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, that is 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.

Quick Facts

  • There are 23 colleges and universities with psychology degree programs in Washington.
  • 16 schools provide a master’s or advanced degree in psychology.
  • Highest graduation rate: Whitman College 86%1
  • Highest transfer-out rate: Walla Walla University 32%1
  • Highest net price: Whitman College $34,3991
  • Lowest net price: University of Washington – Seattle Campus $9,3951
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for schools in Washington with psychology and counseling programs: $13,510 – $41,7902
  • 2 Schools in the Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2013: University of Washington (17) and Western Washington University (74).
  • 1 School ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2013 (top 100): University of Seattle (46).
  • We found 2 highly ranked psychology doctorate programs by the National Research Council (2005-06) S-Ranking: University of Washington (36) and Washington State University (141).

*For 4-year colleges and universities with psychology degree programs. Transfer-out rate is the percentage of students who started as a freshman in 2005 and transferred to a different school without earning a degree at the initial institution.

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.

Psychology Undergraduate Programs in Washington

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.

Psychology Graduate Programs in Washington

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
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.

Schools with Psychology Degree Programs in Washington

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.

Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Cir SE
Bellevue, WA 98007
(425) 564-1000

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 for 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 the campus, and act in an odd way. Some people walked around backwards, some kids waited for groups to walk by and they would stop and pause like a crazy flash mob. Myself 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

Eastern Washington University at Bellevue
House 1, 3000 Landerholm Cir SE
Bellevue, WA 98007
(425) 564-5100

Student Review: “I attended the psychology program on the Bellevue campus of Eastern Washington University. The program was great because it allowed me to work a full time job during the day, and attend my classes in the evening, as the professors flew in from the main campus for the once a week classes. The one challenging thing about this was communication with professors had to be done mainly over e-mail, so when needing additional help, the time was very limited as they were only on campus for a few hours a day. It was a very self-regulated program, and there were limited online classes, which was disappointing because I prefer online. The professors were all very approachable and even worked with me when I went through some troubling times to ensure I not only passed my classes but did very well in them. The one thing I would improve would be to have the professors on the campus for longer so students could meet with them more easily.” – Student at Easter Washington University at Bellevue

University of Washington
NE 45th St
Seattle, WA, United States
(206) 543-2100

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 love to take part in the 499 classes and in the studies that was conducted on campus. I got to actually worked with the principle 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 draw back 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 Washingtonstars-4

Washington State University
Pullman, WA, United States
(509) 335-3564

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 between 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 held 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 freshmen 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. Course work 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 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
(304) 473-8000

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 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. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges/