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2021 Best Colleges for Psychology

Approximately 174,215 psychology degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a daunting task finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Psychology ranking analyzed 782 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in psychology. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of schools for Psychology students.

Choosing a Great Psychology School

Best Colleges for Psychology The psychology program you select can have a big impact on your future. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 6% of our overall quality ranking while the lowest ranked school on the list is still in the top 8%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 96 to 15 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

A psychology degree from colleges on this list typically results in above average salaries following graduation. A psychology bachelors degree from a college in the United States helped students who graduated in 2015-2017 make $28,141 a couple years later.

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Psychology students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other psychology students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized psychology related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Psychology students.

Best Schools to Study Psychology in the United States

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities for a Psychology degree. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

Top 25 Best Psychology Colleges

University of California - San Diego is a great option for individuals pursuing a Psychology degree. UCSD is a fairly large public school located in the city of La Jolla. This college ranks 94th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, UCSD also offers a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship) in psychology.

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#2

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College is a wonderful decision for students interested in a Psychology major. Located in the small city Chestnut Hill, Boston College is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. This school ranks 61st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

For those interested in something more advanced, Boston College also offers 2 different higher degree levels in psychology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#3

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke University is one of the finest schools in the country for psychology. Located in the city Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Duke is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Duke also offers 2 different higher degree levels in psychology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#4

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

It's hard to beat Northwestern University if you want to study psychology. Northwestern U is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Evanston. A Best Colleges rank of 12 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Northwestern U is a great school overall.

There are roughly 350 psychology undergrads enrolled in this program at Northwestern U.

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#5

Boston University

Boston, MA

Boston U is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Boston. A Best Colleges rank of 49 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Boston U is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Boston U also offers 2 different higher degree levels in psychology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Located in the city Los Angeles, UCLA is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 65th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There are roughly 1063 psychology undergraduates studying this program at UCLA.

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#7

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA

Located in the city Worcester, Holy Cross is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 31 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Holy Cross is a great school overall.

With 107 students enrolled, College of the Holy Cross is one of most popular colleges to study psychology in United States.

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#8

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Located in the city Nashville, Vanderbilt is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 24 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Vanderbilt is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Vanderbilt also offers 2 different higher degree levels in psychology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#9

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Georgetown is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Washington. A Best Colleges rank of 55 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Georgetown is a great school overall.

There are about 99 psychology undergrads enrolled in this program at Georgetown.

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#10

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA

Located in the suburb Charlottesville, University of Virginia is a public college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 42 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means University of Virginia is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, University of Virginia also offers 2 different higher degree levels in psychology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#11

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

Emory is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Atlanta. A Best Colleges rank of 34 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Emory is a great college overall.

Emory University is one of the most popular school to study psychology in United States exceeding 153 graduates last year.

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Pitt is a very large public school located in the large city of Pittsburgh. This college ranks 129th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

For those interested in something more advanced, Pitt also offers 2 different higher degree levels in psychology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#13

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY

Located in the medium-sized city Rochester, University of Rochester is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. This school ranks 56th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

University of Rochester is one of the most popular college to study psychology in United States exceeding 179 graduates last year.

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#14

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY

Located in the distant town Hamilton, Colgate is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 29 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Colgate is a great school overall.

A favorite major for psychology undergraduates, there are about 57 individuals studying this degree at Colgate.

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#15

Dickinson College

Carlisle, PA

Dickinson is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Carlisle. This school ranks 79th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

With 42 students enrolled, Dickinson College is one of most popular colleges to study psychology in United States.

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#16

New York University

New York, NY

Located in the city New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 130th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

For those interested in something more advanced, NYU also offers 2 different higher degree levels in psychology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#17

Lafayette College

Easton, PA

Located in the large suburb Easton, Lafayette is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 53 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Lafayette is a great college overall.

Lafayette College is a fairly popular school to study psychology in United States with more than 62 graduations last year.

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#18

Providence College

Providence, RI

Providence is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Providence. This school ranks 145th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Rhode Island.

There are approximately 79 psychology undergrads enrolled in this program at Providence.

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UMN Twin Cities is a fairly large public school located in the city of Minneapolis. This college ranks 124th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Minnesota.

For those interested in something more advanced, UMN Twin Cities also offers 2 different higher degree levels in psychology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#20

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC

Located in the city Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 37 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Wake Forest University is a great college overall.

Wake Forest University is a fairly popular school to study psychology in United States with over 132 graduates last year.

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UMCP is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of College Park. This college ranks 117th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

For those interested in something more advanced, UMCP also offers 2 different higher degree levels in psychology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#22

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Cornell is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Ithaca. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Cornell is a great college overall.

A preferred major for psychology undergrads, there are roughly 92 individuals enrolled in this program at Cornell.

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#23

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Villanova is a large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Villanova. This school ranks 78th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, Villanova also offers a Master's Degree in psychology.

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#24

Tulane University of Louisiana

New Orleans, LA

Tulane is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of New Orleans. This college ranks 108th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Louisiana.

For those interested in something more advanced, Tulane also offers 2 different higher degree levels in psychology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship).

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Located in the city Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 60th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

There are approximately 483 psychology undergrads studying this program at UNC Chapel Hill.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Colleges for Psychology

#26

Rice University

Houston, TX
#27

Williams College

Williamstown, MA
#28

Binghamton University

Vestal, NY
#29

Clark University

Worcester, MA
#31

College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, VA
#32

Stonehill College

Easton, MA
#33

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA
#35

Bucknell University

Lewisburg, PA
#38

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia, PA
#39

Fordham University

Bronx, NY
#40

University of Denver

Denver, CO
#42

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA
#43

Skidmore College

Saratoga Springs, NY
#44

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL
#45

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT
#47

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ
#48

College of Saint Benedict

Saint Joseph, MN
#49

Gettysburg College

Gettysburg, PA

Remaining Award Winners

This list shows the rest of the schools awarded a Best Colleges for Psychology badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 782 different United States psychology schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Saint Anselm College Manchester, NH
52 Connecticut College New London, CT
53 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
54 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
55 Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
56 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
57 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
58 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
59 University of Richmond University of Richmond, VA
60 Arizona State University - West Glendale, AZ
61 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
62 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
63 Lesley University Cambridge, MA
64 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
65 The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ
66 Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
67 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA
68 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
69 University of South Florida - Main Campus Tampa, FL
70 Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA
71 University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA
72 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
73 Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA
74 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX
75 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
76 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO
77 Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
78 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
79 Spelman College Atlanta, GA
80 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
81 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
82 Assumption University Worcester, MA
83 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
84 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
85 University of California - Merced Merced, CA
86 SUNY Geneseo Geneseo, NY
87 Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA
88 Washington & Jefferson College Washington, PA
89 St Lawrence University Canton, NY
90 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
91 Gustavus Adolphus College Saint Peter, MN
92 Rider University Lawrenceville, NJ
93 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO
94 Washington College Chestertown, MD
95 St Olaf College Northfield, MN
96 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
97 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
98 Miami University - Oxford Oxford, OH
99 University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Durham, NH
100 University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY
101 University of Georgia Athens, GA
102 Rutgers University - Newark Newark, NJ
103 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
104 University of Oregon Eugene, OR
105 University of Massachusetts - Lowell Lowell, MA
106 Loyola University Maryland Baltimore, MD
107 American University Washington, DC
108 Seattle University Seattle, WA
109 Wheaton College Massachusetts Norton, MA
110 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
111 Christopher Newport University Newport News, VA
112 University of Vermont Burlington, VT
113 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
114 University of California - Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
115 University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
116 Lycoming College Williamsport, PA
117 Temple University Philadelphia, PA

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Colleges for Psychology award.

Rank College Location
118 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
119 Concordia College at Moorhead Moorhead, MN
120 Iowa State University Ames, IA
121 The University of Tennessee - Knoxville Knoxville, TN
122 Washington State University Pullman, WA
123 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
124 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
125 Saint Michael’s College Colchester, VT
126 Florida International University Miami, FL
127 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
128 University of Puget Sound Tacoma, WA
129 University of Houston Houston, TX
130 Virginia Military Institute Lexington, VA
131 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
132 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
133 University of Portland Portland, OR
134 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
135 Muhlenberg College Allentown, PA
136 CUNY Bernard M Baruch College New York, NY
137 Sewanee - The University of the South Sewanee, TN
138 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
139 Agnes Scott College Decatur, GA
140 Siena College Loudonville, NY
141 Allegheny College Meadville, PA
142 Willamette University Salem, OR
143 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
144 University at Albany Albany, NY
145 Grace College and Theological Seminary Winona Lake, IN
146 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
147 University of Massachusetts - Boston Boston, MA
148 Hope College Holland, MI
149 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
150 University of St Thomas Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
151 University of Houston - Clear Lake Houston, TX
152 CUNY Hunter College New York, NY
153 Chapman University Orange, CA
154 Rutgers University - Camden Camden, NJ
155 Randolph - Macon College Ashland, VA
156 Biola University La Mirada, CA

Psychology by Region

View the Best Colleges for Psychology for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Psychology Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
General Psychology 130,917
Clinical, Counseling & Applied Psychology 30,532
Child Development & Psychology 13,150
Other Psychology 3,056

View All Psychology Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Education 306,739
Social Sciences 203,399
Communication & Journalism 122,154
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 59,281
History 32,806

View All Psychology Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Nevit Dilmen. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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