Psychology is a multifaceted scientific discipline focused on exploring the mental, physical, and emotional factors affecting behavior. Majoring in psychology is a popular route for altruistic students who enjoy helping others and solving real-life problems with empirical research. Psychology is presently the fourth most conferred bachelor’s degree in America awarded to around 114,000 students yearly. Undergraduate psychology programs can lead to grad school admission for specialties like clinical, counseling, and social/personality psychology. However, only one-fourth of psychology majors actually pursue mental health licensure for a mean yearly wage of $76,040. Graduates can excel in other in-demand “people” professions, including advertising, healthcare, occupational therapy, human resources, and couples counseling.
Therefore, we’ve devoted the following article to recognizing the Top 15 Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology. We narrowed down the top traditional, face-to-face undergraduate psychology majors conferred at United States colleges. First, we consulted the U.S. News and World Report’s ranking for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” We filtered through this list to find regionally accredited baccalaureate degrees in psychology with high retention and low student-faculty ratio. Tuition prices were collected from the NCES College Navigator database, and preference was given to schools with extensive financial aid. Each psychology program had to be hands-on with multiple experiential opportunities. We also considered faculty credentials, lab specializations, university prestige, off-campus learning, and graduation rate.
Here are our selections for the Top 15 Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology:
1. Princeton University
Chartered in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, Princeton University has flourished as a premier, private Ivy League research institution with around 5,300 undergraduates on its 500-acre suburban campus just 12 miles from Trenton. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Princeton is the nation’s top university and second best value with the #1 undergraduate teaching. Affiliated with 41 Nobel laureates, Princeton offers an A.B. in Psychology starting in the sophomore year. Students can select certificates in Cognitive Science, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Linguistics, and Neuroscience. The eight-semester program includes an experimental senior thesis with faculty who’ve won the NIH Pioneer Research Award.
Undergraduate Tuition: $43,450
2. Miami University – Oxford
Endowed for $460 million, Miami University-Oxford is a public, co-educational research institution educating around 16,300 undergraduate RedHawks from a vast 2,000-acre rural campus in Ohio’s Butler County. The U.S. News recognized Miami as the 30th best public school and 47th best for vets college with the #2 top undergraduate teaching. With a 90 percent retention rate, the College of Arts & Science presents a large 36-credit Psychology Major (B.S.). Students can declare an “Area of Focus” in Biopsychology, Cognitive, Developmental, Social, Psychopathology, and more. Majors could also join the Emotion Research Group or Psi Chi Honor Society.
Undergraduate Tuition: $14,287 (in-state) or $30,987 (out-of-state)
3. Yale University
Belonging to the Ivy League, Yale University is the United States’ third oldest private, nonprofit research institution carrying a $25.5 billion endowment to educate 5,450 undergraduates on a 1,015-acre urban campus in New Haven, Connecticut. The U.S. News deemed Yale the third best national university and value with the #3 top undergraduate teaching. Located in Kirtland Hall, the Department of Psychology confers a four-year Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. Majors could benefit from declaring the Neuroscience Track, conduct research in the Canine Cognition Center, co-major in Computer Science, volunteer with Yale AIESEC, study abroad in Argentina, and more.
Undergraduate Tuition: $47,600
4. Brown University
Standing atop College Hill with a 143-acre urban campus in Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University is an elite private, Ivy League RU/VH research institution endowed for $3.3 billion to serve over 6,300 undergrad Bears. According to the U.S. News, Brown is America’s 14th best university and 22nd most innovative school with the #4 best undergraduate teaching. The Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences was formed in 2010 to offer an A.B. or Sc.B. degree in psychology. Noted for a 7:1 student-faculty ratio, the lab-based program delves into neural modeling, genetics, animal learning, social cognition, and more. Students could also contribute to the Ersatz Brain Project.
Undergraduate Tuition: $49,346
5. Rice University
Named for the President of Houston Brick Works Company in 1912, Rice University is a private, nonprofit RU/VH research institution located on a 295-acre urban campus next to Texas Medical Center to educate over 3,800 undergraduates. The U.S. News recognized Rice as the 15th best national university and 14th top value with the #5 best baccalaureate teaching. With a “most selective” acceptance rate of 16 percent, the School of Social Sciences provides a 120-credit Psychology B.A. degree. The Gateway Program connects majors to internships with agencies like Covenant House Texas, Summer Fellows stipends of $4,000, and experiments with the Social Sciences Applied Innovation Lab.
Undergraduate Tuition: $42,253
6. Wake Forest University
Positioned on a 340-acre suburban campus in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with a LEED-certified Biotech Place, Wake Forest University is a private, nonsectarian ORAU member enrolling around 4,800 undergrad Demon Deacons. The U.S. News crowned Wake Forest the 27th best university and 28th top value with a tie for America’s #5 best undergraduate teaching. Based in Greene Hall, the Department of Psychology grants a 17-course major for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. Students may participate in the NIH-funded Triple-P Study, join the Growth Initiative Project, declare Honors, and study abroad in Jamaica. Approximately 51 percent of alumni continue to graduate school.
Undergraduate Tuition: $47,682
7. Dartmouth College
Established in 1769 by Congregational minister Eleazar Wheelock, Dartmouth College is a private, nonsectarian Ivy League research institution with 4,300 undergraduates studying on its massive 31,869-acre rural campus in Hanover, New Hampshire. Noted for the nation’s #7 best baccalaureate teaching, Dartmouth is deemed the 11th best university and fifth most veteran-friendly college by the U.S. News and World Report. The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences awards a B.S. in Psychology with an 86 percent four-year graduation rate. Students can conduct research in the Brain Imaging Center, become Lincoln Filence Fellows, declare a Neuroscience Minor, and study off-campus at Vassar College.
Undergraduate Tuition: $49,506
8. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Devoted to “Arts, Knowledge, Truth,” the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is a public, sea-grant and space-grant RU/VH research hub founded in 1817 that’s serving over 28,900 bachelor’s students on its 3,177-acre urban campus 35 miles west of Detroit. The U.S. News distinguished UMich as America’s 27th best university and fourth top public school with the #7 best undergraduate teaching. The Psychology Department provides a B.S. in Psychology or B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCN). Both include hands-on research in East Hall, including the Michigan Psychoneuroendrocrinology Affective Lab. Students with a minimum 3.4 GPA also qualify for the Honors Program.
Undergraduate Tuition: $13,856 (in-state) or $43,476 (out-of-state)
9. University of Notre Dame
Affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross, the University of Notre Dame is a private, Catholic research institution enlightening over 8,400 undergrads from a 1,250-acre suburban campus in South Bend, Indiana, off Interstate 90. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Notre Dame is the 15th best national university and 25th top value with a tie for the #7 best baccalaureate teaching. Within the College of Arts and Letters, the Fighting Irish can complete a 120-credit Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Students could join Psi Chi, earn CUSE Grants for research, pursue practicum at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and volunteer with Hope Ministries.
Undergraduate Tuition: $47,929
10. Stanford University
Enrolling approximately 6,900 undergrad Cardinals with a 4:1 student-faculty ratio, Stanford University is a private, nonprofit RU/VH research institution endowed for $22 billion on a 8,180-acre suburban campus near Palo Alto, California. For 2017, Stanford is declared America’s fifth best university and second most innovative school with the 10th best undergraduate teaching by the U.S. News and World Report. Within Jordan Hall, the Department of Psychology awards a B.A. and co-terminal M.A. for undergraduates interested in human behavior. Valuable opportunities include working at the Bing Nursery School, researching at the Vision & Perception Neuroscience Lab, joining the Black Psychology Students Association, and taking three-week Overseas Seminars.
Undergraduate Tuition: $46,320
11. Vanderbilt University
As a private, nonprofit research institution in the prestigious AAU, Vanderbilt University attracts over 6,800 undergraduates from 90+ foreign countries on its 330-acre urban campus on the West End of Nashville, Tennessee. According to the U.S. News, Vanderbilt is America’s 15th best university and sixth best for vets school with the 10th top undergraduate teaching. With an impressive 97 percent retention rate, the College of Arts and Science presents a 36-credit Bachelor of Arts major in Psychology. Beginning in the freshman year, students are welcomed into state-of-the-art facilities, including the Stress and Coping Research Lab. There’s also a Combined 4+1 B.A./M.A. in Psychology available.
Undergraduate Tuition: $44,712
12. William & Mary
Known for educating four Declaration of Independence signers, William & Mary is a historic public, co-educational research institution tracing back to 1693 that’s enrolling 6,300 undergraduates on its 1,200 suburban campus in Williamsburg, Virginia. The USNWR named W&M the 32nd best university and sixth top public school with the #12 best undergraduate teaching. Students in the School of Arts & Sciences can declare a B.A. or B.S. in Psychology. The 12:1 student-faculty ratio fosters partnerships in cutting-edge research, such as the EEG Lab. Majors often participate in the VMEC Summer Scholar Internship too.
Undergraduate Tuition: $19,372 (in-state) or $41,072 (out-of-state)
13. Purdue University – West Lafayette
Holding land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant status, Purdue University-West Lafayette is classified as a public, RU/VH research institution with more than 29,400 bachelor’s students engaged on its sprawling 2,602-acre urban campus in Indiana’s Wabash Township. The U.S. News and World Report distinguished Purdue as the 60th best university and ninth most innovative school with the #13 top undergraduate teaching. The College of Health and Human Sciences houses a 120-credit B.S. in Psychological Sciences. Students could benefit from living in the Psychology Learning Community, volunteering with the Lafayette Crisis Center, studying abroad in Singapore, joining Psi Chi, and taking the PSY 39000 research course.
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,002 (in-state) or $28,804 (out-of-state)
14. Duke University
With research expenditures surpassing $1.03 billion, Duke University is a private, nonsectarian RU/VH institution founded by Methodists in 1838 that’s enrolling over 6,400 undergraduates from a 8,470-acre suburban campus in Durham, North Carolina. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Duke is the eighth best university and third most veteran-friendly school with the #14 best baccalaureate teaching. Featuring a 12 percent acceptance rate, the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences offers an A.B or B.S. in Psychology. This 11-course major digs depth in social, developmental, abnormal, biological, and cognitive psychology. Students also master research skills and SPSS hands-on in facilities like the New Identity and Diversity Lab.
Undergraduate Tuition: $49,241
15. University of Wisconsin – Madison
Deemed a “Public Ivy,” the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a state, land-grant and sea-grant research institution within the APLU that’s carrying a $2.4 billion endowment to educate 29,300 undergraduates from a 936-acre urban campus in the “City of Four Lakes.” The U.S. News ranked UW-Madison as America’s 44th best college and 10th top public school with the #14 best undergraduate teaching. The College of Letters & Science’s largest major leads to a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Students are mentored through NSF-funded experiments in the Psychological Research Experience Program (PREP). Plentiful awards are available, including the $2,500 F. Chandler Young Travel Scholarship.
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,415 (in-state) or $29,665 (out-of-state)