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If you have a fascination with how the human mind works and want to understand more about it, a psychology degree is an avenue to pursue your interest and provide you with a great career. When asking “is a degree in psychology worth it?”, the answer is yes, absolutely. A psychology degree is worth getting due to the fact it’s a field that goes beyond the stereotypical image of taking notes while a patient lies on a couch and talks about their life. Many industries hire people with psychology degrees to help them understand their clientele, patients, employees and more. It’s also an excellent undergraduate degree if you decide that you want to get your masters in a field that benefits greatly from understanding how the human mind works.

An accredited program means the school is offering an educational program that meets or exceeds standards that are set by an accrediting body. The knowledge and skills you learn are accepted by licensing boards, the public and employers. Accredited psychology programs ensure that you get an education that helps you with your career and that your time and money are well spent. A psychology accreditation means students can attend a school secure in the knowledge that their education is valid, accepted and foundational.

Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Psychology Bachelor’s Programs

Bachelor’s Degree Center is designed around the needs of real students – new high school graduates, working adults, and everyone else. To rank the best bachelor’s in psychology programs, BDC editors focus on accredited, trustworthy programs, ranked according to practice concerns: cost, potential salary, and student reviews.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers the best psychology bachelor’s programs in the northeast. Psychology programs start in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Students can explore a variety of paths when it comes to studying both the brain and its behaviors. A Bachelors’ degree in psychology provides students with the skills they need to go into research or to work with patients and offer counseling services. Psychology degree programs provide the necessary skills for each student to be proficient in their duties.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has long been one of the most revered schools of learning in terms of undergraduate studies.  The school offers multiple resources to students. Even faculty members are an asset due to their years of experience and knowledge of how the brain works. Both give students the advantage they need to succeed in working toward their goals.

What We Like: As one of the leaders in terms of technologically advanced education and learning tools, MIT is ranked as one of the top schools in the country.

Degree: Bachelor’s in Psychology

2. Stanford University

Students who are interested in enrolling in one of the best psychology Bachelor’s programs can find them at Stanford University. The university’s psychology programs provide in-depth lessons in brain function, learning methods, memory, and cognitive neuroscience. Understanding these concepts and others that are taught in these degree programs will lay the foundation a student will need if they want to become a counselor or psychologist. With a BA in Psychology, graduates can move forward and forge a career they can be proud of.

Stanford University is one of the most prestigious and well-respected universities on the west coast. Degree programs offered by the university include access to advanced curriculums and resources that students can rely on to provide them with the information and skills they will need no matter what field they go into. Award-winning faculty members are available when the students need them the most.

What We Like: With an advanced BA in Psychology, students can have the career they have always wanted.

Degree: BA in Psychology

3. Princeton University

Princeton University offers one of the best psychology Bachelor’s programs available in the United States. Students are given valuable insight into various types of human behavior. By studying these mental processes and patterns, students can use that knowledge to pursue a career in a wide variety of fields including clinical psychology, education, economics, law, and medicine. With a BA in Psychology, students can leave school and immediately set to work establishing themselves as professionals in their fields

Princeton University has a long-standing reputation that is second to none when it comes to advanced technology and academic excellence. Faculty members are above reproach and can draw from many years of experience when providing guidance and support to the students in their charge.

What We Like: The university offers students all of the skills and abilities they need to work in a wide variety of fields including research, hospitals, or any other type of environment in which behavioral sciences are used.

Degree: BA in Psychology

4. Duke University

Duke University gives students a chance to earn one of the best psychology Bachelor’s programs in the country. Students who enroll in Duke’s psychology degree programs are taught a wide range of skills that can be used for counseling, research, or educational tasks. Lessons include learning how to understand behavioral theories, perspective, mental processes, and many other theories and concepts that are beneficial to learning about what goes on inside the human mind. Earning a BS in Psychology is the first step in creating a career path you will be proud to follow for years to come.

Duke University is one of the most prestigious and well-known universities in the eastern United States. Academic excellence is a top priority and degree programs are developed so that they are guaranteed to surpass industry standards on every level. In addition to the top-notch curriculum that is offered by the university, students can also rely on faculty members to go above and beyond when it comes to providing guidance.

What We Like: The university staff understands the role they play in their students’ future and continually assist them in moving forward in their careers.

Degree: BS in Psychology

5. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania offers students the best Psychology Bachelor’s degrees in the state. Students are taught how the brain functions, how information is processed, and many other mental and emotional concepts. Perspective, behavioral patterns, and cognitive-behavioral patterns are also concepts that are taught in the university’s award-winning curriculum. Students who are interested in acquiring a BS in Psychology through one of the most advanced degree programs can rely on the University of Pennsylvania to offer them what they need.

The University of Pennsylvania is one of the most well-known schools of higher learning in the state. The curriculum developed for the university is second to none when it comes to advancements in technology and state of the art concepts. The university offers the most up to date information and hires faculty members who are proven professionals in their chosen field.

What We Like: Students are provided all of the things they need to pursue a career that fits their individual goals.

Degree: BS in Psychology

6. Columbia University

Columbia University provides students the option of enrolling in the best psychology Bachelor’s programs available. Students can choose to learn about behavioral sciences, applied and data sciences, brain functioning, brain mapping, and the study of various types of mental and emotional illness. They are taught how to identify patterns and understand different types of reactions. Pursuing a psychology major, students can advance their career to new heights, especially if they are leaning towards working in the field of research.

Columbia University has a rich history of both academic excellence and award-winning faculty members. Academic programs are developed using the most advanced tools and resources possible to provide students with every advantage. Students can turn to the faculty for both guidance and encouragement when they face obstacles and challenges.

What We Like: The university continually dedicates itself to each of its students so they are able to find the type of job they will take pride in.

Degree: Psychology Bachelor’s

7. University of California, Berkeley

Students who want to enroll in the best psychology Bachelor’s programs should contact the University of California, Berkeley. Lesson plans include subjects like cognitive neuroscience, clinical science, cognitive behavior, developmental sciences, and social-personality psychology. The knowledge that the students receive through these advanced lesson plans will allow them to pursue a career in research, mental health, or one of many other careers that utilize both cognitive and behavioral patterns and functions. A BA in psychology is the best place to start when planning a career.

The University of California – Berkeley is considered one of the most advanced schools on the west coast. The psychology curriculum is considered one of the best in the industry and is capable of offering students who enroll in the program every possible advantage. Students are able to rise up and meet every challenge they face.

What We Like: Faculty members continue the teaching process by providing sound advice and the guidance students need to continue working toward their career goals.

Degree: BA in Psychology

8. University of Virginia

The University of Virginia provides students with the best psychology Bachelor’s programs in the area. Psychology degree programs give students what they need to understand complicated subjects like cognitive development, behavioral science, brain function, and other social and psychological sciences. Students who pursue a BA in Psychology gain the resources they need to face the challenges and obstacles that they sometimes find blocking their path. With the right tools, obstacles and challenges are easily taken care of.

The University of Virginia has been at the forefront when it comes to developing psychology curriculums that offer in-depth information and technologically advanced resources. Students who expect to be successful need the best possible academic programs.

What We Like: The university strives to continually improve its curriculum and hire faculty members who are willing to go the extra mile when it comes to offering advice and guidance to the students who look to them for answers.

Degree: BA in Psychology

9. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University offers students in the area the best psychology Bachelor’s programs so that they have everything they need to move ahead in their careers. Students can choose from behavioral science, cognitive science, neuro-mapping, as well as psychological studies that can be used in almost every industry. The university also offers double majors for students who want to combine two of the more advanced courses of study. Earning a BA or BS in Psychology will provide numerous opportunities for career growth once the student graduates and enters the workforce.

Carnegie Mellon University has provided excellence in education for over 100 years. Students who enroll in the psychology degree programs at the university are able to draw on that rich history as they continue their education. Both faculty members and students work together to create a learning environment that is productive and welcoming.

What We Like: As graduates begin to work toward establishing their careers, the faculty members stand ready to offer their support in whatever ways may be necessary.

Degree: BA or BS in Psychology

10. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois offers one of the best psychology Bachelor’s programs in the Midwest. Students are taught the concepts of both human and animal behavior as well as how the brain functions and responds to various types of stimuli. Resources are provided that allow students to explore many facets of psychological and cognitive behaviors. By choosing to enroll in a BS in psychology students are able to establish specific goals that they can reach for while pursuing their career.

The University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign has one of the strongest followings in terms of academic and educational programs. Known for its diversity as well as its track record for providing academic excellence on every level, the university continues to produce graduates who are ready to enter the workforce and take on the most advanced positions possible.

What We Like: The university ranks high in every aspect when it comes to quality curriculum and professional faculty members.

Degree: BS in Psychology

11. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor offers students a chance to earn one of the best psychology bachelor’s programs in the state of Michigan. Degree programs offer courses in all of the behavioral sciences as well as psychology, sociology, and cognitive behavior. The programs are developed to ensure each student gains the necessary skills to be able to work in research facilities or with individuals who may be experiencing difficulties in managing their behavior or responses.

The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is one of the most well-respected research universities in the country. Students can participate in research projects or work in the medical hospital where future doctors are being allowed to hon their skills. Faculty members and medical professionals are always on hand to assist students in gaining as much knowledge as possible from every course they take.

What We Like: By studying in an environment that is designed to encourage learning, every student can take advantage of the environment so they gain the most out of every class they take.

Degree: BA in Psychology

12. University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin provides many of the best psychology bachelor’s programs in the state. Students are able to study concepts and theories that relate to cognitive behavior, perspective, mental processes and brain functions. Students can explore how the human brain works and what triggers specific reactions. By pursuing a BA or BS in psychology, students can embark on a career that will allow them to pursue their personal and professional goals.

The University of Texas at Austin has gained a reputation for providing its students with the best possible curriculum. It has been ranked in the top 20 schools when it comes to excellence in academics by U.S. News and World Report. Faculty members are also well-received, many having earned a reputation for being leaders in their field.

What We Like: Students who attend the university are able to rely on the staff and faculty at the university for sound advice as they work their way towards graduation.

Degree: BA or BS in Psychology

13. University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin – Madison offers one of the best psychological bachelor’s programs in the northern Midwest. Coursework involves instructing students on concepts and theories that revolve and cognitive behavior, brain function, and how neuropathways work. They learn to understand how the environment, lifestyle, and other factors affect the brain and emotional state of an individual. Students who enroll in a BA in Psychology degree programs can look forward to a long career in which they can pursue research goals or strive to help others understand themselves better.

The University of Wisconsin – Madison is considered a top tier school for many reasons. Not only does it offer the highest quality curriculum, it has the distinction of producing several Nobel Prize winning graduates. Every student who attends the university can look forward to receiving an education that will allow them to set the course for their careers and succeed.

What We Like: Between graduates and faculty, 19 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to individuals who have either graduated from or work for the school.

Degree: BA in Psychology

14. Vanderbilt University

By offering one of the best psychology bachelor’s programs in the south, Vanderbilt University is able to provide students who choose those programs an opportunity to make a name for themselves in their chosen field. Psychology degree programs teach students the intricate workings of the brain and its many functions. They are allowed to study behaviors and patterns so they begin to understand conditions that involve addiction, depression, anxiety, and other conditions. Earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology is the first step in building a career that the graduate can be proud of.

Vanderbilt University has been providing quality educational programs for almost 150 years. The university has made a name for itself by offering students degree programs that provide the tools they will need when entering the workforce.

What We Like: Whether it be as a researcher, educator, or mental health professional, graduates will be able to perform their duties with confidence knowing Vanderbilt helped them build a solid foundation to build their career on.

Degree: Psychology Bachelor’s

15. Rice University

The best psychology Bachelor’s programs can be found at Rice University. As one of the most prominent research universities in the country, Rice can offer students who want to pursue a career in psychology the opportunity to learn by doing. They are able to participate in studies and become involved in research projects that allow them to learn about how the brain functions. Students that choose Bachelor’s degree programs with a Psychology major can look forward to a long and very interesting career.

Rice University has been ranked in the top 20 universities by US News for its commitment to excellence in education. The Wall Street Journal also ranks it in the top 10 for universities that provide resources to its students. With that in mind, students know that by enrolling at Rice University, they will leave the school fully prepared to start their careers.

What We Like: Rice has a long-standing reputation for assisting its students to reach their academic and professional goals.

Degree: Psychology Bachelor’s

16. Johns Hopkins University

Providing the best psychology Bachelor’s programs is a top priority for John Hopkins University. Enrolling in the psychology degree programs at the university gives students a chance to perform research, explore different specializations, and become familiar with the theories and concepts that surround how the brain functions. Students who sign up for and successfully complete a Bachelor’s degree in psychology will have the opportunity to embark on a career that will open many doors for them in the future.

Johns Hopkins University is well-known the world over for its exemplary academic programs. The resources that the university provides can help a student achieve their goals and set a career path that will open doors to many new and exciting opportunities once they graduate and start looking for work.

What We Like: The faculty members at the university are award-winning scholars in their own right and are professionals in their chosen fields.

Degree: Psychology Bachelor’s

17. Cornell University

Cornell University offers the best psychology bachelor’s programs in the northeastern United States. Enrolling in a psychology program at the university means the student will be able to learn about how the brain functions and the mental processes and patterns that guide us through our lives. They will be able to use the latest technological advancements to see inside behaviors and cognitive processes. A BA in Psychology is the first ingredient in any student’s recipe for success. By adding commitment and dedication, the student is sure to succeed at reaching their goals.

Cornell University has been one of the most prominent institutions of higher learning in the country for many years. From its award-winning faculty to its exceptional degree programs, Cornell has been proven to be a leader among universities and colleges that are dedicated to assisting students in reaching all of their career goals.

What We Like: Graduates can rely on the university and its staff to provide the resources they will need as they face obstacles in their careers.

Degree: BA in Psychology

18. Washington University in St. Louis

The best psychology bachelor’s programs in the state of Missouri can be found at Washington University in St. Louis. Courses provide insight and knowledge into brain function, behavioral patterns, understanding mental processes, as well as cognitive behavior. Learning and then applying these lessons to real-life situations allows students to gain a better understanding of how mental illness and other conditions affect the mind. The university offers BS degree programs in Psychology with 4 separate concentrations so students can choose the one that interests them the most.

Washington University in St. Louis takes great pride in offering degree programs that are at the top of the list when it comes to academic excellence. Faculty members are chosen based on their experience as well as their commitment to their craft.

What We Like: Instructors and advisors alike are constantly trying to improve each student’s learning experience so they have every advantage when it comes to creating a successful career.

Degree: BS – 4 Concentrations

19. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities provides the best psychology bachelor’s programs in the area. Students are given the opportunity to explore the mind and all of its processes, They are provided with much-needed resources they can use to build a career in either research or as a healthcare professional. Whether they choose a BA or BS in Psychology, the lessons they learn at the university will provide them with the talents and skills they need to move forward with their career and pursue new opportunities.

The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities is well-known throughout the state for providing excellent academic programs in every degree field. Academic excellence is a top priority and every step is taken to ensure that students receive the highest quality education in terms of curriculum as well as the faculty’s teaching methods.

What We Like: Every student who attends the university can rest assured, they will receive every possible resource while they are a student as well as after they graduate.

Degree: BA or BS in Psychology

20. University of California, San Diego

The best psychology bachelor’s programs on the west coast can be found at the University of California, San Diego. Students have access to courses that provide them with in-depth knowledge of how the mind and brain function as well as how cognitive-behavioral patterns are identified and studied. By exploring these unique learning opportunities, students can gain the advantage and use this information to create a long and very lucrative career. With a BA or BS in Psychology, students are able to look into unique employment opportunities that will help them kickstart their careers.

The University of California at San Diego offers award-winning degree programs that are taught by exceptionally gifted faculty members. Students are given multiple resources that they can rely on, in addition to their faculty members, that will assist them in finding the right career path.

What We Like: Every student has different goals. With the help of their advisors, they can create a career path that will provide them the opportunities for advancement they are looking for.

Degree: BA or BS in Psychology

21. Yale University

If you are looking for the best psychology bachelor’s programs in New England, Yale University has what you are looking for. Its psychology degree programs provide students with the information they need in terms of learning about mental processes, brain function, and cognitive thinking patterns. Each degree program provides massive amounts of information that students can utilize throughout their careers. By earning a BA or BS in Psychology, students can pave the way for a successful career in almost any industry where psychology plays a role.

Yale University is one of the oldest and most respected institutes of higher learning in the United States. The university has a long-standing tradition of providing the highest quality education to each student who enrolls in its degree programs.

What We Like: Faculty members have received numerous awards in their own careers and are using those experiences to provide new insight to their students when it comes to understanding difficult concepts.

Degree: BA or BS in Psychology

22. Harvard University

Harvard University provides students with the best psychology bachelor’s programs in the northeastern United States. The concepts and theories they teach concerning behavior and cognitive processes will give students the information they need to pursue their degree and make a difference in the lives of the people they choose to serve. With a BA in Psychology, graduates are able to go after new and exciting opportunities as they present themselves. Graduates can set the pace for their careers according to their terms.

Harvard University is one of the country’s oldest and most revered universities. The university’s track record for providing excellent academic opportunities is undeniable. Students who attend Harvard do so because they know that the education they receive will be among the top of all college offerings. Faculty members have been recognized for their commitment to excellence in education as well as for their commitment to their students.

What We Like: Graduates who leave Harvard have all of the skills they will need to further their careers.

Degree: BA in Psychology

23. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago gives students who are looking for the best psychology bachelor’s programs exactly what they need to succeed. The degree programs offered by the university provide in-depth lessons on behavior, brain function, psychological patterns and processes, as well as many other topics that are required. When a student completes a Psychology BA degree program, they will have met all of the requirements necessary to establish themselves as professionals in their chosen career field.

The University of Chicago has been known for many decades to provide quality educational programs to its students who will be working in the medical or healthcare fields. With the excellent degree programs and professional faculty and staff, the university can guarantee that each student will be able to move forward with their career as soon as they complete their course of study.

What We Like: The University of Chicago is considered one of the most elite private research institutions outside of the Ivy League.

Degree: Psychology BA

24. University of California, Davis

The University of California at Davis can provide students with the best psychology Bachelor’s programs available on the west coast. Students have the opportunity to learn about all aspects of brain and cognitive function as well as the concepts and theories of psychology. Students are given opportunities to learn about the latest technological advancements in the field and get to work in a hands-on, friendly environment. Earning a BA in Psychology is one of the best ways for students to pursue their career and pave the way to success from the very beginning.

The University of California at Davis has established itself as one of the premier schools of higher learning in the state of California. Not only do students have access to top degree programs, they are taught by instructors who have earned high recommendations from their peers. Many have received awards for excellence in education and have years of experience they can draw upon as they teach.

What We Like: Students who choose the university are able to utilize valuable resources and gain the confidence they need to start work after graduation.

Degree: BA in Psychology

25. Ohio State University

The Ohio State University has the best psychology Bachelor’s degree programs in the state. Students are able to learn about all facets of the psychology field and can choose to pursue research-related coursework or delve into the more intricate and complex field of behavioral sciences and cognitive thinking. They may also choose to combine their fields of study and earn a dual major. With a BA or BS in Psychology, students can set their own path and create a career of their choosing. They will have everything they need to succeed when they join the workforce.

For many years, Ohio State University has been providing students with degree programs that are second to none in the state. Every degree program is designed to utilize the most advanced technology possible. Faculty members take pride in being able to work with each student and provide them with the advice and support they need to make it through college and take the first steps toward building their own careers.

What We Like: Students leave the university knowing they have all of the abilities they need to become a leader in their field.

Degree: BA or BS in Psychology

Should I Get My Psychology Degree Online or On Campus?

When looking for a college and you use the search term of “psychology degree near me”, you’re going to be inundated with a lot of hits from schools in your area. It’s a lot of information to go through in order to help you decide if you should go to school online or attend a physical campus. The decision to attend school online or in person depends on a few different factors. Do you have the self-discipline to make yourself attend classes from home? Or do you function better by attending a physical campus? You may prefer to go to a campus for socialization and the various functions offered by the school in order to meet people and network. There are advantages to attending classes in-person instead of online, but there are also solid reasons to attend school online, too.

Online education offers advantages to students that can’t be overcome by a physical campus. It’s easier for students to access the education they’re looking for online, they don’t have the costs associated with relocating to another state or living on campus, and they get to learn from the same instructors that the on-campus students are learning from. Attending school remotely also gives the student more time to focus on their studies due to the lack of commute. It can also help a student save money on their education because there’s less money being spent on necessities needed for life on campus.

Why Should I Look for an Accredited Program?

When looking at accredited psychology programs, make sure that the school has either APA accreditation or CACREP accredited. The U.S. Department of Education is the main body that recognizes accreditors and is a clearinghouse for any foundation that seeks to offer accreditation to schools. Psychology accreditors include the CACREP and the APA. The APA, or American Psychological Association, gives accreditation to schools for psychology degrees and focuses on making sure graduates provide quality care to their patients. The CACREP, or Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, has a focus that’s similar to the APA, but is primarily focused on counseling. However, both accreditations are widely accepted and are known for their high professional standards

What are Some Specializations in Psychology?

The field of psychology is one that offers many career pathways in terms of areas of psychological focus. The types of psychology degrees follow the traditional certification and degree levels of associates, bachelors, masters, doctorate and PhD. Psychology students can decide to specialize in a specific area of psychology during their education. A psychology student can focus on APA-recognized specializations in order to refine their career path as a psychologist. Some of the areas for psychology specialization include:

  • Counseling
  • Forensic
  • Clinical
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Clinical Health
  • School
  • Business
  • Police and Public Safety
  • Clinical Psychopharmacology

A psychology student can also decide to focus on one of three proficiencies that focus on a specific field of mental health. Proficiencies are focused on the study and treatment of patients and are available for study at certain levels of a student’s psychology education.

Proficiencies in Psychology

The APA recognizes three specific proficiencies for professional psychology; they include sports, addiction, and biofeedback and applied psychophysiology. The latter is the most recently recognized area of proficiency and focuses on training an individual to change their physiological activity in order to improve their performance and health. This proficiency ties in with the sports psychology proficiency which seeks to help athletes improve their mental performance and recognize when an athlete is dealing with psychological concerns that are common in the sports world. The addiction proficiency involves understanding the biopsychosocial nature of addictions and using that understanding to help treat addicts in all aspects of their addiction to substances.

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