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What Are The Best Universities To Study Psychology In 2022?

18 MAY 2022

Most top universities offer good psychology programs, however, their offerings are not always the same. Since there are so many programs, choosing the best program can be challenging. To help get you started, we've put together a list of some of the best schools for psychology in the world.


Why Study Psychology?

A psychology degree is not only one of the most versatile majors; it's one of the few majors that give you endless opportunities to impact the lives of those around you. You can choose from numerous career options with a psychology degree because the classes that are part of the psychology major cover skills that translate across multiple career paths.

How We Got the Top 10 Psychology Schools Ranking

We determined this ranking by averaging the rankings for the top 20 schools in both the 2022 QS World Subject Rankings and the 2022 US News Rank for top psychology schools. Both lists use different criteria, so we got a holistic view of the top 10 psychology schools by averaging the rankings.

Top 10 Best Universities for Psychology 2022
Overall RankUS News RankQS World Rank
Harvard111
Stanford232
Oxford363
Yale458
UCL577
Columbia6*412
UCLA6*106
University of Amsterdam899
Kings College London9121
University of Toronto10815

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The 10 Best Universities to Study Psychology in 2022

10. University of Toronto

Toronto, Ontario

university of toronto

University of Toronto's Department of Psychology

As part of the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto, you will study the behavior of people and animals. The department's primary focus is the individual rather than the group. At the undergraduate level, you will learn the fundamentals of psychology, the different fields within psychology, and the various methods for conducting psychological research.

As a psychology major, you have a wide range of options, including courses in cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, computational neuroscience, developmental psychology, human and animal learning, perception, personality psychology, physiological psychology, and social psychology.

The university prepares you with skills and knowledge that will help you graduate "with pride, healthy habits of mind, and a meaningful way of knowing."

Is it for you?

The University of Toronto's Psychology program is one of its largest undergraduate programs globally, with a diverse faculty and a world-class research profile. Its 200-level courses are broader, but it becomes more specific and focused once you get to the 300-level courses.

As a student at the University of Toronto, you'll enjoy an immersive campus experience. You will attend informative lectures, tutorials, and labs taught by world-class educators from Canada's largest and most prestigious university. At the same time, you will also experience a sense of community on a campus surrounded by 225 acres of protected greenbelt! If you haven't considered Canada in your university search, now is the time!

9. Kings College London

London, UK

Kings College London

King's College Department of Psychology

There is no doubt that King's College has one of the largest and best-known clinical and health psychology departments in the UK and is home to the UK's oldest training programme in Clinical Psychology.

With a BSc in Psychology at King's College, you will encounter many approaches to applying psychological science and be able to explore their applications to contemporary challenges. The teaching at the university is delivered by world-class experts and enriched by current research at the IoPPN, one of the world's leading centers for interdisciplinary research in psychiatry and psychology.

Students at King's College may opt to take a four-year programme — as opposed to the UK's traditional three-year course — with the optional year of a professional placement or a year abroad.

Is it for you?

If you choose to study psychology at King's College, you'll experience world-class lecturers, access world-leading research facilities, and participate in innovative modules. The psychology program at King's College ensures that you will have face-to-face teaching complemented and supported by innovative technology. Students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

The university also boasts strong relations in the medical field, being connected to three hospitals and Maudsley hospital, one of the country's most reputable mental health facilities. Since it's a large university, there is a high chance you will find faculty and students interested in your specific academic interests, which can be hard to find at smaller universities.

Find out your chances of getting accepted into Kings College London with our free University Admissions Calculator!

8 University of Amsterdam (UVA)

Amsterdam, Netherlands

University of Amsterdam

UvA’s Psychology Program

The psychology program at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) looks at human behavior in general and, more specifically, at differences between individuals. What is intelligence? How do people respond to stress, and why do some people become depressed? How is it that one person may seem relaxed and friendly while another may seem tense and stressed?

As a psychology student, you can choose from many different bachelor’s specializations. Depending on the discipline, you may become a sports psychologist, industrial and organizational psychologist, developmental psychologist, test developer, adviser, information specialist, and many more!

Is it for you?

If you choose to major in psychology, you will attend the Roeterseiland campus. Located in the vibrant heart of Amsterdam, this campus is perfect for those looking for a central city campus in Europe.

Psychology studies at UvA start very broad and eventually become much more focused after choosing a particular specialization. While studying psychology at the University of Amsterdam, you will not only attend large lectures of 300 to 400 students but also take part in more focused tutorials with your peers — making the program more personal. If studying in Europe is enticing, consider looking at one of the best psychology universities in Europe!

Interested in studying psychology in Europe? Learn more about our European Universities Admissions program!

7. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Los Angeles, California

UCLA

UCLA’s Psychology Program

Psychology at UCLA emphasizes studying and explaining human and animal behavior from various underlying variables, including neural, physiological, and cognitive processes; developmental factors and individual differences; and social and interpersonal influences and contexts. 

UCLA’s psychology course reflects the vast scope of psychology while allowing students to focus on specific areas of interest in greater depth. Beyond the foundational courses, students can choose many specialized areas of studies in psychobiology, learning and memory, motivation, perception, cognition, measurement, personality, and clinical, social, developmental, community, and health psychology.

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.

Find out your chances of getting accepted into UCLA with our free College Admissions Calculator!

6. Columbia University

New York City, New York

Columbia University

Columbia University’s Psychology Department

The world-renowned faculty and alumni make Columbia University’s Psychology Department one of the oldest and most influential in the US. Columbia introduced psychology in 1867 in the Department of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy and English Literature. Initially, it was a senior-only course where students studied and discussed the philosophy of intellect, feelings, and will.

The school has now transformed to provide undergraduates with a strong curriculum in psychological science, including research methods, perception, cognition, neuroscience, developmental, social, personality, and clinical studies.

Is it for you?

Regardless of your eventual area of specialization, you will develop a solid foundation in psychology based on empirical evidence. You will also develop research methods and quantitative literacy skills, cultivating respect for values that guide the study of psychology.

The department also offers a variety of research opportunities, lab work, supervised individual research, and participation in its two-year Honors Program.

If you’re looking to gain a deep understanding of psychology and a breadth in which disciplines it is applied (medicine, law, business, social work, and education), you will thrive in Columbia’s psychology program.

How Cenon Got Into Columbia University to Study Psychology

Find out your chances of getting accepted into Columbia with our free College Admissions Calculator!

5. University College London (UCL)

London, UK

University College of London

UCL’s Division of Psychology and Language Sciences

The UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences (PALS) leads the way in mind, behavior and language. The research and teachings at the university delve into cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, language, therapeutic interventions, decision-making and social cognition. Scholars apply the research to some of the most significant global challenges, including climate change, mental health, inequality, and social conflict.

The university collaborates with a range of interdisciplinary research centers. It offers cutting-edge resources, including extensive laboratories for research in speech and language, perception and cognition, a center for brain imaging, and a behavioral neuroscience laboratory.

Is it for you?

The first two years at UCL’s PALS cover the broad and foundational range of psychology which the university believes is integral to the field. Students can study various topics during the third and final year according to their primary interests and ultimate goals.

UCL resides in the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of (central) London and ranks as one of the best cities globally for university students.

UCL’s psychology department focuses on making a significant global impact, so it’s ideal if you want to make an immediate impact during your studies. Among their efforts, their Centre for Behavioural Change works with ActionAid Ireland to improve women and girls’ economic independence and safety in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nepal.

Find out your chances of getting accepted into UCL with out free University Admissions Calculator!

4. Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Yale University

About Yale’s BA in Psychology

Under the context of a general liberal arts education, Yale’s BA in psychology provides undergraduates with a solid background in psychology. Yale’s grad school trains researchers in academic and applied settings.

At Yale, students study psychology to understand human behavior, including who we are, how we behave, and how we enhance our lives and society. The psychology courses at Yale establish foundations, helping students explore careers in education, research, law, medicine, public health, politics, and business. 

Is it for you?

If you’re looking to find the right university to study psychology, what better way than to try a free online course at Yale? Yale’s free (12-hour) Introduction to Psychology will help you get a feel for what it’s like to study at the university and allow you to explore the different fields in psychology.

Find out your chances of getting accepted into Yale with out free College Admissions Calculator!

3. Oxford University

Oxford, UK

Oxford Blogs

Oxford’s Psychology, Philosophy, and Linguistics (PPL) Discipline

Oxford’s psychology program, which is part of the Psychology, Philosophy, and Linguistics (PPL) discipline, is at the forefront of innovation and breakthrough research. It offers a firm scientific approach to the study of psychology, which involves a substantial amount of practical work. The discipline also acknowledges the interconnected relationship between the three fields. If you're interested in diving into psychology studies, there is a strong emphasis on biological, cognitive, human experimental, social, and developmental psychology in the programs.

There are multiple ways to study psychology at Oxford.

  1. Single discipline -  4-year MSci in Experimental Psychology,
  2. With philosophy and linguistics -   3 or 4 year BA or MSci in Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics.
  3. Biomedical Science - studying neurophysiology and neurology pathways.

Is it for you?

You can choose to graduate after three years with a BA degree. If you decide to stay for an optional fourth year, you can obtain a Master’s degree in PPL. This degree requires you to undertake a research-intensive, clinically-focused, or translationally-focused extended project in Experimental Psychology and allied fields. You will obtain a master’s degree for the same length of time as a bachelor’s in the United States.

If you’re interested in learning more about Oxford, they have a playlist of everything related to PPL studies at Oxford.

A Day in the Life: Oxford Student

Find out your chances of getting accepted into Oxford with our free University Admissions Calculator!

2: Stanford University

Stanford, California

Stanford University

Stanford’s Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology at Stanford University is among the first departments established at the university. It has a long-standing tradition of groundbreaking theoretical research directly impacting the world. For decades, it has been a leading psychology department among US universities and ranks as one of the top programs in the nation.

Stanford's psychology programs provide excellent training in understanding human behavior through scientifically rigorous methods. With a psychology degree from Stanford, you will have a well-rounded background with the tools you need to pursue careers in business, education, law, medicine, or social work.

Is it for you?

There are various opportunities available on campus for psychology students to get involved.

If you're unsure what you want to study within the psychology program, the university offers resources like "pathways" to help you decide. Stanford also provides a student service office that can assist you in selecting the right course of study.

With all these resources, it isn't surprising Stanford is one of the most sought-after schools for psychology — which is why it lands in the #2 spot on our list of top 10 best universities to study psychology.

A Day in the Life: Stanford Psychology Student

Find out your chances of getting accepted into Stanford with our free College Admissions Calculator

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University

Harvard's Department of Psychology

It’s not surprising that Harvard ranks #1 in our list of best colleges to study psychology. It’s the top university for many degrees! The goal of Harvard's Department of Psychology is to understand the mind, brain, and behavior through empirical investigations. The high caliber of teaching at Harvard reflects this ambition. Students and faculty study basic psychological processes: attention, perception, memory, categorization, reasoning, decision-making, language, cognitive and social development, social cognition, intergroup relations, and morality. 

Is it for you?

Psychology at Harvard allows you to get close to understanding human behavior. The psychology department hosts professors that are just as fascinating, interesting, and impressive as the material they teach. You'll gain many valuable skills studying psychology at Harvard, such as learning how to work with data, write clearly and objectively, and analyze other studies. These skills will prepare you for a myriad of careers after graduation, including consulting, finance, healthcare, public policy, marketing, computer science, and even music and film.

Find out your chances of getting accepted into Harvard with our free College Admissions Calculator!

How to find the Right Psychology School for You

It's important to carefully evaluate each program on our Top 10 Best Colleges For Psychology list to determine if it will meet your academic and career goals. While some offer small class sizes, others offer a wide range of courses and research opportunities. In addition to your major, it's important to consider the school's location, size, community, and extracurricular activities to determine if the school is the right fit for you.

Did you know Crimson can help you get into top psychology schools? Crimson Education is the world's leading university admissions support company. Our advisors help students navigate the US and UK university application process. We help you find your best-fit university, create a personalized roadmap, ace your standardized tests, craft the perfect essay, and build candidacy through extracurriculars. Check out our student success page to find more Q&As and case studies about our successful Crimson students.

What Makes Crimson Different

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