Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology: Charting Your Path

Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology 11

✅ Quick Summary

Embarking on a journey through the intricacies of the human mind, the choice of university sets the stage for a profound understanding of psychology. Are you ready to delve into the top 10 best universities for psychology education?

  • From pioneering research to cutting-edge academic programs, these institutions sculpt the future of mental healthcare and human behavior.
  • Unveiling the enigmatic realms of neuroscience, cognitive processes, and social influences, your chosen university bears the torch of psychological enlightenment.
  • Enter the hallowed halls where Sigmund Freud’s theories echo through lecture theaters and laboratories buzz with the fervor of groundbreaking experiments.
  • Designed to empower minds and nurture intellects, each institution presents a unique blend of theoretical precision and practical exposure, setting the benchmark for exceptional psychology education.
  • As we journey through their academic landscapes, let’s unravel the essence of these esteemed universities that evolve budding psychologists into trailblazers of the psyche.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Business Schools

RankCountry/RegionNo. of FTE StudentsNo. of Students
Per Staff
Female: Male
10.University of Chicago15,3666.036%47 : 53
9.Yale University13,4825.921%52 : 48
8University of California, Berkeley40,92118.424%52 : 48
7.Princeton University8,2798.023%46 : 54
6.University of California2,2376.234%37 : 63
5.Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)11,4158.233%40 : 60
4.University of Cambridge20,18511.339%47 : 53
3.Harvard University21,8879.625%50 : 50
2.The University of Stanford16,1647.124%46 : 54
1.University of Oxford20,96510.642%48 : 52

10 University of Chicago

Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology 3

Overview: The Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago has made important contributions to the subject thanks to its focus on research. The course material is organized to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of human behavior and its associated mental processes.

What is special about the University of Chicago?

The University of Chicago is renowned for its academic rigor, consistently ranking among the world’s top institutions. It’s been affiliated with numerous Nobel Prize winners, especially in economics. The campus, situated in Hyde Park, boasts stunning Gothic architecture. The school champions free speech, as reflected in its “Chicago Principles,” and has produced groundbreaking research, including the first controlled nuclear chain reaction.

TypePrivate research university
Established1890; 133 years ago
FounderJohn D. Rockefeller
Endowment$10.3 billion (2022)
PresidentA. Paul Alivisatos
ProvostKatherine Baicker
Academic staff2,859
Administrative staff15,949 (including employees of The University of Chicago Medical Center)
LocationChicago, Illinois, United States
41°47′23″N 87°35′59″W
CampusLarge city, 217 acres (87.8 ha) (main campus)
Warren Woods Ecological Field Station, Warren Woods State Park, 42 acres (17.0 ha)
Other campusesHong Kong, London
NewspaperThe Chicago Maroon
Colors  Maroon
Sporting affiliationsNCAA Division III –UAA, MWC, CCIW
MascotPhil the Phoenix

09 Yale University

Location: New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology

Overview: The Psychology Department at Yale is well-known for its welcoming atmosphere and wide range of research interests. Students here learn both the theoretical underpinnings of psychology and its practical applications.

Why should I study at Yale University?

Yale University is globally recognized for its academic prestige and distinguished faculty. As an Ivy League school, it offers a vast influential alumni network. Yale’s diverse academic programs, combined with its unique residential college system, foster a close-knit, interdisciplinary community.

Former namesCollegiate School (1701–1718)
Yale College (1718–1887)
Motto in English“Light and truth”
TypePrivate research university
EstablishedOctober 9, 1701; 321 years ago
Endowment$42.3 billion (2022)
PresidentPeter Salovey
ProvostScott Strobel
Academic staff5,118 (Fall 2021)
Students12,060 (Fall 2020)
Undergraduates4,703 (Fall 2020)
Postgraduates7,357 (Fall 2020)
LocationNew Haven, Connecticut, United States
41°18′59″N 72°55′20″W
CampusMidsize city, 1,015 acres (411 ha)
NewspaperYale Daily News
Colors  Yale blue
Sporting affiliationsNCAA Division I FCS – Ivy League, ECAC Hockey, NEISA, IRA,EARC, EAWRC
MascotHandsome Dan

08 University of California, Berkeley

Location: Berkeley, California, USA

Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology

Overview: The psychology program at UC Berkeley is well-known for its cutting-edge research and illustrious professors. Students have a wide range of alternatives for customizing their education, from clinical psychology to cognitive science.

Why should I study at the University of California, Berkeley?

UC Berkeley is a top-ranked public university renowned for academic excellence and world-class faculty. It offers vast research opportunities and diverse top-tier programs across various fields. Its legacy of activism and innovation further enriches the student experience.

Former namesUniversity of California (1868–1958)
MottoFiat lux (Latin)
Motto in English“Let there be light”
TypePublic land-grant research university
EstablishedMarch 23, 1868; 155 years ago
Parent institutionUniversity of California
Endowment$6.9 billion (2022)
ChancellorCarol T. Christ
ProvostBenjamin E. Hermalin
Total staff23,524 (2020)
Students45,307 (Fall 2022)
Undergraduates32,479 (Fall 2022)
Postgraduates12,828 (Fall 2022)
LocationBerkeley, California, United States
37.8728°N 122.2602°W
CampusMidsize city
Core Campus: 178 acres (72 ha)
Total: 8,164 acres (3,304 ha), 1,232 acres (499 ha)
NewspaperThe Daily Californian
Colors  Berkeley Blue
  California Gold
NicknameGolden Bears
Sporting affiliationsNCAA Division I FBS – Pac-12, MPSF, America East, IRA
MascotOski the Bear

07 Princeton University

Location: Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology 6

Overview: The psychology program at Princeton places a premium on teamwork, with instructors and students often collaborating on groundbreaking studies. A solid foundation in tradition and an eye toward the future guarantee a well-rounded and forward-thinking education.

Why should I be admitted to Princeton University?

Princeton University is renowned for its stellar academic reputation and commitment to undergraduate teaching. The institution offers robust research opportunities for students of all levels and emphasizes in-depth exploration, notably through its unique senior thesis requirement. The close-knit community and vast alumni network further enrich the Princeton experience.

Former namesCollege of New Jersey (1746–1896)
MottoDei Sub Numine Viget (Latin)
On sealVet[us] Nov[um] Testamentum (Latin)
Motto in English“Under God’s Power She Flourishes”
On seal: “Old Testament and New Testament”
TypePrivate research university
EstablishedOctober 22, 1746; 276 years ago
Academic affiliationsAAU, COFHE, NAICU, URA, Space-grant
Endowment$35.8 billion (2022)
PresidentChristopher L. Eisgruber
ProvostJennifer Rexford
Academic staff1,068 (Fall 2021)
Total staff7,300
Students8,478 (Fall 2021)
Undergraduates5,321 (Fall 2021)
Postgraduates3,157 (Fall 2021)
Doctoral students2,631 (Fall 2019)
LocationPrinceton, New Jersey, United States
40°20′43″N 74°39′22″W
CampusSmall city, 600 acres (2.4 km2)
NewspaperThe Daily Princetonian
ColorsBlack and orange
Sporting affiliationsNCAA Division I FCS – Ivy League, ECAC Hockey, EARC, EIVA, CWPA, IRA, EAWRC
MascotThe Tiger

06 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology 7

UCLA’s Psychology Program

Overview: The Department of Psychology at UCLA is world-renowned for its academic and research achievements. Students may delve deeply into their areas of interest while still obtaining a well-rounded education thanks to the many available research centers and electives.

Is it for you?

Students applying to study psychology at UCLA have three undergraduate major options: Psychology (B.A.), Psychobiology (B.S.), and Cognitive Science (B.S.). Although all three majors overlap in the fundamental knowledge base, they focus on different areas of psychology. Check out the details of each major to see which one interests you the most.

UCLA offers outstanding research opportunities for its students, psychology fieldwork courses, and research conferences, so there is something for every student at this university.

Former namesLos Angeles branch of the California State Normal School (1881–1887)
Los Angeles State Normal School (1887–1919)
Southern Branch of the University of California (1919–1927)
University of California at Los Angeles (1927–1958)
MottoFiat lux (Latin)
Motto in English“Let there be light”
TypePublic land-grant research university
EstablishedMay 23, 1919; 104 years ago
Parent institutionUniversity of California
Academic affiliationsAAU, APRU, URA, Space-grant
Endowment$6.7 billion (2022)
ChancellorGene D. Block
ProvostDarnell Hunt
Academic staff4,016
Administrative staff26,139
Students47,518 (Fall 2021)
Undergraduates32,121 (Fall 2021)
Postgraduates13,994 (Fall 2021)
Other students1,403 (Fall 2021)
LocationWestwood, Los Angeles, California, United States
34.0722°N 118.4427°W
CampusLarge city, 467 acres (189 ha)
NewspaperDaily Bruin
ColorsBlue and gold
Sporting affiliationsNCAA Division I FBS – Pac-12 (until 2024)Big Ten (starting 2024)MPSF
MascotJoe Bruin, Josephine Bruin

05 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology

Overview: The Brain and Cognitive Sciences group at MIT is an active cross-disciplinary research center. Students are prepared for a wide range of employment in the dynamic area of psychology via the integration of neuroscience, computing, and cognitive psychology.

Why should I be admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology?

Admission to MIT offers a world-class education in technology and engineering disciplines, situated within a major innovation hub. The school promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and hands-on learning and connects students to a powerful global network of leaders, making it a beacon for those aiming to be at the forefront of scientific and technological advancement.

TypePrivate land-grant research university
EstablishedApril 10, 1861; 162 years ago
FounderWilliam Barton Rogers
Endowment$24.6 billion (2022)
PresidentSally Kornbluth
ProvostCynthia Barnhart
Academic staff1,069
Students11,858 (2022–2023)
Undergraduates4,657 (2022–2023)
Postgraduates7,201 (2022–2023)
LocationCambridge, Massachusetts, United States
42°21′35″N 71°5′31″W
CampusMidsize city, 166 acres (67.2 ha)
NewspaperThe Tech
ColorsCardinal red and steel gray
MascotTim the Beaver

04 University of Cambridge

Location: Cambridge, England

Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology

Overview: The Department of Psychology at Cambridge is among the world’s oldest and most prestigious. Those who complete the program will have a firm grasp on both the academic and practical components of psychology.

Is Cambridge University costly?

International students applying for undergraduate courses at the University of Cambridge can expect to pay anywhere between £24,507 and £63,990. Whereas students who wish to apply for postgraduate courses can expect to pay, on average, £30,339.

Other nameThe Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge
MottoLatin: Hinc lucem et pocula sacra
Motto in EnglishLiteral: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge.
TypePublic research university
Establishedc. 1209; 814 years ago
Academic affiliationsRussell Group, EUA, LERU, IARU, Universities UK
Endowment£9.326 billion (including colleges)
Budget£2.308 billion (excluding colleges)
ChancellorThe Lord Sainsbury of Turville
Vice-ChancellorDeborah Prentice
Academic staff6,170 (2020)
Administrative staff3,615 (excluding colleges)
Students24,450 (2020)
Undergraduates12,850 (2020)
Postgraduates11,600 (2020)
LocationCambridge, England
CampusUniversity town617 hectares (1,520 acres)
Colors  Cambridge Blue
Sporting affiliationsBritish Universities and Colleges Sport

03 Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology

Overview: The Harvard Psychology Department has been a leader in the field since the nineteenth century. A unique educational opportunity is offered to students by the institution’s illustrious professors and long tradition of innovative research.

What GPA is accepted at Harvard?

GPA Requirements Harvard University does not have a strict minimum GPA requirement for undergraduate admissions. However, admitted students typically have very high GPAs, ranging from 3.8 to 4.0, with an average GPA of 3.9.

Former namesHarvard College
MottoVeritas (Latin)
Motto in English“Truth”
TypePrivate research university
Established1636; 387 years ago
FounderMassachusetts General Court
Academic affiliationsAAU, AICUM, COFHE, NAICU, UArctic, URA, Space-grant
Endowment$50.9 billion (2022)
PresidentClaudine Gay
ProvostAlan Garber
Academic staff~2,400 faculty members (and >10,400 academic appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals)
Students21,613 (Fall 2022)
Undergraduates7,240 (Fall 2022)
Postgraduates14,373 (Fall 2022)
LocationCambridge, Massachusetts, United States
42°22′28″N 71°07′01″W
CampusMidsize city, 209 acres (85 ha)
NewspaperThe Harvard Crimson
ColorsCrimson, white, and black
Sporting affiliationsNCAA Division I FCS – Ivy League, ECAC Hockey, NEISA, CWPA, IRA, EAWRC, EARC, EISA
MascotJohn Harvard

02 The University of Stanford

Location: Stanford, California, USA

Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology

Overview: Stanford University is widely recognized as a global leader in the field of psychology, both in terms of research and education. The Department of Psychology provides challenging and multidisciplinary undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degree programs to prepare students for successful employment in the field of psychology.

Why is Stanford so hard to get into?

However, this doesn’t mean it is impossible to be admitted to the institution. Stanford emphasizes academic preparation as a vital part of its selection process. Stanford wants students who are thoughtful, engaged, and likely to make an impact at their institution. This is why it’s so selective.

MottoDie Luft der Freiheit weht (German)
Motto in English“The wind of freedom blows”
TypePrivate research university
Established1891; 132 years ago
FounderLeland and Jane Stanford
Academic affiliationsAAU, COFHE, URA, Space-grant
Endowment$36.3 billion (2022)
Budget$8.2 billion (2022–23)
PresidentRichard Saller (interim)
ProvostPersis Drell
Academic staff2,279
Administrative staff15,314
Students17,246 (Fall 2021)
Undergraduates7,858 (Fall 2021)
Postgraduates9,388 (Fall 2021)
LocationStanford, California, United States 37°25′39″N 122°10′12″W
CampusLarge suburb, 8,180 acres (33.1 km2)
Other campusesPacific Grove, Redwood City, Washington, D.C.
NewspaperThe Stanford Daily
ColorsCardinal red and white
Sporting affiliationsNCAA Division I FBS – Pac-12, IRA, PCCSC, MPSF
MascotStanford Tree (unofficial – no official university mascot) 

01 University of Oxford

Location: Oxford, England

Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology

Overview: Oxford’s Experimental Psychology Department is well-known for its cutting-edge research opportunities. Students are prepared for careers in academia and cutting-edge research by world-class teachers and cutting-edge equipment.

How much is Oxford University’s fee?

An Oxford degree costs the same as most UK universities. The exact course fee depends on whether your child is a UK (home fee status) or international (overseas fee status) student. A UK student’s annual course fees are £9,250 for 2024–25. For more details, go to our fees page.

Other nameThe Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford
MottoLatin: Dominus illuminatio mea
Motto in EnglishThe Lord is my light
TypePublic research university
Establishedc. 1096; 927 years ago
Endowment£8.12 billion (including colleges) (2022)
Budget£2.775 billion (2021–22)
ChancellorThe Lord Patten of Barnes
Vice-ChancellorIrene Tracey
Academic staff6,945 (2022)
Students26,455 (2021)
Other students430
LocationOxford, England
51°45′18″N 01°15′18″W
CampusUniversity town
ColoursOxford Blue
Sporting affiliationsBlue (university sport)


The choice of where to get a degree in psychology is not one to be taken lightly. The aforementioned organizations have repeatedly shown their dedication to and success in providing high-quality instruction, groundbreaking research, and significant field advancements. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the “best” college or institution will look different for different people depending on their own circumstances and goals.

These schools provide some of the best psychology programs in the world, whether your interest is in doing ground-breaking research, pursuing a career in clinical psychology, or investigating the theoretical foundations of the field. Before making a final selection, it’s a good idea to visit campuses, chat to existing students and teachers, and carefully analyze the frameworks of different programs.

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Zainab Hashmi

I'm Zainab Hashmi, and I'm the Head Editor of I'm uncovering the world's wonders and presenting you with the most interesting top ten lists in many categories. I've been as a guest on various national radio and television networks.

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