best colleges for psychology
best colleges for psychology

The Best Colleges For Psychology In 2024

How to choose a school out of the best colleges for psychology.

If you’re thinking about majoring in psychology in college, you might be wondering how you’re going to decide which school to attend.

There are plenty of factors to consider both during your undergraduate degree and once you get your diploma.

Here’s everything you need to know, along with which schools have the best programs in the country.

Don’t forget to check out our college dorm room essentials guide to find out everything you need to pack.

In this guide:

What Is General Psychology In College?

what is general psychology in college - picture of fake human skull on lab table - best colleges for psychology

General psychology can either describe an introductory course taken in psychology or refer to a psychology major without any specialization.

The general psychology course provides an overview of the study of human behavior. Topics covered include history, methodology, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, abnormal psychology, personality theory, and social psychology. You’ll essentially get an overview of the field of psychology as a whole.

Majoring in general psychology focuses on the foundations of psychological theory, research, and practice. You’ll study the mind, brain, social interactions, and many other areas in the field of psychology.

What Can You Do With A Psych Major?

what can you do with a psych major - library image - best colleges for psychology

Whether you opt to go into the clinical field or not, plenty of career options are available for students who decide to major in psychology.

In the clinical field, careers include (but are not limited to):

  • Counseling psychologists
  • Developmental psychologists
  • Educational psychologists
  • Experimental psychologists
  • Forensic psychologists
  • Neuropsychologists

But even if you decide not to get your PhD in the field of psychology and don’t want to be in a clinical setting, there are still plenty of career options to consider:

  • Business & entrepreneurship
  • Education
  • Legal & law enforcement careers
  • Media, advertising, & marketing
  • Politics

What To Look For When Choosing A College For Psychology

best colleges for psychology

When deciding which school you want to attend for your psychology major, plenty of factors influence your decision. Here are some of the most important ones to consider.


If you have a specific field in mind you want to study for your psychology major, it’s important to make sure your school offers it. You don’t want to wind up two years into your program and have to transfer.

Traditional v. Online Learning

Plenty of schools now offer traditional, online, and hybrid learning for their psychology programs. Of course, there are merits and drawbacks to each type of learning.

Traditional programs have face-to-face interactions, which can elevate your learning experience by creating human connections. However, in-person programs generally cost more money.

Online or hybrid programs have the most flexibility and are more cost-effective. Some students, however, find it harder to retain material and engage in meaningful ways when learning outside of the classroom.

Type of Accreditation

There are two types of accreditation a college can receive for its psychology program: institutional or programmatic.

Institutional accreditation means the school voluntarily participated in a third-party review of its academic standards. With this accreditation, the program meets or exceeds the quality guidelines.

Programmatic accreditation applies to specific academic degree plans. The department with this accreditation meets or exceeds incredibly specialized standards while offering in-depth knowledge of the field. Organizations that offer this kind of accreditation include:

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)

Program Requirements & Admissions

Generally, schools with more prestigious programs have more requirements when it comes to admissions. For undergraduate degrees, admissions are determined by your grades and test scores. Graduate-level degrees will focus more on your academic background.

Some schools may also require you to send in a resume or CV, letter(s) of recommendation, and personal essays or statements of purpose. This is especially true at the graduate level.

Cost & Financial Aid

Cost is obviously one of if not the biggest factors when it comes to choosing a school for psychology. Think about the delivery format, in-state v. out-of-state, financial aid, and scholarships before you ultimately settle on a program.

The average cost for a traditional undergraduate psychology degree is around $29,000. An online program costs about $24,500.

The average cost for an in-state undergraduate degree in psychology is around $25,000. An out-of-state undergraduate psychology degree is about $30,000.

Internship & Practicum Opportunities

Another important factor to consider when choosing a psychology program is the opportunity for an internship or practicum experience. Almost all psychology programs require clinical hours before you graduate, so it’s important to research what your school offers or how they help place students in these programs.

Some important things to note are:

  • Setting: Where will the internship or practicum take place?
  • Placement: Will the school help you find a placement?
  • Mentorship Opportunities: Who will supervise you, and how much help will they offer?
  • Duration: How many hours are required?


While reputation isn’t the end all be all when it comes to choosing a program, it’s certainly something to consider. A school’s reputation may help finding an internship or career placement upon graduation a bit easier. Take note of the school’s graduate job placement rate and teacher credentials when researching your psychology program.

Best Colleges For Psychology

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Yale University

  • Overall Rating: 2
  • Acceptance Rate: 5%
  • Average Price: $18,647 per year
  • SAT Range: 1500-1580
  • ACT Range: 33-35

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

  • Overall Rating: 4
  • Acceptance Rate: 18%
  • Average Price: $19,318 per year
  • SAT Range: 1350-1530
  • ACT Range: 31-34

Harvard University

  • Overall Rating: 5
  • Acceptance Rate: 3%
  • Average Price: $19,491 per year
  • SAT Range: 1490-1580
  • ACT Range: 34-36

University of Pennsylvania

  • Overall Rating: 6
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Average Price: $26,123 per year
  • SAT Range: 1500-1570
  • ACT Range: 34-35

Columbia University

  • Overall Rating: 7
  • Acceptance Rate: 4%
  • Average Price: $22,058 per year
  • SAT Range: 1490-1580
  • ACT Range: 34-35

Best Colleges For Psychology In California

Stanford University

  • Overall Rating: 1
  • Acceptance Rate: 4%
  • Average Price: $18,279 per year
  • SAT Range: 1500-1580
  • ACT Range: 33-35

University of California – Los Angeles

  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Acceptance Rate: 9%
  • Average Price: $17,000 per year
  • SAT Range: N/A
  • ACT Range: N/A

University of Southern California

  • Overall Rating: 10
  • Acceptance Rate: 12%
  • Average Price: $36,808 per year
  • SAT Range: 1450-1550
  • ACT Range: 32-35

Best Colleges In Florida For Psychology

University of Florida

  • Overall Rating: 18
  • Acceptance Rate: 23%
  • Average Price: $11,740 per year
  • SAT Range: 1300-1490
  • ACT Range: 28-33

Florida International University

  • Overall Rating: 21
  • Acceptance Rate: 64%
  • Average Price: $9,881 per year
  • SAT Range: 1060-1250
  • ACT Range: 21-26

Florida State University

  • Overall Rating: 28
  • Acceptance Rate: 25%
  • Average Price: $14,003 per year
  • SAT Range: 1210-1370
  • ACT Range: 26-31

Best Colleges in Georgia for Psychology

University of Georgia

  • Overall Rating: 40
  • Acceptance Rate: 43%
  • Average Price: $17,180 per year
  • SAT Range: 1220-1420
  • ACT Range: 27-32

Emory University

  • Overall Rating: 43
  • Acceptance Rate: 11%
  • Average Price: $26,680 per year
  • SAT Range: 1430-1550
  • ACT Range: 32-34

Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Overall Rating: 93
  • Acceptance Rate: 17%
  • Average Price: $17,402 per year
  • SAT Range: 1370-1550
  • ACT Range: 31-35

Best Colleges For Psychology In Texas

Rice University

  • Overall Rating: 12
  • Acceptance Rate: 9%
  • Average Price: $19.902 per year
  • SAT Range: 1490-1570
  • ACT Range: 34-36

University of Texas – Austin

  • Overall Rating: 30
  • Acceptance Rate: 31%
  • Average Price: $17,434 per year
  • SAT Range: 1230-1500
  • ACT Range: 26-33

Texas A&M University

  • Overall Rating: 56
  • Acceptance Rate: 63%
  • Average Price: $20,375 per year
  • SAT Range: 1150-1390
  • ACT Range: 25-31

We’ve also got the top 30 LGBTQ+ friendly colleges to check out, too.

Online colleges for psychology

Sometimes, attending college physically is difficult, whatever the reason may be. Luckily, you don’t have to miss out on your education — there are plenty of online courses and online colleges for psychology, allowing you to study from wherever you can.

Online colleges are also typically more affordable and flexible.

Here are some online colleges for psychology:

Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in psychology that is completed online.

Georgia State University

Georgia State has an online psychology Bachelor’s degree program with the option of completing either a Bachelor of Arts degree, or a Bachelor of Science degree.

Oregon State University

Oregon State has an online psychology major program, with the opportunity to add a minor, too.

Eastern University

For $2,500 to $7,500 per year, Eastern University offers an online BA in psychology.

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University’s online applied psychology BA is ranked #4 nationally for best online undergraduate degree in psychology.