Best Schools In California For Psychology

Best Schools In California For Psychology

Where can one find the best California schools for psychology in the state of California? The best schools provide an excellent return on investment for their students’ money, have a solid academic reputation, and have high internship placement and graduation rates.

The wild, the untamed, the fresh, and the new have always been associated with the state of California as a whole. From the nightlife of San Francisco to the culture of Hollywood. Additionally, if you are interested in that sort of thing, it has always been famous for its gorgeous weather and beaches.

There are various nicknames for the state of California in the United States, but “the Golden State” may be the most fitting. California is a state that has a lot to offer its residents because of its wide range of climatic conditions and its many prestigious educational institutions.

California has the most people living in it in the United States. In addition to this, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire world. Visitors to the United States often choose to spend their vacation in California because of its reputation for pleasant weather and beautiful beaches. Nevertheless, in addition to its pleasant climate, it is home to several of the world’s leading psychological research institutions.

Best Psychology Colleges/Universities In Califonia

California has some of the best psychology colleges and universities in the nation. The state is home to many leading research universities, including UC Berkeley and UCLA. California also has several smaller private institutions that offer excellent opportunities for students interested in psychology careers. Below you’ll find a list of California’s best psychology colleges and universities.

1. University of California, Berkeley

The University of California is a public research university in Berkeley, California. Founded in 1868, Berkeley is the oldest institution of higher learning in California. The school opened its doors to students on 23 March and has had an enrollment of over 40,000 students since then. This makes it one of the largest universities in the world.

The school offers Bachelor’s degrees in more than 150 majors and minors and Master’s degrees in 100 fields. The school also offers doctoral and professional degrees as well as non-degree programs through its 14 professional schools and graduate division.

Berkeley is considered one of the best colleges for psychology because it has been ranked number 7 by for the World University Rankings 2021. This ranking considers factors like faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates, alums giving percentage, and academic reputation, among other factors, when determining which schools are indeed the best colleges for psychology majors.

  • Acceptance rate: 17%
  • Average GMAT​: 727
  • GMAT Range: 690-760
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.89
  • Graduation Rate: 92%               
  • Average Cost after Aid: $16K
  • Total enrollment: 45,057

How To Apply to the University of California, Berkeley

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions can help you find your way through the application process and make sure you submit everything on time. Before applying, first, choose your major. Then complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible to help ensure that you receive all forms of financial aid for which you qualify.

To apply for admission at UC Berkeley, complete these steps:

  • Complete your application online here or here for graduate applications.
  • Make sure your references are correct, and their information is up to date.
  • Submit your $135 nonrefundable application fee online. Do not mail any payment to the campus because the admin board will not accept it by mail.

2. University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). As of October 2021, UCLA has 27 Nobel laureates on its faculty, five Turing Award winners, and two Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force among its alums.

The school offers 12 bachelor’s degree programs in psychology and related fields that can prepare you for a career as a psychotherapist or other mental health professional. Each program has its admission requirements but typically requires at least two years of college-level coursework in psychology and related subjects such as biology or statistics.

Students at UCLA can choose from several concentrations within their major: child and adolescent development; cognitive science; cultural studies; human development, social psychology, neuroscience, social relations, and behavior.

The university also offers four master’s degree programs in psychology, requiring at least two years of undergraduate coursework and completing an undergraduate thesis or capstone project before applying to the graduate program. These programs are designed to prepare students for careers as researchers in clinical settings or other areas of academia focusing on behavioral science research, such as cognitive psychology or linguistics.

  • Acceptance rate: 14%
  • Average GMAT: 714
  • GMAT Range: 670 – 750
  • Average Undergraduate GPA​: 3.4
  • Graduation Rate: 90%               
  • Average Cost after Aid: $15K
  • Total enrollment: 47,518

How to Apply to UCLA

The UCLA application is available online on the official website. You must create an account and complete the application in one sitting.

Starting on August 1, you can begin working on your application. Applications can be submitted between October 1 and November 30. The UCLA application includes a Common Application or Coalition Application and a supplemental essay. You will also have the option to submit up to five (5) letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, coaches, etc., and submit your SAT or ACT score(s).

After you have completed the online application, be sure to click on “Submit” on the final screen of the application process. This will send your application directly to UCLA admissions officers, who will review it for admission consideration.

3. University of California San Diego

The University of California at San Diego is one of the world’s most distinguished public research universities, located in a charming seaside town steeped in history and culture. Located just minutes from downtown San Diego, UC San Diego is an ideal place to pursue your academic and career goals. With more than 43,000 students and more than 2,000 faculty members in nine schools of study on a single campus, UC San Diego offers a variety of learning environments to fit your needs.

The Psychology Department at UC San Diego was founded in 1965 when the College of Letters and Science established a Behavioral Sciences Division. It was first housed in Revelle College but moved to its current location in Muir College in 1971.

The Psychology Department offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in psychology. Undergraduate students can major in psychology or cognitive science (a joint major with the Cognitive Science Program). The department also offers a minor in Psychology.

  • Acceptance rate: 37%
  • Average GMAT: 656
  • GMAT Range: 510-690
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.82
  • Graduation Rate: 86%               
  • Average Cost after Aid: $15K
  • Total enrollment: 40,812

How To Apply to UCSD School For Psychology

To Apply to UCSD School For psychology, follow the steps below:

  1. Find a program of interest
  2. Contact faculty of interest
  3. Take Graduate Record Exam
  4. Write a statement of Purpose
  5. You will need to submit reference letters and Transcripts. These can be obtained from professors and mentors.
  6. Graduate admissions Interview involves a campus visit, meeting the faculty of interest, and Attending mixers and Group events.

4. Stanford University

Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, California. Established in 1891 by Leland and Jane Stanford, the university is named after their son, Stanford White.

The university’s campus is located on an 8-acre (3.2 ha) site between San Francisco Bay and Los Altos Hills. It is adjacent to Palo Alto and between San Jose and San Francisco, approximately 40 miles (64 km) south of San Francisco. The university has a large student body of more than 15,000 undergraduate and 7,000 graduate students.

A completed Common Application or Coalition Application. The Common Application or Coalition Application must include all information requested on the application and submitted at their online portal.

  • Acceptance rate: 5%
  • Average GMAT​: Nil
  • GMAT Range: Nil
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.9
  • Graduation Rate: 94%               
  • Average Cost after Aid: $13K
  • Total enrollment: 16,937                  

5. University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian research university and one of the highest-ranking institutions in the United States. It is located in Los Angeles and is one of America’s top business, communications, and creative arts universities. The school offers more than 350 undergraduate and graduate degrees annually to more than 44,000 students.

USC’s athletic team is called the Trojans. In addition to its main campus at University Park, USC operates a medical center in downtown Los Angeles and many regional centers throughout Southern California.

  • Acceptance rate: 16%
  • Average GMAT: Nil
  • GMAT Range: Nil
  • Average Undergraduate GPA​: 3.75-4.00
  • Graduation Rate: 92%               
  • Average Cost after Aid: $33K
  • Total enrollment: 49,500        

How to Apply to the USC School of Psychology

You would be required to submit three letters of recommendation from your professors or supervisors, including your potential in your field of study. Then you will also upload a scanned copy of your Transcripts with an application fee of $90.

6. Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University is a private university established in 1937 and affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Located in Malibu, California, on an oceanfront campus, the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and nearby mountains.

Pepperdine offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees from nine schools: Business, Communication, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts & Art History, Law, Letters, Science, and the School of Public Policy. The university also offers 17 graduate certificate programs.

The university does not have religious requirements for admission or employment. It is about 65 miles from Los Angeles and has a campus of about 100 acres (40 ha).

  • Acceptance rate: 42%
  • Average GMAT​:
  • GMAT Range: 570 – 660
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.69-3.96
  • Graduation Rate: 83%               
  • Average Cost after Aid: $39K
  • Total enrollment: 12,934         

7. California State University, Fullerton

California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) is a public research university in Fullerton, California. It is one of the 23 campuses within the California State University system. The university offers 115 bachelor’s degrees, 88 Masters, and 3+ Doctoral degrees, including Doctor of Psychology, Doctor of Education, and Doctor of Nursing Practice, and 19 teaching credentials/certificates (graduate level). CSUF is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and is considered a very high research institution.

  • Acceptance rate: 68%
  • Average GMAT: Nil
  • GMAT Range: Nil
  • Average Undergraduate GPA​: 3.69-3.96
  • Graduation Rate: 68%               
  • Average Cost after Aid: $8,003
  • Total enrollment: 41,408  

8. California State University Long Beach

California State University Long Beach (CSULB) is a public university in Long Beach, California, United States.

CSULB was founded as a satellite campus of California State University Los Angeles in 1949. It became an independent college in 1957, with major campus master planning and construction in the 1960s and 1970s.

The university’s sports teams are known as the Long Beach State 49ers and compete in NCAA Division I.

  • Acceptance rate: 42%
  • Average GMAT: 590
  • GMAT Range: 530-650
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.24
  • Graduation Rate: 69%               
  • Average Cost after Aid: $10K
  • Total enrollment: 40,190

How to Apply to CSULB School of Psychology

The application process for admission to Cal State Long Beach takes a few months. First, apply with the university’s online system, Cal State Apply. Then pay a non-refundable $70 fee and submit your official transcripts. Students will hear back about their application status in March (date TBD).

9. California State University, Northridge

California State University, Northridge (commonly referred to as CSUN or Cal State Northridge) was established in 1958. CSUN is a public university in the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, United States, in the San Fernando Valley. As of summer 2023, the university served approximately  40,108 students. It also has satellite campuses in Ventura and at Mount San Antonio College.

CSU has been ranked as one of the best universities in America for a Master’s Program. Some of its most notable alums include; Mohamed Morsi, who became the 5th president of Egypt in 2012, Award-winning Singer, dancer, actress Paula Abdul and many more.

  • Acceptance rate: 66%
  • Average GMAT: Nil
  • GMAT Range: Nil
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.69-3.96
  • Graduation Rate: 54%               
  • Average Cost after Aid: $8,523
  • Total enrollment: 40,108  

How to Apply to CSUN School of Psychology  

In addition to the general admission requirements for all CSUN graduate programs, applicants must meet the following criteria:

Have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.00 on all attempts or have earned 60-semester units (90 quarter units) toward a doctoral degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.00 on all attempts, or have earned 45-semester units (67 quarter units) toward an advanced master’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.00 on all attempts, or have earned 35-semester units (54 quarter units) toward an advanced professional credential from an accredited institution.

10. University of California Santa Cruz

The University of California, Santa Cruz (also known as UC Santa Cruz or UCSC) is a public research university and one of 10 campuses in the University of California system. Located 75 miles south of San Francisco at the edge of the coastal community of Santa Cruz, the campus lies on 2,001 acres of rolling, forested hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay.

The university was founded in 1965. Since then, UC Santa Cruz has become one of the preeminent universities in the world. UC Santa Cruz Offers a wide range of programs, including 65 graduate programs, 64 undergraduate majors, and 41 minors.

The school’s notable alumni include actress and comedian Maya Rudolph, filmmaker Cary Fukunaga, marine biologist, MacArthur Fellow Stacy Jupiter, actor, comedian Andy Samberg, and many other notables.

  • Acceptance rate: 65%
  • Average GMAT: Nil
  • GMAT Range: Nil
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.55
  • Graduation Rate: 74%               
  • Average Cost after Aid: $18k
  • Total enrollment: 18,980     

How to Apply to UCSC School of Psychology

When making decisions, the admissions committee looks at transcripts, test scores, past research experience, statements of purpose, and letters of recommendation. Worthy of note, Employment experience and other personal and professional activities are also considered. The students’ experiences must match the resources and opportunities available within the UCSC program.

In the end, choosing a college entails a lot more than just rankings. What’s more, many different factors will go into your decision, from studying in a city where you’re interested in getting enough financial aid to making the price of tuition affordable. However, these ten schools offer excellent education and have proven among the best California schools for psychology over time.

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