Psychology Schools in Washington
The following guide to psychology schools in Washington provides you with essential information, including profiles of several graduate and undergraduate psychology programs in the state, designed to make choosing a psychology program easier. Washington’s colleges and universities feature an eclectic range of psychology concentrations, including nutrition and clinical psychology, applied behavioral analysis, and mental health counseling. Students searching for a more flexible alternative to a traditional psychology degree program may want to opt for a college or university that offers courses online. Some undergraduate or graduate psychology degree programs can be completed either partially or entirely online.
Psychology Program Stats
- There are 23 not-for-profit colleges and universities with psychology degree programs in Washington.1
- 1 school offers an associate’s degree in psychology.1
- 21 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in psychology.1
- 15 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in psychology.1
- 2 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2017: University of Washington (#12 in-state, #24 out-of-state), Western Washington University (#92 in-state, #84 out-of-state).2
- 1 school ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Psychology Majors for 2018: University of Puget Sound.3
- Highest graduation rate*: Whitman College 88%.1
- Highest transfer-out rate*: Saint Martin’s University 33%.1
- Highest net price*: University of Puget Sound $40,416.1
- Lowest net price*: University of Washington-Tacoma $8,539.1
*For not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities with psychology degree programs.
Continue reading below to learn more about several of the popular undergraduate and graduate psychology programs offered at a few of Washington’s leading universities.
Schools in Washington with Psychology Programs
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
Washington State University
Washington State University confers the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology to students who successfully complete the four-year program. Students can declare the psychology major after having accrued 30 credits. Core major required coursework includes General Biology, Introductory Psychology, Operant Behavior, Psychology of Aging, and Clinical and Community Psychology. Students can network with other psychology majors by joining the Psych Club and academically eligible psychology students may want to apply to Psi Chi, the national honor society for psychology students. Financial aid is available through scholarships and undergraduate research funds. Students are encouraged to fill out the university’s general scholarship application upon admittance.
University of Washington
The University of Washington’s Department of Psychology awards both the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology and the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology. The Bachelor of Science degree focuses predominately on research and prepares students to move on to graduate study. Students pursuing the BS degree will complete 66 psychology credits in such topics as biopsychology, fundamentals of research, and statistics. The Bachelor of Arts program requires 53 psychology credits, encompassing such courses personality, abnormal psychology, animal psychology, and cognitive psychology. Students can gain field experience through an internship and upperclassmen can gain teaching experience working as tutors to lowerclassmen.
Traditional Graduate Programs
Central Washington University
Central Washington University affords graduate students the opportunity to earn a Master of Science (MS) in Applied Behavioral Analysis, a Master of Science (MS) in General Experimental Psychology, and a Master of Science (MS) in Mental Health Counseling. Graduate students pursuing an applied behavior analysis degree will complete a maximum of 61 quarter credits to fulfill degree requirements. A 12-credit practicum is mandatory. Courses cover functional behavior assessment, single subject design, comparative psychology, and cognitive psychology. Students must also complete a thesis. The general experimental psychology degree requires 48 credits, which includes a mandatory thesis. Students working toward the mental health counseling degree receive hands-on experience in a clinical setting, preparing them to work as counselors.
Bastyr University features a graduate program leading to the Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition and Clinical Psychology. The three-year, full-time program prepares graduates to become licensed mental health counselors and certified nutritionists. Courses are held in quarters and focus on such areas as psychopathology and biomedical conditions, theories of counseling and psychotherapy, nutrition and clinical health psychology, and psychological testing. Graduate students must also complete 15 credits of clinical experiences to gain hands-on experience in a clinical setting. Former students have worked at such organizations as the YWCA, Sound Mental Health, and Compass Health.
Online Psychology Programs
City University of Seattle
The City University of Seattle is home to an online Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology. This competitive program requires a total of 180 credit hours to complete. Full-time students can earn the degree in as few as three years. The bachelor’s program prepares graduates to continue to advanced study at the master’s or doctoral level. The faculty who lead the psychology program are active practitioners with real-world experience that is translated into the classroom for students’ benefit. The applied psychology core includes such courses as Fundamentals of Research Methods in Social Sciences; Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology; Critical Thinking & Writing Skills in Social Sciences; and Neuropsychology. Students must complete 25 credit hours in a specialized study emphasis approved by senior faculty members.
Eastern Washington University
Eastern Washington University offers an online Educational Specialist in School Psychology Respecialization (EdS) program. This doctoral-level program is designed for those who have bachelor’s or master’s degrees and teaching experience who want to become school psychologists. The program follows a scientist-practitioner model with each admitted student cohort following the same course progression together. While all courses are offered online, students must attend a four-day on-campus seminar each fall. Out-of-state residents are welcome to apply; all applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, meet education and experience requirements, and meet all other admissions requirements set by the graduate school. Courses in the program include Counseling Theories and School-based Mental Health Interventions; Professional School Psychology: and Intervention and Program Evaluation. The EdS program at Eastern Washington University is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
EPPP Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Psychology Programs in Washington
The table below is designed to help you compare not-for-profit psychology schools in Washington 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|
|Antioch University-Seattle||No||Yes||No||APA, CACREP||13%||—||—||—||—||N/A|
|Central Washington University||Yes||Yes||Bachelor’s||CACREP, NASP||52%||—||—||—||—||$14,080|
|City University of Seattle||Yes||Yes||Bachelor’s||CACREP||24%||—||—||—||—||N/A|
|Eastern Washington University||Yes||Yes||EdS||CACREP, NASP||47%||—||—||—||—||$12,397|
|Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies||Yes||No||No||—||N/A||—||—||—||—||$14,284|
|Pacific Lutheran University||Yes||No||No||—||71%||—||—||—||—||$25,219|
|Saint Martin’s University||Yes||Yes||Bachelor’s||—||55%||—||—||—||—||$21,605|
|Seattle Pacific University||Yes||Yes||No||APA, CACREP||71%||82%||11||—||211^||$29,174|
|Seattle University||Yes||Yes||No||CACREP, NASP||75%||—||—||107||—||$35,627|
|The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology||No||Yes||No||—||N/A||—||—||—||—||N/A|
|University of Puget Sound||Yes||No||No||—||80%||—||—||185||—||$40,416|
|University of Washington-Bothell||Yes||No||No||—||67%||—||—||—||—||$8,940|
|University of Washington-Seattle||Yes||Yes||Master’s||APA, NASP||84%||100%||9||54||26^||$10,068|
|University of Washington-Tacoma||Yes||No||No||—||60%||—||—||—||—||$8,539|
|Walla Walla University||Yes||Yes||No||—||54%||—||—||—||—||$23,782|
|Washington State University||Yes||Yes||Bachelor’s||APA||67%||—||—||97||112^||$17,815|
|Western Washington University||Yes||Yes||No||CACREP||69%||—||—||—||—||$16,245|
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
3000 Landerholm Cir SE
Bellevue, WA 98007
Student Review: “Dr. Helen Taylor was the head of the psychology department while I was attending Bellevue, and her classes were absolutely wonderful. She incorporated such a good balance of visuals, text learning, class discussion, group work, and thought-provoking real-world examples of phenomena. Lots of moving around and seeing many, many different perspectives. She would try to get her classes involved on the campus, meaning sometimes she’d cancel a lesson if there was an interesting speaker presenting at our campus. Even if the speaker’s talk wasn’t directly related, she would find a way to merge the principles we were learning. As another example, one time in our abnormal psychology class she had the students pair up, go out to the campus and act in an odd way. Some people walked around backward, some kids waited for groups to walk by and they would stop and pause like a crazy flash mob. I and my partner walked around with her leading me on a leash. Lots of room for creativity, while also proving a lot of good points. I tried to get her classes when I could. The other psychology teachers I had there weren’t as engaging.” – Student at Bellevue College
University of Washington
NE 45th St
Seattle, WA, United States
Student Review: “I chose to major in psychology because my career counselor told me that I should choose what subject I love, and it was true, I love psychology. The classes were interesting. I loved to take part in the 499 classes and in the studies that were conducted on campus. I got to actually worked with the principal investigator and did my research which was quite interesting and useful in determining if this was what I want to do in the future. The only drawback was that with a four-year degree you can’t do much with Psychology. If you want to teach, you have to get a Master or PhD or even to practice as a counselor or therapist you have to get further education.” – Student at the University of Washington
Student Review: “The psychology course of study at the University of Washington was a rigorous program that I enjoyed very much. The teachers were exemplary but the class sizes were very large. While that was somewhat of a hindrance, I was still able to meet other people in the program and build close relationships with most of my instructors. Overall, my experience was a positive one as the University of Washington’s Psychology program is a very reputable, engaging, and thorough one. I gave the program a 4 out of 5 due to the large class sizes.” – Student at University of Washington
Washington State University
Pullman, WA, United States
Student Review: “My experience with the psychology program at Washington State University has been nothing short of amazing. I was actually challenged to think and form opinions in my classes. The teachers and advisers were always there to help me avoid slipping through the cracks or falling behind. I attended online so this was especially important because I am not so technically inclined. My advisers and tech support received calls from me frequently and they were always willing to help me. I was challenged more and took more away from the curriculum at WSU than I had at schools I had attended prior. I sincerely look forward to graduating this year.” – Student at Washington State University
Student Review: “The psychology program at Washington State University was better than average. The community surrounding the program seemed great as I learned about the program through the Psy Chi club. I was also able to meet grad and other undergrad students early on. As a freshman and later a sophomore, I felt like I was just a number as most of my classes were huge lectures. Professors were available during mandatory office hours but it didn’t feel like enough time to fully explore the subject. Coursework was difficult and I had to use student study groups and other services offered by the university to fully understand the subject and pass with high marks. WSU did provide adequate resources. The libraries on campus had knowledgeable librarians with a large selection of journals and text to help my studies. In addition, the career fairs provided me an opportunity to talk with professionals in the field helping me shape my last two years of school to best prepare me for a job. Overall, the first year and a half felt like one long intro that required perseverance to get to what felt like a valuable education in the last two and half years.” – Student at Washington State University
Western Washington University
59 College Ave
Buckhannon, WV 26201
Student Review: “I really enjoyed my time at Western Washington University. The teachers were very enthusiastic about their areas of expertise. Still, WWU offers little in the way of helping you establish a career. The typical advice for those in this field is to do a few years unpaid work and get an advanced degree or look elsewhere for a job. I have talked with so many graduate students who gave me the impression that an advanced degree is a good idea for anyone who’d like to get to a level where their degree and hard work will be put to good use. However, after I left the university, I highly regret that it has offered limited help finding reasonable employment.” – Student at Western 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