California is home to some of the best psychology schools in the nation, and this list will help you find your perfect match. Whether it’s a large or small school that interests you, there are many excellent options available.
If you are in the process of deciding where to go to school for psychology, you may want to consider these top 15 California schools. This list includes colleges and universities that offer an excellent education with affordable tuition rates. It also features some institutions with exceptional graduate programs.
1. California State University, Fullerton
Cal State Fullerton is a great place for students who are interested in studying psychology. It has an undergraduate program that offers several specializations, including biological bases of behavior and clinical applications. The faculty members have impressive credentials, and the student-to-faculty ratio is within the modest range of 18 to 1.
The tuition rate at this college is very reasonable for California residents, but it’s also possible for out-of-state students to attend as well.
2. California State University, Los Angeles
This particular school is a good choice for students who want to study clinical child and adolescent psychology. The program at this institution is very competitive, and it consists of two options: general or developmental emphasis. In addition, both minors are part of the school’s Child Development Institute.
Undergraduates have the opportunity to take classes in statistics, research methods, biological bases of behavior, and psychopathology. The faculty members hold PhDs from respected institutions such as Harvard University. Laboratory learning opportunities are offered as well.
In addition to its undergraduate offerings, Cal State LA has several programs that can help psychology students with graduate studies and licensure exams required to become a psychologist in California. One example is a master’s degree in school psychology that is available to California residents.
3. California State University, Fresno
California State University’s undergraduate program in psychology has several specializations for students to consider, including neuroscience and behavioral neuroscience.
It also offers an emphasis on counseling/psychology or pre-health professions. Undergraduates work closely with faculty members known for their knowledgeable insight into topics such as counseling services, child development, and mental health issues.
This particular school is another good option for California residents because of its affordable tuition rate. Other advantages include free tutoring services and guided study groups taught by graduate students who have completed the program at this institution. There are also opportunities to participate in research projects if you are interested in pursuing a psychology graduate program.
4. California State University, Northridge
This university has a robust undergraduate program that the American Psychological Association accredits. Additional accreditations from organizations such as the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education make it a good choice for students to become licensed psychologists in California. Its strengths include a curriculum with coursework in biological bases of behavior, child and adolescent development, social foundations of conduct, and more.
The faculty members at this college have earned impressive credentials from respected institutions such as Harvard University and UCLA’s School of Medicine. They also hold clinical or counseling psychology PhDs with extensive training related to research-based learning methods, including practicum opportunities that can help you build your resume.
5. California State University, Sacramento
The psychology department at this school offers bachelor’s degrees in general or experimental psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association. These specializations allow students to choose an emphasis on child and adolescent development, adult development and aging, or theories and methods in psychology. You can also consider a minor related to social justice issues in mental health.
Graduates from this program have gone on to pursue careers in research fields and clinical ones in psychology. As a bonus, there are opportunities for fieldwork that are required when you complete your degree. A practicum course lets you receive academic credit while getting hands-on experience at local organizations such as hospitals or community treatment centers.
6. San Diego State University
Many students who pursue a degree in psychology at this school come because of its emphasis on social justice issues you can explore through elective courses or extracurricular activities. Although it does not offer an undergraduate major, it provides minors related to mental health and wellness. This is another California-based school with affordable tuition rates for residents. It has more than 20 faculty members who receive high ratings for their excellent service to students.
7. University of California, Riverside
This university’s undergraduate program received accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA) and approval from the Committee on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education Program. Some examples of elective courses you could consider are developmental psychology, behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and psychobiology. Additionally, there are opportunities to complete practicum requirements at local hospitals or clinics connected with the university itself.
8. San Francisco State University
This school offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in human resources development, one of the few areas where California residents can pursue a degree without spending time attending classes in another part of the state’s public university system. In addition, the curriculum has coursework in counseling techniques and other areas related to mental health issues that seniors commonly experience.
One unique benefit of this program is that it includes practicum experiences that give students academic credit while working within community organizations to gain skills that will help them after graduation. Students can also gain hands-on experience in the field through internships with local counseling centers, rehabilitation facilities, or health care companies.
9. California State University, Chico
The psychology program at this school is designed for students interested in preparing for careers as researchers and mental health professionals. It offers bachelor’s degrees in psychology and master’s degrees within areas such as developmental psychology, clinical psychology, experimental psychology, and social/health psychology. In addition, you can choose to pursue more than just a major or minor here; electives are available in topics related to your major and on more global issues impacting people today.
10. Humboldt State University
This school is known for its outreach efforts in the community and campus. The psychology department has a high-quality faculty that provides students with an educational experience focused on cultural diversity, social justice issues, and global perspectives. Examples of courses you could consider include theories in personality development, psychological research methods, and abnormal psychology.
There are unique opportunities for fieldwork that can be completed at nearby therapeutic centers or schools. In addition, the school’s psychology program cooperates with local agencies such as mental health care programs and hospitals to provide students with practical experiences during their time spent learning within this university environment.
11. California State University, Monterey Bay
Aspiring clinicians may want to take advantage of the campuses located throughout Monterey County when pursuing their bachelor’s degree in psychology. There are roughly 10,000 students who attend this school and can choose to study topics related to mental health, wellness, and other areas that will prepare them for careers as counselors or therapists. For example, a specific course of interest may have a clinical focus, which provides hands-on experiences to help students learn how to interact with clients.
Students can graduate from Monterey Peninsula College with an Associate of Science degree that qualifies them for admission into the baccalaureate program at this university. If you already have a degree in psychology, you might also want to consider enrolling here so that you can take advanced courses within your specialty area.
12. California State University, Stanislaus
This school is home to the Counseling & Psychological Services department, which offers students several resources if they are interested in pursuing a career within this field. With undergraduate programs from general psychology to clinical mental health counseling, you can choose classes that focus on specific sub-fields and work to expand your understanding of human behavior. You might also be able to develop yourself as an individual through elective studies or take part in learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.
Those who want a practical experience—as well as the chance to earn academic credit—can complete internships at nearby facilities, such as substance abuse treatment centers or community outreach programs that aim to help the homeless.
13. California State University, San Bernardino
You can pursue a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate at this school; each program is designed with you in mind and allows you to utilize your creative side through electives such as media-related courses and gender studies. For example, students here can learn about psychological theories that may be integrated into their counselors or therapists. The psychology department also has affiliations with community agencies to receive clinical training during their time at this university.
14. Sonoma State University
The Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CCPS) offers numerous workshops on resilience, interpersonal relationships, and self-actualization. In addition, students may want to meet with a counselor regularly and benefit from having close ties to staff members who are available for one-on-one appointments. By developing these relationships, students may be able to more effectively address any concerns they may have and conquer specific obstacles they face both in and out of the classroom.
15. University of California, Merced
When you attend this university, you can work closely with faculty members to learn about the essential principles integral to being a successful counselor or therapist. You might also have access to research programs that enhance your ability to design innovative solutions for complex problems. In addition, the school offers numerous workshops on topics related to wellness and other issues so that students are always looking for ways to improve their approach within the field.
Regardless of whether you want to focus on general counseling or clinical mental health, an undergraduate degree program available will best suit your needs. In addition, putting forth the effort needed for success may be more accessible than ever before for you to start an exciting career within this field.
So if you ever thought of being a psychologist, you should go for that because it is a great field.