Top Psychology Masters Programs in the U.S.

Find out which top schools in the U.S. offer master's degrees in psychology. Read about the programs available at three high-ranking universities, and find a table with at-a-glance facts about other schools in the U.S. that offer master's degrees in psychology.

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School Information

Most of the top-ranked graduate psychology schools in the U.S. offer doctoral or co-terminal programs in psychology. While terminal or co-terminal master's degree programs are limited in number, they can be found at Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin in Madison and James Madison University. All of these universities are highly ranked in their respective categories by U.S. News & World Report.

Top U.S. Schools with Master's Degree Programs in Psychology

1. Stanford University in Stanford, CA

In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Department of Psychology at Stanford University first on its list of the best graduate schools for psychology. Program emphasis is on teaching and research. Although the university doesn't offer a separate master's degree program in psychology, students can earn a 45-credit, co-terminal Master of Arts (M.A.). This option is open to students pursuing a bachelor's or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology.

2. University of Wisconsin - Madison

U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Wisconsin in Madison eighth on its list of the best graduate schools for psychology for 2009, along with Princeton University and the University of Minnesota in Twin Cities. This 4-year public university is the second-highest-ranked school to offer a master's degree program in psychology. Although the doctoral program in psychology is the core of the graduate program at the Department of Psychology, students can also pursue a terminal Master of Science (M.S.) in General Psychology. Requirements for the master's degree include an original thesis.

3. James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA

James Madison University is a public institution that placed third among regional universities in the South and first for public schools by U.S. News & World Report in 2011. The Department of Graduate Psychology offers an M.A. in Psychological Studies, as well as two M.A./Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Psychology programs. Students enrolled in the M.A. in Psychological Studies program can pursue one of four concentrations, such as behavior analysis, clinical research, cognitive science or quantitative psychology. First-year students also take part in a research apprenticeship.

List of Ten Good U.S. Psychology Master's Programs

College/University Name Distinction Location
Fairfield University Foundations of Advanced Psychology study track Fairfield, CT
James Madison University Offers two combined M.A./Ed.S. programs Harrisonburg, VA
Loyola University in Maryland Master's plus Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) program Baltimore, MD
New York University Master's degree program allows for a specialized track in social and consumer psychology New York, NY
Stanford University Ranked the number one graduate psychology school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2009 Stanford, CA
Santa Clara University M.A. in Counseling Psychology program includes a marriage and family therapy (MFT) California licensing requirement Santa Clara, CA
University of Wisconsin - Madison First Year Project requirement for graduate students Madison, WI
Valparaiso University Joint Law/M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program Valparaiso, IN
Villanova University 5-year B.A./M.S. in Psychology program Villanova, PA
Xavier University M.A. in Experimental Psychology program Cincinnati, OH
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