Psychology Schools in Washington DC
Washington DC, the nation’s capital, is home to some of the country’s leading colleges and universities. The following guide to psychology schools in the District of Columbia provides you with key information on the undergraduate and graduate psychology programs in the area. The universities in the nation’s capital feature a range of psychology programs with concentrations in personality and social psychology, experimental psychology, and general psychology. For those students seeking convenience and flexibility, an online psychology degree may be the answer. Many schools offer programs partially or fully online.
Psychology Program Stats
- There are 9 not-for-profit colleges and universities with psychology degree programs in Washington DC.1
- No schools offer an associate’s degree in psychology.1
- 8 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in psychology.1
- 9 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in psychology.1
- No schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2017.2
- No schools ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Psychology Majors for 2018.3
- Highest graduation rate*: Georgetown University 94%.1
- Highest transfer-out rate*: University of the District of Columbia 30%.1
- Highest net price*: George Washington University $39,562.1
- Lowest net price*: Gallaudet University $13,597.1
*For not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities with psychology degree programs.
Keep reading to learn more about several of the popular undergraduate and graduate psychology programs offered at some of Washington DC’s top universities.
Schools in Washington DC with Psychology Programs
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
George Washington University
George Washington University’s Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology program allows students to concentrate in cognitive neuroscience or industrial and organizational psychology. In addition to general college requirements, psychology majors must complete core and elective psychology courses encompassing such topics as research methods, principles and methods, and history and systems. Research opportunities with faculty are available as the department awards research fellowships to select undergraduate students. Students who want to expand their cultural experiences and resumes may opt to participate in a study abroad program. Academically eligible psychology majors can join Psi Chi, the national honor society for psychology students, which hosts events on campus throughout the year.
Howard University awards the Bachelor of Arts (BA) to students who successfully complete the four-year, 127-credit undergraduate program, which prepares students to continue to graduate study. Psychology requirements total 39 credits and consist of such courses as experimental psychology, psychological testing, cognition, brain and behavior, and general social psychology. A psychology practicum is offered and allows students to gain real-world experience under the supervision of a professional in the psychology field. Psychology students may minor in another area, which requires between 15 and 18 credits. Students can also hone their research skills by working in one of the psychology department’s research labs.
Traditional Graduate Programs
American University confers the Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology to graduate students who successfully complete the 33 credit program. Graduate students may tailor their degree by specializing in general psychology, personality and social psychology, or experimental and biological psychology. Students must complete and defend a thesis unless enrolled in the general psychology track, in which case the thesis is optional. All graduate students must pass a comprehensive written exam to fulfill degree requirements. Preparing for the exam includes reading required material. Graduate students may also participate in an internship to gain real-world experience and fulfill degree requirements.
Georgetown University offers a five-year, full-time Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Psychology. Developmental science, public policy, and health/medicine are the areas of study of the program. The campus is located near the White House, Congress, and the National Academies. Georgetown also offers a new Interdisciplinary PhD in Cognitive Science program, which can be taken simultaneously with the PhD in Psychology. A concentration in Human Development and Public Policy comprising 42 credits and a 51-credit dual degree in Psychology and Public Policy are offered, as well as a concentration in Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience that comprises 48 or 49 credits. Students in the Human Development and Public Policy track maintain close ties with the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at the McCourt School of Public Policy (MSPP). In the Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience concentration, students may focus their research on early/late childhood, adolescence, adulthood, or aging. Courses required for all concentrations include Lifespan Development: Brain and Cognition, Human Development in Context, and a Graduate Tutorial in Teaching.
Online Psychology Programs
Gallaudet University offers an online degree completion program that leads to the award of a bachelor’s degree in psychology. To qualify for admission, students must have at least 80 credit hours of college work from an accredited school. The accelerated format of eight-week course blocks allows students to focus on a small number of courses at a time while earning their degrees faster. The 34 credits in the psychology major include such courses as Cognition, Research Design and Analysis, and Social Psychology. At least 30 credit hours of the total degree plan, which typically comprises 120 credit hours, must be completed at Gallaudet University to qualify for graduation.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology-Washington DC
The Washington DC campus of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers multiple advanced degrees in psychology in a hybrid-online format, with up to 50% of courses taking place online. Hybrid-online offerings at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s DC campus include a PhD in Organizational Leadership, a PhD in International Psychology, a PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis, and a PhD in Business Psychology. Each PhD offers multiple tracks of study to allow students to emphasize particular areas of interest, such as industrial/organizational psychology or consulting. The school also offers a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis. Select programs offer opportunities for part-time study, providing greater flexibility for working students.
EPPP Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Psychology Programs in Washington DC
The table below is designed to help you compare not-for-profit psychology schools in Washington DC 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 Programs||National Accred.*||Grad Rate**||EPPP Pass Rate6||Number Taking6||College Factual Undergrad |
|US News Grad Rank5||Net Price|
|Catholic University of America||Yes||Yes||No||APA||70%||100%||6||123||131^||$36,009|
|Gallaudet University||Yes||Yes||Bachelor’s||APA, CACREP, NASP||43%||83%||6||—||98^||$13,597|
|George Washington University (Clinical PhD)||Yes||Yes||No||APA, CACREP||84%||63%||8||37||81^||$39,562|
|George Washington University (Clinical PsyD)||Yes||Yes||No||APA, CACREP||84%||90%||40||37||81^||$39,562|
|Howard University||Yes||Yes||No||APA, NASP||61%||100%||5||92||112^||$22,712|
|The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Washington DC||No||Yes||No||APA||N/A||—||—||—||—||N/A|
|Trinity Washington University||Yes||Yes||No||—||40%||—||—||—||—||$16,113|
|University of the District of Columbia||Yes||Yes||No||CACREP||13%||—||—||—||—||$15,153|
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 Washington DC
George Washington University
2121 I St NW
Washington, DC 20052
Student Review: “I really enjoyed my experience as a psychology major at George Washington University. The first psychology course you will take is Intro to Psychology. This course will tell you the big pictures of everything and psychology and will get you very excited for the major you are about to explore. Many students are also psych majors, so there will always be someone to study with. During your psychology writing courses, you will learn and be able to apply everything you have learned allowing you to be able to go through the class with flying colors. The only downfall to this major is that I wish there were a wider selection of psychology electives to take. The ones offered are great, but at such a big school I would expect more. All in all, psychology at GWU is one of the greatest programs you could ask for.” – Student at George Washington 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