Top 50 - Psychology Programs and College Rankings

The college rankings below represent the Top 50 graduate-level psychology programs in the United States based on a composite average of the U.S. News & World Report, QS World University Rankings and Gourman Report–as published by the Princeton Review. Any colleges not found on all three indices were excluded.

Composite Rank School Name QS World US News Gourman Report Avg Score*
Stanford University
Stanford, CA
2 1 1 1.33
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
1 4 6 3.67
Yale University
New Haven, CT
4 6 2 4
University of California–Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
3 2 9 4.67
University of California–Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
5 3 7 5
University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI
6 5 4 5
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
9 13 3 8.33
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
7 7 15 9.67
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL
13 8 8 9.67
University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
Minneapolis, MN
14 10 5 9.67
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Cambridge, MA
12 9 n/a 10.5
Columbia University
New York, NY
10 14 14 12.67
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Madison, WI
16 11 16 14.33
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
11 25 10 15.33
University of California–San Diego
San Diego, CA
20 17 11 16
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX
15 18 19 17.33
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA
24 21 12 19
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
18 16 25 19.67
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY
25 15 21 20.33
Indiana University–Bloomington
Bloomington, IN
26 27 13 22
Duke University
Durham, NC
17 22 29 22.67
Brown University
Providence, RI
19 26 23 22.67
Ohio State University
Columbus, OH
19 26 23 22.67
University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
Chapell Hill, NC
35 12 24 23.67
New York University
New York, NY
8 30 36 24.67
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
38 19 20 25.67
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR
n/a 35 17 26
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD
27 28 26 27
University of California–Davis
Davis, CA
30 24 n/a 27
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
37 29 18 28
University of Colorado–Boulder
Boulder, CO
33 33 22 29.33
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ
22 38 n/a 30
Washington University in St. Louis
Saint Louis, MO
40 20 n/a 30
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA
29 31 34 31.33
University of California–Irvine
Irvine, CA
31 32 38 33.67
Boston University
city, state
23 46 n/a 34.5
University of California–Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
32 41 n/a 36.5
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
39 37 35 37
Michigan State University
Michigan State University
28 48 n/a 38
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
34 42 40 38.67
University of Illinois–Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
45 n/a 33 39
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
36 45 37 39.33
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN
43 49 28 40
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
46 34 n/a 40
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY
50 n/a 30 40
Stony Brook University SUNY
Stony Brook, NY
n/a 50 31 40.5
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA
49 36 n/a 42.5
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH
42 47 n/a 44.5
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS
47 43 n/a 46
University of Maryland–College Park
College Park, MD
48 44 n/a 46
*Average score based on average of available college ranking indices. All colleges not found in at least 2 of the 3 indices were excudes from composite rankings.
The minimum entry-level requirement for any psychology position is typically a bachelor's or master's degree in psychology, or in a closely related field of behavioral science. However, more and more positions are requiring candidates to have a Ph.D. or PsyD in psychology. Both the Ph.D. and PsyD are terminal degrees in psychology. This means they are the highests degrees that are awarded. Both degrees are doctorate-level degrees and qualify students to become a licensed, practicing psychologist. If you want to practice psychology in a clinical setting in the United States, earning a doctoral degree in psychology is mandatory.

On average, it takes between 5 and 7 years to complete doctorate degree in psychology. Upon graduation from either a PhD or PsyD program, students are required to complete a supervised clinical or research-oriented residency under the supervision of licensed psychologist and/or mentor. Most states now require those seeking a career in direct patient care and counseling have a 1 or 2 of experience in a clinical setting before applying for state licensure.

All of the colleges and universities found in the rankings above have been evaluated and ranked based on the quality of their graduate-level doctoral degree programs in psychology. All colleges in our rankings offered accredited PhD and/or PsyD programs in psychology.

PhD in Psychology
The PhD in psychology is a research-oriented degree designed for students interested in pursuing career opportunities in education and research. Upon graduation, students will be prepared for various research and teaching positions at the university level. The PhD in psychology focuses on both theoretical and applied aspects of psychology and the discipline of behavioral science. Earning a Phd in psychology also provides students with a practical education in preparation for a career in counseling and clinical practice. However, those interested in practicing psychology in a clinical, patient-oriented setting typically puruse the PsyD in psychology.

PsyD in Psychology
Unlike the Phd in psychology, which is primarily research-oriented, the PsyD in psychology primarily focuses on the practial application of psychology in a clinical setting where patients are diagnosed and treated. The PsyD was developed to train practitioners, not psychology reseachers. Students who successfully complete the PsyD program will be qualified to conduct psychological assessments, diagnose disorders of the mind, administer psychotherapy, and treat a myriad of mental conditions and disorders.

Composite Ranking Methodology for Psychology Schools
The rankings of psychology schools and colleges found in our list of "Top 50 Psychology Programs and College Rankings" offer graduate-level training and education in psychology. The rankings themselves are generated based on a composite average of three of the most reputable college ranking indices for graduate education in psychology. These include the U.S. News & World Report, QS World University Rankings and Gourman Report.

Ranking methodology employed by U.S. News & World Report is based entirely information taken from peer assessment surveys of the psychology programs at each school. Participants were asked to rank each program based soley on a 5-point scale, with "5" being the higest mark (oustanding) and "1" the lowest (marginal).

QS World University Rankings employs a slightly more rebust, and in our opinion, a useful methodology for ranking psychology programs. First, QS rankings are based on data collected from global survey's of employers, academics and research citations. This data is collected to assess academic reputation, employe reputation, and the impact of research conducted.

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