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Psychology Schools in Virginia

    The following guide to psychology schools in Virginia provides you with essential information on the undergraduate and graduate psychology programs offered in the state. Virginia’s colleges and universities feature a vast range of concentrations, including clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and forensic psychology. Some students, however, prefer online learning, which offers convenience and flexibility while earning a psychology degree.

    Quick Facts

    • There are 40 not-for-profit colleges and universities with psychology degree programs in Virginia.1
    • 2 schools offer an associate’s degree in psychology.1
    • 39 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in psychology.1
    • 17 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in psychology.1
    • 7 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values for 2019.2
    • 7 schools ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Psychology Majors for 2018.3
    • 1 school ranked in PsychologyDegree411’s Top Schools with Online Psychology Programs.4
    • 1 school 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 Virginia

    Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019*

    • Christopher Newport University (#82)
    • College of William and Mary (#11)
    • George Mason University (#99)
    • James Madison University (#42)
    • University of Mary Washington (#95)
    • University of Virginia (#3)
    • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (#28)

    *Institution-wide ranking.

    Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Psychology Majors for 2018

    • Christopher Newport University
    • George Mason University
    • Hampton University
    • James Madison University
    • Randolph College
    • Roanoke College
    • University of Mary Washington

    PsychologyDegree411’s Top Schools with Online Psychology Programs

    • Old Dominion University (#14)

    Times Higher Education Best Universities for Psychology 2019

    • University of Virginia (#26)

    Continue reading to learn more about several of the popular undergraduate and graduate psychology programs offered at a few of Virginia’s top universities.


    Schools in Virginia with Psychology Programs

    Traditional Undergraduate Programs

    Virginia Commonwealth University

    Virginia Commonwealth University awards the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology. The four-year, 120-credit program encompasses both general college coursework and psychology core and elective classes. Psychology majors must complete a minimum of 30 psychology credits to fulfill degree requirements and can concentrate in one of several areas, including life science, graduate school, applied psychology, and urban psychology. Students who maintain a 3.50 GPA may apply for the honors psychology program, which requires the completion of an honors thesis and honors courses. Students who want to become involved on campus may want to join, Psi Chi, the national honor society of psychology students, or the Black Psychology Student Association.

    Roanoke College

    Psychology majors at Roanoke College may work toward a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology or a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology. Concentrations in human factors and neuroscience are also available. Core and elective psychology coursework focus on research methods, child development, creative thinking and problem-solving, and abnormal psychology. Internships are also encouraged. Students may sign up for research studies; research opportunities are generally available with faculty on campus. Interested psychology majors may apply for the summer scholar program, which includes a stipend and housing and allows students to pursue independent research in an area of particular interest. The summer scholar program runs between eight and 12 weeks.

    Traditional Graduate Programs in Virginia

    Marymount University

    Marymount University features a Master of Arts (MA) in Forensic Psychology graduate program. The 39-credit program requires students to complete a full range of forensic psychology courses, including foundations of forensic psychology, psychology and the law, advanced issues in forensic psychology, and forensic assessment. Graduate students generally also complete an internship for credit to gain real-world experience. Past students have interned with such organizations as the FBI, the DC Metropolitan Police Department, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the DEA. Graduate students also have the opportunity to engage in research and to work on projects dealing with such topics as child custody and terminating parental rights and psychological autopsy.

    Radford University

    Radford University allows students to earn a Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical-Counseling Psychology or a Master of Science (MS) in Clinical-Counseling Psychology. Both programs span two years and require full-time study. Students pursuing the MA degree complete 46 credits including a mandatory thesis, while the MS program requires 40 credits. The psychology department also features a Master of Arts (MA) in Experimental Psychology and an MA and an MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The program in experimental psychology covers such topics as neuropsychology, analysis of behavior data, and social psychology. Both an internship and a thesis are required to fulfill degree requirements. The industrial and organizational psychology degree programs run two years, including the summer between the first and second year, and requires either a thesis or a directed study.

    Online Psychology Programs

    Mary Baldwin University

    Mary Baldwin University offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology that can be completed entirely online. The undergraduate program emphasizes communication skills and critical thinking, which prepares graduates for entry-level careers as well as for graduate study. The online courses at Mary Baldwin use the Blackboard interface, which allows for peer and faculty interaction. The online psychology program offers opportunities to add an emphasis area such as child psychology, forensic psychology, elder care, or mental health. 39 credit hours in psychology are required to earn the major, with core courses including Adolescent Psychology, Sensation and Perception, and Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience. A senior thesis focusing on either data collection or literature review, which includes a public presentation of the student’s research, is also required.

    Divine Mercy University

    Divine Mercy University’s fully online Master of Science in Psychology requires 36 credit hours to complete and emphasizes professional practice in psychology and service delivery. Full-time students taking five terms per year can complete the degree in approximately two years; part-time enrollment is also an option for those who are working or have other outside commitments. Courses in the program include Human Growth & Development Across the Lifespan; Common Psychological Problems and Their Treatment; and Statistical Analysis for Psychology and the Social Sciences. A capstone that explores the role of transformational leadership in the helping professions is also part of the core curriculum. While the program does not lead to licensure, graduates are prepared to pursue doctoral-level study or seek careers in human services, psychological services support, and other key areas.

    EPPP Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Psychology Programs in Virginia

    The table below is designed to help you compare not-for-profit psychology schools in Virginia 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
    Averett UniversityYesNoNo42%$23,978
    Bluefield CollegeYesNoNo29%$21,574
    Bridgewater CollegeYesNoNo64%$20,395
    Christopher Newport UniversityYesNoNo72%60$23,331
    College of William and MaryYesYesMaster’sCACREP, NASP91%39$15,622
    Divine Mercy UniversityNoYesMaster’sAPAN/AN/A
    Eastern Mennonite UniversityYesNoNoCACREP60%$25,330
    Emory & Henry CollegeYesNoNo60%$18,361
    Ferrum CollegeYesNoNo27%$21,969
    George Mason UniversityYesYesNoAPA, NASP70%83%122690^$19,064
    Hampden-Sydney CollegeYesNoNo66%$33,725
    Hampton UniversityYesYesNoCACREP58%$28,347
    Hollins UniversityYesNoNo55%$20,560
    James Madison UniversityYesYesNoAPA, CACREP, NASP84%100%5103181^$17,753
    Liberty UniversityYesYesBachelor’s, Master’sCACREP50%$27,432
    Longwood UniversityYesNoNo69%$19,532
    Mary Baldwin UniversityYesNoBachelor’s47%$16,556
    Marymount UniversityYesYesNoCACREP57%$26,448
    Norfolk State UniversityYesYesBachelor’s37%$14,824
    Old Dominion UniversityYesYesBachelor’sCACREP52%181^$15,917
    Radford UniversityYesYesNoAPA, CACREP, NASP59%100%6$15,636
    Randolph CollegeYesNoNo59%$25,988
    Randolph-Macon CollegeYesNoNo66%$27,275
    Regent UniversityYesYesBachelor’s, Master’s, PhDAPA, CACREP59%88%32$16,779
    Roanoke CollegeYesNoNo67%$28,155
    Shenandoah UniversityYesYesNo58%$29,729
    Southern Virginia UniversityYesNoNo31%$19,855
    Sweet Briar CollegeYesNoNo46%$26,045
    University of LynchburgYesYesNoCACREP61%$24,613
    University of Mary WashingtonYesNoNo66%$20,892
    University of RichmondYesNoNo87%155$24,634
    University of Virginia (Clinical & School PhD)YesYesNoAPA, CACREP, NASP94%85%131417^$17,845
    University of Virginia (Clinical PhD)YesYesNoAPA, CACREP, NASP94%100%91417^$17,845
    Virginia Commonwealth University (Clinical PhD)YesYesNoAPA, CACREP67%100%2213160^$20,897
    Virginia Commonwealth University (Counseling PhD)YesYesNoAPA, CACREP67%100%913160^$20,897
    Virginia Military InstituteYesNoNo78%98$14,799
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityYesYesNoAPA, CACREP84%93%157181^$18,349
    Virginia State UniversityYesYesNo39%$17,037
    Virginia Union UniversityYesNoNo33%$21,592
    Virginia Wesleyan CollegeYesNoNo52%$25,357
    Washington and Lee UniversityYesNoNo95%$21,918

    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 Virginia

    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.

    Germanna Community College
    10000 Germanna Point Dr
    Fredericksburg, VA 22408
    (540) 891-3000
    https://www.germanna.edu/

    Student Review: ” I thoroughly enjoyed the college’s psychology program. Being a community college, I felt that it would be average and I would not be challenged. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when some of my professors had PhD degrees, and the class sizes were small, so the professor was able to be more personal with the students. I enjoyed the forensic psychology class and was able to examine why people commit the crimes they do and how to reform these individuals. The professors were outstanding and the classes were very active. For example, in my basic psychology class (and this went for almost all of my psychology classes) the professor was there to teach and oversee the class, but he would introduce a topic to start a class discussion. The program was a terrific value that will always benefit me and I was more than pleased with the results of the program.” – Student at Germanna Community College
    stars-5

    Liberty University
    1971 University Blvd
    Lynchburg, VA 24515
    (434) 582-2000
    https://www.liberty.edu/

    Student Review: “In my opinion, Liberty University is a very good school. Their psychology program is excellent. Liberty University differs from most colleges because it is a Christian-based University. Because of this fact, biblical knowledge and use are required throughout one’s entire school career. Every class requires Christianity-based thinking and wording. If one can get past that, one will excel. I think that their psychology program, when stripped of the biblical approach, will still hold firm when compared to any other university’s psychology program. If anything, the biblical approach adds on more work, rather than taking away anything from the psychology work. They also have this program available online, for long-distance learners. This is great because it allows one to live anywhere in the world, while still attending their classes. I would recommend Liberty University to anyone.” – Student at Liberty University
    stars-4

    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA 24061
    (540) 231-6000
    https://vt.edu/

    Student Review: “The psychology program at Virginia Tech is top notch. While my first two years at Virginia Tech included larger classes as general education requirements typically do, my next two years I was in much smaller classroom settings. As a psychology major, I had the opportunity to intern with the Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program in the summer. This opportunity gave me experience conducting undergraduate research, which in turn, helped to better prepare me for both the workforce and graduate school experiences. Furthermore, the one on one opportunity to work with a faculty member in conducting undergraduate research is truly one of a kind. Many students don’t get this in undergraduate programs, but in my program, I used SPSS data collection software to present quantitative research.” – Student at Virginia Tech
    stars-5

    Student Review: “What I really enjoyed about the psychology program at Virginia Tech was that it was as flexible as I wanted it to be. In other words, I was able to change direction at any time I felt the need. Using this degree as my admission into an accelerated nursing program, I had to take many biology and anatomy courses as pre-requisites. Psychology allowed me the freedom in my schedule to not only take the required core study classes in the psychology department, it allowed me to focus a lot of my energy in filling my schedule with these science-based courses I needed for later schooling. The flexibility of the program, looking back on it, allowed me to be in nursing school I am today.” – Student at Virginia Tech
    stars-5

    University of Virginia
    Charlottesville, VA
    (434) 924-0311
    https://www.virginia.edu/

    Student Review: “The University of Virginia provided a wonderful learning environment as I pursued a bachelor’s of arts degree in psychology. I attended classes taught by published authors; in fact, I even participated in a study by one of my instructors that was later published. The college of arts within the University offered a wide variety of psychology courses including those in the specific areas of social, child, abnormal, industrial, and clinical. After graduation, I went on to obtain a master’s degree in counseling and guidance.” – Student at University of Virginia
    stars-4

    Washington and Lee University
    204 W Washington St
    Lexington, VA 24450
    (540) 458-8400
    https://www.wlu.edu/

    Student Review: “Washington and Lee University strives to give its students a first-class education with its small classes, knowledgeable professors, and unique honor system which creates an atmosphere of trust within the community. Although I am a biochemistry major I have taken many psychology courses. The professors had high expectations for their students and moved at a fast pace, but due to the small class size, there was always a chance to ask questions and seek extra help if needed. My personal favorite psychology class was titled, “Brain and Behavior.” It may have been one of the most challenging courses I took at Washington and Lee but it was by far the most interesting. It connected neuroscience and behavioral psychology and the professor, Tyler Lorig, was absolutely fantastic. His classes were not lectures. Rather, he taught by telling stories which aided us in remembering the material without doing brute memorization. Overall, I enjoyed my time at Washington and Lee and feel like I am prepared to enter medical school.” – Student at Washington and Lee University
    stars-5

    Student Review: “Washington and Lee University allowed me to experience a liberal arts education while a pursuing a degree in psychology. Although the material was very challenging, the professors made themselves readily available to talk and work with students. I was often invited to my professors’ homes for dinner and was given the opportunity to spend a summer researching in the psychology department on campus. While I was able to spend a lot of time studying psychology, I also was allowed to take courses in many other fields of study, a testament to the liberal arts experience. For instance, for four weeks in the spring, I was invited to study art history in the Netherlands. Washington and Lee University has been an amazing experience for me to grow as an individual and prepare myself for a career in psychology.” – Student at Washington and Lee University
    stars-5

    References:
    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