Best Undergraduate Psychology Programs in the U.S.

Jul 26, 2018

Learn about some of the best schools that offer undergraduate psychology programs in the U.S. Go over program and ranking details for three of these schools and see highlights of other strong contenders in the field.

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School Overviews

Undergraduates can earn a bachelor's degree, associate's degree, or certificate in psychology. Some schools allow for concentrations in areas like child psychology, or social psychology. Psychology majors learn about the brain, perception and cognition and take core classes in clinical, societal and abnormal psychology.

Some of the best undergraduate psychology programs in the country include those at Stanford University in California, the University of California, Berkeley and Indiana University - Bloomington. All of these schools are ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report for 2017, and they all offer psychology specializations, as well as student activities for undergrads in the field.

1. Stanford University in California

School Highlight: Stanford University ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's 2013 list of schools with the best graduate psychology programs, which can be an indicator of the undergraduate psychology program.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Stanford tied for fifth among all national universities in 2017. Stanford's Department of Psychology awards the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in psychology, and specialization tracks include Cognitive Sciences; Health and Development; Mind, Culture, and Society; and Neuroscience.

Additionally, psychology undergraduates have the option to participate in supervised research through a senior honors program, a summer internship program or volunteer work at the on-campus nursery. There are also a number of psychology student clubs, including the Black Psychology Students' Association.

2. University of California, Berkeley

School Highlight: At the University of California - Berkeley, the Department of Psychology offers six distinct research groups in areas such as behavioral and systems neuroscience and clinical science.

In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked Berkeley tied at #2 on its list of top psychology schools. For 2017, the school was ranked the #1 public school in the country. Entry to UC-Berkeley's Psychology Department is selective, and undergraduates can pursue a B.A. in Psychology, with emphases in such areas as Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience, Clinical Science, Cognition, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental, and Social-Personality Psychology.

Psychology majors can participate in exchange programs, study abroad programs and student organizations, such as the Association of Psychology Undergraduates. This top U.S. school also runs a publication, Psychology at Berkeley, that is dedicated to printing undergraduate student essays, research papers and project findings.

3. Indiana University - Bloomington

School Highlight: At Indiana University, more than 300 undergraduate students conduct research in laboratories each year at Indiana University - Bloomington. The Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences at Indiana University offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

Students can choose a concentration in human development, memory and cognition, animal behavior, clinical psychology, or social psychology. Undergraduates who are majoring in other fields can also minor in psychology, and undergraduate certificates are available in specialized topics such as neuroscience, clinical psychology science, and the psychology of business.

Indiana University's Psychology Club invites speakers to the university and provides social, networking and volunteer experience opportunities for psychology undergraduates. The school also coordinates research and internship options.

Top Undergraduate Psychology Programs

College/University Name Distinction Location
Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus Penn State's psychological clinic is one of the oldest of its kind in America University Park, PA
University of Florida Undergraduate psychology students have access to three individual scholarship programs in the field Gainesville, FL
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university tied at #7 on its list of best psychology schools in the nation Champaign, IL
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor The university tied for #4 ranking on U.S. News & World Report's 2013 list of top psychology schools Ann Arbor, MI
University of Texas at Austin The school offers live, online psychology courses for students and non-students Austin, TX
University of Washington - Seattle Campus The B.S. program prepares students for doctoral programs or teaching Seattle, WA
University of Wisconsin - Madison The university was tied at #10 on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 list of top public schools Madison, WI

At the undergraduate level, students can commonly find B.A. and B.S. programs in psychology, sometimes with specialization options in the field. There are also top schools that allow students to minor and/or earn certificates in psychology.

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