychology electives.
There’s more to this degree than just classes and studying. With Psi Chi, the undergraduate psychology club, learners can connect with their peers, sharing the club’s movie nights, lectures, workshops, and other social events.
- Rice University, Houston, TX
Rice University is a mid-sized private research institution that excels in its small class sizes (6:1 learner to faculty ratio) and strong academics. Around 7,100 learners attend each year. The Department of Psychological Sciences puts a deep emphasis on research. Psychology learners at Rice University will finish a total of 120 credits, with 47 of those directly relating to the major. The core requirements are intended to give an introduction of the major philosophies in modern psychology.
To graduate with honors, Rice learners in their final year can apply for a specific research project or honors thesis. This is a competitive qualification, and qualifying learners must have a minimum GPA of 3.7 in the major.
- Brown University, Providence, RI
Undergraduates will need to work hard to be admitted to Brown University. This Ivy League institution has an acceptance rate of just 6.6 percent. But, once they are admitted, Brown University will offer them a rigorous and rewarding education. The school is known for its Fulbright scholarship winners.
Learners can earn either a BA or a BS in psychology at Brown. The only difference between the two is that the BS requires four additional science classes and a lab experience. All learners begin with the introductory class, “Mind, Brain, and Behavior.” Learners can devote four of their 12 to 17 class requirements to electives, such as animal cognition, sleep and chronobiology research, child language acquisition, and more.
- Indiana University at Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
The largest institution in the state system, IU-Bloomington, is a “Public Ivy” of Indiana. It grants admission to close to 44,000 learners annually. The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences is home to 52 tenured professors. Psychology programs at IU obtain over $10 million each year in research funding.
Other than the choice between a BA or a BS in psychology, IU-Bloomington doesn’t incorporate any additional paths or concentration. Instead, the philosophy is that learners will work directly with professors and select classwork that fits with their particular interests. While there are no designed concentrations in this degree program, IU-Bloomington does offer three unique undergraduate licensures: Certificate in Clinical Psychological Science, Certificate in Psychology of Business, and a Certificate in Neuroscience.
- Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Established in 1873, Vanderbilt University has been an academic center for nearly 150 years. Despite its size of around 13,000 learners, class sizes remain intimate, with a learner-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. Undergraduate psychology learners at Vanderbilt will take either 36 hours in the general path or 42 hours in the honors path. One element that separates Vanderbilt’s psychology degree program from others is its holistic final requirement. Vanderbilt’s professors know that many learners are working toward graduate school, so this degree program has built-in opportunities to get them closer to that objective. For example, learners can take upper-level statistics classes, directed research work, and more.