Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

//Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019
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Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019 2020-01-08T19:28:45+00:00

OPD-Most InnovativeIf you are considering a career in psychology, you might be researching the most innovative psychology degree programs at small colleges in the U.S. Although there are many benefits to pursuing a degree from a larger academic institution, smaller schools offer opportunities for more focused, personalized studies as students collaborate more intimately with peers and faculty members. Whether you plan to enter the workforce immediately after graduating or you are looking to pursue graduate training in management, human resources, business, law, medicine, or social work, an undergraduate degree in psychology can get you there. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, there are many innovative degrees offered at top-rated, nationally recognized institutions across the country.

Methodology

To help students narrow down their program options in terms of smaller schools offering Bachelor’s in Psychology degrees, we took the liberty of researching post-secondary institutions throughout the U.S. To start our list, we used the College Navigator Database at the National Center for Education Statistics and conducted a search for the term “Bachelor’s in Psychology degree with an undergraduate enrollment of under 10,000.” We were given an initial pool of more than 100 schools that matched this search term, and we narrowed down the list into the top 20 most innovative programs offered by small schools based on the following methodology.

Average Annual Cost of Attendance

Although pursuing a high-quality program is of the utmost importance, one of the first things undergraduate students ask is, “How much is this program going to cost me?” Before you spend a great deal of time compiling this information, you should know that we have done the hard work for you. We used the College Navigator database and each school’s website to gather the most up-to-date tuition information and awarded points based on the following cost ranges.

Points:
Under $20,000: 3 points
$20,001 to $39,999: 2 points
$40,000 ore more: 1 point

College Ranking

It can be overwhelming wading through all of the “best of” and “top” program lists and rankings put out every year. The major source of these rankings, U.S. News & World Report, is known for recognizing areas such as “Best National University,” “Best National Liberal Arts College,” and “Best Regional University.” We took these ranking lists as well as lists for the schools considered to be the best value and the most innovative and awarded points according to the following categories.

Points:
U.S. News & World Report: Most Innovative College Ranking:
Top 10: 3 points
Top 25: 2 points
Top 50: 1 point

U.S. News & World Report: Best National University, Best National Liberal Arts College Ranking:
Top 10: 4 points
Top 25: 3 points
Top 50: 2 point
Top 100: 1 point

U.S. News & World Report: Best Regional University, Best Value School, Top Public School Ranking:
Top 25: 3 points
Top 50: 2 points
Top 100: 1 point

Undergraduate Enrollment:

Although there are certain merits to larger institutions including greater opportunities, more degree offerings, and a greater selection of specialization areas, there are many pros to pursuing a degree from a smaller college. Students can form closer relationships with faculty members and their peers as they receive more individualized attention and the opportunity to study specific topics in-depth. We awarded the most points to the schools with the lowest undergraduate enrollment.

Points:
5,000 or fewer: 3 points
5,001 to 8,499: 2 points
8,500 to 10,000: 1 point

Accreditation

Accreditation is a strong indicator that a program and institution are of high academic quality. Accreditation, earned via a comprehensive peer review process, lets prospective students, current students, and the public know that any given school has met and is expected to continue to meet standards set forth by the accrediting organization. For the purpose of this ranking, we did not look at programmatic accreditation; rather, we focused on national and regional accreditation.

Points:
Each Accreditation: 1 point

Ranking Top 20 Graduate Degree Programs in Forensic Psychology

20. Beloit College

Beloit, Wisconsin

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology provides students the opportunity to apply psychological principles to everyday life.

Points: 7
Program Website

Founded in 1846, Beloit College is a private liberal arts college and the oldest continuously operated college in the state. Beloit’s Department of Psychology aims to help students in learning to think like professional psychologists. Students are required to consider the theoretical viewpoints of the field while generating and evaluating empirical evidence. Undergraduates also participate in a robust academic program that includes student-faculty research, internships, and traditional coursework. The program provides students the opportunity to apply psychological principles to everyday life and to contribute to the knowledge base of the field.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $50,040
Enrollment: 1,402
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#68 in Best Value Schools
#68 (tie) in National Liberal Arts Colleges
Accreditations:
HLC

19. Goucher College

Baltimore, Maryland

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology curriculum includes traditional learning within the classroom as well as experiential learning.

Points: 8
Program Website

Goucher College, a private liberal arts college in Baltimore, Maryland, enrolls approximately 700 graduates and 1,450 undergraduates in 33 majors and six interdisciplinary fields. The Psychology Department at Goucher generates a lively, stimulating, supportive, and open academic culture. The curriculum includes traditional learning within the classroom as well as experiential learning in the form of self-directed exploration, collaborative construction of knowledge, active involvement in research, and community engagement. Faculty members have a strong passion for the field, creating an atmosphere of active, close mentoring both outside and inside the classroom.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $44,300
Enrollment: 1,538
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#12 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
#116 (tie) in National Liberal Arts Colleges
Accreditations:
MSCHE

18. Mercer University

Macon, Georgia

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology curriculum provides students with a strong background in the philosophical, theoretical, and empirical features of the field.

Points: 9
Program Website

Located in Macon, Georgia, Mercer University is the oldest private university in the state and enrolls more than 8,600 students in 12 schools and colleges. Macon is considered an innovator in terms of training undergraduate psychology students. The school’s Psychology Department offers a curriculum that provides students with a strong background in the philosophical, theoretical, and empirical features of the field, providing them the opportunity to advance their skills in research, computer use, speaking, writing, and critical thinking. Undergraduates may choose to complete an original, independent research project as part of the undergraduate requirements, and each faculty member oversees an active research group in which students are encouraged to participate. Advanced students may choose to participate in experiential learning in applied areas by pursuing field placements in the surrounding communities.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $36,894
Enrollment: 4,747
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#35 in Best Value Schools
#140 (tie) in National Universities
Accreditations:
SACSCOC

17. Berea College

Berea, Kentucky

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology instructs students about the various areas of practice and study within the field of psychology.

Points: 10
Program Website

Founded in 1855, Berea College in Berea, Kentucky is distinctive among post-secondary institutions for being the first college in the southern U.S. to be racially integrated and coeducational. Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Psychology Department at Berea learn about the various areas of practice and study within the field of psychology. Throughout the undergraduate curriculum, students learn how to help others grow in psychological health, how to teach at universities and colleges, how to conduct research on the causes of behavior in animals and humans, and how to use psychological principles to solve problems in applied settings such as business, schools, and other organizations.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $25,760
Enrollment: 1,670
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#3 in Most Innovative Schools
#61 (tie) in National Liberal Arts Colleges
Accreditations:
SACSCOC

16. Bard College

Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology engages students in integrative critical thinking and provides hands-on learning opportunities.

Points: 11
Program Website

Located in Annandale-on-Hudson, a hamlet in New York, Bard College is a private liberal arts college that was founded in 1860 and currently operates a network of more than 35 affiliated centers, institutes, and programs. Bard’s undergraduate program in psychology provides students with the opportunity to learn how the distinctive scientific methods and perspectives of psychology can affect human behavior, emotions, and thoughts. In addition to taking a multi-level approach to answering questions, the program engages students in integrative critical thinking and provides hands-on learning opportunities. Students study foundational subfields such as neuroscience and abnormal, developmental, cognitive, and social psychology. The curriculum covers many analytical and language approaches of the field, and graduates are prepared for a number of related career pursuits as well as graduate study in the field.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $25,760
Enrollment: 1,938
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#4 in Most Innovative Schools
#56 (tie) in National Liberal Arts Colleges
#57 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
MSACS

15. Franklin and Marshall College

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology provides opportunities for meaningful research involvement beginning in the freshman year.

Points: 12
Program Website

Located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Franklin and Marshall College is a private liberal arts college that enrolls 2,300 full-time students and employs 175 full-time faculty members. The psychology major at F&M is widely recognized for its strong focus on empirical research and for its academic excellence. Since psychologists study behavior and the mind in animals and humans, the school provides opportunities for meaningful research involvement beginning in the freshman year. Undergraduates also benefit from outstanding resources and facilities such as specialized laboratories, and students may choose to investigate areas in which they have a close professional interest such as the nature of interpersonal relationships, the development of communication and language in infants, artificial intelligence, and perceptual problems in night-driving.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $56,550
Enrollment: 2,283
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#6 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
#28 in Best Value Schools
#36 (tie) in National Liberal Arts Colleges
Accreditations:
MSCHE

14. Colorado College

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology highlights an empirical understanding of human and animal behavior as well as scientific research literature.

Points: 12
Program Website

Located in Colorado Springs, Colorado and founded in 1874, Colorado College enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduates and offers more than 40 majors and more than 30 minors. The school’s Department of Psychology is dedicated to providing an academic program that helps students develop the necessary knowledge and skills that will prepare them for professional work and graduate studies. Students are exposed to the broad field of academic psychology, and the program highlights an empirical understanding of human and animal behavior as well as scientific research literature. In addition to learning about the ethical responsibility that is required in the field, students also gather a knowledge base in the core areas of psychology with an in-depth investigation in advanced-study courses.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $55,470
Enrollment: 2,107
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#2 in Most Innovative Schools
#27 (tie) in National Liberal Arts Colleges
#36 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
HLC

13. Duke University

Durham, North Carolina

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The undergraduate program in psychology offers both a BS and a BA in Psychology.

Points: 13
Program Website

Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke University is a private research university that enrolls nearly 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The Department of Psychology & Neuroscience in Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences confers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. The undergraduate program aims to provide students with an interactive, dynamic learning experience that results in a strong background in psychology as a science. Training is provided in five areas, including social psychology, developmental psychology, biological bases of behavior, abnormal/health psychology, and cognitive psychology/cognitive neuroscience. Students benefit from one-on-one independent study experiences and lectures in small-group formats.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $55,960
Enrollment: 6,696
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#8 (tie) in National Universities
#13 in Best Value Schools
#16 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
Accreditations:
SACSCOC

12. Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The psychology department offers three tracks of study for a BA or BS in Psychology.

Points: 13
Program Website

Established in 1636 and located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the country and one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Harvard’s Department of Psychology offers nationally recognized psychology programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Psychology can choose from three tracks. The general track is chosen by 70 percent of students, covers the broad range of topics in the field, and affords the greatest flexibility. The cognitive science track is chosen by five percent of students and includes coursework in areas such as computer science, human evolutionary biology, philosophy, and linguistics. The cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology track is chosen by 25 percent of students and combines coursework from the life sciences as well as psychology.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $50,420
Enrollment: 9,965
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#2 in National Universities
#2 in Best Value Schools
#14 in Most Innovative Schools
Accreditations:
NECHE

11. Rollins College

Winter Park, Florida

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology has an emphasis on laboratory courses and experiential learning.

Points: 13
Program Website

100-word description The Department of Psychology at Rollins uses the content and methods of psychological science to teach students to understand the reasons behind behavior, respect human diversity, become competent critical decision-makers, and fulfill their responsibilities. The Department offers a psychology major and minor through both the Hamilton Holt Evening School and the College of Liberal Arts. Areas of study include statistics and research methods, perspectives in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology. With an emphasis on laboratory courses and experiential learning, the psychology major provides students with the education they need to continue their studies in graduate school or join the workforce after graduation.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $49,760
Enrollment: 2,612
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#2 in Regional Universities South
#11 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
#19 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
SACSCOC

10. Elon University

Elon, North Carolina

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology offers a grounding in research methodology as well as courses in educational, cross-cultural, abnormal, social, developmental, and cognitive psychology.

Points: 13
Program Website

Founded in 1889, Elon University is a private liberal arts university in Elon, North Carolina that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees to more than 6,000 students each year. Elon’s Department of Psychology represents the school’s largest liberal arts major and offers an undergraduate program that features an emphasis on psychology as an applied, basic science. Large enough to offer a range of research opportunities, internships, and courses normally associated with a bigger university yet small enough to provide close personal mentoring, the psychology program offers a grounding in research methodology as well as courses in educational, cross-cultural, abnormal, social, developmental, and cognitive psychology. Other areas of study include animal behavior, behavior neuroscience, and the psychology of leadership.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $35,319
Enrollment: 6,045
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#1 in Regional Universities South
#1 in Most Innovative Schools
#30 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
SACSCOC

9. Grinnell College

Grinnell, Iowa

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology students are encouraged to pursue experiential learning via internships.

Points: 14
Program Website

Founded in 1846, Grinnell College is a small private liberal arts college known for its innovative pedagogy, rigorous academics, and commitment to social justice. The Department of Psychology confers an undergraduate degree in psychology that highlights the behavior of biological organisms in their social habitats. All students must complete their introductory courses in a specific order, including classes in research methods, statistics, and general psychology Electives allow students to move toward advanced courses for in-depth study, and they may provide the basis for individual research projects. The department also encourages undergraduates to pursue experiential learning via internships. Graduates are prepared for careers in law, medicine, clinical work, scientific research, and teaching.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $52,392
Enrollment: 1,712
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#6 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
#11 (tie) in National Liberal Arts Colleges
#12 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
HLC

8. Stanford University

Stanford, California

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology allows specialization in four areas of study.

Points: 14
Program Website

One of the top universities in the world, Stanford University, known for its proximity to Silicon Valley and its academic strength, is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford’s Department of Psychology offers an undergraduate major in psychology that consists of studies in cognitive neuroscience, learning and memory, and perception as well as abnormal, clinical, personality, cultural, social, and developmental psychology. Students round out the program with electives, and students may choose to count up to 10 units of practica, independent study, and research toward the psychology major. Undergraduates may also choose to specialize in one of four areas, including neuroscience, cognitive sciences, health and development, or mind, culture, and society.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $51,354
Enrollment: 7,064
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#5 in Best Value Schools
#5 in Most Innovative Schools
#7 in National Universities
Accreditations:
WSCUC

7. Butler University

Indianapolis, Indiana

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology curriculum consists of a general overview of the basic methods and topics in psychology to allow students to explore more specific content areas.

Points: 14
Program Website

Named after founder Ovid Butler and founded in 1855, Butler University is a private university in Indianapolis, Indiana that consists of more than 60 major academic fields of study across six colleges. The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences confers an undergraduate degree in psychology, and students in this program gather a thorough understanding of psychological science through experiential learning via research projects and through training in the classroom. The curriculum consists of a general overview of the basic methods and topics in psychology, and students will later have the opportunity to advance to a more thorough exploration of specific content areas. Graduates are prepared for further studies in the field or for careers in public service, medical, education, government, or business settings.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $41,120
Enrollment: 4,293
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#1 in Most Innovative Schools
#1 (tie) in Regional Universities Midwest
#21 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
HLC

6. Amherst College

Amherst, Massachusetts

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology follows an interdisciplinary approach to teaching.

Points: 15
Program Website

Founded in 1821 as a men’s college, Amherst College is now a coeducational, private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts. Within the school’s Department of Psychology, Amherst faculty approach the field from different angles to better understand human experience and behavior. The program follows an interdisciplinary approach, exposing students to the different methods of psychological research that reveal the complex web of interacting influences that affect behaviors. Students will take courses in the psychology of globalization, the psychology of play, and close relationships, and the Department provides numerous laboratories in which students may investigate the different aspects of psychology — from behavioral neuroscience and physiological psychology to cognitive psychology and more.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $56,426
Enrollment: 1,836
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#2 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
#3 in Best Value Schools
#8 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
Accreditations:
NECHE

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The first year of the BS in Psychology consists of an introduction to computation, cognitive science, and neuroscience.

Points: 15
Program Website

Commonly referred to as MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts that was founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization in the U.S. MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences confers an undergraduate degree in psychology, and the program is organized into a tier system in which courses build on the expertise students gained in the preceding level. The first year consists of an introduction to computation, cognitive science, and neuroscience with an emphasis on classes that further develop students’ skills in statistics and programming. Students also have the opportunity to focus on individual interest areas as they move through the program.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $56,426
Enrollment: 4,547
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#3 in Best Value Schools
#3 in Most Innovative Schools
#3 (tie) in National Universities
Accreditations:
NECHE

4. Davidson College

Davidson, North Carolina

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology curriculum integrates the study of animal and human behavior with the empirical scientific method.

Points: 15
Program Website

Davidson College, a small private liberal arts college in Davidson, North Carolina, enrolls about 1,950 students from 40 countries and 47 states. Davidson’s Psychology Department offers a bachelor’s in psychology degree that consists of courses in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities, and students benefit from numerous research opportunities and field experiences to gain hands-on instruction in real-world settings. The broad-spanning curriculum also integrates the study of animal and human behavior with the empirical scientific method, and students learn how cognitive and physiological processes affect behavior. Graduates are prepared for careers directly after graduation or to pursue graduate studies at the master’s or doctoral levels.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $51,447
Enrollment: 1,810
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#5 in Most Innovative Schools
#8 in Best Value Schools
#10 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
Accreditations:
SACSCOC

3. Creighton University

Omaha, Nebraska

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BA in Psychology offers student the chance to pursue independent research and/or internship courses.

Points: 15
Program Website

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1878, Creighton University is a private, Jesuit, Roman Catholic university located in Omaha, Nebraska. Creighton’s Department of Psychological Science confers an undergraduate psychology degree that offers insight into the complete range of human emotions, cognitions, and behaviors. Students can pursue independent research and/or internship courses in which they learn valuable skills outside of the traditional classroom, and graduates often pursue master’s or doctoral training in specific areas within the field that they were introduced to throughout the undergraduate program such as industrial/organizational, physiological, social, forensic, developmental, cognitive, educational/school, and counseling/clinical psychology. Psychology majors may also choose to minor in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, a particularly relevant minor for those interested in the biological sciences.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $39,916
Enrollment: 4,255
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#1 (tie) in Regional Universities Midwest
#2 in Most Innovative Schools
#4 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
HLC

2. Evergreen State College

Olympia, Washington

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

The BS in Psychology prepares graduates in both practice and theory for graduate work and study in psychological research, human and social services, and clinical psychology.

Points: 15
Program Website

Founded in 1967, Evergreen State College is a public liberal arts college in Olympia, Washington that offers a non-traditional undergraduate curriculum in which students can design their own paths of study. The school’s undergraduate program in psychology takes an interdisciplinary approach to the field that includes different methods for students to build their understanding of the biological, psychological, and social elements that affect human behavior and health. Students may choose an area of emphasis in which to focus their degree, and graduates are prepared in both practice and theory for graduate work and study in psychological research, human and social services, and clinical psychology.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $7,944
Enrollment: 3,610
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#2 in Most Innovative Schools
#7 (tie) in Top Public Schools
#35 (tie) in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
NWCCU

1. Truman State University

Kirksville, Missouri

Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree Programs At Small Colleges in the U.S. 2019

Truman State University offers both a BA and a BS in Psychology.

Points: 18
Program Website

Truman State University is a public sciences and liberal arts university situated in Kirksville, Missouri that enrolls 6,000 undergraduate and 300 graduate students each year. Psychology majors at Truman investigate mental processes and behavior through a combination of experiential opportunities outside the classroom and rigorous coursework. B.S. majors become involved in all aspects of research, including forming a hypothesis, designing the study, collecting and evaluating data, and presenting the findings at national, regional, and local conferences. Research students also have access to numerous study-abroad and internship opportunities. Although B.A. students are not as exposed to research as their B.S. counterparts as the B.A. curriculum is more generalized and focused on the field of psychology as a whole, they still discover the tenets of the scientific method. Ultimately, students pursuing one of these innovative programs benefit from more valuable classroom and real-world experiences.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $7,656
Enrollment: 5,898
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#1 in Top Public Schools
#2 in Best Value Schools
#6 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
#9 in Regional Universities Midwest
Accreditations:
HLC

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for a Bachelor’s in Psychology Degree?

If you want to study human behavior, master topics in the sciences and humanities, and take challenging classes, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from a small school in the U.S. is a great option. Psychology undergraduates study human behavior and why people act the way they do, and a degree in this field can prepare graduates for careers in counseling, social work, medicine, sales, business, and therapy. Students may pursue graduate work for more specialized training, or they may take on an entry-level job immediately after completing the program. The following are several popular career options for those with a bachelor’s degree in psychology:

  • Writer
  • Teacher
  • Social Service Specialist
  • Sales Representative
  • Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Probation and Parole Officer
  • Psychiatric Technician
  • Market Researcher
  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Child Care Worker
  • Case Manager
  • Career Counselor
  • Advertising Agent

It is true that, in order to work as a psychologist, a doctorate or master’s is required. However, a bachelor’s in psychology degree can still function as a valuable starting point for the above career paths.

How Much Can You Earn in This Field?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), psychologists reported a median annual pay of $77,030 per year in May 2017. The highest 10 percent of psychologists reported earnings of more than $124,520, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $42,330. The highest-paying psychologists during the same year included industrial-organizational psychologists and clinical, counseling, and school psychologists.

ZipRecruiter indicates that, as of January 2019, the average annual pay for someone with a bachelor’s in psychology degree is $46,476 per year. While annual salaries for psychologists range from $21,000 to $98,000 per year or more, the majority of salaries for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology range from $33,500 to $52,   000 across the U.S. Although there may be fewer opportunities for advancement based on skills, graduates may enjoy increased pay based on location and years of experience.

The BLS also reports that, in May 2017, the median annual wages for psychologists in the top industries in which they were employed were:

  • State, local, and private elementary and secondary schools: $74,470
  • Ambulatory healthcare services: $77,030
  • State, local, and private hospitals: $83,910
  • Government: $94,910

A number of factors influence salary earnings for psychologists such as specialty practice area, location, experience, and level of education. Although graduates may seek entry-level positions with only a bachelor’s degree, the highest salaries are reserved for those with licensure, certification, and doctoral degrees such as clinical, counseling, and research psychologists.

What Courses Will You Take in a Bachelor’s in Psychology Degree Program?

If you are just beginning your psychology degree, you can expect to take a number of courses that focus on the science of human behavior. Not only is your goal to fulfill the course requirements of your chosen program’s department, but you will also develop research competence, critical thinking skills, and an in-depth knowledge of psychology. The following are some of the most important courses you will find in an undergraduate psychology program:

  • Personality Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Statistics
  • History of Psychology
  • General Psychology

Should You Get a Bachelor’s in Psychology?

If learning about abnormal behavior, neurology, developmental processes, and human cognition excites you, then you may want to consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology. A psychology degree teaches students the skills they need to work with a diverse population, including in business, counseling, sales, and clinical settings. The combination of courses in humanities and science gives undergraduates a comprehensive education that they can then apply to many career paths.

A number of universities and colleges offer on-campus and online programs, each suited to a different type of student. On-campus programs benefit those looking to enter college immediately after graduating high school, seeking a traditional collegiate experience. In addition, on-campus programs, particularly those offered by smaller schools, allow students more opportunities to develop personal relationships with potential employers, local professionals, and professors. On the other hand, online bachelor’s programs in psychology typically appeal to students with families and working professionals.

Earning a psychology degree from an accredited school can also help when it comes to finding employment. Established institutions often carry reputations in the psychology community, and many universities, large and small, offer alumni networking opportunities, internships, and job placement assistance. Even if you aren’t sure of the career path you’d like to take, having access to additional resources and a variety of courses may help you narrow down the topics that interest you. If you need more assistance choosing the school and program that best meets your needs, it is our hope that our list of the most innovative psychology degree programs at small colleges in the U.S. will be of some help.

This concludes our ranking of the Top 20 Most Innovative Psychology Degree programs at Small Colleges in the U.S.

By OPD Staff
July 2019