Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

//Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019
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Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019 2021-10-15T20:37:56+00:00

purdue psychology ranking

Learning about up and coming bachelor’s degree programs in psychology is a great way for students to understand innovations in the field so that they can make the best decision for their career in terms of their education. Students are always the first to welcome innovation and change. Since psychology is an expanding field with lots of room for growth, it makes sense that the programs would be developed to reflect that. But with so many programs, how does a student choose one?

Accredited online programs are always a good choice, especially for students who are working full-time or have other responsibilities that keep them from attending school full-time and on-campus. They need affordable degrees with features and options that will help them further their careers. These features include:

  • asynchronous or synchronous courses
  • an online library
  • online tutoring, and more

Some of the programs listed below offer online programming.

Methodology

The National Center for Education Statistics and its publicly available College Navigator database served as the research starting points for this degree. Over 500 schools were initially identified as possible entries for this ranking. Then each school was reviewed based on several factors, such as acceptance rate and innovation. The final 20 schools were chosen based on the most important factor, which was the school’s total estimated in-state undergraduate tuition cost for the length of the program.

20. The University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BA in Psychology can pursue two additional minors in the program.

Website

The Bachelor’s in Psychology program at the University of Southern California provides students with an opportunity to earn a world-class education in the field. This degree comes complete with:

  • an honors program
  • the nationally renowned Psi Chi Honors Society
  • research and internship opportunities

Students who complete this degree will be:

  • knowledgeable in scientific inquiry and critical thinking
  • able to express their ideas and comprehension of foundational aspects of psychology
  • ethically and socially responsible professionals in the field

There are two minors available with this degree: Consumer Behavior and Forensics and Criminality. This degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include:

  • Origins of the Mind
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Experimental Research Methods.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $56,225
US News and World Report Rankings:
#22 (tie) in National Universities
#37 in Best Value Schools
#23 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#28 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 16 percent

19. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BS in Psychology is focused on student research.

Website

Carnegie Mellon University is home to one of the most lauded up-and-coming bachelor’s degree programs in psychology. This program is dedicated to ensuring that students become pioneers in the field. There are three specialties in the program:

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social/Personality/Health Psychology

Students are taught by professors who are actively working in psychology. Students may take on a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Both programs are focused on student research. This emphasis on research gives students the chance to receive undergraduate grants so they can fund their work. This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a final project
  • a comprehensive final exam

More information on this degree can be found by contacting the school’s undergraduate admissions office.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science of Psychology
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $55,465
US News and World Report Rankings:
#25 (tie) in National Universities
#34 in Best Value Schools
#12 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#7 in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 22 percent

18. Tulane University

New Orleans, Louisiana

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BS in Psychology offers courses in areas such as child psychology and diversity in psychology.

Website

The up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology degree at Tulane University was recently updated. It provides students with an innovative curriculum that demonstrates the various specialties in the field. Students can complete courses in a variety of interest areas, including child psychology, diversity in psychology, and more. Students complete:

  • a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a final project
  • a comprehensive final exit exam

Sample courses include:

  • Introduction to Personality
  • Educational Psychology
  • African American Psychology.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $54,820
US News and World Reports Rankings:
#44 (tie) in National Universities
#63 in Best Value Schools
#40 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
Rate of Acceptance: 21 percent

17. Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BS in Psychology offers three concentration areas.

Website

Drexel University offers an up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology degree that’s both innovative and fresh in the field. This program emphasizes research, making it one of the few programs that strongly encourages student participation in school research projects.

The school also has a cooperative education program that may help students who are interested in accelerating their education through full-time employment opportunities. These programs can last between three to six months and build up a student’s resume before they have even graduated. It’s something all psychology students should consider.

There are three main areas of focus in this degree:

  • Clinical and Health
  • Human Development
  • Mind, Brain, and Behavior

Study abroad experiences are highly encouraged and experiences are available in each of the main focus areas. To graduate, students need to complete:

  • a minimum of 180 quarter credit units
  • a final project
  • a comprehensive final exam

More information on this degree can be found by contacting the school’s undergraduate admissions office.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $54,551
US News and World Report Rankings:
#102 (tie) in National Universities
#67 in Best Value Schools
#87 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#13 in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 79 percent

16. Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BS in Psychology offers real-world studies to strengthen their classroom understanding.

Website

Students who enroll at Boston University are in for a brilliant up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology. This program features faculty who are pioneers in their field and actively working on research projects. Because of the need for more assistants, undergraduate students are given the chance to participate in real-world studies to help strengthen their understanding of what they’re taught in the classroom. It also gives them a taste of what the field is like in the real world.

On-campus students can also take part in the school’s BU Study Abroad Program in London, which offers chances to intern in psychology workplaces abroad. To graduate, students must complete:

  • a minimum of 120 credit hours
  • a final project
  • a comprehensive exam

Sample courses include:

  • Perception and Behavior
  • Psychology of Learning
  • Developmental Psychology.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $53,948
US News and World Report Rankings:
#42 (tie) in National Universities
#46 in Best Value Schools
#32 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#28 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 25 percent

15. Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BS in Psychology offers a flexible curriculum.

Website

Northeastern University provides students with a chance to earn a low-cost Bachelor’s in Psychology. It is possible to also earn a minor in Behavioral Neuroscience. A student can also combine a major in psychology with a related major, such as:

  • Linguistics
  • Business Criminal Justice

This is a multidisciplinary course of study that focuses on empirical research that is done on humans and animals. The curriculum is flexible so that students can individualize their study in a way that makes sense for their career goals. To graduate, students must complete:

  • a minimum of 130 credit hours
  • a comprehensive exam

More information on this degree can be found by contacting the school’s undergraduate admissions office.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $51,522
US News and World Report Rankings:
#44 (tie) in National Universities
#72 in Best Value Schools
#35 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#8 in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 27 percent

14. Marquette University

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BA in Psychology has five major content areas of study.

Website

Marquette University offers an up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology that comes with the option to individualize study to a student’s interests. At the end of this innovative program, students will be able to:

  • research an issue on their own
  • communicate their knowledge of the field
  • demonstrate ethical and responsible principles

There are five major content areas in this degree:

  • Developmental
  • Social
  • Cognitive Science
  • Clinical
  • Biological

This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a final project
  • a comprehensive final exam

Sample courses include:

  • General Psychology
  • Psychological Measurements and Statistics
  • Human Factors Engineering.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $43,350
US News and World Report Rankings:
#89 (tie) in National Universities
#49 in Best Value Schools
#62 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
Rate of Acceptance: 89 percent

13. San Diego State University

San Diego, California

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BS in Psychology requires 120 credit hours of coursework.

Website

San Diego State University gives students the opportunity to complete an up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology. This program was developed to give students both research and work opportunities while completing their undergraduate degree. Students will be able to participate in research that is done by their professors, providing them with real-world experience in the field.

This degree offers students the chance to take courses in a variety of specialties while remaining in a general psychology program. Students must complete:

  • a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a final project
  • a comprehensive final exam for graduation

More information on this degree can be found by contacting the school’s graduate admissions office.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $19,390
US News and World Report Rankings:
#127 (tie) in National Universities
#110 in Best Value Schools
#87 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#45 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 35 percent

12. The University of Denver

Denver, Colorado

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

Students can earn a BA or BS in Psychology.

Website

Students enrolled at the University of Denver have the opportunity to complete one of two up and coming bachelor’s degree programs in psychology. This school offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in the field.

Students with strong math and science interests would do best in the B.S. program field. Students interested in an interdisciplinary program that focuses on the humanities will thrive in the B.A. program. There is an option to take on a concentration in cognitive neuroscience, which is the study of the relationship between the human mind and the physical brain.

This program focuses on research and general psychology courses. For graduation, it requires:

  • the completion of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a final project
  • a comprehensive exam f

Sample courses include:

  • Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Social Psychology.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $16,464
US News and World Report Rankings:
#96 (tie) in National Universities
#58 in Best Value Schools
#108 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
Rate of Acceptance: 58 percent

11. Clemson University

Clemson, South Carolina

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

Students have the opportunity to participate in professional experiences during their undergraduate.

Website

Clemson University provides students with a research-driven up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology. Students can choose between a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in the field. The B.A. program focuses on foreign languages and the humanities while the B.S. degree focuses on science and mathematics. Students have the option to participate in professional experiences. These include:

  • working as an assistant on a professor’s research project
  • an undergraduate thesis
  • a directed research project

This degree program requires:

  • the completion of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a final project
  • a comprehensive final exam.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $15,374
US News and World Report Rankings:
#66 (tie) in National Universities
#109 in Best Value Schools
#50 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#24 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 47 percent

10. George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The department offers both a BA and a BS in Psychology.

Website

The affordable Bachelor’s in Psychology offered by George Mason University is a great option for students who are interested in working in the field. This school offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. Students should look at both programs before deciding to apply to either.

There are eight concentrations available:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Human Factors Psychology
  • Work/Organizational Psychology

Because of the close proximity of the campus to Washington, D.C., there are research opportunities available that focus on public policy and national defense. The school also has access to a sleep laboratory and other research facilities, making the prospect of participating in research an inviting one for most students.

Students are required to:

  • complete a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • take a writing-intensive course
  • complete a final project
  • complete a comprehensive final exam

Sample courses include:

  • Basic Concepts in Psychology
  • Child Development
  • Psychological Factors in Aging.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $12,462
US News and World Report Rankings:
#136 (tie) in National Universities
#105 in Best Value Schools
#73 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#28 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 81 percent

9. The University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BA in Psychology requires a final project and a comprehensive final exam.

Website

The University of Cincinnati offers an up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology that’s perfect for students interested in participating in innovative research studies. This program is set up as a progressive course of study, meaning that students will begin the program learning the basic fundamentals of psychology and then move on to more in-depth psychology courses.

At the end of the program, students will have strengthened their critical thinking and scientific inquiry skills along with their communication skills. To graduate, students will need to:

  • earn at least 120 credit hours of coursework
  • complete a final project
  • pass the comprehensive final exam.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $11,000
US News and World Report Rankings:
#147 (tie) in National Universities
#130 in Best Value Schools
#167 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
Rate of Acceptance: 76 percent

8. Arizona State University

Phoenix, Arizona

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BS in Psychology is built to emphasize critical thinking, reasoning, and communication skills.

Website

Arizona State University delivers an up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology for students  interested in research as part of their undergraduate education. From human behavior to neuroscience, criminal justice to mental health, this program offers an in-depth view at psychology.

The program emphasizes skills in:

  • critical thinking
  • reasoning
  • communication

On-campus students engage in practical experiences such as internships, research projects, and more. This program requires that students complete:

  • 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a final project
  • a comprehensive final exam

Sample courses include:

  • Complete Cultural Diversity in the United States
  • Global Awareness
  • Introduction to General Psychology.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $10,822
US News and World Report Rankings:
#115 (tie) in National Universities
#108 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#119 in Best Value Schools
#1 in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 84 percent

7. The University of Maryland

College Park, Maryland

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BS requires 120 credit hours of coursework.

Website

The University of Maryland is home to an up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology that was designed to be rigorous and challenging for students. The program has two gateways: mathematics and science lab. Students must successfully complete both before being accepted into the program.

While this is a straightforward general psychology program, it has an emphasis in scientific thinking and critical reasoning that is be required to graduate. This degree requires that students complete:

  • a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a final project
  • a comprehensive final exam

Sample courses include:

  • Statistical methods in Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Mental Health and Interventions.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $10,595
US News and World Report Rankings:
#63 (tie) in National Universities
#108 in Best Value Schools
#62 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
Rate of Acceptance:  44 percent

6. Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BS in Psychology offers six degree concentrations.

Website

Purdue University’s  up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology is one of the highest-rated programs in the country. Students are taught by a group of professors who are still active professionals in the field. This means that many undergraduates will have the chance to assist in research projects and have other practical learning experiences during their time in the program.

There are six concentrations available in this program, including:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Mathematical and Computational Cognitive Science
  • Social Psychology

More information on this degree can be found by contacting the school’s undergraduate admissions office.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $9,992
US News and World Report Rankings:
#56 (tie) in National Universities
#90 in Best Value Schools
#6 in Most Innovative Schools
#40 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
Rate of Acceptance: 57 percent

5. Indiana University-Purdue University

Indianapolis, Indiana

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BA in Psychology is a scientific-based curriculum.

Website

Indiana University-Purdue University offers students the chance to complete an up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology. With a focus on research, students can start participating in the field as soon as their first year in the program. There are four major themes in this program, all of which students will understand in their entirety by graduation. This is a scientifically based curriculum, meaning students will use their communication, critical thinking and reasoning skills to progress through the program.

Students need to complete:

  • a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a capstone project
  • a comprehensive final exam for graduation.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $9,464
US News and World Report Rankings:
#194 (tie) in National Universities
#108 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#45 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 80 percent

4. Georgia State University

Atlanta, Georgia

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BA in Psychology offers a full honors program.

Website

The up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology that is available at Georgia State University is for students who are eager to succeed. This degree has a full Honors Program. It also has a Presidential Assistants Program for students interested in research and advanced training in the field. Applied and research practicum experiences are available for students in a wide variety of cognate areas.

This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a capstone project
  • a comprehensive final exam

Sample courses include:

  • Social Psychology
  • Theories of Personality
  • Psychology of Interpersonal Behavior.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $9,112
US News and World Report Rankings:
#187 (tie) in National Universities
#148 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#2 in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 52 percent

3. North Carolina State University

Raleigh, North Carolina

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The BS in Psychology is highly comprehensive and provides students with a variety of electives that are found in several specialization areas at the graduate level.

Website

North Carolina State University offers a bachelor’s in psychology for students interested in individualizing their study plan. Students in this program have access to research practicums. It also has a wide variety of psychology-based professional associations on campus, enabling students to network prior to graduation. This degree is highly comprehensive and provides students with a variety of electives that are found in several specialization areas at the graduate level.

Students begin taking psychology courses in their first year in the program. Students are required to complete:

  • a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a capstone project
  • a comprehensive final exam

Sample courses include:

  • Introduction to Behavioral Research
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Statistics.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $9,101
US News and World Report Rankings:
#80 (tie) in National Universities
#55 in Best Value Schools
#108 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#37 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 51 percent

2. The University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The BS in Psychology encourages work experiences such as internships and research projects.

Website

Students interested in completing an up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology will find a great program at the University of Central Florida. This program provides a broad foundation in psychology while ensuring that students can think critically about the field and conduct their own research.

Psychology majors are highly encouraged to take part in work experiences, such as internships and research projects. These help them understand how the real world of psychology works outside of the classroom. This degree requires:

  • a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a capstone project
  • a comprehensive final exam

Sample courses include:

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $5,095
US News and World Report Rankings:
#165 (tie) in National Universities
#167 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#10 in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 50 percent

1. Portland State University

Portland, Oregon

Ranking Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology in 2019

The Bachelor’s in Psychology requires 120 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a final exam for graduation.

Portland State University offers an up and coming bachelor’s degree program in psychology that can be completed as either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. This program  was designed as a liberal arts-based education that has a strong focus on critical thinking and research.

The course of study builds up a foundation of psychology while providing insight into specializations that can be found at the graduate level. Students are required to complete:

  • a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework
  • a capstone project
  • a final exam for graduation

More information on this degree can be found by contacting the school’s undergraduate admissions office.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $5,044
US News and World Report Rankings:
#230-#301 in National Universities
#167 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings
#32 (tie) in Most Innovative Schools
Rate of Acceptance: 92 percent

Frequently Asked Questions

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

  • Research Assistant
  • Parole or Probation Officer
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Career Counselor
  • Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Social Service Specialist
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Child Care Worker
  • Case Manager
  • Social Worker
  • Community Services Manager
  • Psychiatric Technician
  • Public Health Worker

How Much Can You Earn in this Field?

According to Payscale, the average salary for a professional with a bachelor’s degree in psychology will earn $57,000. The average pay range is between $30,000 to $128,750 for all positions that take candidates who have earned this degree. Please keep in mind that salaries are subject to change based on specialization and region.

Salaries in the field of psychology are dictated by sector, meaning that professionals who work in the public sector, such as for the government or in community services, will make less than their private-sector counterparts. This is due to the way the government handles its pay scale along with tighter budgets for services that meet the needs of the community.

On the other hand, private-sector jobs can be lucrative. They are also competitive. Marketing is a field where psychology graduates can shine, especially if they have an interest in the field. Most psychology graduates in marketing make well over $100,000 once they have reached five years of experience.

Psychology is a large field. Positions are found in nearly every aspect of American life, including:

  • schools
  • the correctional system
  • hospitals
  • government agencies

Students are encouraged to cast a wide net when searching for a job that will help them set a good standard of living. There are a variety of positions candidates  could be suited for that won’t necessarily ask for a psychology degree.

What are the Various Disciplines of Psychology?

Psychology is defined as the science of human behavior and mind. It is an academic discipline that looks at how and why humans, and animals, behave the way they do. As a large field that encapsulates a variety of disciplines, it can be hard to pin down all of the disciplines it includes.

The most common disciplines are:

  • biology
  • chemistry
  • sociology
  • neurology
  • medicine
  • philosophy
  • religion
  • law

Because psychology is the study of how human brains work, a strong understanding of how the human body and mind works is required. Sociology, or the study of humans in groups, is also necessary because a human can be influenced to act against their character when in a large group. Philosophy and religion are the main components of the field because research has shown that human behavior can also be influenced by their surroundings, including the religion and philosophy of immediate family members. Research and statistics are also incredibly important for professionals who wish to work as researchers or academics.

Psychology is, again, a large field. It encompasses a variety of sub-disciplines that students can specialize in at the undergraduate level through the doctoral level. Some of these include:

  • forensic psychology
  • developmental psychology
  • neuropsychology
  • abnormal behavior
  • social psychology

Professionals may also choose to specialize in experimental psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, and more.

What’s important to remember is that students will have more than enough time to look at all of the specializations available to them during their undergraduate education. Because most psychology programs have a few specializations, students can use their free electives to explore these fields and choose an interest for graduate work.

Is it Possible to Specialize in One Area of Psychology at the Undergraduate Level?

Yes, it is entirely possible to specialize in an area of psychology at the undergraduate level. However, this depends on the actual program itself and what specializations are available at the school. Not all schools will have specializations. In fact, many programs have curriculums that are based on general psychology.

Some programs offer specializations and will require that students pick one area to focus on as part of their graduation requirements. This is intended to give graduates an advantage when in the marketplace or when they are applying to graduate programs. While the information taught at the undergraduate level will not be advanced in any area, it is a good way for students to understand if they want to stick with the specialization that they have put in front of themselves.

One thing for students to remember is that choosing a specialization in a Bachelor’s in Psychology degree will not lock them in to that pathway for their career. Many times, students choose a specialization and then switch halfway through. Or, when applying to graduate school, they might choose another area to specialize in. Specializing at the undergraduate level is by no means permanent, so if something speaks to a student, they are encouraged to follow that interest. There will be plenty of time later to switch to a different specialization.

Is Licensure Available at the Bachelor’s Level for Psychologists?

It depends on a student’s chosen career path. Some paths will require a master’s or doctoral degree while others may only require a bachelor’s degree. Students should do their research before choosing a pathway.

For students who would like to be social workers, case managers, or employment specialists, a master’s degree is always required. These are all professions that are highly regulated by the state and the current minimum education is a master’s degree. There are no exceptions to this rule.

For positions such as psychologist or clinical psychologist, students will generally need to complete a master’s degree and a doctorate degree. This can add up to 10 years of education, not including an undergraduate degree, to a student’s pathway. However, earning a terminal degree and becoming licensed as a psychologist is the dream of many students and it is very attainable.

There are some positions, such as mental health workers or marketing managers that do not require a license or a license. These positions tend to be entry-level positions with little room for growth, but it can be a great stepping stone for students who are not ready to move into graduate study after graduation.

It should be noted that many licensures do require that a student work in a supervised setting for at least one year before sitting for the exam. This time period could be considered an apprenticeship and demonstrates to the board that the professional is ethical and reliable in their profession and will not cause a danger to any of their clients when working unsupervised.

Licensing is done by state and there is no national standard for licensure. Each state sets its own standard for licensing. Students will need to check the standards for the state they are residing in or would like to move to in order to choose the best program for their needs. Students are also advised that some online programs will not meet the licensure requirements of different states, so students should confirm with the school and their home state’s Board of Psychology that the program will meet the educational requirements for their chosen licensure.

Is a Practicum or Internship Required for Graduation from an Undergraduate Psychology Program?

Some schools require it. Some schools make it optional. Others do not mention internships or practicums at all. Work experience is dictated by the program and can take on many forms, including a supervised field trip that lasts as few as two weeks, for example:

  • working as an assistant on a research project
  • training off-site at an approved location
  • working in an internship that is approved by the school

However, depending on the student’s chosen pathway, work experience may have a little or a lot of impact on how they advance in their career.

Work experience is not emphasized at the undergraduate level or students who wish to become psychologists, such as clinical or industrial-organizational psychologists. This is because an undergraduate degree serves as a foundation for the specialty but concepts and theories may not be fully explored in that program. Because these psychologists must complete, at minimum, a master’s degree, work experiences are often handled at that level. An undergraduate student simply does not have enough experience or education to work in a psychology setting that is more advanced than their current education level.

Some schools do have options for work experience, however. Students who are interested in research may find it possible to work as an assistant on an ongoing research project that one of their professors is conducting. Research papers may also be another form of work experience, especially if the student submits it for publication.

Internships are not vital at the undergraduate level. However, if a program has it as an option, it’s best for students to complete an internship. The work experience will teach the student about what they want to accomplish with their career. It will give them some experience they can put on their resume when they graduate.

Psychology is an interesting field, one that has so many options for students who are considering pursuing it as a career. As an ever-growing discipline, students will have various opportunities to enter the field, whether as a practitioner, an academic, or a researcher. This list of up and coming bachelor’s degree programs in psychology will help students find the most exciting schools to begin their education journey, ensuring they will be well prepared for their career after graduation.

This concludes our ranking of the Top 20 Up and Coming Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Psychology.

By OPD Staff
August 2019