Top Universities for Psychology 2021 | Top Universities

Top Universities for Psychology 2021

By Chloe Lane

Updated March 26, 2021 Updated March 26, 2021
  • There are 301 schools offering psychology courses this year. 
  • Harvard University offers the best psychology school in the world in 2021.

The recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 features 302 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 2021 


Name of Institution 


Harvard University 

United States 

Stanford University 

United States 

University of Oxford 

United Kingdom 

University of Cambridge 

United Kingdom 

University of California, Berkeley (UCB) 

United States 

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 

United States 

Yale University 

United States 

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 

United States 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 

United States 


UCL (University College London) 

United Kingdom 


University of Pennsylvania 

United States 

 See the full ranking for psychology schools here > 

Top universities for psychology in the US and Canada 

The US has 36 universities offering courses in psychology, including 22 top 50 entries.  

Amongst these is the best psychology school in the world, Harvard University, retaining its first-place position for the sixth year in a row. Harvard University’s psychology department has included some of the most famous names in psychology, including B.F. Skinner, Gordon Allport, Jerome Bruner, George Miller, and Henry Murray. 

There are a further 16 US institutions in the global top 50, notably Columbia University (12th); New York University (NYU, 13th ); University of Chicago (14th) and Princeton University (18th). 

There are 18 Canadian universities offering psychology courses, with three of these placing in the top 50: University of British Columbia  (joint 16th), University of Toronto (19th) and McGill University (29th). 

Top universities for psychology in Europe 

A total of 130 European programmes feature in the psychology rankings this year, with 15 schools making it into the global top 50.  

The UK has a total of 38 universities offering psychology degrees this year and seven top 50 entries. The best of these is the University of Oxford in third, Europe’s highest ranked university for psychology. Recently, psychology research at the University of Oxford has focused the fields of human cognitive processes, neuroscience, language development and social psychology. 

The Netherlands boasts 11 psychology programmes in total this year, with University of Amsterdam the highest ranked, in 15th - the best psychology programme in continental Europe.  

Belgium also performs well with five psychology universities in the index, including top 50 entry, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in 23rd. FranceFinland and Portugal each have four schools featuring, but none in the global top 50. 

Of the 50 German universities offering psychology programmes, there are two top 50 entries, both located in BerlinHumboldt-Universität zu Berlin falls three places to 41st and Freie Universität Berlin ranks in joint 43rd.  

Switzerland has one top 50 entry amongst its six psychology universities this year: the University of Zurich in joint 48th. Sweden also has six universities featured this year, with Karolinska Institute placing the highest in joint 86th. 

Spain claims seven psychology schools, including Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in joint 86th.  Italy is home to eight, with two top 100 entries: Sapienza - Università di Roma and Università degli Studi di Padova (UNIPD), both in joint 82nd.  

AustriaPolandGreece and Romania each only have a single entry in the index and Russia has two. 

Top universities for psychology in Asia 

There are 28 Asian universities offering psychology courses this year. The top two Asian universities for psychology are both found in Singapore, including Singapore’s oldest psychology programme at the National University of Singapore  (NUS, rising 10 places to joint 16th) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU, also up 10 places in 27th). 

The most represented location in the Asia for psychology schools is Mainland China, with seven schools featured. However, only two of these schools makes it into the global top 100: Peking University (56th, up nine places) and Beijing Normal University (NTU, joint 82nd). 

South Korea is also well represented, with five universities offering psychology courses. Of these, the highest ranked is Seoul National University (SNU) in joint 90th. 

Of the four schools in Hong Kong SAR, two feature in the top 50: University of Hong Kong (HKU) in joint 34th place, and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in joint 46th. 

Meanwhile, Malaysia and Taiwan each have one university featured in the psychology rankings this year.  

Top universities for psychology in Australia and New Zealand 

An impressive 25 top universities for psychology are found in Australia and New Zealand – 23 in Australia and five in New Zealand.  

The highest ranked university in Australia is The University of Melbourne in joint 20th, whereas New Zealand’s top university for psychology is The University of Auckland in 57th place, down 17 positions this year. 

Five more Australian universities make it into the global top 50: The University of New South Wales (UNSW) in joint 24th place; The University of Queensland (UQ) in 26th; The University of Sydney in 30th; the Australian National University (ANU) in 38th and The University of Western Australia (UWA, joint 41st). 

Top universities for psychology in Latin America 

Overall, in the Latin America region, there are seven top psychology schools ranked this year. 

Chile claims the best psychology school in the region: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (joint 71st). Chile has three entries in total. 

Mexico’s sole entrant, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) ranks closely behind, in joint 98th.  ArgentinaBrazil and Mexico have one school each in this year’s psychology rankings.  

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 three entries this year.  

Only one African school makes it into the global rankings for psychology – South Africa’s University of Cape Town at 201-250. 

This article was originally published in March 2021 .

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Written by

As Content Editor for and, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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