Inside Look at the Best Psychology Programs in Texas

Explore top-ranked online and on-campus psychology programs in Texas that have the accreditation, affordability, and flexibility you need to take the next step in your psychology education and career.

Last Updated: 08/02/2021

Psychology programs in Texas offer multiple pathways to help you achieve your education and career goals – whether you’re an experienced practitioner in Dallas looking to take the next step in your career, a first-time college student in Austin exploring degree options, or anywhere in between.

This guide will give you everything you need to get started on your program and college search. Keep reading to learn about some of the best psychology programs in Texas (including pathways for new students and skilled professionals alike), get details on key differences between programs, and look ahead to salary prospects and job market trends in this challenging and gratifying field.

Best Psychology Programs in Texas for 2021


Colleges with good psychology programs in Texas offer accessible and affordable degrees that develop a student’s understanding of psychological science and its professional applications. To help you get started with your school search, we’ve identified several best-in-class schools and programs that rise above the rest. These spotlights serve as a preview of our comprehensive rankings arriving later this year, so be sure to check back for more information on the best psychology programs in Texas.

1

Rice University

Rice University’s Department of Psychological Sciences offers several degree programs that blend basic and applied psychology, equipping aspiring professionals for success. Rice stands out from other colleges by focusing on areas of study including affective neuroscience, psychometrics, and human-computer interaction. The school delivers research-oriented programming designed to prepare students for work in laboratory and applied settings. This psychology program in Texas also provides opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students to participate in approved psychology experiments.

The undergraduate offerings at Rice give students an overview of psychological science, including its main theoretical approaches and research methods. The graduate programs prepare students for doctoral-level study and future work as university researchers and educators. Graduate and undergraduate students alike can join one of Rice’s psychology interest groups, reading workshops, or honor societies.

Delivery:

  • On-Campus

Undergraduate Programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts

Graduate Programs:

  • Master of Arts
  • PhD

Specialization Options:

  • Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience
  • Health Psychology & Behavioral Medicine
  • Human Factors & Human-Computer Interaction
  • Industrial & Organizational Psychology
  • Psychometrics & Quantitative Psychology

2

Southern Methodist University

Housed within the Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences, the Southern Methodist University (SMU) psychology department grants bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. It holds accreditation with the American Psychological Association and sponsors psychological clinics and research labs. One of the best psychology programs in Texas, SMU boasts internationally recognized faculty and offers numerous research and internship opportunities for students.

Classes at SMU cover topics such as abnormal psychology, forensic investigation, and psychology of personality. The school also focuses on interdisciplinary work in cognitive science and neuroscience, offering minors to undergraduate students in both areas. Recognized among the best psychology programs in Texas, SMU’s graduate programs focus on peer-reviewed research and prepare aspiring professionals for work in clinical and organizational psychology. SMU has a local Psi Chi chapter and financial aid opportunities for students at every level of education.

Delivery:

  • On-Campus

Undergraduate Programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science

Graduate Programs:

  • Master of Science
  • PhD

Specialization Options:

  • Organizational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Science
  • Neuroscience

3

University of Texas (UT) at Austin

Students at UT’s main campus in Austin can earn an undergraduate degree in psychology or complete a doctorate in the discipline. The school’s Department of Psychology works to advance scientific discovery and improve the human experience through rigorous research and education. UT adopts a comprehensive approach to the discipline and focuses on individual areas of study like evolutionary psychology, behavioral neuroscience, developmental psychology, and cognitive neuroscience.

UT maintains affiliations with nearly a dozen organizations and initiatives that sponsor cutting-edge psychological research. Students and researchers have access to a science portal that connects them with funding, collaborators, and quantitative tools. Recent psychology courses covered biopsychology, diversity in cognitive aging, psychopharmacology, social cognition, and functional neuroanatomy.

Delivery:

  • On-Campus

Undergraduate Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Interactive Degree Audit

Graduate Programs:

  • PhD

Specialization Options:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Science
  • Developmental Psychology
  • IDEP
  • Perception, Brain and Behavior
  • Social & Personality

Top Online Psychology Degree Programs in Texas

Many colleges with good psychology programs in Texas offer online learning, which can be a great way to earn your psychology degree if you’re a busy professional or someone who feels in-person instruction doesn’t offer the flexibility you need. These programs increase access by offering alternative paths for nontraditional students and a more convenient experience for those juggling multiple responsibilities.

Below we preview a few of the best psychology programs in Texas with online formats. These programs deliver material virtually using interactive tools like discussion boards and other learning management technologies. Most do not require face-to-face components but may use hybrid options for students who would like to supplement virtual programming with in-person activities. Be sure to check back here later in the year for our complete ranking of online psychology programs in Texas.

1

University of Houston

The University of Houston administers an online psychology program in Texas for undergraduate students that results in either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. Both pathways require 120 credits and prepare graduates for further study or work in science, technology, and education. Designed as degree completion programs for students with some general education transfer credits, each program surveys theoretical approaches to psychology used in a variety of industries.

The school accepts both full-time learners and part-time students who need to manage outside responsibilities. Students can select hybrid delivery methods, which include some face-to-face elements, or opt for a fully online experience. Online psychology courses at the University of Houston come in synchronous or asynchronous formats, depending on the instructor. They cover a range of topics such as childhood and adolescent psychology, quantitative research methods, lifespan development, and organizational psychology. Students can also access to the school’s range of online career training programs.

Undergraduate Programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science

Program Options:

  • Fully-Online
  • Hybrid
  • Part-Time
  • Full-Time

2

Concordia University-Texas

Concordia University’s Texas-based campus in Austin offers an online bachelor of arts in psychology that prepares students for work as therapists and counselors, social workers, and human resources professionals. The school’s curriculum focuses on the link between psychological science and lived experience. It includes courses in animal behavior, sports psychology, behavioral science, and evolutionary psychology. Students study this material in small, seminar-style classes that involve interactive learning and peer collaboration.

Like other psychology programs in Texas, Concordia University offers specializations to enhance learning and career advancement. Students interested in graduate or doctoral-level study focus more on research methods and the scientific systems that underline psychology. Those interested in practice-based careers adopt a plan of study that emphasizes clinical applications. The school also integrates service-learning components, which give students the opportunity to expand their knowledge through reflection and civic activity and propels Concordia University Texas to have one of the best psychology programs in Texas.

Undergraduate Programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts

Specializations:

  • Academic Track
  • Professional Track

Program Options:

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

3

Angelo State University

Students interested in online graduate work can enroll in one of the Angelo State University (ASU) master’s programs in psychology. The 42-credit master of science in experimental psychology blends behavioral neuroscience with experiment-based research in a laboratory setting. Administered through the school’s Department of Psychology and Sociology, this course of study focuses on neuroscience and includes instruction in psychopharmacology, cognitive development, and statistical methods of analysis. As one of the best psychology programs in Texas, the ASU master’s prepares graduates for doctoral work and may include research or teaching assistantships.

ASU’s applied psychology program requires 36 credits and emphasizes the role psychology plays in human behavior and social functioning. It can also serve as a stepping-stone for future doctoral work, but focuses more on preparing students for leadership positions in human services agencies and other care facilities. Students gain hands-on experience throughout their studies and often collaborate with faculty on research projects of interest.

Graduate Programs:

  • Master of Science

Program Options:

  • Online
  • On-Campus
  • Hybrid
  • Thesis Option
  • Nonthesis Option

Specializations Offered:

  • Experimental Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Types of Psychology Degrees You Can Earn in Texas

Colleges with good psychology programs in Texas offer quite a few options designed to meet students at different points in their career or education. These programs come in online and on-campus formats and achieve learning outcomes that prepare you for employment, further study, or both. Find out more about each pathway below.

Undergraduate Psychology Degrees in Texas

Associate Degrees in Psychology

Typically offered by junior colleges, these programs cater to students interested in vocational work or transferring to a four-year school in the future. They provide a working overview of psychology, including its key concepts, professional applications, and main theoretical approaches. Most students graduate or transfer within two years equipped with new skills in critical thinking and behavioral analysis.

Examples of Accredited Texas Colleges with this Psychology Degree

South Texas College: Associate of Arts in Psychology (Online or On-Campus)

Houston Community College: Associate of Science in Psychology (Online or On-Campus)

Austin Community College: Psychology Program (On-Campus)

Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology

Most colleges with good psychology programs in Texas confer either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science (or both, in some cases). These four-year programs offer a more comprehensive course of study that examines the environmental and biological factors that motivate or impede human behavior. Some programs may frame their curriculum with certain subfields in mind – like cognitive neuroscience, social psychology, or industrial psychology. Others may adopt a more generalist approach.

Examples of Accredited Texas Colleges with this Psychology Degree

The University of Texas at Dallas: Psychology BS (On-Campus)

The University of North Texas: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (On-Campus)

Tarleton State University: BS in Psychology (Online or On-Campus)

Graduate Psychology Degrees in Texas

Master’s Degrees in Psychology

Psychology programs in Texas with options for graduate study build on undergraduate work and qualify students for higher paying jobs with more responsibility. At colleges with good psychology programs in Texas, earning a master’s degree deepens your knowledge of psychological science and cultivates additional skills in quantitative analysis and clinical practice. Many programs offer opportunities for specialization in areas like school psychology or organizational psychology.

Examples of Accredited Texas Colleges with this Psychology Degree

Texas A&M University-Commerce: Psychology MS (Online and On-Campus)

Texas Woman’s University: MS in Psychological Science (On-Campus)

Texas Southern University: MA in Psychology (On-Campus)

PsyD Programs

One of the highest degrees in psychology, the PsyD credential prepares students for applied work as health professionals in clinics, schools, and other treatment settings. The best psychology programs in Texas offering PsyDs often require original projects in empirical research or evidence-based practice. They include a sequence of core courses, usually delivered up-front, and prepare aspiring professionals for licensure in clinical psychology. These Texas psychology programs typically last three to five years.

Examples of Accredited Texas Colleges with this Psychology Degree

Baylor University: PsyD in Clinical Psychology (On-Campus)

Our Lady of the Lake University: Counseling Psychology PsyD (On-Campus)

University of Houston-Clear Lake: Health Service Psychology, PsyD (On-Campus)

Psychology PhD Programs

Unlike the PsyD, which focuses on clinical work and professional practice, a PhD in psychology trains students for work as scientists, researchers, and postsecondary educators. PhD psychology programs in Texas are structured like PsyD offerings – and last about as long – but focus on building an academic knowledge base within specialized areas of research. Students typically complete a dissertation project that conveys their research findings.

Examples of Accredited Texas Colleges with this Psychology Degree

The University of Texas, Tyler: Clinical Psychology PhD Degree (On-Campus)

Sam Houston State University: Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program (On-Campus)

Southern Methodist University: PhD Program in Clinical Psychology (On-Campus)

Graduate Certificates

Designed for clinicians and other practitioners, graduate certificates in psychology develop new skills or areas of competency without requiring a new degree. Because they involve focused study with fewer requirements, many certificates at the best psychology programs in Texas take only take a year or two to complete. If you’re a working professional looking to expand your scope, this could be an ideal option.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Psychology Students in Texas

Financial aid opportunities such as scholarships and grants help students defray tuition-related costs. Professional organizations like the Texas Psychological Association offer grants and other awards to students, and tools like StudentAid.gov help you find out if you qualify for federal financial aid. Our own directory lists several scholarships available to psychology students.

Some of the best psychology programs in Texas offer their own financial aid opportunities to new and returning students. Texas State, Texas Woman’s University, and the University of North Texas all set aside scholarships specifically for psychology students. For more information, including tips on funding your psychology program in Texas, see our guide to financial aid.

Job Outlook and Earnings Potential for Psychology Grads in Texas

Graduates of psychology programs in Texas are in high demand, especially in areas such as mental health and clinical counseling. Other industries that need skilled professionals with a background in psychology, such as human resources and market research, also see above-average growth in Texas and across the nation.

The trends for psychology graduates in Texas are especially promising due to localized demand in major metropolitan areas like Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth. For each profession listed below, growth numbers in the Lone Star State outpace the national average by several percentage points.

When it comes to pay, the annual mean wage in Texas is consistent with other states for those same occupations. Within the state itself, the annual mean wage for all professions is $52,400; as the chart below shows, graduates entering occupations such as psychology or clinical counseling could earn over 50% more than their peers in other industries.

Job Growth
(2018-2028)
Avg. Annual Openings
(2018-2028)
Annual Mean Wage (2020)
Clinical, Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists15.9% 890 $73,160
Psychologists, all other 13.5% 90 $98,410
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors 25.8% 1,620 $50,920
Market Research Analysts33.2% 1,580 $76,840
Management Analysts 26.7% 5,980 $96,730

Sources: Projections Central; Bureau of Labor Statistics

Resources for Psychology Professionals and Students in Texas

National Alliance on Mental Illness | Texas

This volunteer-run organization raises awareness about mental health by providing a range of services for professionals, families, veterans, and individuals. It publishes a regular newsletter and provides job and professional development resources.

Texas Association of School Psychologists

Based in Dallas, this regional affiliate supports school psychologists across Texas through scholarships, awards, and continuing education opportunities. It sponsors local events and distributes guides and white papers specific to school psychology.

Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council

This state-based agency oversees the licensure process for psychologists, counselors, and therapists in Texas. It keeps a database of the most up-to-date state regulations, establishes licensure requirements, and sets guidelines for professional conduct.

Texas Counseling Association (TCA)

The TCA has supported counseling professionals in Texas since 1935. It participates in public policy, hosts conferences and regional events, and salutes outstanding achievement in counseling practice. The TCA also distributes grants and publicizes job openings.

Texas Psychological Association (TPA)

Founded in 1947, the TPA represents and enhances psychological practice across Texas. It extends tools to help link clinicians with new clients, engages in advocacy efforts, and aggregates resources for students and professionals.