Top Health Psychology Graduate Schools
Review some important considerations for choosing a school with a strong program in health psychology. Read about three schools with nationally ranked psychology programs, and explore the degrees each school offers in the health psychology field.
What Should I Look For in a Top Health Psychology Graduate School?
According to the American Psychological Association, health psychologists integrate psychological knowledge with biomedical knowledge (www.apa.org). In addition to focusing on finding a well-known health psychology program, you might look for schools that have strong programs in biology or allied health resources. Ask how long the program has existed as a separate discipline and identify clinical opportunities, lab facilities or research institutes that support your goals. Investigate accreditation.
Research-based health psychology programs are typically available only at the doctoral level and take about five years to complete. Graduates work in clinical settings, academia, research laboratories or government.
What Are Three Top Health Psychology Graduate Schools?
Indiana University in Bloomington, IN
Indiana University in Bloomington (IU) ranked 31st among top public schools in U.S. News & World Report's 2021 rankings; its clinical psychology program tied 10th among graduate programs of its kind in the publication's 2020 rankings.
The UI Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers seven doctoral programs, including the clinical science program. Students can develop their own minor concentration in areas like quantitative modelling of development and social neuroscience. Dual degree options are also available.
Departmental faculty have received awards from the National Institutes of Health for several projects, such as a 5-year grant awarded in 2009 to study the cognitive and behavioural processes related to alcoholism and ADHD.
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology - Clinical Science
- Dual Ph.D. in Psychology - Clinical Science/Ph.D. in Cognitive Science
- Dual Ph.D. in Psychology - Clinical Science/Ph.D. in Neuroscience
University of California - Los Angeles
The public University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) was ranked 17th among world universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2019 (www.timeshighereducation.co.uk). According to U.S. News & World Report's rankings by discipline, UCLA was first in the nation for clinical psychology in 2020.
Health psychology integrates mind and body research; for example, behavioral issues related to cancer. A health psychology emphasis area is available for the Ph.D. program. Training and research focus on foundational psychology, biology, statistics and methodology.
UCLA publishes the journal Health Psychology. Related research institutes include the Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Most graduates work in academia, research institutes or the federal government.
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Health Psychology
- Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA
The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), a private research university, was ranked 110th in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. U.S. News & World Report placed Pitt tied for 8th in graduate clinical psychology in 2020.
Pitt offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biological and Health Psychology. Students may choose a joint track with the clinical psychology program or the biological and health psychology track. Biological and health psychology students may concentrate research in any of five areas, including health neuroscience and neurobehavioral genetics, psychoneuroimmunology and behavioral oncology, addictive behaviors and psychopharmacology, cardiovascular behavioral medicine or social psychological processes in health.
The Department of Psychology accepts from 6-9% of applicants annually for admission. Approximately 49% of active students report participation as first or junior authors of over 140 publications and more than 270 conference presentations. Since 2000, 100% of departmental graduates were placed in clinical, teaching or research positions.
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biological and Health Psychology
- Dual Ph.D. in Clinical/Health Psychology
Schools with Health or Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs
|College/University||Institution Type||Location||Estimated Graduate In-State Tuition (2019-2020)*|
|Duke University||4-year, Private||Durham, NC||$55,700|
|Yale University||4-year, Private||New Haven, CT||$43,300|
|University of the Sciences||4-year, Private||Philadelphia, PA||$30,200|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||4-year, Public||Madison, WI||$10,800|
|East Carolina University||4-year, Public||Greenville, NC||$4,800|
|North Arizona University||4-year, Public||Flagstaff, AZ||$10,300|
|University of Connecticut||4-year, Public||Storrs, CT||$16,300|
|Virginia State University||4-year, Public||Petersburg, VA||$8,400|
|University of North Carolina - Charlotte||4-year, Public||Charlotte, NC||$4,400|
*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education