Unlock Your Psychology Career Potential: Compare the Best Psychology Degree Programs in California for 2023


Avg. Net Price


Avg. Admitted


Avg. Enrolled


Avg. Graduation Rate


Avg. Student / Faculty

Psychology Degree Programs in California

Find and compare the best psychology degree programs by state.


Number of Schools

In California, there are 82 4-year schools that offer psychology degrees


Number of Programs

With 82 schools offering psychology programs, the total number of programs offered in California is 385


Number of Graduates

The 385 psychology programs in California produced 33,298 psychology graduates in 2021

Psychology Degree Programs in California

California Psychology Degrees Programs

Top (10) Psychology Programs in California

Stanford University

2021 Psychology Graduates: 55
Average Cost to Attend: $78,202
Average Amount Grant / Scholarship: $4,154
Average Net Price: $14,402
Average Admitted: 4%
Average Enrolled: 80%
Average Graduation Rate: 96%
Student / Faculty: 5 / 1
Full-Time Instructors: 73%
California Ranking: #1
National Ranking: #2

University of California-Los Angeles

2021 Psychology Graduates: 1,610
Average Cost to Attend: $34,481
Average Amount Grant / Scholarship: $17,729
Average Net Price: $13,393
Average Admitted: 11%
Average Enrolled: 44%
Average Graduation Rate: 92%
Student / Faculty: 18 / 1
Full-Time Instructors: 61%
California Ranking: #2
National Ranking: #15

University of Southern California

2021 Psychology Graduates: 1,529
Average Cost to Attend: $80,602
Average Amount Grant / Scholarship: $13,306
Average Net Price: $26,021
Average Admitted: 13%
Average Enrolled: 41%
Average Graduation Rate: 92%
Student / Faculty: 9 / 1
Full-Time Instructors: 37%
California Ranking: #3
National Ranking: #29

Claremont McKenna College

2021 Psychology Graduates: 32
Average Cost to Attend: $78,482
Average Amount Grant / Scholarship: $739
Average Net Price: $21,663
Average Admitted: 11%
Average Enrolled: 57%
Average Graduation Rate: 93%
Student / Faculty: 8 / 1
Full-Time Instructors: 93%
California Ranking: #4
National Ranking: #23

University of California-Berkeley

2021 Psychology Graduates: 472
Average Cost to Attend: $38,689
Average Amount Grant / Scholarship: $17,627
Average Net Price: $17,652
Average Admitted: 14%
Average Enrolled: 43%
Average Graduation Rate: 93%
Student / Faculty: 20 / 1
Full-Time Instructors: 40%
California Ranking: #5
National Ranking: #27

Pitzer College

2021 Psychology Graduates: 24
Average Cost to Attend: $79,266
Average Amount Grant / Scholarship: $386
Average Net Price: $19,153
Average Admitted: 18%
Average Enrolled: 53%
Average Graduation Rate: 88%
Student / Faculty: 12 / 1
Full-Time Instructors: 100%
California Ranking: #6
National Ranking: #43

University of California-Irvine

2021 Psychology Graduates: 1,463
Average Cost to Attend: $33,969
Average Amount Grant / Scholarship: $21,220
Average Net Price: $11,633
Average Admitted: 29%
Average Enrolled: 21%
Average Graduation Rate: 84%
Student / Faculty: 18 / 1
Full-Time Instructors: 57%
California Ranking: #7
National Ranking: #69

University of California-San Diego

2021 Psychology Graduates: 665
Average Cost to Attend: $32,902
Average Amount Grant / Scholarship: $18,130
Average Net Price: $15,632
Average Admitted: 34%
Average Enrolled: 19%
Average Graduation Rate: 89%
Student / Faculty: 19 / 1
Full-Time Instructors: 56%
California Ranking: #8
National Ranking: #72

University of California-Santa Barbara

2021 Psychology Graduates: 1,146
Average Cost to Attend: $34,745
Average Amount Grant / Scholarship: $14,275
Average Net Price: $17,333
Average Admitted: 29%
Average Enrolled: 16%
Average Graduation Rate: 85%
Student / Faculty: 17 / 1
Full-Time Instructors: 61%
California Ranking: #9
National Ranking: #95

University of California-Davis

2021 Psychology Graduates: 803
Average Cost to Attend: $34,400
Average Amount Grant / Scholarship: $20,754
Average Net Price: $16,640
Average Admitted: 49%
Average Enrolled: 18%
Average Graduation Rate: 87%
Student / Faculty: 21 / 1
Full-Time Instructors: 57%
California Ranking: #10
National Ranking: #105

Psychology Programs Offered in California

There are 385 undergraduate psychology programs offered by 82 different 4-year colleges, comprising 31 public and 51 private schools.

Additionally, psychology programs in California produced 21,365 bachelor’s graduates, 10,667 master’s graduates and 812 doctorate graduates.

The table below details the programs offered and the total number of graduates in California.

Psychology GraduatesBSMAPMCPhD
Applied Psychology8310427
Behavioral Neuroscience595
Clinical Psychology122469138
Cognitive Psychology36
Counseling and Applied Psychology3013,491102251
Counseling Psychology9522
Developmental Psychology43340
Educational Psychology31114
Experimental Psychology411108
Forensic Psychology32120110
General Psychology14,3451,09349
Industrial Organizational Psychology112142123
Marriage and Family Therapy5987
Medical Psychology341
Mental Health Counseling33
Research Psychology3,525684071
School Psychology390207
Social Psychology3181
Social Work1,5033,071203
Sport Psychology20
Total Graduates21,36510,667225812
US Department of Education

Credits Accepted for California Schools

The types of academic credits available to California students are varied and include:

  • Dual enrollment
  • Credit for life experiences
  • Advanced placement (AP) credits

Psychology Admission, Enrollment, and Graduation in California

On average, California schools admitted 64% of students who applied to 4-year institutions. Of those who were offered admission, 22% enrolled.

The average freshman retention rate for California schools is 72%, compared to 71% for all universities nationwide.

The overall graduation rate for 4-year colleges and universities in California is 66%, compared to 56% for all universities nationwide.

The top three schools in California for highest graduation rate are Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America (100%), California Northstate University (100%), and Stanford University (96%).

The top three schools with the highest number of psychology graduates in California are University of California-Los Angeles (1,610), University of Southern California (1,529), and University of California-Irvine (1,463).

1st Year Return72%71%
US Department of Education

Student & Faculty Information in California

In the fall of 2021, California schools that offered psychology programs had an average of 49% full-time instructional or research faculty members and 50% part-time instructional faculty members.

The average student-to-faculty ratio for California schools offering psychology programs is 19:1.

The table below shows a comparison of the percentage of full-time instructional and research faculty members and the student-to-faculty ratio between California and the United States as a whole:

Full-Time Instructional42%56%
Full-Time Research6%6%
Part-Time Instructional50%35%
Student Faculty Ratio19:115:1
US Department of Education

Tuition and Student Expenses in California

If you’re an undergraduate psychology student in California, the average tuition you’ll pay depends on the institution you choose. Typically, tuition costs range from $5,742 to $60,446 per year, with an average of $22,773. In addition to tuition, you’ll also need to budget for books and supplies, which can cost between $822 and $2,700 annually, with an average of $1,251.

The three most affordable undergraduate psychology schools in California are California State University-Monterey Bay ($19,992), California State University-Fresno ($21,417), and California State University-Stanislaus ($21,676). Meanwhile, the three most expensive institutions are the University of Southern California ($80,602), Pepperdine University ($79,900), and Stanford University ($78,202).

As for prospective graduate psychology students, the average cost of tuition and fees for graduate programs varies widely based on the school and program chosen. Graduate tuition costs between $6,741 and $60,446 per year, with an average of $16,498. However, most graduate programs also require additional fees, such as application fees, technology fees, and library fees, which can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In-state graduate fees typically range from $60 to $4,453, with an average of $1,196.

The three most affordable graduate psychology schools in California are California State University-Fresno ($8,087), California State University-Los Angeles ($8,219), and California State University-Channel Islands ($8,251). Meanwhile, the three most expensive graduate programs are University of Southern California ($61,396), Occidental College ($58,426), and Stanford University ($55,011).

If you’re curious about how California schools stack up against national averages, you can compare average total expenses in the table below. Note that these figures don’t take into account financial aid, grants, loans, or scholarships. If you’re interested in that information, you can find it in the sections below.

Average Expenses for Psychology SchoolsCaliforniaU.S.
On Campus Room & Board$14,801$11,729
On-Campus Living Expenses$3,714$3,474
Total Living Expenses$18,515$15,203
Tuition for In-State, Undergraduate$22,773$21,301
Books and Supplies, Undergraduate$1,251$1,254
Total Undergraduate Expenses$42,539$37,758
In-State, Graduate Tuition$16,498$14,479
In-State, Graduate Fees$1,196$1,155
Total Graduate Expenses$17,694$15,634
US Department of Education

Cost to Attend, Financial Aid, Net Price in California

Average Net Price

In California, the cost to attend a college or university that offers psychology programs is a significant financial investment. The key term to know for college affordability is the net price.

The average net price for a college or university in California that offers psychology programs is $14,526. This figure is calculated based on the most recent data provided by each institution to the US Department of Education.

Net price is determined by adding up the costs of tuition, room and board, living expenses, books, and supplies and then subtracting the average financial aid, such as grants, scholarships, and loans, received by federal financial aid recipients.

Cost to Attend$42,539$37,758
Average Financial Aid$9,615$13,984
Percent Receiving Aid80%90%
Net Price$14,526$17,524
US Department of Education

Net Price by Family Income

Depending on the federal, state, or institutional grant aid available, the table below shows the average amount students pay to attend California universities shown by family income bracket.

Students may pay more or less depending on their individual circumstances; however, these are the average costs as tracked by the university and reported to the U.S. Department of Education.

Average Net Price by Income2020-20212021-2022
$0 – $30,000$6,610$5,933
$30,001 – $48,000$7,376$6,587
$48,001 – $75,000$10,066$9,483
$75,001 – $110,000$12,590$12,144
$110,001 and more$15,589$16,128
US Department of Education

Additional Top Ranked Psychology Degree Programs in California

Find information on each school’s ranking, number of graduates, net price, and graduation rate along with a link the school’s full 2023 report.

RankSchool# of GraduatesNet PriceGraduation
#11Scripps College29$44,77082%
#12California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo169$20,70885%
#13San Diego State University867$6,86776%
#14California State University-Long Beach915$9,17175%
#15Fresno Pacific University350$15,35068%
#16Occidental College38$43,04783%
#17Santa Clara University286$48,46991%
#18California State University-Fullerton904$4,93971%
#19Loyola Marymount University214$40,18079%
#20Saint Mary’s College of California83$25,02273%
#21Azusa Pacific University321$27,11272%
#22National University1455$9,96646%
#23Biola University196$29,12370%
#24University of San Diego216$34,15580%
#25University of California-Riverside613$13,50276%
#26Pepperdine University1147$40,94583%
#27University of Redlands53$21,57869%
#28Chapman University206$40,45180%
#29Westmont College25$33,55473%
#30William Jessup University117$27,82360%
#31University of La Verne207$22,53869%
#32San Jose State University723$14,60369%
#33California Lutheran University192$24,06574%
#34California State University-Fresno751$6,33657%
#35Point Loma Nazarene University151$34,85173%
#36University of California-Santa Cruz445$19,61578%
#37University of California-Merced306$11,58672%
#38University of the Pacific84$21,31169%
#39Mount Saint Mary’s University313$24,50863%
#40California State University-Northridge1052$8,70854%
#41Whittier College46$22,09164%
#42Holy Names University78$21,51558%
#43Hope International University151$18,80142%
#44California State University-Stanislaus496$7,23058%
#45California State Polytechnic University-Pomona373$12,94270%
#46California State University-Sacramento917$7,77857%
#47University of San Francisco556$39,82575%
#48Vanguard University of Southern California188$20,42761%
#49Dominican University of California68$45,00177%
#50Mills College28$25,28362%
#51California State University-San Bernardino799$3,25457%
#52Concordia University-Irvine151$25,64068%
#53California State University-Los Angeles689$2,69552%
#54San Francisco State University534$13,64154%
#55California State University-Chico526$13,74965%
#56Sonoma State University201$7,05560%
#57California Baptist University679$23,49457%
#58Touro University Worldwide684$18,12158%
#59California State University-San Marcos392$14,29659%
#60California State University-Dominguez Hills622$4,50053%
#61California State University-Monterey Bay333$6,08560%
#62La Sierra University72$25,23057%
#63Simpson University79$25,31145%
#64The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles916$33,638%
#65California State University-Bakersfield383$7,36848%
#66California State University-Channel Islands350$14,49358%
#67California State Polytechnic University-Humboldt302$13,90448%
#68California State University-East Bay503$12,63148%
#69University of Phoenix-California86$15,40019%
#70University of Massachusetts Global833$26,346%
#71Los Angeles Pacific University120$20,48745%
#72Marymount California University33$35,66039%
#73Ashford University776$23,5859%
US Department of Education

Psychology Salary Reports for California

We use annual surveys of 100,000 psychologists to compile data on salary, employment projections, cost-of-living adjustments, comparisons to related professions, salary based on years of experience, and rankings by city.

in addition to school websites, our Career, Salary and Program Source Data Comes from