Best Universities to Study Psychology in the USA

Piyush Bhartiya
Modified on 2017-12-29 in Medicine
Read time: 7 mins

Source: whicharegood


Psychology is one of the best courses that students can choose as a career. Thinking about researching the human minds for long sounds fascinating than figuring out what exactly is going on peoples’ head. Learning psychology in the reputed universities is the best venture to overcome the problems of the needy and suggest them the right track of what exactly they deserve in their life. Psychology as a subject has long been studied and appreciated by the universities abroad while the subject was not given much significance in India. While the universities in India are catching up to the demand of young psychologists and opening up the domain, students still look abroad to embellish their qualifications by a stint overseas.

If you have a keen interest in knowing the universal direction of psychology and give a proper start for a psychologist career then you would take a route to apply to a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Applying in the abroad universities would lead you the best learning of diverse course of psychology. If you are planning to look at psychology as a career beyond the academia, you must be interested in looking up the courses abroad. So here’s a quick look at what all kinds of degrees are offered abroad, and which the top universities are for the same.

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Psychology has a wide range of programs for studying as you may be able to complete current program requirements while participating in a summer internship. You can also apply for a program if you don’t want to sacrifice the graduate years. If language proficiency is more of your goal, then there are language immersion programs available as well. To learn more about psychology-related careers in those countries, there are programs that require you to visit multiple countries offering the extraordinary exposure to diverse cultures, policies and ways of thinking.

Why the United States?

Bachelor of Science in Psychology is probably the best option you choose than a Bachelor of Arts, especially since it will focus and let you learn psychology in all the direction. The United States is believed to be a leader in terms of the importance they generally place on research and the field of psychology that makes no exception.

Highest ranked American schools for Psychology studies

According to U.S. News, the highest-ranked American universities in the field of psychology are the following:

1. Harvard University

Harvard University comes in one of the world’s most prestigious universities who history, influence and wealth have made it provide the best learning for the students. The Graduate Program in Psychology currently has around 65 graduate students who are trained in four major research programs: Cognition, Brain, & Behavior; Developmental Psychology; Social Psychology; and Clinical Science.


2. Stanford University

The Department of Psychology at Stanford University is devoted to training scientists who will work to advance theory and to create knowledge that helps us address real-world problems. Accomplishing this mission requires a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds. Diversity enriches both our department and the science of psychology.  They strive to cultivate an inclusive community that values diverse questions, viewpoints, approaches, and participant samples to foster ingenuity, challenge biases, and promote intellectual growth.


3. Yale University

The primary goal of graduate education in psychology at Yale University is the training of researchers, for academic and applied settings, who will broaden and deepen the knowledge base on which the science of psychology rests. The graduate program in the Department of Psychology annually enrolls about 15 new Ph.D. students. When applying to the Department, each potential graduate student indicates one of five areas of concentration and usually has a “home” in a particular lab, but it is also possible to collaborate with faculty and students in other labs and participate in programs that cut across these traditional areas.


5. Columbia University

Students start their own research beginning in their first year and are encouraged to do innovative and original work throughout their graduate career. As there are few course requirements, graduate students have the opportunity to fully invest themselves in their research and in their instructional training. There are usually between 30 and 40 graduate students in residence whose programs are funded from university fellowships or external fellowships. While the majority of graduates of the program pursue jobs in academia, research jobs in applied settings such as medical institutions and market research departments, have also been career choices.


6. UCLA (University of California Los Angeles)

UCLA present psychology as a scientific discipline that employs systematic methods of inquiry to study and explain human and animal behavior, both normal and abnormal, in terms of a variety of underlying variables, including neural, physiological and cognitive processes; developmental factors and individual differences; and social and interpersonal influences and contexts. Rigorous scientific training is the foundation of the UCLA Psychology Ph.D. program. As part of this training, the Department encourages student participation in the activities of a number of related departments, schools, or organized research units of the University. For instance, the Brain Research Institute, the interdisciplinary Neuroscience and Cognitive programs, the Institute for Social Science Research, and the Neuropsychiatric Institute provide extensive research facilities for interested students.


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7. Duke University

Duke’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience embraces this approach, using a broad range of methods and interacting with researchers in many different fields. They use an apprenticeship model for graduate training, meaning that the emphasis is on working closely with one’s research advisors. For most of their training programs, research is emphasized over coursework Duke’s clinical program is based on the Boulder model, and is intended for students with an interest in research.


8. The University of Pennsylvania

Although the graduate group is not divided into formal subareas, faculty in the Psychology Graduate Group have research interests that may be broadly classified into the following two areas: Brain, Cognitive, and Decision Science and Clinical, Positive and Social Psychology. Graduate study in Psychology at Penn emphasizes scholarship and research accomplishment. The first-year program is divided between courses that introduce various areas of psychology and a focused research experience. A deep involvement in research continues throughout the graduate program, and is supplemented by participation in seminars, teaching, and general intellectual give-and-take. Students are admitted into the graduate program as a whole, not into specific subfields. Students and faculty are free to define their fields of interest. A high level of interaction between students and faculty helps generate both a shared set of interests in the theoretical, historical, and philosophical foundations of psychology and active collaboration in research projects.


9. The University of Michigan

The curriculum in psychology is intended to enhance one’s understanding of behavioral science and of oneself and others in terms of concepts developed by study. At its best, graduate education requires an intensive and intimate form of instruction. Psychology department faculty members are very accessible to students and research opportunities are available in a wide variety of labs and projects.  Although the department is one of the largest in the country, we have developed procedures that not only allow each student freedom in planning an individualized program of study but also permit collaborative work with a small group of staff members.


Discover more universities in the USA

American universities are thriving and are 100 % dedicated to discovering new theories and find explanations and solutions to diverse psychological issues humankind faces today, particularly depression, stress, and anxiety. In the curriculum of all psychology programs, there are many interesting topics that would excite the students to read and know more about it, such as the psychology of thinking and brain function, decision making, moods and feelings, normal and abnormal thought process and many. This was all about the best universities in the USA to study psychology. Kindly do let us know your views in the comments section. Also, do share your feedback and suggestions.

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About the Author

Piyush BhartiyaPiyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. Post completing his MBA, he has worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group and focused on building sales and marketing verticals for top MNCs and Indian business houses.

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