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.
Psychology Program Stats
- 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
- 16 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in psychology.1
- 6 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2017: Christopher Newport University (#73 in-state, #77 out-of-state), College of William and Mary (#4 in-state, #6 out-of-state), George Mason University (#90 in-state, #100 out-of-state), James Madison University (#62 in-state, #61 out-of-state), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (#36 in-state, #35 out-of-state).2
- 7 schools ranked in the 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.3
- Highest graduation rate*: University of Virginia 94%.1
- Highest transfer-out rate*: Ferrum College 53%, Virginia Wesleyan College 53%.1
- Highest net price*: Hampden-Sydney College $33,210.1
- Lowest net price*: Radford University $14,084.1
*For not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities with psychology degree programs.
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.
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 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 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, 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
|School||BA/BS Program||Graduate Program||Online Psych Program||National Accred.*||Grad Rate**||EPPP Pass Rate6||Number Taking6||College Factual Under-|
|US News Grad Rank5||Net Price|
|Christopher Newport University||Yes||No||No||—||75%||—||—||100||—||$22,637|
|College of William and Mary||Yes||Yes||No||CACREP, NASP||91%||—||—||41||—||$16,734|
|Divine Mercy University||No||Yes||Master’s||APA||N/A||—||—||—||—||N/A|
|Eastern Mennonite University||Yes||No||No||CACREP||62%||—||—||—||—||$23,452|
|Emory & Henry College||Yes||No||No||—||51%||—||—||—||—||$21,160|
|George Mason University||Yes||Yes||No||APA, NASP||70%||80%||5||38||90^||$18,032|
|James Madison University||Yes||Yes||No||APA, CACREP, NASP||82%||100%||5||106||181^||$16,252|
|Jefferson College of Health Sciences||Yes||No||No||—||43%||—||—||—||—||$23,949|
|Liberty University||Yes||Yes||Bachelor’s, Master’s||CACREP||51%||—||—||—||—||$24,794|
|Mary Baldwin University||Yes||No||Bachelor’s||—||46%||—||—||—||—||$18,543|
|Norfolk State University||Yes||Yes||Bachelor’s||—||35%||—||—||—||—||$15,103|
|Old Dominion University||Yes||Yes||Bachelor’s||CACREP||51%||—||—||—||181^||$15,218|
|Radford University||Yes||Yes||No||APA, CACREP, NASP||58%||—||—||—||—||$14,084|
|Regent University||Yes||Yes||Bachelor’s, Master’s PhD||APA, CACREP||30%||76%||17||—||—||$17,837|
|Southern Virginia University||Yes||No||No||—||33%||—||—||—||—||$22,128|
|Sweet Briar College||Yes||No||No||—||61%||—||—||—||—||$25,532|
|University of Mary Washington||Yes||No||No||—||72%||—||—||—||—||$20,499|
|University of Richmond||Yes||No||No||—||88%||—||—||163||—||$22,400|
|University of Virginia (Clinical & School PhD)||Yes||Yes||No||APA, CACREP, NASP||94%||89%||9||20||17^||$15,945|
|University of Virginia (Clinical PhD)||Yes||Yes||No||APA, CACREP, NASP||94%||100%||5||20||17^||$15,945|
|Virginia Military Institute||Yes||No||No||—||78%||—||—||68||—||$16,195|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||Yes||Yes||No||APA, CACREP||84%||89%||9||53||81^||$17,190|
|Virginia State University||Yes||Yes||No||—||44%||—||—||—||—||$15,266|
|Virginia Union University||Yes||No||No||—||33%||—||—||—||—||$18,956|
|Virginia Wesleyan College||Yes||No||No||—||44%||—||—||—||—||$25,607|
|Washington and Lee University||Yes||No||No||—||92%||—||—||125||—||$23,867|
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 Virginia
Germanna Community College
10000 Germanna Point Dr
Fredericksburg, VA 22408
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
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
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
Blacksburg, VA 24061
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
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
University of Virginia
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
Washington and Lee University
204 W Washington St
Lexington, VA 24450
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
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
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