Best Undergraduate Psychology Schools In California

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

Best Colleges For Psychology In California

Looking to study Psychology in California? We’ve compiled a list of the Best Colleges For Psychology In California. Learn more about each school below and calculate your chances of acceptance. All ListsNAMESTATETUITION IN-STATETUITION OUT-OF-STATEADMISSIONS CHANCES (%)

Stanford University#4 College for psychologyCalifornia$58,807 / year$58,807 / yearCalculate chances

University of California, Berkeley | UC Berkeley#17 College for psychologyCalifornia$17,862 / year$47,616 / yearCalculate chances

Pitzer College#29 College for psychologyCalifornia$56,606 / year$56,606 / yearCalculate chances

University of Southern California | USC#31 College for psychologyCalifornia$62,059 / year$62,059 / yearCalculate chances

Pomona College#32 College for psychologyCalifornia$57,764 / year$57,764 / yearCalculate chances

University of California, Los Angeles | UCLA#40 College for psychologyCalifornia$19,975 / year$49,729 / yearCalculate chances

Claremont McKenna College | CMC#51 College for psychologyCalifornia$58,270 / year$58,270 / yearCalculate chances

Occidental College#53 College for psychologyCalifornia$60,284 / year$60,284 / yearCalculate chances

Pepperdine University#59 College for psychologyCalifornia$55,722 / year$55,722 / yearCalculate chances

Scripps College#71 College for psychologyCalifornia$57,856 / year$57,856 / yearCalculate chances

University of California, San Diego | UCSD#80 College for psychologyCalifornia$18,236 / year$47,990 / yearCalculate chances

University of California, Irvine | UC Irvine#82 College for psychologyCalifornia$20,278 / year$49,270 / yearCalculate chances

University of California, Santa Barbara | UCSB#87 College for psychologyCalifornia$21,248 / year$51,002 / yearCalculate chances

Chapman University#89 College for psychologyCalifornia$56,214 / year$56,214 / yearCalculate chances

Santa Clara University#98 College for psychologyCalifornia$59,919 / year$59,919 / yearCalculate chances

University of California, Davis | UC Davis#100 College for psychologyCalifornia$20,381 / year$50,135 / yearCalculate chances

University of San Diego | USD#104 College for psychologyCalifornia$54,231 / year$54,231 / yearCalculate chances

Top 10 Best Universities in the U.S. for Psychology Studies in 2021

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Thinking about studying the human mind for about four years or so? Well, there is probably nothing more fascinating than figuring out what is going on in peoples’ heads. 

OK, you won’t exactly become a psychic, but you will surely understand better than others why people react the way they do or why they can sometimes be over-judgemental or make hasty decisions. You will not just totally get people, but also help them recover their mental health, overcome their problems, and regain a positive outlook on life.

The best and proper start for a psychologist career is by applying to a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and there is probably no better place to study this interesting field than the United States.

First, because you have so many Psychology schools and colleges to choose from and diverse specialisations in the field, and secondly, because you can opt for a wide range of career options after graduation.

View Masters in Psychology in the U.S.

Top Psychology schools in the US

According to U.S. News, the highest-ranked American universities in the field of Psychology in 2022 are the following:

  • Harvard University   
  • Stanford University   
  • Columbia University   
  • Yale University   
  • University of California-Los Angeles   
  • University of Pennsylvania   
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor   
  • Duke University   
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill   
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology   

According to QS Subject Rankings 2021 the list is slightly different:

  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Yale University
  • University of Michigan
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University of Pennsylvania   
  • Columbia University   
  • New York University (NYU)   

We also recommend checking out these American universities offering Psychology degrees:

  • University of Michigan – Dearborn   
  • Wichita State University   
  • Bay Path University   
  • Walden University   
  • National University   
duke university usa.jpg

What’s it like to study a Psychology degree in the U.S.?

If you have a deep interest in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science or B.Sc. in Psychology is probably more suitable than a Bachelor of Arts, especially since it will focus more on applied Psychology and on various research topics in the field. Speaking of research, it is a well-known fact that the U.S. place great importance on research and the field of Psychology is no exception.

Universities and colleges in the U.S. are 100% dedicated to discovering new theories and finding explanations and solutions to diverse psychological issues humankind faces today, particularly depression, stress, and anxiety.

As a student in an American Psychology college or university, you will get the chance to be involved in research projects, work with children, teenagers and adults and study phenomenon like deception, neurodegenerative diseases, ADHD, etc.

In the curriculum of all Psychology programs, you will find many interesting topics, like the Psychology of thinking and decision making, brain function, moods and feelings, normal and abnormal thought processes or forensic Psychology – a combination of Psychology and Law, enabling you to get the insights of criminal profiling and discover rehabilitation and assessments used in corrections.

You can also read about how it is like to study at some of these top universities offering Psychology degrees by checking student reviews: 

  • Columbia University
  • UCLA (University of California Los Angeles)
  • Duke University
  • University of California – San Diego

Original teaching methods of Psychology degrees in American colleges

One interesting approach of Psychology studies is available within Stanford University, where students have the option to choose their specialization track in Psychology from the beginning of their studies. Psychology specializations include:

  • Cognitive Sciences
  • Health and Development
  • Mind, Culture and Society
  • Neuroscience
psychology degree US.jpg

Other fascinating examples that reflect the innovative teaching style of Psychology programs in American higher education institutions are the ones from University of Michigan and University of Columbia.

At University of Michigan, students along with professors have studied the effects Facebook and other social media platforms have had on people’s self-esteem and on interpersonal relationships.

The faculty of Psychology within the University of Columbia has received several grants and awards in the field, for outstanding research in psychological science. At Columbia, students can partake lab research and find answers to questions like how do people make moral decisions or how do people attest their religious beliefs?

These are just a few examples, as all universities in the U.S. focus on providing students a unique study experience and help them gain a broad view of the field of Psychology.

View Masters in Psychology in the U.S.

The future of Psychology practice in America

In a world where almost everyone seems to have lost their marbles more or less, your expertise is definitely in great need. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that jobs in the field of Psychology will grow about 19 percent over the next 10 years. Certified psychologists can find employment in various industries: health care, business, law, education and more.

A current hot demand for Psychology specialists is in human resources departments, helping companies make a proper selection of employees and giving advice and consultancy on various issues regarding organizational psychology and culture.

Although famous writer Louisa May Alcott said that “human minds are more full of mysteries than any written book”, challenge yourself to unlock the mystery and begin your adventure in analyzing feelings and emotions with a degree in Psychology at an American university or college!

Studying an online Psychology degree from a US university

Knowing the best psychology schools in the United States isn’t very helpful if you do not have the time or the resources to actually move and study abroad. This is why the popularity of online degrees has been growing in the last years.

The main advantages of studying an online Psychology degree offered by an American university are:

  • Flexible schedule
  • Reduced costs
  • Familiarity with online tools

The flexible schedule is a huge advantage for people who have a full-time job or a family to take care of. Online courses allow you to access them when you have time and from any device.

Some people are more productive in the morning, others in the afternoon, and, of course, we also have night owls. An online Psychology degree allows you to choose the time that fits your needs. One thing you should now forget is that you still need to meet the deadlines for projects and term papers.

Another great thing about an online Bachelor’s or Master’s in Psychology is the lower overall cost. Tuition fees for on-campus Psychology degrees in the US can reach 21,000 EUR/year. For online programmes, tuition starts at 1,300 EUR/year. Additional expenses you’ll be cutting are accommodation, transportation, and living costs in general, as you’ll study from the comfort of your home.

Online Psychology degrees will encourage you to work with new online technologies. This might not mean much for people who are already tech-savvy. But for those who are just starting, it’s a great opportunity to learn many new things and develop digital skills which are essential in our world.

After graduation, these abilities will allow you to even work online, and help people from different countries, while offering quality work and respecting official legislation, like taxes, invoices.

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