Leading psychology schools for Asian students
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Leading psychology schools for Asian students

THE study of psychology has been gaining popularity in recent years, and is quickly becoming a profession of choice for Asian students. Psychology, with its large range of specialties, allows students to combine creative thinking and scientific learning.

Asia provides the perfect environment for prospective students to engage in a discipline that encourages innovative techniques and improves interpersonal and communication skills. Today, they are embracing the discipline and attempting to carve out a career in this extremely dynamic industry.

Universities have recognized this need and have been working furiously to cater for the demand for the subject. Most universities provide study in psychology and those that do not have been adding programs to cater to this rising interest, such as Penn State Brandywine.

Strains of psychology have been concentrating on a variety of specialisations to draw the brightest minds. These range from Forensic Psychology and Evolutionary Psychology to unique subject areas like Positive Psychology. Professors at Baylor University, in the United States, have designed the university’s first positive psychology lesson, aimed at helping students analyse happiness and the meaning of their lives.

The popularity of psychology is primarily due to the natural curiosity students have towards understanding the mind and the human psyche. Psychology engages students, encouraging them to ask questions, perhaps one of the reasons Asian students find it so exciting. Asia is home to countless multicultural and vibrant societies. Such an environment encourages an inquisitive mind, an aspect that can be positively tapped into for the study of psychology.

The demand for psychology graduates is fueled by an increasing acceptance of the profession by national and international bodies. Experimental psychologists, developmental psychologists, physiological psychologists, personality psychologists, and clinical and counseling psychologists are just the beginning of the list. The options in psychology are immense, allowing students to truly tap into their potentials and address a specialization they are passionate about. It also allows students to embrace and engage with the diversity that is so much a part of their lives in Asia.

Psychology is a hugely gratifying profession, which not just allows continuous debates and discussions that encourage liberal and unique thinking, but also allows practitioners to engage deeply with their society.

We have selected 15 of the leading psychology schools in the world for Asian students …


Pic: Rutgers.

Rutgers is a premier American public research university with campuses in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Founded in 1766, Rutgers is the nation’s eighth oldest institution of higher education, and just one of 61 members of prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU).  Rutgers is ranked 54th in the world and 37th among American universities by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Rutgers offers both a major and a minor in psychology. Psychology, a discipline of immense breadth and depth, is represented at Rutgers by faculty noted for research in the areas of behavioral neuroscience, clinical, cognitive, health and social psychology.  The mission of the faculty is to combine excellence in scientific research with excellence in teaching undergraduate and graduate students. Read the full profile…

Adler School of Professional Psychology is the oldest independent school of psychology in North America. Students from across the world vie to study in this collaborative atmosphere led by experienced faculty. For more than 50 years, the Adler School has been committed to educating and training socially responsible graduates.  Adler students are prepared to work to build and maintain bridges across social, economic, cultural, racial, and political systems; empower others to identify and address shared problems; and foster the development of social equality, justice, and respect through compassionate action throughout the global community.  Degree programs ground students in research and theory about the impact of structural and systemic factors on the wellbeing of humanity. Programs also provide training for impacting social policies, addressing community issues, and solving the ills of society. Read the full profile…


Pic: Adler School of Professional Psychology.

The Chicago School is a graduate school hosts more than 3,500 students in several campuses across the country, including Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. The School also provides online lessons and is the nation’s oldest and largest graduate school devoted exclusively to psychology and related behavioral science. TCSPP offers more than 20 degree programs covering subject areas such as Business Psychology, Child Protection, Community Mental Health and Neuropsychology. Qualifications awarded include Ph.D, Psy.D, Ed.S, Ed.D, MA, and Cert. Studying at this School provides students with unrivaled training experience in a multicultural and sophisticated environment.

Part of Alliant International University, the California School of Professional Psychology is a global leader in the field of psychology and behavioral sciences. The School offers doctoral programs in Clinical Psychology, MA and Psy.D programs in Marital and Family Therapy, master’s programs in Clinical Counseling and Clinical Psychology, master’s and doctoral programs in Organizational Psychology, and a national postdoctoral master’s program in clinical psychopharmacology. The School also offers international programs in Hong Kong, Japan and Mexico. CSPP is renowned for having trained half of California’s licensed psychologists and is considered a leading educator in the field.

Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University is home to the prestigious Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Founded in 1883, the department is dedicated not to clinical training, but research in the field. It has one of the smallest yet top-ranked psychology departments in the US and plays a leading role in the evolution and development of psychology in the country. The department supports research in the areas of Biopsychology, and Cognitive and Developmental Psychology.

The Department of Psychology at Stanford University is one of the most popular choices for Asian students. The department provides undergraduate and graduate programs along with cutting-edge research to continue in the university’s global reputation. Areas of research at the department are Affective Science, Cognitive, Developmental, Social, and Neuroscience. The private research university is located in California and an attractive option to enjoy the highest quality of education coupled with a superb student experience.


Pic: University of Sydney.

The University of Sydney was first founded in 1850 and has grown to become one of Australia’s most prestigious educational institutions. With its wide variety of flexible degrees, students are encouraged to take their studies in a direction which suits them best.  Its School of Psychology was the first of its kind in Australia and is currently one of the largest and most prestigious institutes in the field. It is also one of the top in the world in terms of training, offering a unique breadth of programs and research opportunities. Particular research focus is paid to the areas of cognition, developmental health, neuroscience and perception, among others.

An institute well known for its leadership and quality training, Melbourne University’s dedicated Psychological Sciences boasts highly recognized alumni. The School is one of four at the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and maintains strong links with industry and community contacts, thus providing a range of internships and mentoring programs to benefit students. Psychology has been taught at the university from the late 1800s. The School’s academic excellence can be attributed to innovative teaching standards and exemplary research across a range of fields, including cognitive and qualitative psychology.

Montreal’s McGill University has been creating world leaders for more than two centuries. Two Canadian prime ministers graduated from McGill, along with dozens of lawmakers and public leaders. For Asian students pursuing a future in psychology, this is an ideal place to launch a career. McGill is widely recognized as the best university in Canada for those seeking doctoral degrees. Students with an interest in psychology spend most of their time in McGill University Department of Psychology undergraduate programs as well as two full-time research-intensive graduate program tracks – Experimental Psychology and Clinical Psychology. Six areas of research are covered in this department, including behavioral neuroscience and health psychology.

Whether calculated by enrollment or courses offered, the National University of Singapore is the largest university in the country. It is also the oldest, and it consistently ranks among the best educational institutions in all of Asia. Today, the National University of Singapore welcomes more than 30,000 students representing 100 countries. Its Department of Psychology has been creating waves for its academic excellence. Established in 1986-87, the psychology program was a first in the country. The department now provides undergraduate, postgraduate and research opportunities in the subject.

The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s leading university, and boasts a strong reputation of academic excellence. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings places it in the top 150 universities globally. The University offers hundreds of areas of study for undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. Asian students opting for an education in psychology at the University of Auckland will receive unique training in the field, investigating personality, intelligence, and how people respond to everyday and unusual events.  A qualification in psychology from this institute leads to careers in mental health, research, industry and marketing, education or counseling. Living in Auckland students are part of New Zealand’s largest commercial hub with myriad opportunities for work experience and future positions with some of this country’s leading businesses.


Pic: University of Bristol.

Originally established in 1876 as University College Bristol, the University of Bristol received its Royal Charter in 1909 and has since become one of the most respected universities in the United Kingdom. As well as its range of undergraduate, postgraduate and research opportunities, the university’s location in the charming and picturesque city of Bristol means that it is one of the most sought-after universities to study in. The University is home to over 18,000 students and offers excellent opportunities and support for its thousands of international students. Its School of Experimental Psychology is renowned for its research. The School is on of seven schools at the Faculty of Science, which is regarded as one of the top science faculties in the UK.

Since 1997, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has consistently been ranked as one of the best universities in the Asia. The current Times Higher Education Ranking places it top in Asia and 21st in the world. HKU attracts the brightest minds with approximately 15,00 scholarships and prizes available for outstanding students. Studying Psychology at HKU allows students to develop skills across all areas of the discipline, including the biological and cognitive bases of behavior, developmental changes, social influences, and psychopathology. Students are also provided with training in statistical and research methods that are essential for the implementation and consumption of psychological research.

Psychology at UC Berkeley is part of the distinguished history at this illustrious Ivy League school. With the help of cutting edge tools, the members of this department address basic science and applied problems in the field.  Boasting of an exceptional history of training students at undergraduate and graduate levels, training in the subject at this School provides a comprehensive education in psychological sciences and fosters critical thinking skills essential for future careers.

This European university is a leader in the field of psychology and hugely popular among Asian students looking to pursue a career in the discipline. Founded in the late 15th century, its international reputation is bolstered by its excellent research and innovative teaching techniques. Its broad and interdisciplinary spectrum of research, along with more than 100 degree courses on offer, provide the perfect pedestal for students to train before entering the industry as qualified professionals. The University is also open to international exchange of academics and students. The University has partnerships with 180 educational institutions in 45 countries, including those in Asia. This is an institute that provides an outstanding educational experience for its students and prepares them to become future leaders in this challenging industry.