Best Schools for Evolutionary Psychology Doctoral Degrees

Doctoral programs that allow for the study of evolutionary psychology typically include topics in modern evolutionary theory, as well as research in language, social psychology and mating strategies. Programs usually culminate in a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology.

School Overviews

Some of the best universities in the country offer doctoral programs in evolutionary psychology. Those summarized below were highly ranked among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. They were also high on the list of the publication's list of top psychology graduate programs in 2013.

University of California, Santa Barbara

School Highlight: Students in evolutionary psychology at UC Santa Barbara have access to two interdisciplinary research programs at the school: the Center for Evolutionary Psychology and the Interdisciplinary Program in Human development.

The University of California in Santa Barbara (UCSB) is a public research university that U.S. News & World Report ranked 37th on its list of the best national universities for 2017. UCSB's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers a Ph.D. in Psychology program that allows for research in developmental and evolutionary psychology. Students explore the origins and evolution of human cognition and behavior through specialized inquiries in social and cognitive development, among other areas. They also collaborate with students and faculty in the Interdisciplinary Program in Human Development and the Center for Evolutionary Psychology to study communication, linguistics, sociology and other related topics.

University of Texas at Austin

School Highlight: The evolutionary psychology program at the University of Texas, Austin features the Buss Lab, run by head of the Individual Differences and Psychology Area David Buss, where graduate students can draw from a diverse spectrum of research from psychology and biology relevant to evolutionary psychology.

The University of Texas (UT) is a public university that U.S. News & World Report ranked 56th among national universities in 2017. UT's Individual Differences and Evolutionary Psychology area offers a Ph.D. in Psychology. The program provides students with advanced training in personality psychology, social psychology and other related areas. Students conduct research in evolutionary psychology, working alongside faculty members in the psychology and biology departments.

University of Arizona in Tucson

School Highlight: Graduate students in evolutionary psychology at the University of Arizona in Tucson are expected to pursue extensive research during their program of study. Students will have access to research projects run by faculty members, as well as research labs such as the Ethnology and Evolutionary Psychology Research Lab.

The University of Arizona (UA) is a public university that made The Princeton Review's 'Best 381 Colleges' in 2017. In addition, the school was ranked 40th in the nation for its psychology program in 2013 and 124th among best national universities in 2017, both times by U.S. News & World Report. UA's Department of Psychology offers a Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in ethology and evolutionary psychology. The program explores how biological, behavioral and social sciences integrate in terms of evolutionary theory. Students conduct research in the social and behavioral sciences, such as altruism, language development and cultural transmission of traits.

Clark University in Worcester, MA

School Highlight: Clark was ranked 101st in the nation for its graduate psychology program in 2013 and 74th among national universities in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.

At Clark University, it is possible to enroll in a Ph.D. program in Social-Evolutionary-Cultural Psychology. The program involves both research and teaching. In addition to working closely with faculty, students can also take advantage of the school's research relationships with other institutions in the Boston area, including the Neuropsychology Unit of the Boston Veterans Administration Hospital and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Top Evolutionary Psychology Doctoral Programs

Here are two more well-regarded schools that offer relevant doctoral training in the field:

  • Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, was ranked 14th in the nation for its graduate psychology program in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque was ranked 92nd in the nation for its graduate psychology program in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report.

For students who want to focus their doctoral studies on evolutionary psychology, there are highly ranked psychology schools that offer relevant programs.

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