(AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
The top two graduate programs for psychology, according to US News and World Report rankings, include two California schools. Yet another, from Southern California, comes in tied for third. Both Stanford and Berkeley take top honors with UCLA coming in tied for third. The top tier schools in addition to these California schools include: Harvard, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and Yale.
Stanford University's department of psychology is one of a handful of departments at Stanford that is ranked number one in the nation, and it has been for more than fifty years. This extraordinary achievement was honored by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. in 2003. There are many academic programs that are designed to emphasize either research or teaching.
UC Berkeley’s psychology department is tied with Stanford’s program. The Goal of the Graduate Program in Psychology at Berkeley is to produce scholar-researchers with sufficient breadth to retain perspective in the field of psychology and sufficient depth to permit successful independent and significant research. The members of the department have organized themselves into five training units. The requirements for each unit vary but always involve a combination of courses, seminars and supervised independent research.
UCLA’s psychology program comes in for a tied third in nationwide standings. The UCLA Psychology Department offers graduate Ph.D. training (there is no separate M.A. program) with area emphases in Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Health Psychology, Learning and Behavior, Quantitative, and Social Psychology. In all of these fields, the central objective is to train researchers dedicated to increasing the body of scientific knowledge upon which the discipline of psychology rests. The program is designed to prepare psychologists to function effectively as researchers, college and university instructors, and professional research psychologists.
Middle range graduate psychology programs in California are UCSD (tied 17), UCD (tied 23), and UCI (tied 29). Rounding out the California schools with ranking graduate psychology programs are: UCSB (tied 40), USC (tied 40), San Diego State (tied 50), UCR (tied 66) and Claremont Graduate University (tied 103).
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Janelle Jalbert is the founder of Edusistance and the creator of the Race to College Success program. She has been an educator and advisor for more than a decade. You can reach Janelle, who welcomes suggestions for topics of interest for future articles, via email.