The Best College for Psychology
The field of psychology is one of the most sought-after academic specializations today. In point of fact, it is ranked #8 out of 38 for popularity among degrees of this type across the country. As a result of this, there are many colleges that offer the degree, making it difficult for you to decide which school to attend.
Identifying the best college for Psychology
It is important to pick the best college for psychology. In line with this, you might want to narrow down your options by selecting a degree level from the list below in order to find the educational establishments that are the most suitable for you.
A student who majors in psychology studies the science behind human behavior and the mental processes that underlie it. This includes the investigation of the human and animal mind and brain, as well as the social interactions of both species.
The concentration touches on a wide variety of subfields within psychology, including social, cognitive, abnormal, personality, and developmental psychology.
What does it mean to major in Psychology?
Before you find the best college for psychology, it is also important for you to understand what it means to major in this field. Students who major in psychology develop transferable skills that can be applied to graduate study in a variety of fields, including psychology, education, law, medicine, and business. This major allows for a great deal of personalization and can be applied to a wide variety of fields.
Students become familiar with fundamental techniques for conducting psychological research, as well as reasoning and problem-solving skills. Students are expected to write papers on the findings from experiments using the American Psychological Association, or APA, writing style, which requires specific citation methods.
Once the research has been completed, students will begin writing the papers. Students will have a better understanding of the history of psychology if they study previous experiments in order to gain knowledge from the earliest discoveries made in the relatively new field of psychology.
Students who major in psychology will become very familiar with the theories of famous psychologists who were instrumental in shaping science, such as Sigmund Freud, Albert Bandura, Ivan Pavlov, and Wilhelm Wundt, amongst others.
Students majoring in psychology can anticipate taking these common courses:
Courses like general psychology, research methods in psychology, statistical methods in psychology, and a lab course like psychology as a natural science are required first steps for students who want to pursue a degree in psychology.
A general psychology course will cover the fundamental subfields of psychology, the development of this relatively new scientific field, as well as the connections that exist between the mind, the body, and experience.
Students who take psychology lab courses gain experience in a variety of areas, including conducting research, designing experiments, learning observation and measurement techniques, and analyzing behavioral data.
Students who have already demonstrated that they have the necessary skills and knowledge are eligible to enroll in more specialized classes such as developmental psychology, learning and behavior, social psychology, theories of personality, drugs, and behavior, affective neuroscience, child psychology, introduction to clinical psychology, and an independent study project.
The majority of educational institutions provide students with the opportunity to earn course credit for independent research projects; however, these projects may be subject to certain GPA requirements as well as approval from the psychology department. In order to graduate with a particular major, students are typically required to take courses in mathematics, social sciences, and physical sciences.
The Best Colleges for Psychology
See the list below if you are interested in pursuing a specific level of degree and want to find out which is the best college for psychology in terms of the quality of education they provide for the various levels of psychology degrees they offer:
Duke University – Durham, NC
When it comes to obtaining a degree in psychology, Duke University is consistently ranked as one of the best schools in the United States. The large city of Durham is home to the prestigious and highly selective private institution of higher learning known as Duke. The fact that Duke University is ranked third among all 2,241 colleges and universities in the United States indicates that it is an excellent educational institution.
In the most recent data year, approximately 169 students in the field of psychology were able to complete their studies at Duke and earn this degree. When they enter the workforce, graduates of the psychology degree program at Duke University earn a median annual salary that is $6,499 higher than the median annual salary of other college graduates who hold the same degree.
Stanford University – Stanford, California
Students who are considering pursuing a degree in psychology should strongly consider applying to Stanford University. A large number of students attend Stanford University, which is a non-profit private institution that is located in the city of Stanford’s sizable suburb. The fact that Stanford University is ranked second among the 2,241 colleges and universities in the United States indicates that it is an excellent educational institution.
In the most recent academic year, there were approximately 63 psychology students at Stanford who successfully completed their studies and earned this degree. Students who graduate with a psychology degree from Stanford University see an increase in their annual income of approximately $15,796 compared to the typical income of psychology majors.
Washington University – St. Louis
If you are interested in obtaining a degree in psychology, Washington University in St. Louis is one of the best schools to attend. The Western University of Health Sciences and Arts of St. Louis (WUSTL) is a suburban location of a relatively large private university that is not-for-profit. This university comes in at number one out of the other forty-eight colleges in the state of Missouri in terms of overall quality.
During the most recent academic year for which we have complete data, the WUSTL Psychology Department awarded degrees to approximately 222 students majoring in psychology. Students who graduate with a psychology degree typically begin their careers with an annual salary of approximately $36,104 shortly after graduation.
University of Notre Dame – Notre Dame, Indiana
When it comes to obtaining a degree in psychology, the University of Notre Dame is consistently ranked among the top schools in the United States. The suburb of Notre Dame is home to the private and non-profit University of Notre Dame, which is quite a large institution. This university comes in at number one out of the other 41 schools in the state of Indiana when it comes to overall quality.
The most recent year for which we have data reveals that approximately 120 psychology majors received their degrees from Notre Dame in the most recent academic year for which we have information. Those who graduate from the psychology degree program at the University of Notre Dame earn an average of $3,074 more per year in starting salary than the typical college graduate who has the same degree shortly after graduation.
A very large number of undergraduates attend Harvard University, which is a non-profit private institution and can be found in the center of Cambridge, a city of medium size. The fact that Harvard University is ranked 12th among the 2,241 colleges and universities in the United States indicates that it is an excellent educational institution.
In the most recent academic year for which we have data, there were approximately 158 students in the field of psychology who graduated from Harvard with this degree. Students who graduate with a psychology degree from Harvard University see an increase in their earnings of approximately $18,316 more than the average income of psychology graduates.
Yale University – New Haven, CT
The city of New Haven, Connecticut, is home to the prestigious and highly regarded private institution of higher education known as Yale. Yale is a very good university in general, as evidenced by its position in the Best Colleges ranking at number 15 out of 2,241 schools in the United States.
During the most recent academic year for which we have data, Yale awarded its Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree to approximately 103 students majoring in psychology. Those who earn a psychology degree from Yale University see an increase in their annual income of approximately $6,281 in comparison to the typical income of psychology majors.
Brown University is a relatively large, non-profit, private institution of higher education that can be found in Providence, a city of medium size. Brown University is a fantastic establishment, as evidenced by its position among the Best Colleges ranking at number 11 out of 2,241 schools in the United States.
During the most recent academic year for which data are available, Brown University awarded degrees in psychology to approximately 73 students majoring in psychology. Those who study psychology at Brown University and graduate with a degree in the field can expect an annual salary that is $2,025 higher than the average psychology graduate.
Columbia University – New York
The city of New York is home to the prestigious private institution of higher education known as Columbia University. The fact that Columbia University is ranked 14th among the 2,241 colleges and universities in the United States indicates that it is an excellent educational institution.
During the most recent academic year for which data are available, there were approximately 264 students in the field of psychology who graduated from Columbia University with this degree. When they enter the workforce, graduates of the psychology major at Columbia University in the City of New York earn $6,295 more than the typical college graduate with the same degree does.
Northwestern University – Evanston, IL
A relatively large number of students attend Northwestern University, which is a non-profit private institution and can be found in the middle of the city of Evanston. The fact that Northwestern University is ranked fifth among the 2,241 colleges and universities in the United States indicates that it is an excellent educational institution.
During the most recent academic year for which we have complete statistics, approximately 462 psychology majors at Northwestern University earned their bachelor’s degrees. Students who complete the psychology degree program and go on to work in the field report an early career earnings average of $37,290.
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) – Philadelphia, PA
Located in the heart of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) is a sizable, non-profit, private institution of higher education. Penn is a fantastic institution all around, as evidenced by its position as the nation’s fourth-best college according to the Best Colleges ranking.
During the most recent data year, UPenn awarded its Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree to approximately 320 students majoring in psychology. When they enter the workforce, degree recipients from the psychology major at the University of Pennsylvania make an average of $18,715 more money than the typical college graduate who has the same degree.
How to get into the best college for Psychology?
There are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to get accepted into a psychology program. Those who are interested in applying to undergraduate programs should concentrate on applying to the university itself, whereas those who are interested in applying to graduate programs should tailor their applications to specific psychology departments.
Transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendation are examples of items that are typically included in an application package.
Students from other countries who are interested in studying psychology in the United States will find that the market is extremely competitive. Because of the high demand, universities can only offer a limited number of places for students interested in studying psychology. Because of this, the application process for a degree in psychology is very important because it is what determines whether or not an individual will be able to study in the program of their choice.
The application materials that a student submits should not only demonstrate their abilities but also explain how the student will respond to the question “why study psychology?” themselves.
In what follows, we will examine some helpful advice regarding how to put together an application package for psychology programs in the United States, specifically undergraduate and graduate levels of study.
In the United States, the majority of undergraduate psychology programs do not require applicants to go through a departmental application process. On the other hand, in order to be accepted into the university on a more general level, there will be an application process.
When a student has completed the enrollment process at the college or university of their choice, they are typically free to choose any field of study that interests them, including psychology.
Students at many schools are required to sign a form stating that they have chosen psychology as their major. However, there are typically very few or no restrictions on who can join the program, although there are frequently requirements regarding the level of accomplishment that must be met in order to continue participation (e.g. maintaining a certain GPA).
There is a possibility that international students will be required to provide scores obtained from the TOEFL exam.
Because the most talented students from a wide variety of undergraduate programs are applying to a relatively small number of graduate programs, the process of applying for an advanced degree in psychology is more involved and more competitive.
To simply submit an application, there is typically a fee that can range anywhere from ten to one hundred United States dollars, or even more. Students are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test, and the psychology section of the GRE is frequently required as well.
Students must then submit their scores. Scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) should be submitted by international students if there is any reason to believe that their scores on the verbal section of the GRE test will not be sufficient.
In addition, students will typically be required to submit a letter of intent, also known as a statement of purpose or personal mission statement. In this document, students respond to the question “why study psychology?” in their own words and describe their interests in the department to which they are applying.
In addition to that, students will need to bring their transcripts and curriculum vitae from their undergraduate studies. Last but not least, they might also be required to hand in a sample of their writing that demonstrates their potential for future research.
Students will require letters of recommendation, preferably from two to four of their previous teachers or other highly regarded individuals. When you ask someone to write you a letter, you should make sure that they will write a letter that is both very good and very supportive.
Insipid letters often stand out, and they can do quite a bit of damage to a student’s application if they are included. On the other hand, a significant number of faculty members and instructors will gladly assist you and will supply very convincing letters.
The various components of an applicant’s application package will be evaluated according to the specific criteria of each program. Some people may place a greater emphasis on grade point average and test scores, while others may place a greater emphasis on the letter of intent or writing sample.
When submitting an application, there is really no way to know how the review committee will weigh the various items, so the best piece of advice is to simply do the best you can on each individual application requirement.
The application deadlines for both the undergraduate and graduate programs will be communicated. These will vary from department to department; therefore, it is imperative that you check the respective department websites for more specific information.
Students are, as always, encouraged to research individual school websites or to e-mail current staff or students at departments in which they are interested in studying in order to learn further details about the application process. In addition, students are encouraged to apply for positions in departments in which they are interested in studying.
How to look for the best college for psychology and how determine if it’s right for you?
Students who are interested in human behavior and mental processes and want to work with other people should consider majoring in psychology. This is a good field of study for those students.
Open-mindedness, critical thinking, the ability to solve problems, and the ability to communicate effectively are all helpful skills for students majoring in psychology. Students are able to apply some of the lessons they learn about how humans function to their own lives and may also gain insight into who they are as individuals as a result. Individuals who are able to deal with stress, social conundrums, and intense pressure should consider declaring this as their major.
Individuals who are not interested in becoming psychologists can still major in psychology because it is applicable to a wide variety of career paths, provide a general understanding of people, and teaches writing, research, and analytical skills that are marketable in many different fields.
Once you have chosen the best college for psychology for you, the next goal is to acquire admission. At AdmissionSight, we have more than 10 years of experience helping students get into the best universities in the world through the competitive admissions process. On average, 75% of our students get into an Ivy League school like Stanford, MIT, UChicago, or Caltech. This is one of the best records in the business. Please feel free to make an appointment today to set up your first meeting.