Psychology is an interesting specialty in the greater medical field. If you've decided that this is something you wish to pursue, you will need to start comparing psychology schools to find the best degree program for your interests. Location is one of the first factors to think about. You must decide if you are willing to relocate to a school that is located on the other side of the country, if the school seems like a good fit, or if you would rather stay in your home town or state. Visiting the schools can give you an idea if you can see yourself in the various college towns or not, as well.
The best psychology schools will be in close proximity to a hospital or have a research clinic, so that students can gain valuable real life experience during their studies. Online degree programs are another option to consider. With today's pushes in technology, you can now oftentimes receive an education that is of the same quality as one you would have to sit in a classroom for, but do it on your own time and at your own pace. The cost is another practical issue to consider right from the beginning when comparing schools, as you must apply early for scholarships and loans if you are going to need assistance.
In psychology, there are different approaches. It's important that you compare and contrast the teaching philosophies of each of the schools that fit your location and budget constraints. Don't be afraid to get in contact with the department head, professors, or admissions counselors to ask questions about the school. Your career goals will dictate which approach might be the best. For example, if you are interested in working in research, the top psychology schools for your career will be those which emphasize psychological theory, research, and different experimental methods.
On the other hand, if you are more interested in the side of psychology that works directly with patients, you should look for the top schools which offer clinical topics and real-life internships in clinical settings. The reputation of each school should also be weighed. You can look at psychology school rankings to see which have been ranked the highest in their field, but keep in mind that the curriculum and approach are something that you might need to look at on an individual basis. With all of these factors in mind, you can choose the right psychology schools to meet your goals.