Best universities for psychology degrees 2019

Find the best colleges for psychology using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings data

November 7 2018
Best universities in psychology

Psychology is the study of the mind and human behaviour. Psychology students will learn about the feelings that humans experience, what motivates us and how we interact with each other. 

Many psychology graduates will go on to careers as professional psychologists, however a degree in psychology can also lead to careers in childcare, social work or in the legal profession. Scroll down for a full guide to what you can do with a psychology degree. 

This year Times Higher Education has released a ranking of the 463 best universities for psychology degrees. The ranking features 47 countries. 

Stanford University takes first place in the 2019 ranking, followed by UCL, one of two UK universities in the top 10 (London School of Economics and Political Science is at number 9). 

More than a quarter of the universities in the overall ranking (136 universities) are US universities. The next most represented country is the UK, with 69 universities present. Australia, Germany and Canada are also well represented, with 28, 26 and 24 universities respectively.

The ranking uses the same methodology as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, but with a higher weighting for citations and a lower weighting for teaching. The full methodology can be found here

Best universities worldwide

Best universities in the world
Best universities in the United States
Best universities in the UK
Best universities in Canada
Best universities in Australia
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Best universities in Germany
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The top 5 universities for psychology degrees

1. Stanford University

The department of psychology at Stanford University was one of the first departments to be established at the institution. 

Undergraduate and graduate programmes are available, with the latter emphasising research training. The department is split into five research groups known as department areas. The areas are affective science, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, and social psychology. 

The department has close ties with many other departments on campus such as biology, law, medicine, law and business. There are aims to increase participation in various interdisciplinary programmes on campus. 

Research is carried out in areas including addictive behaviours, psychopathology and risk, and stereotyping.

2. UCL

The UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences is the largest department  of its kind in the country, with more than 120 academic staff and approximately 1,500 students. 

The undergraduate programme at UCL is accredited by the British Psychological Society and graduates are eligible to become members. 

As well as undergraduate courses, the department offers 20 master’s degrees in topics including business psychology, neuroscience, decision science and human-computer interaction.

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3. Princeton University

The psychology department at Princeton University has produced one Nobel prizewinner, six Distinguished Contributions awards from the American Psychological Association and three William James Fellow Awards from the Association for Psychological Science. 

Graduate study is focused on systems neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, perception and cognition, personality and social psychology, and physiological psychology. This is viewed as a preparatory programme for a PhD. 

The department is closely affiliated with the Center for the Study of Brain, Mind, and Behaviour, which fosters research on neuroscience and psychological function. 

4. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago's Department of Psychology was founded in 1893. 

Undergraduate courses are centered around faculty-taught courses and research opportunities, which makes it one of the most popular majors at the university. The Undergraduate Research Initiative is a programme that aims to help students find research opportunities to fit their interests and will prepare them for future careers. The initiative includes a series of workshops, informational sessions, and career development events throughout the year to help students make the most of the many opportunities and research-related events available on campus and beyond.

The PhD programmes are also popular and students can choose between four research areas to focus their work on: cognition, developmental psychology, integrative neuroscience or social psychology. 

What can you do with a psychology degree?

5. University of Pennsylvania

The Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania is the oldest continuously functioning psychology department in North America.

One of the courses offered within the department at undergraduate level is “The Pursuit of Happiness”, which aims to explore the theoretical, scientific and practical aspects of well-being and how students can use these methods to increase their own feelings of happiness. 

Graduate research groups are split into two areas: brain, cognitive and decision science and clinical, positive and social psychology. 

Student experience of studying psychology

Opportunity and adventure at the Florida Institute of Technology
University mental health: taking student well-being seriously
Using an academic learning diary

Top universities for psychology degrees 2019 

Click on each institution to view its World University Ranking 2019 profile

Psychology Rank 2019  Psychology Rank 2018 University Country/Region
 1  1 Stanford University United States
 2  2 UCL United Kingdom
 3  3 Princeton University United States
 4  NR University of Chicago United States
 5  NR University of Pennsylvania United States
 6  5 Duke University United States
 7  4 Harvard University United States
 8  8 University of California, Los Angeles United States
 9  NR London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom
 10  4 Yale University United States
 11  7 University of Michigan United States
 12  10 University of British Columbia Canada
 13  NR Cornell University United States
 14  6 Northwestern University United States
 15  16 University of Washington United States
 16  15 Columbia University United States
 17  17 University of Minnesota Twin Cities United States
 18  20 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
 19  13 University of Toronto Canada
 =20  14 University of Amsterdam Netherlands
 =20  12 University of Wisconsin-Madison United States
 22  18 New York University United States
 23  9 Carnegie Mellon University United States
 24  19 Karolinska Institute Sweden
 25  NR Johns Hopkins University United States
 26  30 University of Virginia United States
 27  26 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill United States
 28  28 Ohio State University United States
 29  NR University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign United States
 30  46 University of Texas at Austin United States
 31  11 University of California, San Diego United States
 32  24 Michigan State University United States
 33  35 Brown University United States
 34  23 Pennsylvania State University United States
 35  =32 McGill University Canada
 36  34 LMU Munich Germany
 37  =32 University of Melbourne Australia
 38  29 University of Groningen Netherlands
 39  25 Washington University in St Louis United States
 40  73 University of Bristol United Kingdom
 41  48 Heidelberg University Germany
 42  21 Vanderbilt University United States
 43  38 University of Southern California United States
 44  54 Tilburg University Netherlands
 45  27 University of Rochester United States
 =46  NR The University of Tokyo Japan
 =46  =52 Utrecht University Netherlands
 48  41 Humboldt University of Berlin Germany
 =49  82 Arizona State University United States
 =49  36 KU Leuven Belgium
 51  61 Emory University United States
 =52  55 National University of Singapore Singapore
 =52  39 University of New South Wales Australia
 54  49 University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 55  47 Boston University United States
 =56  22 University of California, Santa Barbara United States
 =56  51 University of Maryland, College Park United States
 =56  43 Peking University China
 =56  =58 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands
 60  =44 Indiana University United States
 61  =62 Australian National University Australia
 =62  101+ University of Birmingham United Kingdom
 =62  =58 Dartmouth College United States
 =62  86 University of Tübingen Germany
 =65  57 Florida State University United States
 =65  =80 University of Geneva Switzerland
 67  50 University of Queensland Australia
 68  =65 University of Sydney Australia
 69  42 Radboud University Nijmegen Netherlands
 70  101+ National Taiwan University Taiwan
 =71  67 University of Connecticut United States
 =71  84 University of Kent United Kingdom
 73  =76 Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
 =74  40 Ghent University Belgium
 =74  101+ University of Vienna Austria
 =76  =69 University of Florida United States
 =76  31 Free University of Berlin Germany
 78  56 Cardiff University United Kingdom
 79  NR Kyoto University Japan
 80  37 University of York United Kingdom
 81  83 University of Illinois at Chicago United States
 82  98 University of Pittsburgh United States
 83  =76 Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel
 84  64 Maastricht University Netherlands
 =85  68 Birkbeck, University of London United Kingdom
 =85  =90 University of Mannheim Germany
 87  101+ York University Canada
 88  101+ Queen’s University Canada
 =89  95 University of Auckland New Zealand
 =89  101+ Northeastern University United States
 =89  79 University of Sussex United Kingdom
 92  =96 University of Arizona United States
 93  101+ Université Catholique de Louvain Belgium
 =94  =93 University of Basel Switzerland
 =94  101+ TU Dresden Germany
 =96  =65 University of Colorado Boulder United States
 =96  89 University of Georgia United States
 =98  74 University of Iowa United States
 =98  101+ University of Miami United States
 100  NR Georgia Institute of Technology United States
 101–125  101+ Aarhus University Denmark
 101–125  101+ University of Aberdeen United Kingdom
 101–125  99 University of Alberta Canada
 101–125  101+ University of Bath United Kingdom
 101–125  =44 University of California, Irvine United States
 101–125  NR University of Cape Town South Africa
 101–125  101+ University of Exeter United Kingdom
 101–125  =58 University of Glasgow United Kingdom
 101–125  NR University of Kansas United States
 101–125  101+ Lomonosov Moscow State University Russian Federation
 101–125  101+ University of Manchester United Kingdom
 101–125  101+ University of Notre Dame United States
 101–125  101+ University of Nottingham United Kingdom
 101–125  101+ University of Otago New Zealand
 101–125  101+ University of Padua Italy
 101–125  101+ University of Potsdam Germany
 101–125  =69 Rice University United States
 101–125  101+ University of São Paulo Brazil
 101–125  =69 Simon Fraser University Canada
 101–125  =52 University of St Andrews United Kingdom
 101–125  101+ Stockholm University Sweden
 101–125  101+ Wake Forest University United States
 101–125  =62 University of Warwick United Kingdom
 101–125  101+ University of Waterloo Canada
 101–125  72 University of Zurich Switzerland
 126–150  101+ Autonomous University of Barcelona Spain
 126–150  101+ University of Barcelona Spain
 126–150  78 University of Bern Switzerland
 126–150  85 University of California, Riverside United States
 126–150  101+ University of Dundee United Kingdom
 126–150  101+ Durham University United Kingdom
 126–150  75 University of Freiburg Germany
 126–150  =90 University of Helsinki Finland
 126–150  101+ University of Konstanz Germany
 126–150  101+ University of Luxembourg Luxembourg
 126–150  101+ Monash University Australia
 126–150  101+ Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Singapore
 126–150  101+ Newcastle University United Kingdom
 126–150  101+ North Carolina State University United States
 126–150  101+ Pontifical Catholic University of Chile Chile
 126–150  101+ University of Reading United Kingdom
 126–150  =93 University of Southampton United Kingdom
 126–150  101+ Stony Brook University United States
 126–150  101+ University of Surrey United Kingdom
 126–150  101+ Tel Aviv University Israel
 126–150  =96 Texas A&M University United States
 126–150  101+ Tufts University United States
 126–150  101+ University of Twente Netherlands
 126–150  101+ University of Western Australia Australia
 126–150  88 University of Würzburg Germany
 151–175  101+ Auburn University United States
 151–175  101+ Bar-Ilan University Israel
 151–175  101+ University of Bergen Norway
 151–175  101+ University of Bologna Italy
 151–175  101+ Boston College United States
 151–175  100 City, University of London United Kingdom
 151–175  101+ Complutense University of Madrid Spain
 151–175  101+ Coventry University United Kingdom
 151–175  101+ Dalhousie University Canada
 151–175  NR Fordham University United States
 151–175  101+ University of Göttingen Germany
 151–175  NR Higher School of Economics Russian Federation
 151–175  101+ University of Jyväskylä Finland
 151–175  101+ Korea University South Korea
 151–175  101+ University of Macau Macao
 151–175  101+ University of Montreal Canada
 151–175  101+ Royal Holloway, University of London United Kingdom
 151–175  101+ Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey United States
 151–175  101+ Sapienza University of Rome Italy
 151–175  101+ University of Sheffield United Kingdom
 151–175  101+ University of South Florida United States
 151–175  92 Trinity College Dublin Republic of Ireland
 151–175  101+ Uppsala University Sweden
 151–175  101+ University of Vermont United States
 151–175  101+ Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand
 176–200  101+ Aalborg University Denmark
 176–200  101+ Autonomous University of Madrid Spain
 176–200  101+ Bangor University United Kingdom
 176–200  101+ University of Canterbury New Zealand
 176–200  101+ Colorado State University United States
 176–200  101+ Flinders University Australia
 176–200  101+ Florida International University United States
 176–200  101+ Georgia State University United States
 176–200  NR Goethe University Frankfurt Germany
 176–200  101+ University of Hamburg Germany
 176–200  101+ Iowa State University United States
 176–200  101+ Keele University United Kingdom
 176–200  101+ King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia
 176–200  101+ Kyushu University Japan
 176–200  101+ Lehigh University United States
 176–200  101+ Macquarie University Australia
 176–200  101+ McMaster University Canada
 176–200  101+ University of Münster Germany
 176–200  101+ Nottingham Trent University United Kingdom
 176–200  101+ University of Pavia Italy
 176–200  101+ Ruhr University Bochum Germany
 176–200  NR University of South Alabama United States
 176–200  101+ University of South Australia Australia
 176–200  101+ University of Valencia Spain
 176–200  NR University of Victoria Canada
 176–200  101+ Yonsei University (Seoul campus) South Korea

View the full table of 463 best universities for psychology degrees

Read more: the most detailed subject guide you will ever see to help you pick your degree   


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