Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

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Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019 2019-03-04T03:19:35+00:00

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One of the largest majors of study in the country, psychology is a discipline that can be applied to many fields, so we have taken the liberty of compiling a list of the top 20 psychology degree programs in the West in 2019 for students considering a future in this arena. Although most professional, certified, or licensed positions require either a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology, Bachelor’s in Psychology programs are often used to open numerous doors to a broad spectrum of careers in various industries. For example, students pursuing a Bachelor’s in Psychology from a liberal arts college or university can apply their degree to positions in medicine, human resources, law, and business.

The western region of the U.S. is a fantastic location for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in psychology. From generalized undergraduate degrees to highly specialized programs, students are certain to find an on-campus or online degree that meets their needs and professional goals. If you are just starting down the path of researching potential institutions, continue reading for our list of the top 20 psychology degree programs in the West for 2019.

Methodology

We developed this ranking list in order to help prospective students seeking a degree in psychology. To get our initial list of the top 20 psychology degree programs in the West, we conducted a search using the College Navigator database at the National Center for Education Statistics for the term “Bachelor’s in Psychology degree.” We were given a pool of 25 universities and colleges before narrowing down the results into the top 20 programs based on the following ranking methodology.

Average Cost of Attendance

Along with the quality of the program and school, one of the most important factors to think about when researching prospective degrees is cost. After all, many students want to make sure they can afford the program before digging too much into its curriculum and learning outcomes. We took data from the National Center for Education Statistics as well as each school’s website and awarded points as indicated below.

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

College Ranking

There are a number of ranking organizations that compare schools across the country to one another. The most well-known of these, U.S. News & World Report, lists institutions based on factors such as “Top Public School,” “Best Value School,” “Best National University,” and “Best Regional Universities West.” We used these rankings and assigned points accordingly based on the following ranges.

Points:
U.S. News & World Report: Best National University, Best Regional Universities West Ranking
Top 10: 5 points
Top 25: 3 points
Top 50: 2 point
Top 100: 1 point

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

University Acceptance Rates

Due to the fact that psychology degrees provide a broad background that can be applied to a number of industries, more students are beginning to pursue this field. As a result, many colleges and universities are becoming more competitive, which is why we included university acceptance rates from U.S. News & World Report in the following ranking list.

Acceptance Rates:
More than 90 percent: 5 points
81 percent to 90 percent: 4 points
61 percent to 80 percent: 3 points
41 percent to 60 percent: 2 points
Less than 40 percent: 1 point

Percentage of Classes With 20 or Fewer Students

Students seeking a diverse range of opportunities may benefit from the education and programs provided by larger institutions, but smaller schools may also lead to more individualized studies, one-on-one research experiences, and closer relationships between students, faculty members, and peers. We awarded the most points for colleges that enrolled 20 or fewer students and decreased the number of points as indicated below.

Points
More than 60 percent: 3 points
41 percent to 59 percent: 2 points
Less than 40 percent: 1 point

Accreditation

When choosing a psychology degree program, it is vital to choose one that is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency as accreditation ensures that the school has met, and is expected to continue to meet, high standards of educational and institutional quality. Although some programs may be accredited by a specialized accrediting agency, for the purpose of this list, we only awarded points to schools with national or regional accreditation.

Points:
Each Accreditation: 1 point

Ranking Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West

20. California Lutheran University

Thousand Oaks, California

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The BA or BS in Psychology offers multiple concentrations.

Points: 13
Program Website

Located in Thousand Oaks, California, California Lutheran University is a private liberal arts university that was founded in 1959. Students pursuing a degree in psychology have two undergraduate options designed to expose them to the empirical and theoretical foundations of the discipline as well as the applications of the pricnciples to behavioral changes. Within the B.A. or B.S. in Psychology, students may choose from concentrations in psychobiology, family and child development, sports psychology, law and criminal behavior, health and wellness, behavioral/clinical applications, and business/organizational applications. The school also offers master’s degrees in clinical and counseling psychology as well as a doctorate in psychology.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science
Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology
Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology With a Specialization in Marital and Family Therapy (MFT)
Psy.D. Degree in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $42,693
Acceptance Rates: 73 percent
Class Percentage: 56.3 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#11 in Best Value Schools
#15 (tie) in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
WASC

19. Pacific Lutheran University

Tacoma, Washington

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The department of psychology offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology.

Points: 13
Program Website

Founded by Norweigan Lutheran pioneers in 1890 and located in Tacoma, Washington, Pacific Lutheran University enrolls 3,000 students per year in its five schools. The school’s psychology major is designed to meet the needs of various students, so the school offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. Both degrees provide a strong foundation in psychology and prepare students for employment or postgraduate study. However, the B.S. is geared toward those intending to pursue a doctoral degree as well as the fields of veterinary medicine, public health, medicine, and dentristry. The B.A. consists of 42 credit hours, while the B.S. is comprised of 62 semester hours of study, and both programs culminate in a capstone project. A Master of Arts and a Master of Family Therapy are both available for graduate students.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science
Master of Arts
Master of Family Therapy
Average Program Cost: $42,066
Acceptance Rates: 75 percent
Class Percentage: 51.1 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#8 in Best Value Schools
#23 in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
NWCCU

18. University of Dallas

Irving, Texas

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The University of Dallas offers an undergraduate degree in psychology as well as three master’s programs.

Points: 13
Program Website

Located in Irving, Texas, the University of Dallas is a private Catholic univeristy that was established in 1956 and has since been recognized as a leading school for both traditional excellence and Catholic orthodoxy. The Constantin College of Liberal Arts offers an undergraduate degree in psychology as well as three master’s programs. Writing and active research is expected of students as the school believes original reflection is as important as detailed scholarship. Junior and senior year research seminars provide opportunities for faculty and students to work together in close association, and students pursuing a bachelor’s degree may further focus their degree via a concentration in industrial/organizational psychology.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology
Master of Psychology
Master of Psychology With Clinical Concentration
Average Program Cost: $40,652
Acceptance Rates: 47 percent
Class Percentage: 60.5 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#4 in Best Value Schools
#14 in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
SACSCOC

17. Point Loma Nazarene University

San Diego, California

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The psychology department offers a BA in Psychology.

Points: 13
Program Website

Founded in 1902 as a Bible college by the Church of the Nazarene, Point Loma Nazarene University is a Christian liberal arts college with a main campus situated on the Point Loma oceanfront in San Diego, California. The school’s department of psychology confers a bachelor’s degree in psychology in a general format as well as with optional concentrations in either character, morality, and culture or therapeutic and community psychology. The goal of the department is to mold students into morally engaged, emotionally intelligent, and psychologically educated graduates and people. Psychology majors develop a perspective of psychology that is grounded in faith by examining both contemporary and traditional psychological methods and research from a Christian worldview.

Degree Options:
Psychology, B.A.
Average Program Cost: $35,700
Acceptance Rates: 76 percent
Class Percentage: 39.5 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#17 in Regional Universities West
#19 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
NWCCU

16. Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, California

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The BS in Psychology offers multiple degree tracks.

Points: 14
Program Website

Enrolling 5,500 undergraduate and 3,100 graduate students, Santa Clara University is a private Jesuit university in Santa Clara, California. The College of Arts and Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree that consists of optional tracks in academic research, industrial/organizational psychology, clinical/counseling psychology, neuroscience, and user experience/data science/human factors. All faculty members are involved in active research programs, and undergraduates are strongly urged to participate. Psychology majors may also choose to co-author articles in professional journals and present papers at annual professional conferences. A sleep laboratory, an animal laboratory, and a health psychology laboratory are available for use and supported by the department of psychology.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science
Average Program Cost: $51,711
Acceptance Rates: 54 percent
Class Percentage: 46.8 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#1 in Regional Universities West
#15 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
WASC

15. Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, California

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The department of psychology offers a BA in Psychology.

Points: 14
Program Website

Founded in 1917, Loyola Marymount University is a private Marymount and Jesuit university in Los Angeles, California. Students may choose to pursue a B.A. in Psychology from the school’s psychology department in which excellence in learning and teaching are emphasized. Students majoring in psychology examine in depth many aspects of animal and human behavior as well as the sociocultural, psychological, and biological aspects of behavior. Undergraduates also learn to apply these perspectives to a variety of community, family, and individual contexts. As students progress through the program, they have several opportunities to assist faculty with research projects and engage in their own research under faculty supervision.

Degree Options:
Psychology, B.A.
Average Program Cost: $48.172
Acceptance Rates: 52 percent
Class Percentage: 52.9 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#3 in Regional Universities West
#25 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
WASC

14. University of Portland

Portland, Oregon

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The department of psychology offers one undergraduate degree.

Points: 14
Program Website

Founded in 1901, the University of Portland is a private Roman Catholic University in Portland, Oregon that enrolls approximately 4,000 students per year. At UP, psychology majors learn about psychological theories and principles, basic and applied approaches to psychology, and research methods through the school’s Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program. Undergraduates also develop a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of human differences and diversity. Psychology students have the opportunity to work closely with professors and conduct research, and they may gain additional experience through a number of internships. A senior capstone project in the form of a thesis, applied projects, or a seminar is required for graduation.

Degree Options:
Psychology, B.A.
Average Program Cost: $45,904
Acceptance Rates: 70 percent
Class Percentage: 32.4 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#6 in Regional Universities West
#17 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
NWCCU

13. Dominican University of California

San Rafael, California

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

Dominican College offers both an undergraduate major and and adult degree in psychology.

Points: 14
Program Website

Founded in 1890 as Dominican College by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, the Dominican University of California is a private university and one of the oldest post-secondary institutions in the state. The department of psychology offers a B.A. or a B.S. in Psychology for undergraduate students as well as a B.A. in Psychology for working adults. Students learn the foundations of psychological science, design and carry out their own research, involve themselves in the discipline by working within the field, and attend regional or national professional conferences. Areas of study include statistics, theories of personality, research methods and various subdisciplines of psychology.

Degree Options:
Psychology B.A./B.S. (Undergraduate Major)
Psychology B.A. (Adult Degree)
Average Program Cost: $45,850
Acceptance Rates: 76 percent
Class Percentage: 64.4 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#21 in Best Value Schools
#25 in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
WASC

12. Saint Edward’s University

Austin, Texas

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

Saint Edward’s University offers a BA in Psychology.

Points: 14
Program Website

Located in Austin, Texas, Saint Edward’s University is a private Roman Catholic university in the Holy Cross tradition that enrolls approximately 5,000 students per year. Through the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences, students may pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology that involves the study of emotions, actions, and thinking. The curriculum delves into the rigorous analysis of behavior and the mind, including mental health and personality, memory and reasoning, the basic functions of the brain, and human development and sexuality. Students also design and conduct research studies, apply statistical methods, and evaluate research findings, and they may choose to apply what they have learned to field internships and professional research opportunities.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $45,178
Acceptance Rates: 84 percent
Class Percentage: 56.7 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#12 (tie) in Regional Universities West
#24 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
SACSCOC

11. Gonzaga University

Spokane, Washington

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

Gonzaga University offers one undergraduate psychology degree.

Points: 14
Program Website

Founded in 1887 by the Society of Jesus, Gonzaga University is a private Roman Catholic university in Spokane, Washington. The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree consists of courses that focus on the scientific study of animal and human behavior as well as decision-making. Undergraduates have many opportunities to conduct their own research projects or participate in faculty research. Students interested in pursuing a doctorate after completing the bachelor’s program may choose to pursue a research concentration within the psychology major. Through scientific inquiry, thoughtful discussions, and rigorous coursework, the school aims to help students grow personally, think critically, and become inspired to use their education to serve the greater good.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts
Average Program Cost: $43,210
Acceptance Rates: 65 percent
Class Percentage: 33 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#4 in Regional Universities West
#6 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
NWCCU

10. Mount Saint Mary’s University

Los Angeles, California

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The department of psychology offers two undergraduate degrees and two graduate degree in the field.

Points: 14
Program Website

Mount Saint Mary’s University is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college mainly for women in Los Angeles, California. Within the department of psychology, students may choose from two undergraduate programs, a master’s degree in counseling with several concentration options, and a five-year doctoral program. The undergraduate curriculum prepares students for diverse career options, including postgraduate studies in education, social work, counseling, and psychology. Because all psychology courses emphasize the analysis of research and critical thinking, both the B.A. and the B.S. in Psychology give students a well-rounded foundation in the field. The Department of Psychology boasts an 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, meaning professors know their students by name and can provide more individualized attention.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Applied Psychology
Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling Psychology
Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Health
Average Program Cost: $41,170
Acceptance Rates: 81 percent
Class Percentage: 71.9 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#18 in Regional Universities West
#33 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
WASC

9. Abilene Christian University

Abilene, Texas

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The BS in Psychology offers multiple degree tracks.

Points: 14
Program Website

Founded in 1906 as Childers Classical Institute, Abilene Christian University is a private university in Abilene, Texas that enrolls approximately 5,200 students in undergraduate and graduate programs each year. Through the school’s department of psychology, students may pursue a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in which they study fundamental principles of physiological psychology, personality, learning, and human development. Students also learn skills and concepts in the application of psychology to counseling, clinical, industrial, and other work settings. Available tracks within the psychology major include research, counseling, children, and a general track. A Specialist in School Psychology degree and a master’s degree in psychology, counseling psychology, or clinical psychology are also available.

Degree Options:
Psychology B.S. Major
Master of Science (M.S.) Degree
Specialist in School Psychology (S.S.P.) Degree
Average Program Cost: $34,850
Acceptance Rates: 61 percent
Class Percentage: 44 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#10 in Best Value Schools
#21 (tie) in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
SACSCOC

8. St. Mary’s University

San Antonio, Texas

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The BA in Psychology is designed to provide a broad background to the field of applied and research psychology.v

Points: 14
Program Website

Founded in 1852 by the Society of Mary, St. Mary’s University is a nationally recognized institution that is located on 135 acres west of downtown San Antonio, Texas and the oldest Catholic university in the state. The school’s department of psychology confers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree designed to provide a broad background to the field of applied and research psychology. Psychology majors benefit from personal advising, small classes, and faculty members recognized for their teaching. Students also design and conduct their own social science research projects and present their findings at conferences. Psychology majors also gain hands-on experience in their field of interest via field placement opportunities in supervised settings outside the classroom.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $30,650
Acceptance Rates: 80 percent
Class Percentage: 59.3 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#2 in Best Value Schools
#15 (tie) in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
SACSCOC

7. Seattle University

Seattle, Washington

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The department of psychology offers two undergraduate degrees and a master’s degree.

Points: 15
Program Website

Seattle University is a Jesuit Catholic university in Seattle, Washington and the largest independent university in the Northwest. The school enrolls more than 7,500 students in graduate and undergraduate programs across its eight schools. The psychology department uses empirical and reflective methods to engage students in the study of cultural, social, ethical, interpersonal, bodily, and individual aspects of psychological life. Undergraduates may pursue either a B.A. or a B.S. in Psychology, and the curriculum consists of standard classes in research methods, social psychology, abnormal psychology, and developmental psychology as well as often-neglected areas such as creativity, multicultural counseling, existential-phenomenology, health political and ecological issues, gender, and forgiveness. Practicum experiences, internships, volunteering, and job-shadowing are all encouraged.

Degree Options:
B.A. in Psychology
B.S. in Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $44,610
Acceptance Rates: 74 percent
Class Percentage: 54.8 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#8 (tie) in Regional Universities West
#16 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
NWCCU

6. George Fox University

Newberg, Oregon

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The undergraduate programs are focused on developing skills valued by graduate schools and employers.

Points: 15
Program Website

Founded as a school for Quakers in 1885, George Fox University is a Christian university that enrolls more than 4,100 students in its main campus and learning centers across the state. Students may pursue either a B.A. or a B.S. in Psychology as well as a B.S. in Cognitive Science from the school’s Psychology Department. The undergraduate programs are focused on developing skills valued by graduate schools and employers by offering a well-rounded curriculum grounded in psychological science as well as numerous opportunities for experiential and applied learning. Fox also offers several master’s degrees in counseling as well as a Doctor of Psychology degree.

Degree Options:
B.A. in Psychology
B.S. in Psychology
B.S. in Cognitive Science
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
Master of Arts in School Counseling
Education Specialist in School Psychology (Ed.S.)
Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)
Average Program Cost: $36,020
Acceptance Rates: 82 percent
Class Percentage: 49.4 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#18 in Best Value Schools
#24 in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
NWCCU

5. Saint Mary’s College of California

Moraga, California

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The BS in Psychology offers six degree concentrations.

Points: 17
Program Website

Located in the small suburban community of Moraga, California, Saint Mary’s College of California is a private college that enrolls 2,700 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students annually. The school confers a Bachelor of Science degree in which students are introduced to a spectrum of psychological problems, experiments, and theories within the context of a liberal arts college. The program emphasizes both application and research, and undergraduates can choose from six major concentrations such as general psychology, clinical/counseling psychology, personality psychology, social psychology, child/adolescent development, and behavioral neuroscience. Students also benefit from internship opportunities and scientific research projects in which they can apply their classroom learning to real-world situations.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science Degree
Average Program Cost: $47,280
Acceptance Rates: 82 percent
Class Percentage: 62.4 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#8 (tie) in Regional Universities West
#23 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
WASC

4. Whitworth University

Spokane, Washington

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The BA in Psychology follows a scientist-practitioner model of training.

Points: 17
Program Website

Whitworth University is a private, Christian, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in Spokane, Washington. Founded in 1890, the school enrolls more than 3,000 students each year. Students may pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Whitworth that follows a scientist-practitioner model of training. As such, students develop both depth and breadth of knowledge in core areas of psychology as well as engage in research and practice that encompass advanced and foundational electives and requirements. The curriculum provides a foundation in the understanding and investigation of human mental processes, emotion, and behavior in an atmosphere that nurtures the relationships between students and faculty.

Degree Options:
B.A. in Psychology
Average Program Cost: $43,640
Acceptance Rates: 89 percent
Class Percentage: 62.5 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#5 in Best Value Schools
#8 (tie) in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
NWCCU

3. Westminster College

Salt Lake City, Utah

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The BS in Psychology is an evidence-based research degree.

Points: 17
Program Website

Founded in 1875 as the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute and located in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah, Westminster College is the only accredited liberal arts college in the state of Utah. The school’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology is a STEM-designated program that helps students understand evidence-based research practices. The curriculum allows students to hone skills specific to their areas of interests while also giving them the opportunity to learn how to communicate effectively with diverse audiences. Students have access to the expertise of faculty members, the school’s Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Laboratory, and lab space for research work. Areas of study include quantitative, developmental, social, and clinical counseling psychology as well as cognitive science research.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Science
Average Program Cost: $34,000
Acceptance Rates: 93 percent
Class Percentage: 73.1 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#7 in Best Value Schools
#20 in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
NWCCU

2. Mills College

Oakland, California

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The BA in Psychology features collaborative, hands-on laboratories.The BA in Psychology features collaborative, hands-on laboratories.The BA in Psychology features collaborative, hands-on laboratories.

Points: 18
Program Website

Located in Oakland, California, Mills College is a private liberal arts and sciences college that was originally founded in 1852 in Benicia, California as the Young Ladies Seminary. The school’s psychology department offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology that features collaborative, hands-on laboratories that allow students to work alongside actively researching faculty members. Students are required to complete a core set of classes in areas such as health psychology, personality, and human memory, and they are encouraged to participate in an off-campus internship in the San Francisco Bay Area. A dual bachelor’s/master’s degree in infant mental health that involves one year of study beyond the bachelor’s is also available.

Degree Options:
Psychology Major — B.A.
B.A./M.A. in Infant Mental Health
Average Program Cost: $30,257
Acceptance Rates: 87 percent
Class Percentage: 69.8 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#3 in Best Value Schools
#7 in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
WASC

1. Western Washington University

Bellingham, Washington

Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West in 2019

The department of psychology offers three undergraduate degrees.

Points: 18
Program Website

Founded in 1893 and located in Bellingham, Washington, Western Washington University is one of six public universities in the state. More than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees from WWU each year. With a faculty of more than 30 men and women, all of whom hold a doctorate, the department of psychology offers programs of study which provide a solid foundation in the general methods and concepts of psychology as well as programs and courses for students in several specialized areas. Those pursuing a degree in psychology can choose from a B.S. in Psychology, a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience, or a B.A. in Education with a focus on elementary/human development. In addition to completing a core program, students are encouraged to become actively involved in research, including creating their own projects or working with a faculty member in his or her ongoing research.

Degree Options:
B.S. in Psychology
B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience
B.A. in Education (Elementary/Human Development)
Average Program Cost: $8,055
Acceptance Rates: 85 percent
Class Percentage: 41.8 percent
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#2 in Top Public Schools
#19 in Regional Universities West
#43 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
NWCCU

Frequently Asked Questions

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

There is a common misconception that a bachelor’s degree in psychology is worthless. After all, most employers require students to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology to practice. Still, while this may be the case, a number of skills that are taught in undergraduate psychology programs such as the ability to keep organized and accurate records, the ability to express compassion and empathy, and the ability to evaluate a client’s needs and work toward his or her best interests can be applied in different settings. For example, many undergraduate students are trained to pursue careers as psychiatric technicians, social workers, case managers, or career counselors. Other positions one with a bachelor’s in psychology degree may consider include:

  • Teacher
  • Writer
  • Advertising Agent
  • Sales Representative
  • Probation or Parole Officer
  • Market Researcher
  • Childcare Worker
  • Laboratory Assistant

As you can see, the number of industries in which one can apply a Bachelor’s in Psychology degree are vast; a psychology degree does not need to be applied to the field of psychology itself. Instead, it is actually a very versatile program that can be useful in a range of careers and industries depending on one’s interests and professional goals.

How Much Can You Earn in This Field?

Since psychology is such a broad field that encompasses many disciplines and subdisciplines, it is difficult to narrow down a salary range to one specific number. In fact, the salary one can expect will also depend on factors such as location, level of experience in the field, level of education, and the area in which one intends to practice. In addition, although positions can be obtained with a bachelor’s degree, those with a terminal degree such as a master’s or doctorate typically earn more due to the increased responsibility and additional schooling.

For the purpose of this article, we will look at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and how it organizes several of the most common fields within the broader psychology arena.

For instance, general psychologists reported average earnings of $37.03 per hour or $77.030 per year as of May 2017, according to the BLS. The lowest 10 percent of psychologists in this group earned less than $42,330, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $124,520 per year. Mental health counselors reported annual earnings of $46,050 per year in May 2016, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $26,950 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $70,100. On the other hand, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earned $81,330 per year in May 2017, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $42,460 and the highest 10 percent earning $123,920.

What Will You Study in a Bachelor’s in Psychology Program?

Students considering a degree in psychology should keep in mind that the exact requirements of the program will vary depending on the school and its offerings. Some programs focus more heavily on the applied and scientific research aspects of the field, while others are heavily influenced by the liberal arts and offer a more generalized education. A few areas of study to expect may include scientific methodology, a history of psychology, and an overview of the field as well as the opportunity to specialize in a subdiscipline such as social, developmental, or cognitive psychology. Other areas of study may include:

  • Educational Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Drugs and Behavior
  • Psychology of Aging
  • Perspectives on Psychological Issues
  • Child Psychology
  • Perspectives on Psychological Issues

Psychology is a broad field that covers a wide range of disciplines, and those considering this area of study should keep in mind that earning a degree in psychology does not automatically mean a career as a psychologist. Rather, undergraduates can use a bachelor’s degree as a stepping stone to pursue graduate studies in a field of interest or apply it to an industry outside of the traditional area of psychology. Whether you are looking to attain a position immediately after graduation or you see a master’s or doctorate in your future, our list of the top 20 psychology degree programs in the West is an excellent place to begin your search for the best program to meet your needs and goals.

OPD Staff
February 2019

This concludes our ranking of the Top 20 Psychology Degree Programs in the West for 2019.