A master’s in psychology degree can open the door to many kinds of employment and rewarding career options. Psychology is a diverse field, and there are many different kinds of graduate degrees possible in this discipline. Some of these degrees are preparation for further graduate education leading to a Ph.D. Others are called terminal degrees that allow the degree holder to enter the job market after receiving their master’s degree. Presented below is our list of the top 10 master’s in psychology degree programs.
Convenient Online Programs
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Some graduate programs in psychology are oriented toward clinical and counseling psychology where practitioners work directly in the mental health field. Many other people with master’s degrees in psychology work in other related fields such as industrial and organizational psychology, forensic psychology, human resource management, vocational rehabilitation, child protective services, and parole offices to name only a few.
1. Columbia University, New York, NY
Columbia University’s master’s degree in psychology is designed for students who want to advance to a Ph.D. The focus of Columbia’s program is in research, teaching, perception and cognition, and personality studies. Tuition is $21, 292 per term.
2. University of Wisconsin, Madison WI
This psychology department is a leader in federal research and participates in the editing of several scientific journals. Academic areas of focus include the study of emotion, memory, addiction, motivation, prejudice, cultural relations, and clinical psychology. Tuition is $5919 per semester for residents and $12, 582 for nonresidents.
3. Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA
Pepperdine is a private Christian university of high reputation. Admission is open to students who have bachelor’s degrees in fields other than psychology. Clinical practice in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of behavioral health conditions is a primary focus of their course and is augmented by small classes and an on campus clinic where students gain practical experience. Tuition is $1, 295 per unit.
4. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Bachelor’s degrees in fields other than psychology are accepted for entrance into the graduate psychology program at Princeton. Research, teaching, neuroscience, perception and cognition, personality and social psychology, and physiological psychology are the main areas of study. Student teaching is a required part of the graduate psychology degree program. Tuition is $36, 610 per year.
5. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
This university has the oldest continuously operating psychology department in the U.S. and is also the home of the first psychological clinic which opened in 1896. Core program areas are in neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, cognition and decision processes, animal learning, memory, and social and cultural psychology. Tuition is $22, 123 per year full-time.
6. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Harvard is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and students need an undergraduate background of academic distinction to be accepted here. The psychology department at Harvard was founded by the famous psychologist William James in the late 1800s. B.F. Skinner, Henry Murray, and many other distinguished psychological researchers have also studied and worked at Harvard. Harvard only offers degrees that lead ultimately to a Ph.D. in psychology, but students with undergraduate degrees in related fields can apply as long as they have strong backgrounds in other sciences and statistics. Tuition is $37, 576 per academic year.
7. Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Stanford offers a co-terminal master’s in psychology leading to a Ph.D. Clinical, counseling, and industrial-organizational psychology courses are focused in the areas of emotion, cognition, human development, social psychology, and neuroscience. Tuition is $13, 750 per quarter.
8. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Carnegie Mellon also offers a co-terminal degree in psychology leading to a Ph.D. Experimental, computational and mathematical analysis of behavior with an interdisciplinary involvement with the departments of computer science, statistics, and philosophy is their focus. Some courses are offered through the University of Pittsburgh department of Behavioral Neuroscience. Cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, and social and personality study are the main program areas. Tuition is $36, 900 per year.
9. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Joh’s Hopkins is ranked among the top university psychology programs in the U.S. The first psychological laboratory in the country was established here in 1883 by G. Stanley Hall. Interdisciplinary studies in bio-psychology, auditory perception, hormones and behavior, attention, age related neuro-cognitive disorders, and memory are the main areas of study. Clinical training is not offered. Tuition is $43, 930 per academic year.
10. University of California, Berkeley, CA
UC Berkeley’s psychology program offers a co-terminal master’s degree leading to a Ph.D. The program is research based in the areas of behavioral neuroscience, change, plasticity and development, cognition, clinical science, and personality studies. Tuition is $7, 669 per term for residents and $15, 220 for nonresidents.
Learn more about the University of California, Berkeley
The Department of Labor projects that jobs for people with graduate degrees in psychology will continue to grow at an average rate through 2018. Competition for graduates seeking work as clinical psychologists is expected to remain high, while employment opportunities for graduates with degrees in industrial-organizational psychology are expected to increase at a faster rate than other areas and with less competition than in other areas of specialization.