Top University in Houston for Psychology Degrees

School and Ranking Information

There are a few schools in Houston with degrees in psychology. The following schools are considered the top three based on rankings, degree levels offered in psychology, graduation rate and tuition:

  • Winner: Rice University, situated in Houston, is the winner for its national rankings from U.S. News & World Report in 2013, multiple degree levels available and undergraduate graduation rate over 90%.
  • Runner Up #1: University of Houston, found in Houston, is the first runner up due to its three available psychology degree levels and vast number of degrees awarded in the field.
  • Runner Up #2: University of Houston Downtown in Houston secured third place for its near top-25 ranking for best colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report in 2013 and tuition rates.

School Comparison Chart

Category Rice University University of Houston University of Houston - Downtown
Rankings #67 in 'Best National Psychology Graduate Schools' (2013)*, #17 in 'Best National Universities' (2013)* #70 in 'Best National Clinical Psychology Graduate Schools' (2012)*, #117 in 'Best National Psychology Graduate Schools' (2013)* #26th in Best Regional Colleges - West (2013)*
Location Houston, TX Houston, TX Houston, TX
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public 4-year, public
Tuition & Fees in 2012-2013 $37,292 (undergraduate),
$31,338 (graduate)**
$8,094 (undergraduate, in-state),
$16,518 (undergraduate, out-of-state),
$9,522 (graduate, in-state),
$15,840 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$5,022 (undergraduate, in-state),
$13,446 (undergraduate, out-of-state)**
Psychology Degree Programs Offered Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees Bachelor's degrees
Psychology Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 71** 455** 219**
Most Popular Psychology Program in 2011-2012 Bachelor's degree, general psychology (56 awarded)** Bachelor's degree, general psychology (389 awarded)** Bachelor's degree, general psychology (219 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2005 Entering Class 92%** 46%** 15%**
Noteworthy 97% percent of students who began their freshman studies at Rice in Fall 2011 continued their studies in Fall 2012** Neuropsychologist H. Julia Hannay received the university's highest faculty honor, the Esther Farfel award, in 2012*** N/A

Sources: *U.S. News and World Report, **National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), ***University of Houston

Winner: Rice University

  • Undergraduate students can take a supervised research course
  • The psychology department collaborates with the Texas Medical Center and NASA
  • The school received a grant in 2013 to build a neuroplasticity lab, which will be one of only a few in the nation
  • Low student-faculty ratio of 9:1 in 2011, reported by NCES

Rice University's Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree program offers courses in social psychology, cognitive psychology, memory, developmental psychology, personality theory and neuropsychology of language and memory. Students can collaborate with faculty in research on genetics and development, perceptual organization and discrimination. They can also join Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology.

Graduate students earn a master's degree while they are in the process of fulfilling doctoral degree requirements (they cannot enroll in a terminal master's degree program). The psychology research area programs offered are training, human-computer interaction, industrial-organizational psychology, cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Admission to the graduate program is highly competitive: according to the university, each year, approximately 130 apply to fill about 10 spaces.

Runner Up #1: University of Houston

  • The psychology department has over 30 research centers, clinics and labs
  • Specialized accreditation by the American Psychological Association, Committee on Accreditation for the PhD programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology and school psychology
  • The National Science Foundation ranked the University of Houston 75th for full-time graduate student enrollment and 79th for doctoral degrees earned (out of 552 universities) in 2011
  • Bachelor's degree students can apply to the distance learning option, which offers all required upper-division classes for the psychology major online

At the undergraduate level, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Required courses in both options include personality psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, statistics and research methods. Students pursuing a BA degree take more foreign language credits, while BS degree students take more math and science courses.

At the graduate level, students can choose from programs in clinical, developmental, industrial-organizational or social psychology. Students can only apply to the doctoral degree program, though they earn their master's degree along the way. There are research centers focused on anxiety, bilingualism, health behavior, cognitive development, addictions and more. Both undergraduate and graduate students can get involved in research.

Runner Up #2: University of Houston Downtown

  • Bachelor's degree students must complete an internship or special project
  • Hosts the American Psychological Society Student Caucus (APSSC), which is affiliated with the Association for Psychological Science (APS)

Students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Required courses include social psychology, personality psychology, biological psychology and human development. Graduates from the bachelor's degree program can apply to master's or doctoral programs at other universities, or they may seek entry-level jobs in social services or mental health settings. In addition to joining the APSSC, psychology students can join Psi Chi or the school's psychology club.

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