25 Best Colleges for Psychology 2020

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These are the best 25 colleges that offer a bachelor's degree in psychology, based on median salary one year after graduation. With a median starting salary of $44,600, Tufts University outranks the other schools on the list. The school with the lowest median debt for this degree is Wellesley College, with a debt of $8,599 for psychology majors. Students who graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from one of the top 25 schools had median starting salaries between $36,800 and $44,600.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Tufts University $56,382 $16,750 $44,600
#2 #2 Barnard College $55,032 $15,538 $44,000
#3 #3 Cornell University $55,188 $16,500 $43,300
#4 #4 Colgate University $55,870 $16,125 $43,100
#5 #5 Stanford University $51,354 $13,606 $41,300
#6 #6 $53,430 $15,000 $41,300
#7 #7 $54,661 $19,000 $40,900
#8 #8 $55,464 $16,500 $40,800
#9 #9 $52,930 $23,250 $40,000
#10 #10 $53,630 $25,596 $40,000
#11 #11 $58,230 Not Reported $39,600
#12 #12 $53,732 $8,599 $39,100
#13 #13 $55,695 $10,600 $39,100
#14 #14 $54,104 $17,500 $39,000
#15 #15 $55,453 $14,089 $38,900
#16 #16 $56,550 $19,000 $38,200
#17 #17 $24,762 $21,250 $37,600
#18 (tie) #18 $50,528 $27,000 $37,400
#18 (tie) #18 $38,566 $27,000 $37,400
#20 #20 $13,320 $28,125 $37,300
#21 #21 $7,100 $15,043 $37,000
#22 #22 $42,860 $26,000 $37,000
#24 #24 $51,522 $26,500 $36,800
#25 #25 $43,650 Not Reported $36,800

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top five colleges for a Bachelor's in Psychology degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

Median Debt
$16,750
Median Salary
$44,600

Tufts University offers an undergraduate major in Psychology for students interested in the processes and principles of behavior in humans and animals. The department's courses are focused on the development of evaluative and analytic skills necessary for advanced study in experimental, clinical, and applied psychology. These skills, together with knowledge of the factors influencing individual and group behavior, are indispensable for careers in fields like public health, engineering, medicine, business, administration, law, and education.

The undergraduate Psychology major consists of eleven courses, and includes Introduction to Psychology; Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences; Experimental Psychology; six elective advanced courses; and two courses from options like Emotion; Perception; Cognitive Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Social Psychology; Theories of Personality, and others.

Additionally, the department hosts two student organizations: Tufts Psych Society and the Psi Chi Honor Society. Students interested in independent study (including the year-long Senior Honors Thesis) must find a supervising faculty member, complete a training, and meet academic requirements. Students who choose the option of working in a lab can gain direct experience in their chosen field of study.

Tufts University was founded in 1852 by Christian universalists looking to establish a nonsectarian institution of higher learning. It was a small liberal arts college until the 1970s, when it transformed into a larger research university. The university is located in Medford and Somerville, Massachusetts.

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Median Debt
$15,538
Median Salary
$44,000

Barnard College’s Psychology major requires two core courses, including Introduction to Psychology and Statistics. Students additionally choose three lectures, including Psychology of Learning, Cognitive Psychology, Perception, Personality, and Social Psychology, among others. Two laboratory courses are required, as is a Capstone Project, which is completed during the final two semesters. Four other courses are required from either a cognate discipline, an outside science, or within Psychology, as is one additional lab course in any science. 

Students interested in conducting research may participate in a year-long Senior Research Thesis project sponsored by a member of the faculty or a researcher from another institution. Additionally, the department has a psychology club open to all students interested in Psychology called Psyched: The Barnard Psychological Society.

Barnard College is a private women’s liberal arts college located in New York City. The college was founded in 1889 by Annie Nathan Meyer as a response to Columbia University’s refusal to admit women. Barnard is affiliated with but legally and financially separate from Columbia University.

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Median Debt
$16,500
Median Salary
$43,300

Cornell University’s Department of Psychology offers a major or minor in psychology for undergraduate students. The major program is 40 credits in total, and offers the option to choose two concentrations: behavioral and evolutionary neuroscience, or personality and social psychology. Students also have the option to combine their Psychology major with a Cognitive Science minor. 

Coursework falls primarily within three areas of psychology, including Perception, Cognition and Development; Behavioral and Evolutionary Science; and Social and Personality Psychology. Courses in other departments may be accepted with the permission of an advisor. Proficiency in Statistics must also be demonstrated through either the Psychology 2500 course or through an outside department’s coursework. 

Students looking to pursue the Behavioral and Evolutionary Neuroscience concentration must demonstrate a solid background in biology and the physical sciences, including at least introductory chemistry, and mathematics. Those interested in the Personality and Social Psychology concentration are permitted to include some major courses in anthropology, economics, sociology, and other fields, as approved by advisors. 

Cornell University is a private Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York. It was founded by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White in 1865, and is the land-grant university for New York state. 

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Median Debt
$16,125
Median Salary
$43,100

Colgate University’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences students explore provocative and important questions at multiple levels of analysis; from brain to behavior and everything in between. The major includes at least 9 courses within the department. Required Courses include Introduction to Psychological Science; Research Methods in Psychological Science; Biological Psychology; Quantitative Methods in Behavioral Research; and Senior Research. 

Four additional courses must be selected from areas like Cognitive Psychology; Developmental/Social/Personality/Clinical Psychology; and Neuroscience. Senior Research must be taken in the fall or spring term of the senior year. Juniors will identify areas of interest for their research experience and subsequently be assigned to faculty research supervisors.

Colgate University is a private liberal arts college in Hamilton, New York. It was founded in 1819 by the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York, and is named for one of the original trustees, William Colgate, founder of the Colgate Company. 

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Median Debt
$13,606
Median Salary
$41,300

Stanford's undergraduate program in Psychology aims to introduce students to the theories and empirical studies of human behavior. The major provides students with knowledge and skills relevant to careers in technology, business, counseling, education, public policy, law, and medicine, as well as graduate studies in Psychology. 

The program requires a minimum of 70 credits, 60 of which must be taken in the Psychology department. Examples of course options are Minds and Machines; Introduction to Perception; Introduction to Cultural Psychology; Introduction to Abnormal Psychology; and Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience. Students in the major may elect to specialize in one of four specialization tracks: Cognitive Sciences; Health and Development; Mind, Culture, and Society; or Neuroscience. There is also a senior honors program designed for exceptional Psychology majors who wish to pursue a year of intensive supervised independent research.

Stanford University is a private research university founded in 1891. The university is located near Silicon Valley in Stanford, California.

Visit Stanford University's website.

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