Top Universities for Psychology 2020 | Top Universities

Top Universities for Psychology 2020

By Julia Gilmore

Updated March 24, 2021 Updated March 24, 2021

The recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 features 301 of the top higher education institutions to study psychology.

The QS University Rankings by Subject are based on four indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations per paper and the H-index (a way of measuring the productivity and published work of a scientist or scholar). You can find more details about the methodology behind the subject rankings here.

Read on to learn more about the best psychology schools in each region. Alternatively, if you would like to explore the 301 schools in further detail, click here to view the full table.

Top 10 Universities for Psychology in the World

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020


Name of Institution



Harvard University

United States


Stanford University

United States


University of Cambridge

United Kingdom


University of Oxford

United Kingdom


University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

United States


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

United States


UCL (University College London)

United Kingdom


Yale University

United States


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

United States


University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

United States

See the full ranking for psychology schools here >

Top universities for psychology in the US and Canada

Over a third of the ranked universities for psychology are in the US and Canada, with 91 US institutions and 17 Canadian. The US also accounts for seven of the schools in the global top 10 for psychology. Harvard University continues its five-year run at the top of the table.

There are a further 16 US institutions in the global top 50, notably New York University (NYU, 11th place); Columbia University (12th); the University of Pennsylvania (14th); the University of Chicago (16th) and Princeton University (joint 17th).

Canada’s highest ranked university for psychology is the University of British Columbia in 13th place globally. Two other Canadian institutions are in the global top 50: The University of Toronto in 19th and McGill University in 30th.

Top universities for psychology in Europe

A total of 131 European programs feature in the psychology rankings, with 13 schools making it into the global top 50. The highest ranked European psychology program can be found at The University of Cambridge in 3rd place, narrowly beating arch-rivals The University of Oxford in 4th.

Continental Europe’s best Psychology program can be found at the University of Amsterdam; it has risen from 16th to 15th and is the only non-Anglosphere program to feature among the top 20. Other notable European psychology programs can be found at King's College London (KCL, 20th), the University of Edinburgh (24th), Belgium’s Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (25th) and London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE, 29th), among others.

Top universities for psychology in Asia

27 Asian universities feature in the rankings for psychology, with five schools in the global top 50. Asia’s highest ranked university is the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 26th place, up from 33rd last year – its highest ever performance in psychology.

Singapore has another school in the global top 50 for psychology, with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) taking 37th place. Two schools in Hong Kong feature in the top 50: University of Hong Kong (HKU) in joint 31st place, and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in 46th.

Despite being the most well-represented country in the Asian rankings with eight universities, Mainland China only has one school in the top 50 - Peking University in joint 47th place, rising from 51-100 last year.

Top universities for psychology in Australia and New Zealand

An impressive 25 top universities for psychology are in Australia and New Zealand – 20 in Australia and five in New Zealand. The highest ranked university in Australia is The University of Melbourne in joint 17th, whereas New Zealand’s top university for psychology is The University of Auckland in 40th place.

Four more Australian universities make it into the global top 50: The University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 22nd place; The University of Queensland (UQ) in 23rd; The University of Sydney in 27th and the Australian National University (ANU) in joint 31st.

Top universities for psychology in Latin America

Overall, in the Latin America region, there are six top psychology schools ranked this year: Chile has three schools whilst Argentina, Brazil and Mexico have one school each in the rankings. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile is the highest ranked school in the region, at 51-100.

Top universities for psychology in Africa & the Middle East

The highest-ranked university for psychology courses in the Middle East is the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (101-150), one of Israel’s two entries this year. Only one African school makes it into the global rankings for psychology – South Africa’s University of Cape Town at 151-200.

This article was originally published in March 2020 . It was last updated in March 2021

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