Psychology Schools in Iowa

The following guide to psychology schools in Iowa contains essential information on the undergraduate and graduate psychology programs offered throughout the state. The colleges and universities in Iowa provide undergraduate and graduate students with the foundation necessary for a successful career in the field of psychology and feature concentrations in a variety of areas, including clinical psychology and educational psychology. A flexible, convenient alternative to a traditional psychology program is an online psychology degree.

Quick Facts

  • There are 32 not-for-profit colleges and universities with psychology degree programs in Iowa.1
  • 1 school offers an associate’s degree in psychology.1
  • 32 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in psychology.1
  • 12 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in psychology.1
  • 2 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values for 2019.2
  • 1 school ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Psychology Majors for 2018.3
  • No schools ranked in PsychologyDegree411’s Top Schools with Online Psychology Programs.4
  • 2 schools ranked in Times Higher Education’s Best Universities for Psychology 2019.5

For not-for-profit colleges and universities with psychology degree programs.

Top-Ranked Schools with Psychology Programs in Iowa

Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019*

  • Iowa State University of Science and Technology (#63)
  • University of Iowa (#55)

*Institution-wide ranking.

Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Psychology Majors for 2018

  • Coe College

Times Higher Education Best Universities for Psychology 2019

  • Iowa State University (#176-200)
  • University of Iowa (#98)

Continue below to read profiles of several of the popular graduate and undergraduate programs offered at Iowa’s leading universities.

Schools in Iowa with Psychology Programs

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

Iowa State University

Iowa State University offers psychology majors the option of earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology or a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology. Both programs require the successful completion of 120 credits and generally take four years to complete. Students can become involved on campus by joining the Psychology Club and the national psychology honor society, Psi Chi. Psychology majors who live on campus may opt to live in the Psychology Learning Community, which allows psychology majors to live on the same floor of a residential hall. Students who do not live in the learning community may still participate in community activities, such as study groups.

Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University offers a 120-credit undergraduate program in psychology that leads to a bachelor’s degree in psychology. The psychology major requires students to complete 36 credits in such courses as general psychology, research methods, personality, issues and ethics in the help professions, and elementary statistics. Psychology majors must also complete an internship or a special project to fulfill major requirements. The psychology program offers flexibility, with students able to complete degree requirements at the main campus in Fayette, online, at various educational centers throughout the state, or through independent study. Psychology faculty members typically hold a doctoral degree in psychology.

Traditional Graduate Programs

University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa allows graduate students pursuing a Master of Arts (MA) in psychology to concentrate in one of three areas: clinical science, social psychology, or individualized study. Students whose interests do not fall into the first two concentrations may tailor their graduate studies with the individualized study option. Regardless of the concentration, graduate students must complete a minimum of one major project and a thesis, which includes an oral defense, during the two-year program. Graduate students begin the program in the fall and may be eligible for an assistantship or departmental scholarship to help defray the costs of tuition.

University of Iowa

The University of Iowa features a Master of Arts (MA) in Psychological and Quantitative Foundations with a concentration in educational psychology. Graduate students can complete the 30-credit program in four semesters full-time and in between two and three years part-time. A thesis is optional. However, all psychology students are required to complete a portfolio to showcase analytical and practical skills gained during individual courses and throughout the program as a whole. Graduate students must also complete such required courses as understanding educational research, educational psychology for effective teaching, child development, human abilities, and cognitive theories of learning. Two electives, generally outside the psychology department, are also required.

Online Psychology Programs

Buena Vista University

The online bachelor’s degree in psychology at Buena Vista University is designed as a degree completion program for learners who already have an associate’s degree or at least 60 credit hours of college work. The program emphasizes cognition and behavior while building a broad understanding of the field of psychology as a whole. Only four courses are required from the psychology core; students can choose from an array of psychology electives in order to complete 33 credits in the psychology major. Course options include Behavior Modification; Abnormal Psychology; Psychology of Personality; and Industrial Psychology, among many others. Students may also choose to complete an advanced research course in order to better prepare for graduate school.

University of Dubuque

The University of Dubuque offers an online Bachelor of Science in Psychology that trains students to think scientifically while developing a fundamental understanding of the theories and applications of psychology. Students will also learn how to evaluate research and communicate effectively. The broad background developed in this program can be applied to entry-level careers as well as to graduate study. Courses in the psychology core include Research Methods in the Behavior Sciences; Cross-Cultural Psychology; Theories of Personality; and Social Psychology. Students will also complete an empirical research project or internship in addition to a final-semester senior seminar. January Terms, or J-Terms, are an additional opportunity for students to complete valuable hands-on learning experiences.

EPPP Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Psychology Programs in Iowa

The table below is designed to help you compare not-for-profit psychology schools in Iowa on a variety of factors. Clicking on the arrows in the top row allows you to sort the table. In addition to factors such as focus areas offered and tuition costs, accreditation is an important consideration when researching psychology programs. Depending on the type of program and the ultimate career path you are considering, accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Education Programs (CACREP), or the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) can make it easier to become licensed in your desired area of practice. For more information on these accreditations, see our overview of accreditation for psychology programs. You should also ensure that the program you are considering will meet the licensure requirements in the state where you wish to practice. The Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP), a licensing exam administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), is required in most US states in order to qualify for psychologist licensure. The EPPP results shown below are provided are for the exam period from February 1, 2015 to March 21, 2017.6 Only results from APA-accredited or ASPPB-designated doctoral programs with at least four test-takers during the exam period are included.6

SchoolBA/BSGrad Prog.Online Prog.Nat’l Accred.*Grad Rate**EPPP Pass Rate6# Taking6College Factual Under-
grad Rank7
US News Grad Rank8Net Price
Briar Cliff UniversityYesNoNo45%$18,442
Buena Vista UniversityYesNo54%$20,580
Central CollegeYesNoNo72%$22,753
Clarke UniversityYesNoNo63%192$25,819
Coe CollegeYesNoNo66%$22,456
Cornell CollegeYesNoNo76%$27,962
Dordt UniversityYesNoNo73%$26,273
Drake UniversityYesNoNoCACREP78%$29,511
Emmaus Bible CollegeYesNoNo76%$16,005
Graceland UniversityYesNoNo51%$18,923
Grand View UniversityYesNoNo50%$17,946
Grinnell CollegeYesNoNo84%79$30,808
Iowa State UniversityYesYesNoAPA75%83%614290^$14,643
Iowa Wesleyan UniversityYesNoNo22%$25,016
Loras CollegeYesYesNo68%$20,316
Luther CollegeYesNoNo79%224$24,688
Morningside CollegeYesNoNo51%$23,396
Mount Mercy UniversityYesNoNo71%$20,704
Northwestern CollegeYesNoNo69%$24,269
Saint Ambrose UniversityYesNoNo67%244$25,562
Simpson CollegeYesNoNo70%$23,759
University of DubuqueYesNoNo43%$21,452
University of Iowa (Clinical PhD)YesYesNoAPA, CACREP, NASP73%100%58726^$15,817
University of Iowa (Counseling PhD)YesYesNoAPA, CACREP, NASP73%84%198726^$15,817
University of Iowa (School PhD)YesYesNoAPA, CACREP, NASP73%83%68726^$15,817
University of Northern IowaYesYesNoCACREP, NASP65%$16,453
Upper Iowa UniversityYesYesBachelor’s43%$21,630
Wartburg CollegeYesNoNo67%$22,599
William Penn UniversityYesNoBachelor’s35%$18,338

Schools marked with a caret (^) in US News Best Graduate Psychology Programs ranked in a tie with other programs in their respective positions.
*See our guide to psychology program accreditation for more information on these accrediting bodies.
**The graduation rate is for first-time, full-time undergraduate degree- or certificate-seeking students who began studies in Fall 2012 and is calculated based on the percentage of students earning their degree or certificate within 150% of the normal time for program completion.1

Schools with Psychology Degree Programs in Iowa

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

University of Northern Iowa
1227 W 27th St
Cedar Falls, IA 50614
(319) 273-2311

Student Review: “The University of Northern Iowa had a great psychology program with very informed and educational professors. There was a broad spectrum of elective courses which I really enjoyed. I was able to not only hit all of the general classes that you would have with any other university but chose some psychology courses as electives that were a focus I enjoy. I liked the sexual aspects of psychology and was able to choose three classes that were available. Since these were classes I was truly interested in, I was able to excel in those specific classes. The professors recognized this and encouraged me to be a teacher’s assistant which helped me with graduate school applications and work experience. I truly enjoyed my experience at the University of Northern Iowa psychology program and would recommend it to others.” -Student at University of Northern Iowastars-3

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Table
3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2017.
4. PsychologyDegree411 Top Schools with Online Psychology Programs: https://www.psychologydegree411.com/degrees/online/
5. Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 – Psychology: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2019/subject-ranking/psychology
6. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, Psychology Licensing Exam Scores by Doctoral Program: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.asppb.net/resource/resmgr/eppp_/2017_Doctoral_Report.pdf
7. College Factual, Best Colleges Offering Degrees in Psychology (Nationwide): https://www.collegefactual.com/majors/psychology/rankings/top-ranked/#
8. US News & World Report Best Graduate Psychology Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-humanities-schools/psychology-rankings