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Where to Study Psychology

Psychology is a complex discipline that studies mental processes and behavior patterns significantly affecting different aspects of a human’s well-being.
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Psychological data help marketing agencies to sell products and services, insurance companies to change their policies, schools to adjust educational programs, and the police to predict the risk of burglary by area.

What Specializations Are There in Psychology?

If you are interested in psychology and want to pursue a degree in this field, make sure you have a clear understanding of what you are going to do after your graduation. 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to major in psychology on this level to attend graduate school in psychology in the future. You can have another major and study psychology as a minor.

When choosing a graduate program, ask yourself a question: do I want to be a practicing psychologist in the future? Do I want to conduct research in psychology? What field am I interested in? Do I want to work in marketing, management, human resources? The specialty areas of psychology include behavioral science, human resource management, coaching, sports psychology, brain, and cognitive science, neuroscience, neurology, linguistics, computation, philosophy, and many others. There is a lot to choose from, apart from clinical psychology. 

About the Academic Journey of a Psychologist

Graduate programs in psychology include master’s, Ph.D., PsyD, and DClinPsy. After completing an undergraduate course, you can get a separate master’s (called ‘terminal’ in the US) and then a Ph.D. In many American universities, for example, in Harvard, you can go straight into Ph.D. after your undergraduate studies and earn a master’s along the way. 

The difference between Ph.D. and PsyD is that Ph.D. programs are focused on research and producing knowledge, while PsyD is a professional degree in psychology (similar to the MD in medicine or a JD in law). It focuses heavily on the application of psychological science. However, many top-ranking US universities offer only Ph.D. programs. Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych or DClinPsy), to which you can also apply straight after undergraduate studies, is offered by some UK universities. 

Does a Psychologist Need a License?

To practice psychology, you will need some accreditation or license. It will be easier for you to get accredited as a practicing psychologist in the country where you’ve completed your studies. 

Having Ph.D. or PsyD is a must for an individual to be licensed as a psychologist in many American states. In addition, getting licensed for the professional practice may require additional years of supervised training, such as an internship or postdoctoral residency. You should contact the board of psychology in the state where you are going to practice. Check out the website of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) that provides information about state psychology boards, in addition to general information about education and examination requirements.

In the UK, your degree must be certified by the BPS (British Psychological Society) before you can practice. If your studies took place outside of the country, you might need to complete some further courses to meet specific conditions set by the BPS. DClinPsych confers eligibility to apply for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council and Chartered Psychologist with the BPS. 

Like the Netherlands, the UK has some of the best psychology programs in the world. Also, many top-ranked programs are available in the US. It's also a good place to work after graduation, with plenty of psychology-related job options.

United States

Harvard University 

The oldest higher education school in the United States, Harvard is considered as a top university all around the world due to its impact, reputation, and intellectual pedigree. The field of psychology originally evolved at Harvard in the late 1800s, and this institution has remained at the forefront of the subject ever since. Several programs have been designed for individuals who aspire toward careers in clinical scientific research and teaching. 

Undergraduate level: Psychology Undergraduate Program. You can choose the General Track, the Cognitive Neuroscience & Evolutionary Psychology (CNEP) Track, or the Cognitive Science (MBB) Track.

Tuition fee: $49,653 a year

Graduate level: PhD program in four areas: Clinical Science, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Cognition, Brain, and Behavior (CBB) 

Tuition fee: The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers incoming PhD students full financial support including tuition, health insurance fees, and basic living expenses, for a minimum of five years.

Northwestern University

A very popular choice among international students, Northwestern University provides an excellent education in many fields as well as need-based scholarships. Its psychology undergraduate and graduate programs are highly valued around the world. Students planning to do graduate work in psychology must choose an area of specialization among Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and many others. 

Undergraduate level: Psychology

Tuition fee: $60,276 a year

Graduate level: PhD programs in Brain, Behavior & Cognition(BBC); Clinical; Cognitive; Personality, Development, and Health; and Social Psychology.

Tuition fee: $60,060 a year

Duke University 

Duke University’s Department of Psychology & Neuroscience is recognized for its research and training in the fields of clinical psychology, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, social psychology, and systems and integrative neuroscience. The institution offers a broad range of undergraduate programs including majors and a minor in Psychology, as well as majors and a minor in Neuroscience. 

Undergraduate program: Psychology

Tuition fee: $60,594 per year

Graduate program: PhD programs in Clinical Psychology, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Systems and Integrative Neuroscience

Tuition fee: Students admitted to a PhD program in Psychology or Neuroscience are guaranteed a stipend and tuition remission for five academic years (Fall and Spring semesters) and Summers 1 and 2 if the student is in good standing academically.

Canada

University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia is known around the world for its teaching and research quality, as well as its global impact. Psychology programs, which are the most popular undergraduate major at UBC, provide enriched learning experiences that position students for success in graduate studies, as scientists, or in careers in the public and private sectors.

Undergraduate level: Psychology

Tuition fee: CAD 41,156 per year (around $32,543)

Graduate level: MA Program (Counseling Psychology); PhD Program

Tuition fee: Masters - CAD 4,716 (around $3,729) per installment, 3 installments per year, therefore $11,187 a year;

PhD - CAD 3,043 (around $2,406) per installment, 3 installments per year, therefore $7,218 a year.

UK

Oxford University 

The Experimental Psychology Department at Oxford is recognized as one of the best in the UK. Thanks to the department's commitment to teaching and research, four or five research seminars are held each week in addition to undergraduate lectures and classes. There are now strong research groups in human cognitive processes, neuroscience, language, developmental psychology, social psychology, and psychological illnesses.

Undergraduate level: Psychology (Experimental)

Tuition fee: £31,030 per year (around $41,754)

Graduate level: Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych)

Tuition fee: Trainees are employed as trainee clinical psychologists on a fixed term contract for three years.

King’s College London

The Department of Psychology is home to the UK's oldest Clinical Psychology training program, as well as one of the best-known and largest centers for clinical and health psychology. The British Psychological Society (BPS) has identified five areas in which undergraduate courses excel, including the emphasis on research-led teaching and the potential for students to benefit from the research expertise of their world-leading Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience (IoPPN).

Undergraduate level: Psychology

Tuition fee: £32,940 a year (around USD 44,324)

Graduate level: 

Developmental Psychology & Psychopathology MSc

Health Psychology MSc

Global Mental Health MSc

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology DClinPsy

Tuition fee: Master’s programs -  £32,940 per year (around $44,324);

Doctoral - £30,200 per year (around $40,637)

University College London 

Rated the top university in the UK for research in the most recent Research Excellence Framework, UCL is a world leader in mind, behavior, and language research and education. The research covers topics like cognition, neurology, linguistics, education, communication, neurological illnesses, mental health, phonetics, and development. There have been 30 Nobel laureates among its former staff and students, a winner in every decade since the Prize started.

Undergraduate level: 

Psychology

Psychology and Language Sciences

Tuition fee: £32,100 a year (around $43,194)

Graduate level: Child Development MSc

Developmental and Educational Psychology MSc

Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology MPhil/PhD

Clinical Psychology DClinPsy

Tuition fee: 

Master’s programs - £24,000 per year (around $32,294)

PhD - £27,480 per year (around $36,977)

DClinPsy - £27,750 per year (around $37,340)

Netherlands

University of Amsterdam 

The University of Amsterdam is one of the best universities in Europe and the world. It offers a wide range of psychology undergraduate and graduate courses, including the Research Master. Its Bachelor's in Psychology was ranked No 1 psychology program in Europe. If you are passionate about psychology and plan to do a PhD in this field or work in human resources, consultancy, or behavioral data, this institution is the right choice because it has excellent facilities and access to the latest research in the field.

Undergraduate level: Psychology 

Tuition fee: €11,000 per year (around $12,400)

Graduate level: 

Psychology: Consultancy & Organisational Development (track);

Psychology: Human Resource & Career Management (track);

Psychology: Sport and Performance Psychology (track);

Psychology (research);

Psychology: Behavioural Data Science (track)

Tuition fee: €16,900 per year (around $19,051)

Singapore

National University of Singapore (NUS) 

NUS is Singapore's flagship institution and a renowned global university based in Asia that combines a global approach to teaching and research with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. Students who graduate with an Honours degree in Psychology may work in the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Education, the Singapore Prison Service, and the Singapore Police Force. Individuals who would like to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist would need a postgraduate degree in clinical psychology such as the Master of Psychology (Clinical). Within this program, students undertake three clinical placements, with each placement lasting six months. You can find out more about these specializations at the website of the Singapore Psychological Society

Undergraduate level: Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Psychology

Tuition fee: S$34,050 per year (around $25,316)

Graduate level: Master of Psychology (Clinical) 

Tuition fee: S$35,650 per year (around $26,505) 

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