On this page

Back to top

Best Psychology Degree Programs in California for 2022

Start your journey to a rewarding career in mental health, research, or human resources by pursuing a psychology degree in a state with a growing demand for licensed psychologists. Read on to discover the best psychology degree programs in California and find your match today.

Author: Shannon Lee
Editor: STEPS Staff

Search hundreds of schools for the degree you want...

I want my
Focusing on

Image shows a blue outline of the state of California.

The demand for licensed psychologists in California continues to grow. According to the California Employment Development Department, this demand is expected to grow 10.6% between 2020 and 2030, and should result in an estimated 4,900 more job openings during that ten year span.

Aspiring psychologists and anyone wanting to work in mental health, social work, human resources, and similar careers can choose from dozens of traditional or online psychology programs in California. Keep reading to learn about this year’s best accredited programs, explore career options and salary potential after graduation, and more.

Ranking the Best Psychology Programs in California

Choosing the psychology program in California that is right for you begins with knowing what top-tier schools offer, even if you end up going with a different option. To help you learn what a quality program looks like, we’ve highlighted three of the very best schools for psychology in the state. Learn more about what each college offers below and what makes them special — and see if one of their psychology programs sounds like a good fit for your education and career goals. Stay tuned for our full list of top psychology programs in California later this year.


University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles, one of the most well-known institutions of higher education in the world, also has some of the best psychology programs in California. The approximately 4,000 students enrolled at UCLA’s Department of Psychology choose from a healthy offering of graduate and undergraduate degree programs.

UCLA also has numerous centers devoted to the field of psychology. Those focused on research include the UCLA Baby Lab, UCLA Behavioral Testing Core, Anxiety Disorders Research Center, and FPR-UCLA Center for Culture, Brain, Development, and Mental Health. The school also offers additional learning opportunities through the UCLA Psychology Clinic, including supervised mental health services for graduate students. Postdoctoral positions are also available for graduate students to hone their skills and contribute to the psychology department through mentorship, teaching, and research.


  • On-Campus
  • Part-Time
  • Full-Time

Undergraduate Programs:

  • B.A. in Psychology
  • B.S. in Cognitive Science
  • B.S. in Psychobiology

Graduate Programs:

  • Ph.D. in Psychology

Specialization Options:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Learning and Behavior
  • Quantitative Psychology
  • Social Psychology


University of Southern California

The University of Southern California has one of the most diverse psychology programs in California in terms of faculty, students, and research programs. Its Diversity Committee helps promote the recruitment and education of a diverse student body and works with students and faculty to find ways to further improve the ethnic, gender, social, and cultural characteristics of the psychology programs.

Current research in the Department of Psychology at USC includes projects and studies in roughly 20 areas. These include substance use and abuse, neuroimaging, adult development and aging, learning and memory, cognition and emotion, and risk perfection and communication. Much of this research takes place at USC facilities or one of several USC-affiliated research centers, including the Mind and Society Center, the Center for Research on Crime, and the Center for Economic and Social Research.


  • Online
  • On-Campus
  • Part-Time
  • Full-Time

Undergraduate Programs:

  • B.A. in Psychology

Graduate Programs:

  • M.S. in Applied Psychology
  • M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Ph.D. in Psychology