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.

Psychology Program Stats

  • There are 27 not-for-profit colleges and universities with psychology degree programs in Iowa.1
  • 1 school offers an associate’s degree in psychology.1
  • 27 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in psychology.1
  • 5 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in psychology.1
  • 2 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2017: Iowa State University of Science and Technology (#63 in-state, #46 out-of-state), University of Iowa (#55 in-state, #92 out-of-state).2
  • 1 school ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Psychology Majors for 2018: Coe College.3

Institution-Wide Facts

  • Highest graduation rate*: Grinnell College 86%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Iowa Wesleyan University 54%.1
  • Highest net price*: Grinnell College $30,010.1
  • Lowest net price*: Emmaus Bible College $12,937.1

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

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

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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, 2016.6 Only results from APA-accredited or ASPPB-designated doctoral programs with at least four test-takers during the exam period are included.6

SchoolBA/BS ProgramGraduate ProgramOnline Psych ProgramNational Accred.*Grad Rate**EPPP Pass Rate6Number Taking6College Factual Under-
grad Rank4
US News Grad Rank5Net Price
Briar Cliff UniversityYesNoNo44%$18,818
Buena Vista UniversityYesNoBachelor’s53%$21,476
Central CollegeYesNoNo65%$22,695
Clarke UniversityYesNoNo61%$23,787
Coe CollegeYesNoNo67%$21,870
Cornell CollegeYesNoNo68%$27,915
Dordt CollegeYesNoNo69%$24,109
Drake UniversityYesNoNoCACREP78%$28,088
Emmaus Bible CollegeYesNoNo69%$12,937
Graceland UniversityYesNoNo43%$16,547
Grand View UniversityYesNoNo48%$19,312
Grinnell CollegeYesNoNo86%61$30,010
Iowa State UniversityYesYesNoAPA74%19790^$13,623
Iowa Wesleyan UniversityYesNoNo28%$21,543
Loras CollegeYesYesNo71%$17,958
Luther CollegeYesNoNo79%164$25,404
Morningside CollegeYesNoNo54%$21,304
Mount Mercy UniversityYesNoNo58%$20,112
Northwestern CollegeYesNoNo64%$22,627
Saint Ambrose UniversityYesNoNo63%$24,054
Simpson CollegeYesNoNo63%$23,374
University of DubuqueYesNoBachelor’s45%$21,069
University of IowaYesYesNoAPA, CACREP, NASP72%89%911826^$14,161
University of Northern IowaYesYesNoCACREP, NASP65%$14,831
Upper Iowa UniversityYesYesBachelor’s44%$23,405
Wartburg CollegeYesNoNo69%$22,416
William Penn UniversityYesNoNo33%$20,897

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 in cohort years 2008 to 2010 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 Values in Public Colleges: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-public-colleges/index.php
3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2017.
4. College Factual, Best Colleges Offering Degrees in Psychology (Nationwide): https://www.collegefactual.com/majors/psychology/rankings/top-ranked/#
5. US News & World Report Best Graduate Psychology Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-humanities-schools/psychology-rankings
6. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, Psychology Licensing Exam Scores by Doctoral Program: https://www.asppb.net/page/ScoresByDrProgram