Top Bachelor's Degree Programs in Psychology

Updated December 5, 2022

Students who earn their bachelor's degree in psychology will have a range of options for their next academic or career step. For students who hope to enter a career as a professional psychologist, counselor or therapist the next step would be entrance into either a master's or doctoral program in the field. Other students may ... is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Students who earn their bachelor’s degree in psychology will have a range of options for their next academic or career step and a bright future ahead of them. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for psychologists was $80,370 as of May 2019. Plus, the job outlook for the employment of psychologists is projected to grow by about 3% from 2019 to 2029.

If you hope to enter a career as a professional psychologist, counselor, or therapist, the next step after a bachelor’s degree in psychology would be entrance into either a master’s or doctoral program in the field. Other students may use their undergraduate psychology degree to enter graduate school or the workforce in a range of potential areas, including medicine, law enforcement, human resources, business, various legal professions, and many others. Regardless of how you will use this degree, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from a top school will prepare you for a range of career and academic opportunities. Ready to get started? You can find some of the best undergraduate psychology programs you can pursue to kickstart your career below.

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Ranking Top 50 Bachelor's Degree Programs in Psychology

  1. Purdue University

    Hammond, IN

    Purdue boasts one of the best undergrad psychology programs in the United States. Students select one of two tracks: psychological sciences or brain and behavioral sciences. Both programs require 120 credits and 14 psychology courses, and incoming juniors with a minimum 3.5 GPA qualify for the honors program. Purdue offers several career services, including resume critiques, internship search strategies, and mock interviews. Purdue also maintains a blog and podcast that cover professional development and networking best practices. Thanks to these resources, 95% of recent Purdue graduates report a positive career outcome.

    Admission requirements include a high school diploma, ACT or SAT scores, and an essay. Indiana applicants who earned an Academic Honors Diploma in high school have the greatest chance of admission. Out-of-state students pay approximately three times more on tuition than in-state learners. Purdue's College of Health and Human Sciences awards five departmental scholarships to psychology undergraduates. At Purdue, tuition is quite affordable, especially if you live in the state. For Indiana residents, you’ll have to pay about $7,942 per year for tuition costs, while out-of-state students will pay about $14,734 per year in tuition fees. It will take the typical four years to graduate from this public university.

  2. Harvard University

    Cambridge, MA

    Harvard's psychology bachelor's program features two concentrations: cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience with evolutionary psychology. The cognitive science track limits enrollment to juniors and seniors with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Learners can customize their educational experience by selecting a secondary field that requires an extra five courses.

    Students can enhance a resume or prepare for graduate school by working in one of Harvard's research labs. At the Office of Career Services, learners can research jobs and internships, make resume revisions, and research employers attending upcoming career fairs. Other services include drop-in advising and 30-minute appointments with a career counselor.

    Harvard accepts the Common Application, and homeschooled prospective students can apply. High school seniors should ask two teachers for a recommendation letter. Fifty-five percent of undergraduates receive some form of institutional or departmental financial aid, and 20% of learners pay no tuition. Harvard is an Ivy League school, which means that tuition is more expensive, whether you live in or out of state. The tuition at Harvard is about $54,002 per year on average, and it will take you the typical four years to finish your undergraduate degree.

  3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Carolina's bachelor's in psychology program offers two concentration options. Each concentration includes general education, psychology, and statistical analysis courses that prepare students for graduate study.

    Nearly 90% of UNC's psychology undergraduates either find a job or enter graduate school within one year of earning a degree. Students can plan for life after graduation by consulting University Career Services' (UCS) Handshake software, internship opportunities, and the Career Readiness Workbook. UCS also offers virtual advising sessions.

    Application materials for prospective freshmen include the Common Application, two essays, one recommendation letter, and standardized test scores. Carolina residents save a significant amount on tuition compared to out-of-state learners. Psychology students may qualify for one of seven institutional scholarships and additional institutional financial aid. At this public university, it will take you around four years to finish your bachelor’s degree. As a resident of North Carolina, you’ll only have to pay about $8,980 in tuition per year. If you’re a non-resident, however, you’ll find yourself with a tuition bill of $36,159 per year on average.

  4. Berea College

    Berea, KY

    Berea's bachelor's program in psychology awards a BA and requires coursework in statistical research methods, principles of learning, and ethology. Students personalize the program by selecting four electives. Additional requirements include a senior research project in which learners design and implement an original experiment.

    Berea's Office of Internships and Career Development (OICD) offers numerous events and workshops throughout the year. Other OICD services include a four-year career plan that emphasizes identifying skills and matching them with potential careers. Students can also log in to Handshake to set up a virtual counseling appointment.

    Admission requirements include high school transcripts or GED scores, at least one recommendation letter, and ACT or SAT scores. All applicants also submit the FAFSA. Berea does not charge tuition to undergraduate students. Students who complete an internship or study abroad also do not pay out of pocket. At this private school, tuition is a bit more pricey at about $45,092 per year. It’ll take undergrad students about four years to finish their degree.

  5. University of Georgia

    Athens, GA

    UGA's psychology bachelor's program emphasizes the five goals that the American Psychological Association recommends for undergraduate programs. Learners can choose between UGA's general BS degree and a neuroscience emphasis. The latter requires additional biology and chemistry courses. Courses in both tracks include quantitative reasoning, research analysis, and learning.

    More than 95% of graduates find a job or enter another academic program within six months of earning a degree. UGA achieves this impressive statistic by offering resume templates, portfolio assistance, and a career guide through the Career Center (CC). On the CC website, students can also review blog posts that cover networking best practices and upcoming career fairs.

    Application materials include high school transcripts that meet UGA's high school prerequisites requirement, ACT or SAT scores, and two recommendation letters. Georgia residents save approximately 75% on tuition compared to out-of-state students. UGA boasts five institutional scholarships for first-year students. At UGA, in-state tuition comes in at about $12,080 per year, while out-of-state tuition is nearly triple at about $31,120 per year. As per usual, it will take about four year for you to finish your bachelor’s degree here.

  6. University of Washington

    Bothell, WA

    Students who enroll in UW's bachelor's in psychology program can earn a BA or a BS. In addition to major coursework, learners complete an optional teaching experience, fieldwork, or research course. Additionally, psychology students can enhance the educational experience by participating in a departmental study abroad experience in Indonesia.

    UW's Career and Internship Center offers multiple services, including virtual advising, blog posts that highlight career trends, and links to experiences perfect for students considering a gap year after graduation. Other 24/7 resources include virtual workshops and informational videos.

    Even after students enroll at UW, they still must meet the psychology program's admission requirements, including an overall minimum 3.2 undergraduate GPA and prerequisite coursework in introductory mathematics and psychology. In-state learners save a significant amount on tuition at UW. The university awards merit-based scholarships to both freshman and transfer learners. At this public university, it takes students about four years to finish their undergrad degrees. As a Washington resident, you’ll have to pay about $11,649 in tuition fees per year as opposed to the $39,018 per year that non-residents are charged.

  7. Hunter College

    New York, NY

    An excellent choice for New York City residents, Hunter's bachelor's program in psychology offers seven concentrations, including in animal behavior and clinical psychology. No matter the concentration, students receive in-depth instruction in statistical methods, laboratory science, and experimental psychology. Additionally, electives allow degree-seekers to earn an honors diploma or complete an internship.

    Hunter's career services professionals work one on one with students to create an effective resume, improve interviewing skills, and explore career paths. Learners can also keep track of upcoming career fairs, workshops, and panels on Hunter's website.

    Undergraduate admission requirements include high school transcripts or GED scores and ACT or SAT scores. Hunter considers transfer credit on a case-by-case basis and accepts up to 90 credits. New York residents save a significant amount on tuition. Incoming students may qualify for a federal grant, state grant, or institutional scholarship. Hunter is an affordable school for both in-state and out-of-state residents. In-state tuition stands at just about $7,382 per year on average, whereas out-of-state students only have to pay about $15,332 in tuition per year. It’ll take four years for you to complete your bachelor’s degree at this school.

  8. Florida State University

    Tallahassee, FL

    FSU's psychology bachelor's program features coursework in research methods, an introduction to the brain and behavior, and human memory and learning. The flexible curriculum allows learners to complete a second major or minor. Additionally, the program offers an optional honors curriculum for qualified students and a study abroad opportunity in London, England.

    High-achieving psychology students can join Psi Chi, an honors society in which members network with peers and potential employers. The FSU Career Center also helps degree-seekers by offering virtual advising sessions, resume critiques, and brief videos that convey essential job hunting skills.

    FSU accepts the Common Application and GED scores. All applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants should have a minimum 2.0 undergraduate GPA. In-state students save significantly on tuition compared to out-of-state learners. However, some out-of-state students may qualify for a scholarship that reduces tuition to the in-state rate. FSU is quite affordable, with state residents paying, on average, about $5,656 in tuition per year and out-of-state residents paying about $18,786 per year. It will take about the usual four years to finish your undergrad program here.

  9. University of South Florida

    Tampa, FL

    A superb option for Florida residents, USF's bachelor's in psychology includes a 34-credit major curriculum featuring coursework in introduction to psychology, psychological statistics, and research methods. After completing these introductory courses, students select electives in cognitive, social, and applied psychology. In their senior year, learners complete either a directed-study program or an internship.

    On the USF Career Center website, students can sign up for a 15- to 60-minute coaching session, view presentations on job search strategies, and complete career modules that impart valuable skills. Degree-seekers can also research and apply for internship opportunities through Handshake.

    USF accepts GED scores, and all prospective freshmen submit ACT or SAT scores. The university uses different GPA cutoffs for transfer credit depending on the applicant's educational background. Out-of-state students pay more than double the in-state tuition rate. The Department of Psychology awards two departmental scholarships to qualifying applicants. At USF, it will take you about four years to finish your undergraduate degree. Tuition rates are low at this public university. In-state tuition currently sits at about $6,410 per year and out-of-state tuition at about $17,324 per year.

  10. Indiana University Bloomington

    Bloomington, IN

    IU's bachelor's program in psychology includes both a BA and a BS track. Both degrees offer concentrations, perfect for prospective students who want a customizable educational experience. The BS program emphasizes upper-division psychology coursework and requires additional laboratory experiences. Additionally, the program's selective honors program allows students to complete original research and write a thesis.

    Students can log in to One.IU to make an appointment with an academic advisor. Career coaches at IU's Career Development Center can direct learners to internship opportunities and networking events. The center also provides students with resume and cover letter workshops.

    Prospective freshmen must hold a high school diploma and submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer credit should reflect a minimum 2.3 GPA. In-state students pay a much lower tuition rate than out-of-state learners. IU's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences awards four departmental scholarships to deserving undergraduates. At this public university, Indiana residents will pay about $11,221 in tuition costs per year while non-Indiana residents will shell out about $37,600 per year. It will take you four years to finish your psychology undergraduate degree at this university.

Methodology: Here's How We Rank Schools

At Best Value Schools, we help students of all ages get the best possible value for their education. When choosing the best schools and programs, we prioritize tuition rates, student debt, financial aid opportunities, graduation rates, and the availability of online programs. We source unbiased data from government and educational databases like the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 6,374 schools across the U.S. We organize that data into five weighted categories to compile our school rankings.
Metric Data Used Percentage
Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 25%
Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 35%
Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 15%
Program Offerings Number of program options 10%
Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 15%
You can read more about our comprehensive evaluation process on our methodology page.

What are the three branches of psychology?

There are three branches of psychology you can study as a psychology major: B.F. Skinner and the basic science of psychology, Sigmund Freud and human psychology, and Carl Rogers and professional psychology.

What is a concentration in psychology?

If you pursue a degree other than psychology but still want to incorporate it into your studies, many majors will allow you to pick an area of focus that pertains to your major. For example, if you’re studying social work and want to incorporate more psychology into your studies, you can choose to major in social work with a concentration in child psychology.

Is it better to get a BS or BA in psychology?

This entirely depends on what your long-term plans are for your degree. A BA in psychology is best if you want to pursue a career in the psychology field once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree. A BS, on the other hand, is a good fit if you are considering going to grad or medical school.

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Degree Requirements

To graduate from an undergraduate psychology program, you will need to complete a certain amount of credit hours — including core classes and degree-specific courses — as part of your degree plan. This requirement is typically around 120 credit hours. You’ll need to pass your basic psychology courses before you’re able to start the meatier, higher-level classes you’ll need to graduate. You may also be required to complete an internship or senior capstone, accompanied by an essay or portfolio on the experience. 

Courses in Psychology Degree

Intro to Psychology
You’ll be introduced to many theories and the history of psychology in this course. You’ll dive into topics such as social behaviors, motivation, and biopsychology. Classes like this will focus on studying the principles of psychology rather than application.
Research Methods
In Research Methods you will learn the basic psychology research methods used to conduct research in this field. This course will prepare you and lay out the groundwork for future research projects you’ll take on as an upperclassman, or when you choose to pursue your master’s and or doctorate in this field.
Abnormal Psychology
In an abnormal psychology course, you’ll learn about the abnormalities in psychology, including behavior, what causes these types of behaviors, and how to assess and treat these types of issues when they arise. A course like this is especially useful if you’re considering forensic psychology or clinical psychology as a career.
Human Sexuality
When studying human sexuality, you’ll explore the facets of human sexual behavior, including past studies and the implications of the subject matter at hand.You’ll be exploring sexual deviance, patterns and behaviors in particular, as well as how to treat and assess these types of sexual issues.

Job Outlook & Salary 

If you’re wondering what the job outlook is for psychology majors, we have good news for you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the projected growth rate for jobs in psychology is expected to grow 3% from 2019 to 2029, which is an average projection for most careers. As a psychologist, you can expect to earn an average of $80,370, as of May 2019. 

While BLS does indicate that the field of psychology offers a lot of opportunities, most well-positioned people in the industry have earned their doctoral degrees. That said, there are still many options for jobs for those who only wish to pursue their undergraduate or master’s degrees in this field. 

Finding the funds to continue your education beyond high school is a challenge many face. For some, it determines if and where they can attend college.

If you’re looking for ways to fund your higher education, there are several scholarship opportunities you can explore if you find yourself needing an extra financial boost below. You can also learn more at the American Psychological Association (APA)website.

  • Convention Travel Awards
    • This award will go toward students in order to increase student representation at APA conventions
    • Amount: $4,000
    • Deadline: May 1, 2021
  • David L. Boren Scholarship Program
    • This scholarship goes toward undergraduate students who wish to study abroad in areas that are considered important to the interests of the U.S. To be eligible, you’ll have to be a U.S. citizen and have at least a high school degree or GED.
    • Amount: Up to $20,000
    • Deadline: February 2, 2022
  • Div. 20 Undergraduate, Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Awards
    • This award goes toward undergraduate and graduate students who have submitted an APA proposal. To apply, you must include a copy of your APA proposal, a cover sheet, a biographical sketch, and a summary statement by a faculty sponsor.
    • Amount: $500
    • Deadline: April 15, 2021

Related Degrees

In the field of neuroscience, you’ll need to combine chemistry and psychology to study the brain and nervous system. Should you pursue this degree, you may be able to snag a lucrative position in the fields of pharmaceuticals, medicine, or research.

Sociology is the study of the complexities that tie people groups together, and psychology plays a major role in this major. With this type of degree, you can expect to find jobs in urban planning, law enforcement, or a number of other fields.

A social work degree will teach you how to best support the children, adolescents, and adults in your care. In this field, a working knowledge of psychology will come in handy, especially if you study a particular specialization like child or abnormal psychology. A social work degree can help you find work in healthcare, education, or as a social worker.

Additional Resources

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