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The 5 best universities in the world for Psychology

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Recently, THE (Times Higher Education) released the 2019 rankings for the best universities in the world according to subject.

The rankings included over 1,250 universities, making it their largest international league table to date. It’s also the only university performance table in the world to judge research-intensive universities across all of their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

For the field of psychology, the ranking highlights the universities that are leading across psychology; including educational, sport, business and animal psychology, and clinical psychology subjects.

The 2019 psychology ranking has also been expanded to include 463 universities, a big increment from the 101 universities that were ranked last year.

So without further ado, there are the top 5 universities in the world for psychology.

1. Stanford University

Jordan Hall, Stanford University, where the Department of Psychology is housed. Source: Emma Pease

Situated on 8,180 acres, Stanford is one of the largest campuses in the United States, with 18 interdisciplinary research institutes and seven schools on a single campus. Stanford has a huge international student population, with learners enrolled from over 90 countries.

As an academic leader for many subjects, it’s no wonder the school has topped the list for psychology as well. In fact, the Department of Psychology at Stanford was the very first to be established in the country.

The department is divided into five areas: science, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology, and development psychology. Psychology students will have the chance to work with several other departments at Stanford such as medicine, law, and business, as part of an effort to increase participation in interdisciplinary programmes.

The Department of Psychology at Stanford University is dedicated to training scientists who will work to advance theory and to create knowledge that help address real-world problems.

For more information, click here.

2. UCL (University College London)

UCL Division on Psychology and Language Sciences. Source: Katefaxen

Founded in 1826 in London, the prestigious UCL is a leading multidisciplinary university. It has over 38,000 students from over 150 countries. It’s one of the oldest universities in the country, and the first to offer admissions to women, as well as the first to open its doors to students from all religions.

The UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences is the largest department of its kind in the UK, with over 120 academic staff and approximately 1,500 students. The undergraduate programme at UCL is accredited by the British Psychological Society, and graduates are eligible to become members.

There are over 20 Master’s programmes offered in psychology, including business psychology, neuroscience, decision science, and human-computer interaction.

To find out more about UCL’s psychology programmes, click here.

3. Princeton University

Peretsman-Scully Hall, home to the Psychology Department and Neuroscience Institute of Princeton University. Source: David Keddie

A private Ivy League located in Princeton, New Jersey, USA, Princeton University was founded in 1746. It is the fourth-oldest institution in the United States.

The psychology department at the university offers degrees in areas such as  systems neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, perception and cognition, personality and social psychology, and physiological psychology. These can serve as a pathway to PhD studies.

The department works closely with the Center for the Study of Brain, Mind, and Behaviour, which fosters research on neuroscience and psychological function.

For more information, please visit the Princeton’s Department of Psychology website.

4. University of Chicago

The Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago. Source: University of Chicago 

The University of Chicago is a private university founded in the early 1800s. It’s home to the University of Chicago Press, the biggest university press in the country. The student population here is approximately 16,000.

The Department of Psychology at the university was first established in 1893. It’s renowned for scientific research that goes beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Psychology is one of the most popular majors at the university, for both undergraduate and graduate courses. This is largely due to the Undergraduate Research initiative, which allows students to find research opportunities that align with their interests and prepare them for real-world experience.

The initiative includes workshops, informational sessions, and career development opportunities that help students take advantage of research-related activities and events.

For the PhD programmes, which are also popular, students can choose to focus their studies on four research areas: cognition, developmental psychology, integrative neuroscience, or social psychology.

5. University of Pennsylvania 

Very old building at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Source: Shutterstock

A private Ivy League research university in West Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest universities in the US, founded in 1740.

The Department of Psychology, popular among undergraduate students, offers interesting and innovative courses such as ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’, which explores the scientific and theoretical aspects of well-being, and how people can use these methods for their own feelings of happiness.

Graduate research at the school focuses on either brain, cognitive and decision science or clinical, positive and social psychology.

For more information, click here.

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