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The Best Behavioral Psychology Programs in 2020

February 12, 2021 | Staff Writers

Behavioral Psychology Programs
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Behavioral Psychology is the science of studying the why behind what we do as human beings.  Scientists study the connection between the human mind and human behavior, what conditions or stimuli within our environment shape our actions.  This is a theory that is based on the idea that all behavior is acquired through conditioning.  Conditioning is what happens as we interact with the environment in which we live.  It is our responses to these interactions that shape our actions.

This is a very broad course of study within psychology that opens the doors to many careers.  This branch of psychology delves more into learning how people think, feel, and act.  There are careers that focus on treating those with emotional disorders and counseling them on techniques to treat those disorders through conditioning.

Top 5 Behavioral Psychology Programs

RankSchoolLocation
1Stanford UniversityStanford, California
2Harvard UniversityCambridge, Massachusetts
3University of California -BerkeleyBerkeley, California
4University of California -Los Angeles Los Angeles, California
5University of Michigan – Ann ArborAnn Arbor, Michigan

Counseling

Careers in counseling for those with a degree in behavioral psychology are plenty and varied.  As there are many people desiring to overcome unwanted habits or behaviors that are not wanted counselors can help guide them through a conditioning process to help them.  A counselor works with their patient through discussions, conditioning techniques and advice as they help people choose the best and most productive behavior.

The setting in which counselors can be employed in are vast and varied as is the age and scope of their patients.  Careers within counseling are family counseling, mental health centers, education institutions, substance abuse centers, and rehabilitation centers.  Something to note about these careers however, is that typically a master’s degree in behavioral psychology is require for licensure to be employed in these positions.

Behavioral Therapist

Those in this branch of the field have more education and work as counselors and therapists using research-based theories and techniques to help their patients change and improve their behavior.  Behavioral Therapists typically use a variety of therapy types as they work with patients.  These therapists usually treat mental illness, substance abuse, anxiety, depression and other cognitive-behavioral issues.  These professionals have a few choices of employment settings; private practice, hospital, or in-patient mental health care facility.  To specialize as a cognitive behavioral therapist need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, but better if they have a master’s degree and doctoral degrees are also available in this branch of behavioral psychology.  Most clinicians will need a doctoral degree to practice as a clinician.

Academic and Research

Not everyone is cut out to be s counselor or clinician, those still interested in behavioral psychology but wanting to be employed in a different setting can look into the academic and research branch.  Universities hire these individuals to conduct research and over-see research as there are always new theories and techniques being used to modify human behavior.  Those desiring the academic route can teach at the high school level up to the university level depending on education and experience.

Regardless what career path you choose they all start with a degree in behavioral psychology, form there, individuals can go through a doctoral program, a clinical program or educator.  Whatever you choose, be sure to attend an accredited program from an accredited institution to begin your career.

The Best 26 Behavioral Psychology Programs in 2020

1

Stanford University

  • Stanford, California
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

Diversity is key to the department of psychology at Stanford University. Faculty are devoted to educating and training the future leaders that will become the scientists that work to advance theory and knowledge for the good of humankind as hey address real-world problems. With the diversity found at Stanford, this goal can be accomplished with the various perspectives and experiences found within the campus. The campus is inclusive and invites diverse questions, viewpoints and perspectives.

School Overview

Tuition: $51,345
Faculty to Student Ratio: 5:1
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2

Harvard University

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 97%

Among the country’s top-ranked psychology programs, Harvard University has had the field of psychology since its pioneer days in the 1800’s. With top professors and intellectual minds that have progressed the field and understanding of the connection between mind and behavior, Harvard still leads the country with innovative theories and practices. Some of the pioneers that help mold the department of psychology at Harvard are B.F. Skinner, Gordon Allport, Jerome Bruner, and Henry Murray to name a few.

School Overview

Tuition: $50,420
Faculty to Student Ratio: 6:1
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3

University of California -Berkeley

  • Berkeley, California
  • Graduation Rate: 92%

The department of psychology at the University of California -Berkeley focuses on fostering methodological, statistical, and critical thinking skills. With this foundation students are better equipped to research, apply and create innovative techniques within their specialization of psychology. Areas of specialization available at UC Berkeley are Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience, clinical science, cognition, cognitive neuroscience, and social-personality psychology.

School Overview

Tuition: $14,184
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4

University of California -Los Angeles

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Graduation Rate: 91%

University of California -Los Angeles is among the top programs with research, in regards to the structure and functions of the brain and is currently a leader in the neurobiological study of behavior. The department of psychology is committed to excellence and growth in this specialization of educating the future researchers and clinicians. Students have numerous opportunities to be involved with cutting edge research while working closely with faculty.

School Overview

Tuition: $13,226
Faculty to Student Ratio: 18:1
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5

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

  • Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Graduation Rate: 91%

The psychology department and programs at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor consistently rank among the top in the country. With excellent faculty, students and programs the research and knowledge of psychology is recognized nationally and internationally. Students have opportunities to learn from some of the most distinguished professionals in the field at the University of Michigan.

School Overview

Tuition: $15,262
Faculty to Student Ratio: 15:1
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6

Cornell University

  • Ithaca, New York
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

A private and statutory research Ivy League institution, Cornell University is home to one of the largest research libraries in North America. The department of psychology focuses on the connections between behavior and its cognitive, hormonal, and neural underpinnings amidst the diverse environmental settings. Students have access to state of the art research facilities, research space and laboratory equipment.

School Overview

Tuition: $55,188
Faculty to Student Ratio: 9:1
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7

Indiana University – Bloomington

  • Bloomington, Indiana
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

At Indiana University – Bloomington, the department of psychology maintains strop interdisciplinary connection with the natural sciences, social sciences, medical sciences and humanities. Students explore the complexity of the human brain alongside expert faculty as they research eh connections between mind and behavior. Students are trained to become the next generation of scientists that apply scientific knowledge to real world problems.

School Overview

Tuition: $10,681
Faculty to Student Ratio: 16:1
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8

John Hopkins University

  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Graduation Rate: 92%

John Hopkins University is home to the first psychological laboratory in America and continues to be among the top-ranking psychology programs in the country. The department of psychology has been investigating the most fundamental questions of connections between behavior and brain since 1883. The programs prepare students to be scientists more than clinical practitioners.

School Overview

Tuition: $53,740
Faculty to Student Ratio: 7:1
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9

University of Virginia

  • Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

The University of Virginia is home to the department of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences. With a faculty of renowned researches and clinical practitioners, students learn from experts in the field while having opportunities to participate in clinical rotations. Services and rotations occur on campus with in-patient and outpatient services as well as rural telepsychiatry services.

School Overview

Tuition: $17,653
Faculty to Student Ratio: 15:1
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10

University of Illinois

  • Champaign, Illinois
  • Graduation Rate: 85%

The department of psychology at the University of Illinois is a nationally recognized program for research and teaching. The degrees offered in this department are related to understanding the complete human being from the brain, mind (cognitive processes), the individual and the community. The goal of each program is to provide a contemporary, comprehensive, and challenging understanding of the complete human being.

School Overview

Tuition: $15,094
Faculty to Student Ratio: 18:1
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11

Princeton University

  • Princeton, New Jersey
  • Graduation Rate: 98%

A private Ivy League research institution founded in 1746, Princeton University offers a challenging and rigorous degree in psychology that is often used as a springboard for a variety of careers. Top researchers of Princeton involve students in the research process teaching them how to use complex databases and statistical methods after they have built a foundation in language, reasoning, and decision making.

School Overview

Tuition: $50,340
Faculty to Student Ratio: 5:1
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12

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

As having one of the most respected psychology programs, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities provides innovative research and teaching methods. Students build on a liberal arts general education and then are able to engage in research and clinical opportunities within the psychology department. The graduate programs are consistently ranked among the top with research in behavioral genetics, cognitive neuroscience, cultural psychology, organizational behavior, and much more.

School Overview

Tuition: $14,760
Faculty to Student Ratio: 17:1
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13

University of Washington

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

The University of Washington psychology department generates innovative insights and knowledge into the mind, brain, and behavior of individuals. The research done by expert faculty with the help of students seeks to promote social equality, optimize human potential, and understand behavior through brain sciences. The graduate clinic is among the top ranked and award-winning clinics in the country along with the faculty directed research clinics.

School Overview

Tuition: $11,207
Faculty to Student Ratio: 19:1
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14

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 93%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is committed to training the scientific leaders of the future through a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach. Students of the graduate program will rotate through three different laboratories giving them exposure to cutting edge methods, model systems and research questions. The MIT philosophy is cross-disciplinary with the psychology program being organized into four areas cognitive science, systems neuroscience, cellular and molecular neuroscience, and computation.

School Overview

Tuition: $51,832
Faculty to Student Ratio: 3:1
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15

University of Pennsylvania

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Graduation Rate: 95%

As one of the oldest psychology departments in North American, the University of Pennsylvania welcomes those studying the connection of mind, brain and behavior. With the breadth of the content of psychology and its methodology, it naturally has cross contact with numerous other disciplines and become multidisciplinary. Students can use this as a focus or as a foundation into other disciplines because of the analytical and conceptual critical thinking skills students gain from this course of study.

School Overview

Tuition: $55,584
Faculty to Student Ratio: 6:1
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16

University of Texas – Austin

  • Austin, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 81%

The University of Texas – Austin offers expert faculty and staff with excellent undergraduate and graduate students that support the scientific and education mission of the department of psychology. As part of the department two important are two important centers; the center for perceptual systems and the institute for mental health research. The impact of the research done at UT Austin extends beyond the scope of psychology and into many other disciplines.

School Overview

Tuition: $10,610
Faculty to Student Ratio: 19:1
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17

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 91%

Considered a public Ivy League institution, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill provides students a similar experience in education and research that they would receive at a private Ivy League institution. With a long history of excellent teaching methods and expert faculty leading innovative research, the department of psychology has been ranked among the top for a century.

School Overview

Tuition: $8,987
Faculty to Student Ratio: 13:1
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18

University of Wisconsin – Madison

  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Graduation Rate: 85%

The University of Wisconsin – Madison prepares students to fully participate in a complex and multicultural world. Students in the field of psychology will learn multiple content areas of scientific psychology, think critically and quantitatively, and apply the science of psychology for the benefit of individuals and communities.

School Overview

Tuition: $10,555
Faculty to Student Ratio: 17:1
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19

Columbia University

  • New York City, New York
  • Graduation Rate: 95%

As one of the oldest institutions for higher learning in the country, Columbia University is a private Ivy League research institute that continues to educate and graduate some of the leading minds of today. As one of the oldest and most influential psychology programs in the United States, Columbia University’s department is relatively small but still internationally recognized and influential. The faculty consists of outstanding researches and dedicated teachers.

School Overview

Tuition: $59,430
Faculty to Student Ratio: 6:1
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20

Duke University

  • Durham, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 95%

A private research institution, Duke University was founded in 1838 and continues to rank among the top research and academic institutions in the country. The department of psychology now supports two main majors, psychology and neuroscience. Students seeking a career in behavioral science can take either route depending on their career path.

School Overview

Tuition: $55,695
Faculty to Student Ratio: 6:1
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21

Northwestern University

  • Evanston, Illinois
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

A private research institution, Northwestern University has numerous campuses across the country with the main campus in Illinois. The faculty of the psychology department are top scholars in their field and leaders of innovative research. The faculty along with students make major contributions to the field of psychology that is shaping the knowledge and research of the field.

School Overview

Tuition: $54,568
Faculty to Student Ratio: 6:1
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22

University of Chicago

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

A private research institution, University of Chicago runs a world-renowned social sciences division. The undergraduate and graduate programs are intellectually intense and are supported by expert faculty that conduct key research in their specialized fields. The department of psychology is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion from faculty and students within the program.

School Overview

Tuition: $58,230
Faculty to Student Ratio: 5:1
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23

Ohio State University

  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Graduation Rate: 83%

Ohio State University is home to one the top ranked psychology departments in the world according to the most recent 2019 Shanghai rating, ranking Ohio State University psychology department as 12th in the world. The programs and research are outstanding, with scholarly minded students and faculty that conducts cutting edge research while collaborating with other disciplines. Undergraduates are trained to embrace and thrive in the challenges of the modern world while advancing knowledge and techniques with creative solutions.

School Overview

Tuition: $10,726
Faculty to Student Ratio: 19:1
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24

Brown University

  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Graduation Rate: 96%

As a private, Ivy League institute Brown University has been a source for education and research since 1764 when Rhode Island was merely a colony in the New World. Undergraduates of psychology are well prepared with courses in cognition, perception, development, behavioral neuroscience and social psychology. Students also have access to state-of-the -art laboratories, clinical experiences and specialized seminars that delve into specialized topics.

School Overview

Tuition: $55,466
Faculty to Student Ratio: 6:1
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25

University of Colorado

  • Boulder, Colorado
  • Graduation Rate: 70%

A public research institution, the University of Colorado first opened its door in 1876 to educate the greater region of Colorado. The department of psychology offers a study of behavior form cognitive, social, clinical, and biological perspectives. Those seeking specialized courses will find courses in behavioral genetics, cognitive neuroscience, clinical psychology, child development and more. Currently, the program is ranked among the best with expert faculty with exceptional scholarly research.

School Overview

Tuition: $12,532
Faculty to Student Ratio: 18:1
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26

University of Iowa

  • Iowa City, Iowa
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

A public research institution founded in 1847, The University of Iowa is the oldest institution for higher learning in the state of Iowa. The department of psychological and brain sciences offers undergraduate and graduate degrees with varying emphasis. Students can choose between the psychology or neuroscience route as they take courses in each. The five areas of emphasis are behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, clinical psychology, developmental science, cognition and perception, and social psychology.

School Overview

Tuition: $9,267
Faculty to Student Ratio: 15:1
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Methodology

With numerous careers that stem from a study of behavioral psychology, attending the right school is imperative.  Whether you are using this degree as a springboard into another discipline or you plan to advance your education and career in the specialized field of the behavioral neurosciences, this is a comprehensive list of accredited schools with outstanding programs that will help you get where you want to go.  Enroll today to change the future of humanity tomorrow.  Please contact us with any questions.

The schools included in this article are ranked according to a matrix using the following: specialized programs offered, research opportunities, clinical opportunities, cost, and faculty to student ratio.

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