This is a ranking of the top 10 traditional psychology colleges. With so many colleges in the USA, how can you find out which one will be best for your needs? As we said in a recent post entitled, Undergraduate Psychology: Picking a College, the college that you pick to get your psychology degree should fit right with your learning needs, but that doesn’t mean that some schools don’t rank higher than others for providing students with a better quality of overall educational experience. When choosing the top colleges for a psychology education, there are a number of important factors to consider. Some factors such as research facilities, are fairly easy to quantify in lists like this. However, the field of psychology has many different concentrations and the school you choose for earning your psychology degree should be heavily influenced by the faculty’s interests and type of research that gets done at that school. Since psychology as a whole is moving more and more towards being practiced as an empirical science, we’ve skewed our rankings in favor of those schools which also have strong neuroscience approaches. Here are our top ten choices for the best psychology colleges:
1. University of Phoenix
Founded on the goal of providing attainable higher education options to working adults, Phoenix has become a well-known accredited online university throughout the world. The University of Phoenix offers an online Associate of Arts with a concentration in psychology. This is a 60-credit program with core courses that include Foundations of Psychology, Theories of Personality, and Psychology of Human Sexuality. Through these courses and more, students will learn the basics of human psychology, which may be used toward a career or advanced degrees.
2. Kaplan University
Through online, campus, and hybrid programs, Kaplan provides an accredited education to thousands of students throughout the world. The online Bachelor of Science in Psychology by Kaplan University consists of 180 total credits that will familiarize students with the reasons behind human behavior. The convenience of this online program allows students to continue working and caring for their families while earning their degree. The goal of this program is to give students an understanding of why people think and behave in certain ways.
3. Walden University
Walden is dedicated to providing career professionals the opportunity to earn a degree from an accredited institution. The online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program at Walden University will provide students with a broad understanding of psychology, with courses that apply psychological theories to current issues. The knowledge gained through this program may be used toward a career, or students may be able to use this degree toward graduate studies.
4. Ashford University
Ashford University is approaching its 100th anniversary. Over the last century, they have become a well-known institution, awarding thousands of online degrees to students around the world. The online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Ashford University is a 120-credit program that can typically be completed in four years. Through this program, students study topics including human development, physiology, mental processes, psychology research methods, and more, preparing them for a career or graduate studies.
5. Capella University
Capella is an accredited online university using a competency-based curriculum to ease each student’s transition into the workplace. The online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program at Capella University is composed of courses lasting either five or ten weeks, totalling 180 credits. The program is based on American Psychological Association guidelines and provides students with an understanding of human behavior, emotion, and learning.
6. Post University
Post was founded in 1890 and is an accredited institution offering a wide range of on-campus and online degree programs. The online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program at Post University explores human behavior and prepares students to use what they have learned to impact people’s lives. This 120-credit degree program will equip students with knowledge that can be applied to a variety of career fields, such as marketing, human services, and education. This bachelor’s degree may also be used by students seeking to enter into graduate school and earn a master’s or doctorate degree in psychology or a related area.
7. Ohio Christian University
Ohio Christian University (OCU) is an accredited private college founded in 1948. For students interested in pursuing a career in psychology, OCU offers a 124 semester credit hour psychology program with courses ranging from Life Span Psychology to Principles of Counseling. Every class in this degree program is designed to provide students with the skills to succeed in a capstone internship.
8. Grand Canyon University
GCU is a private accredited Christian university with an online student body of more than 40,000. The online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program at Grand Canyon University consists of 120 credits. Of these, at least 48 credits will focus specifically on psychology, with courses including General Psychology, Lifespan Development, Personality Psychology, Learning and Cognition, and Fundamentals of Counseling and Guidance. Since becoming a psychologist requires an advanced degree, many graduates of this program chose to enter into graduate school. However, the knowledge gained through this program can be applied to careers in a wide range of industries.
9. Liberty University
Liberty is an accredited private non-profit Christian institution offering a wide range of online degree programs, allowing working professionals the opportunity to earn a degree without having to attend a physical campus. For students interested in learning the basics of psychology, Liberty University Online offers an Associate of Arts in Psychology. This is a 60-credit program that will introduce students to psychological theory and practice. This can be used as a foundation of knowledge that students can build upon. Students may be able to transfer the credits they earn through this program to a higher-level degree program, though the transfer of credits cannot be guaranteed.
10. Saint Leo University Online
Saint Leo is an accredited private liberal arts university enrolling nearly 16,000 students worldwide. The online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program at Saint Leo University Online requires students to complete 120 credits. While earning their degree, students will learn about a number of areas, including forensic, military, developmental, and industrial and organizational psychologies, diversity, research methods, basis of human behavior, and the psychology of learning.