Top Schools for Psychology

Read about degree programs in psychology, a social science that includes specializations in clinical, biological and industrial psychology. The resource below includes brief summaries of the programs offered by three high-profile schools, as well as a list of other universities in the U.S. that award degrees in psychology.

School Overview

The three schools summarized below include an Ivy League school, as well as a public and private university. All three schools offer bachelor's master's and doctoral degree programs in psychology, as well as opportunities for graduate research in a number of specialized areas.

Top U.S. Schools with Psychology Programs

1. Stanford University in Stanford, CA

Stanford is a private university with a psychology program that U.S. News & World Report ranked number one in the country for 2009. Additionally, the university placed sixth on the Forbes Magazine list of the top 20 best colleges in 2010. In addition to a bachelor's degree, Stanford offers a co-terminal Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology, which gives undergraduates the opportunity to take advanced courses in psychology for three academic quarters and complete a master's thesis. Through the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program, students can pursue concentrated research in a variety of areas, including cognitive, developmental, neurological and social psychology.

2. University of California - Berkeley

In 2009, the University of California in Berkeley tied with Stanford as the best graduate school for psychology, according to U.S. News & World Report. As of 2010, a number of the university's departments received high rankings from the National Research Council (NRC). Undergraduates pursuing programs through the Department of Psychology have the chance to participate in directed group studies, field studies or supervised research. Graduate students conduct independent research projects to fulfill their Ph.D. requirements.

3. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

Harvard University is an Ivy League school which U.S. News & World Report ranked number one among national universities in 2011. As of 2009, the university's Department of Psychology ranked third in the nation, as designated by USN&WR.

Harvard offers an undergraduate degree program in psychology that allows for concentrations in biological, behavioral and cognitive psychology. Graduate students can pursue specialized research in language and social cognition, animal behavior, motor control or sensory perception. They can also investigate how people with emotional disorders develop on the cognitive level, among other topics. The department also offers a postdoctoral program for professionals who already hold a Ph.D. in Psychology.

List of Ten Reputable Psychology Schools in the U.S.

School Name Distinction Location
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Research experience program provides undergraduates with early exposure to a research environment Minneapolis, MN
University of Washington Features a diversity science program Seattle, WA
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign Psychology Department offers nine divisions of study Urbana, IL
University of Wisconsin - Madison Ranked in the top four in the NRC's 'Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs' in 2010 Madison, WI
University of California - Los Angeles Labs for researching child and infant development Los Angeles, CA
University of California - Berkeley Undergraduate research opportunities for psychology majors Berkeley, CA
Harvard University Postdoctoral fellowship program in psychology Cambridge, MA
University of Pennsylvania Oldest psychology department in North America Philadelphia, PA
Stanford University Co-terminal M.A. in Psychology Stanford, CA
Princeton University Joint-degree program in psychology and social policy for graduate students Princeton, NJ

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