The advice given here is all incredibly useful. I'd just like to add a couple of points:
1. There's a vast array of undergraduate psychology programs available, particularly at major universities. When it comes to graduate school, that's the time to be more discerning about the school, program, and professor you'd like to collaborate with.
2. Many university programs offer various specializations, like distinct philosophies and fields of study. If you already have an idea of what you might want to focus on, then it would be beneficial to consider that. However, if you're not sure yet, don't stress about it! As I mentioned earlier, there are countless excellent Psychology programs to choose from!
I had a great guidance counsellor who really knew her stuff, but I'm struggling to remember where I applied to. Here's what I recall (format of "university name" - "location"; this is not a ranked list by any means):
1. Clark University - Worcester, Massachusetts
2. Barnard College - New York City, New York
3. Swarthmore College - Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
4. Villanova University - Villanova, Pennsylvania
5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Chapel Hill, North Carolina
In your state of Maryland, it looks like John Hopkins University is pretty good (I only knew it for medicine).
This site ( https://plexuss.com/r/best-psychology-colleges ) seems like a reliable resource; a lot of the rankings are consistent with my memory (that being said, my memory is ten years old at this point...). For my sanity, you should do a little research on your end. I hope you well in your search and future.
To become therapist, you need to earn a master's degree, complete a graduate program from an accredited institution, complete post-graduate supervision hours, take and pass the licensing exam, and then begin practicing!
According to U.S. News & World Report, here is a link to the Best Colleges and Universities for a Psychology major:
- Stanford University
- University of California (Berkeley)
- Harvard University
- University of California (Los Angeles)
- University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
- Princeton University
- University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)
- Yale University
- Cornell University
- Northwestern University
- University of Wisconsin (Madison)
- Columbia University
- Duke University
When reviewing colleges and universities, it is best to check the following:
- In-State vs Out of State Tuition
- Career Placement upon graduation
- Course work and offered classes
- Post-Graduate Degrees - Master and Doctoral
Scholarship applications can start to be submitted during your Junior year and will continue throughout your Senior year in high school. It is best to ask your Academic Advisor/School Counselor on the timeline process as well. Scholarship applications will have specific deadlines and requirements to meet in order to be submitted for review and consideration.
You may want to start to compile your resume/portfolio since a majority of scholarship applications will require academic grade point average (GPA), academic accomplishments, school activities (clubs, sports, etc.), community involvement (volunteer, church, etc.), academic and personal recommendations, etc. There may be essay requirements on why you are a qualified candidate to receive the scholarship, what your future goals are academically and professionally and other questions centering around who you are, your beliefs, etc.
Here are a couple of links for College Scholarships:
Also, it will be best to check with the colleges and universities that you will be applying to. You can check with the School/Department of your desired major, the Campus Career Center and the Register's Office for additional information for college scholarships and grants and specific requirements for qualifications.
Best wishes for your education and career path in Psychology!