Top Psychology Universities in 2022-2023

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Best Colleges and Universities for Psychology in the World

About Psychology

Psychology is a discipline of medicine concerned with the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health problems. Psychologists observe, interpret, and document how people interact with one another and their surroundings in order to better understand cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior. For many ages, psychology has been in high demand. The overall psychology field is expected to grow by 8% between 2020 and 2030 (United States Department of Labor), creating a plethora of job opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in it.

Skills of a Psychologist

 The skills listed below are some of the most important for a student to acquire in order to have a successful career in psychology.

  • Communication skills: Psychologists must be able to communicate professionally as they spend much of their time listening to and speaking with patients. 
  • Analytical skills: Since psychologists are involved in gathering information from their patients, they must possess good analytical skills to draw logical conclusions.  
  • Problem-solving skills: As a psychologist, the person should be able to evaluate the mental and behavioral problems of the patients to derive a solution or treatment for the same. 
  • Integrity: Psychologists must maintain doctor-patient confidentiality to gain the trust of their patients. 
  • Observational skills: To comprehend the possible meanings of facial expressions, body positions, behaviors, and interactions, a psychologist must have strong observational skills.
  • Patience: When treating patients with delicate behavioral issues, a psychologist must demonstrate patience.
  • Interpersonal skills: Psychologists should be able to communicate effectively with people both, individually and in groups.

Popular degrees for pursuing a career in Psychology

Associate Programs

An associate degree of two years in psychology provides a quick entry into the job field. It provides an array of entry-level jobs in the mental health fields such as social work and human  services. It also serves as a stepping stone for advanced degrees in psychology – bachelor’s or master’s degrees, saving both time and money.

  • Associate of Arts 
  • Associate of Science

Bachelor’s Programs

For students with little or no college experience who want to pursue entry-level careers, a bachelor’s degree in psychology is the best option. Students can choose either one of the following courses:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Master’s Programs

Many aspiring psychologists choose a master’s degree as their terminal degree because it provides specialized expertise in a certain area of psychology. It guarantees a higher salary than a bachelor’s degree and prepares students for doctoral studies. There are two kinds of master’s degree programs offered in psychology:

  • Master of Arts in Psychology
  • Master of Science in Psychology

Doctoral Programs

A doctoral degree is best for aspiring clinical psychologists who wish to get licensed and practice independently. It expands the number of research-related job opportunities. Students can either choose a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree. Ph.D. degrees have a greater emphasis on research and technique, whereas PsyD degrees place a greater emphasis on the application of psychological knowledge.

Students might also choose to pursue online degrees because there is no difference in educational levels between the offline and online modes of study in psychology. Online programs may be helpful for students who have commitment difficulties, such as those working full-time jobs. 

Specializations in Psychology

When it comes to a diverse field such as psychology, picking a specialization is very important. Some paths a candidate with an advanced degree in psychology can take are

  • Clinical psychology
  • Industrial-organizational psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Counseling psychology
  • School psychology
  • Educational psychology
  • Environmental psychology
  • Family psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Community psychology
  • Experimental psychology

Duration of Psychology Programs

The majority of the positions in psychology require a master’s degree or higher, but for entry-level jobs, a bachelor’s or even an associate degree is sufficient. The general duration of these programs is as follows:

Country Associate Degree Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctoral Degree
USA and Canada 2 years  4 years 1-2 years 4-7 years
UK 2 years 4 years 1-2 years 4-7 years
Australia 2 years 4 years 1-2 years 4-7 years

Career opportunities for Psychologists

Psychology is used to assist people better understand their behavior and solve some of the common problems they confront on a daily basis. A psychologist can find career opportunities in the following settings:

  • Psychiatric hospitals
  • Public or private hospitals
  • Private practices
  • Nursing homes
  • Prisons
  • Rehabilitation programs
  • University medical centers
  • Palliative care and hospice programs

Average salaries for Psychologists

The average annual pay for a psychologist in the USA is 190,226 USD/year. The entry-level psychiatry jobs start at 60,649 USD/year while most experienced ones can make up to 257,963 USD/year. (Source: Talent, USA). 

Canada pays an annual salary of 247,467 USD/year to psychologists. The most experienced workers make up to $354,048 USD/year, whereas entry-level jobs pay up to 146,000 USD/year. (Source: Talent, Canada). 

The salary for a psychologist in the UK is 91,186 USD/year. The freshers get paid around 51,447USD/year and the experienced psychologists get paid 96,390 USD/year. (Source: Talent, UK). 

A psychologist in Australia makes around 190,624 USD/year. The entry-level salary for psychologists in Australia starts at 55,783 USD/year and experienced psychologists get 221,481 USD/year.

Country Average salary in USD/year
Canada  247,467 
Australia 190,624
USA 190,226
UK 91,186

Top 50 Universities in the world for Psychology based on various rankings (Shanghai/QS/THE):

Shanghai Ranking QS Ranking THE Ranking University Country BachelorsPrograms Masters Programs
1 1 2 Harvard University USA Click Here  Click Here
2 10 18 University College London UK Click Here  Click Here
3 2 4 Stanford University USA Click Here  Click Here
4 10 13 University of Pennsylvania USA Click Here  Click Here
5 7 9 Yale University USA Click Here  Click Here
6 12 11 Columbia University USA Click Here  Click Here
7 22 24 Northwestern University USA Click Here  Click Here
8 6 20 University of California, Los Angeles USA Click Here  Click Here
9 13 26 New York University USA Click Here  Click Here
10 3 1 University of Oxford UK Click Here  Click Here
11 14 10 University of Chicago USA Click Here  Click Here
12 19 18 University of Toronto  Canada Click Here  Click Here
13 8 24 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor USA Click Here  Click Here
14 15 65 University of Amsterdam Netherlands Click Here  Click Here
15 20 35 King’s College London UK Click Here  Click Here
16 36 47 The University of Texas at Austin USA Click Here  Click Here
17 48 85 The Ohio State University – Columbus USA Click Here  Click Here
18 62 115 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands Click Here  Click Here
19 101-150 140 University of Pittsburgh USA Click Here  Click Here
20 55 86 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities USA Click Here  Click Here
21 28 23 Duke University USA Click Here  Click Here
22 5 8 University of California, Berkeley USA Click Here  Click Here
23 46 58 University of Wisconsin – Madison USA Click Here  Click Here
24 95 67 University of California, Davis USA Click Here  Click Here
25 32 48 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign USA Click Here  Click Here
26 50 34 University of California, San Diego USA Click Here  Click Here
27 24 70 The University of New South Wales Australia Click Here  Click Here
28 23 42 KU Leuven Belgium Click Here  Click Here
29 52 29 University of Washington USA Click Here  Click Here
30 4 5 University of Cambridge UK Click Here  Click Here
31 67 NA University of Maryland, College Park USA Click Here  Click Here
32 58 52 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill USA Click Here  Click Here
33 101-150 251–300 Florida State University USA Click Here  Click Here
34 58 NA Pennsylvania State University – University Park USA Click Here  Click Here
35 31 69 Utrecht University Netherlands Click Here  Click Here
36 62 113 Vanderbilt University USA Click Here  Click Here
37 89 132 Arizona State University USA Click Here  Click Here
38 20 33 The University of Melbourne Australia Click Here  Click Here
39 76 62 Boston University USA Click Here  Click Here
40 45 22 Cornell University USA Click Here  Click Here
41 62 139 Radboud University Nijmegen Netherlands Click Here  Click Here
42 43 80 University of Groningen Netherlands Click Here  Click Here
43 76 63 University of Southern California USA Click Here  Click Here
44 16 37 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here  Click Here
45 101-150 98 University of California, Irvine USA Click Here  Click Here
46 82 127 University of Virginia USA Click Here  Click Here
47 48 75 University of Zurich Switzerland Click Here  Click Here
48 73 64 Brown University USA Click Here  Click Here
49 26 54 The University of Queensland Australia Click Here  Click Here
50 74 96 Ghent University Belgium Click Here  Click Here

Top Universities in USA for Psychology:

Shanghai Ranking QS Ranking THE Ranking University Country BachelorsPrograms Masters Programs
1 1 2 Harvard University USA Click Here Click Here
3 2 4 Stanford University USA Click Here Click Here
4 10 13 University of Pennsylvania USA Click Here Click Here
5 7 9 Yale University USA Click Here Click Here
6 12 11 Columbia University USA Click Here Click Here

Top Universities in UK for Psychology:

Shanghai Ranking QS Ranking THE Ranking University Country BachelorsPrograms Masters Programs
2 10 18 University College London UK Click Here Click Here
10 3 1 University of Oxford UK Click Here Click Here
15 20 35 King’s College London UK Click Here Click Here
30 4 5 University of Cambridge UK Click Here Click Here

Top Universities in Netherlands for Psychology:

Shanghai Ranking QS Ranking THE Ranking University Country BachelorsPrograms Masters Programs
14 15 65 University of Amsterdam Netherlands Click Here Click Here
18 62 115 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands Click Here Click Here
35 31 69 Utrecht University Netherlands Click Here Click Here
41 62 139 Radboud University Nijmegen Netherlands Click Here Click Here
42 43 80 University of Groningen Netherlands Click Here Click Here

Academic Requirements for studying Psychology 

The academic requirements for pursuing a psychology degree may differ from one university to another, but the following are the typical criteria as given by the top universities:

Associate level

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Personal statement of intent
  • High school transcripts 
  • ACT/SAT score
  • TOEFL/IELTS score

Bachelor’s level

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Personal statement of intent
  • High school transcripts 
  • Recommendation letter
  • ACT/SAT score
  • TOEFL/IELTS score

Master’s level

  • A bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field of study with a GPA score of 3.0-3.5
  • Personal statement of intent
  • Recommendation letter
  • TOEFL/IELTS score
  • Some programs also ask for an average GRE score of 618
  • Internships/research experience
  • Published research papers 

Doctoral level

  • A master’s degree in psychology with a GPA score of 3.0-3.5 or a bachelor’s degree with relevant work experience
  • Personal statement of intent
  • Recommendation letter
  • TOEFL/IELTS score
  • Some programs also ask for an average GRE score of 618
  • Internships/research experience
  • Published research papers 
  • Personal interview

Frequently Asked Questions

In comparison to USA and UK, the psychologists in Canada and Australia earn the highest average salaries.

Country Average salary in USD/year
Canada  247,467 
Australia 190,624
USA 190,226
UK 91,186

Accreditation is important to ensure that psychology programs conducted by a university or school provide students with quality education. In the USA, students need to make sure that the university they are applying to is an American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited university. The British Psychological Society (BPS) is the UK’s representative body for psychology and psychologists and has been responsible for the accreditation of psychology education and training programs since the early 1970s. While Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), is involved in the accreditation of psychology programs in Canada.

A psychologist is a PhD-educated mental health specialist with extensive training and focuses on healing through therapy, whereas a psychiatrist is a doctor that can prescribe medicine to treat mental health conditions. 

A psychologist should be licensed in order to provide psychological services to patients. The licensing requirements in the USA vary from state to state. However, passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) in all 50 USA states is a requirement for obtaining a psychologist license. In the UK, psychologists need to register with the General Medical Council to obtain their license to practice.