Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology has a broad definition. It encompasses any sort of psychological assessment of individuals who come into contact with the legal system. Opportunities in forensic psychology heavily depend on level of education—to claim the title “Forensic Psychologist,” a student must complete a doctorate, though there are many other uses for a degree in forensic psychology. This area of study is offered at the baccalaureate, master, and doctoral levels and can lead to careers within private practices, firms, schools, police departments, prisons, and government agencies. Licensed Forensic Psychologists weigh in on any number of matters, from mental states of criminal defendants to child custody to jury selection.

Baccalaureate

This degree is largely postdoctoral, so you won’t find more than a handful or two of schools that offer a Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology. Even if one crops up, be aware that that the best programs are accredited by the American Psychology Association (APA). One such available institution is Maryville University. Most commonly, students will earn their undergraduate degree in either criminal justice or psychology (with a concentration in forensic psychology) before moving on to graduate school for more focalized study.

Career options for graduates with a bachelor’s in forensic psychology include: Court Liaison, Law Enforcement Officer, Probation Officer

Master Level

If earning a doctorate is the ultimate goal, students can move directly from their undergraduate education into a doctoral program since a master’s degree is considered optional. Master's programs are a good way for students who didn’t study psychology or criminal justice during their undergrad to be introduced to the world of forensic psychology. The curriculum will consist of education on domestic violence, criminal assessment, mental health policy, and psychological treatment of adult offenders.

Careers for graduates with a Master’s in Forensic Psychology include: Jury Consultant, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Juvenile Offenders Counselor, and Research Assistant.

Doctorate Level

While it won’t say “PhD in Forensic Psychology” on most diplomas, many schools offer this area of study under other titles. Some institutions will call it a PhD in Legal Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology/Studies, while others have labeled it a PhD in Interdisciplinary Social Psychology with a specialization in Law and Justice.

There are two types of degrees that can be earned in this concentration, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). PhDs take longer to obtain and are typically very competitive. Like with most PhDs, it’s very research oriented. The PsyD can be more closely compared to an MD in medicine and clinical experience begins much earlier in this three-to-five-year program.

Careers for graduates with a doctorate in forensic psychology include: Forensic Psychologist, Expert Witness, Psychology Professor/Instructor, and Psychology Researcher.

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Colleges

University of Denver

Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is the oldest private university in the Rocky Mountain Region. DU confers bachelor’s degrees in over 100 academic fields of study and every major enables students to take courses across different subjects....

“…University of Denver is an AWESOME school! The small and focused class sizes allow students to get a wonderful education and the professors truly care about the students well being. It also offers a wonderful social life with sororities/fraternities,...” – Tara from Highlands Ranch, CO

George Washington University

George Washington University is a private university maintains three campuses, with the main campus located in Washington, D.C., just four blocks from the White House. George Washington University offers 75 undergraduate majors and 69% of students...

“…George Washington is the only place I'd want to be. There's no other college in the world that is just a few steps from the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. GW is a large school, with a diverse student body who all come together for fun events...” – Meredith from Marlton, NJ

Nova Southeastern University

Founded by a group of local businessmen over breakfast, Nova Southeastern University is a 4-year private university in southeast Florida and an Hispanic-serving institution. NSU is home to 18 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in...

“…This is a really fantastic school, although it's a tad expensive. Teachers are all very qualified and challenge you to independently work, and think(however they are more than happy to help). ” – Nicholas from Palm Coast, FL

Southern New Hampshire University

Originally conceived as a school of accounting and secretarial science, Southern New Hampshire University has grown to become a 4-year private university. SNHU confers bachelor’s degrees in more than 150 academic majors available both on campus and...

“…I give Southern New Hampshire University an excellent rating, five stars out of five stars. I feel at home here and have little financial, academic, or social worries. Southern New Hampshire University does an outstanding job at building...” – Mallory from Gorham, NH

Saint Leo University

Established by the Order of Saint Benedict in 1889, Saint Leo University is a Roman Catholic liberal arts university in central Florida and the first Roman Catholic college in the state. Saint Leo is home to colleges of Business, Education, and Arts...

“…Saint Leo University exemplifies core values and emphasizes integrity, community, and spirit. Instructors are real-world professionals and peers are like-minded adult professionals, all with a desire to contribute to the learning process. I am...” – Christina from Boise, ID

Florida Institute of Technology

Founded as Brevard Engineering College in the midst of the Space Race, Florida Institute of Technology is a private research university with a focus on STEM programs. FIT is home to colleges of Engineering, Aeronautics, Liberal Arts, and Business. In...

“…fit is a fantastic school for engineering and psychology! the professors are experts in their fields and they will personally help the students in any way possible. i have never met a person on campus who was mean or negative towards me, and a beach...” – Amy from Cincinnati, OH

Marymount University

Founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Marymount University is a Roman Catholic institution in northern Virginia and the first Catholic college in the state. Marymount encompasses schools of Arts & Humanities, Business, and Sciences...

“…A small private school in the midst of big changes in the upcoming years. Good community within the school that reaches out and makes use of the surrounding community as well. Teachers and advisers on the whole are very supportive and will do what...” – Britnee from Annandale, VA

Kean University

Founded in 1855, Kean University is a public school in northeast New Jersey and the state’s first public post-secondary institution of higher learning. Kean grants undergraduate degrees in over 50 areas of study and graduates the most teachers in the...

“…Kean University is a great school to attend if you like diversity, a beautiful campus, and a great education.” – Brianna from Piscataway, NJ

University of North Dakota

Founded six years before North Dakota achieved statehood, the University of North Dakota is a 4-year public university in eastern North Dakota and the state’s largest institution of higher learning. UND offers undergraduate degrees in over 225...

“…The University of North Dakota is a great college that offers many different options for student interests. It allows students to open their horizons and experience different programs. Its system is easy to navigate and the advisors are always...” – Kirsten from Staples, MN

California Baptist University

California Baptist University is a private, Christian institution affiliated with the Southern Baptist Conventions. The 160-acre campus in Riverside, CA, features 10 schools and colleges that offer 76 bachelor’s degrees with Christ-centered...

“…i love how the general education courses are intergrated into the engineering department. the school helps you adjust to your new surrounding. the support with your classes is amazing.” – Richard from Corona, CA

Tiffin University

Tiffin University is a private, 4-year institution located in Ohio and founded in 1888. It is a military-friendly school and houses the first public building to be wired for electricity in the nation. Criminal justice and law enforcement...

“…Tiffin is a smaller university, but a good fit for those who are intent on focusing on learning. Classes are a bit on the easy side and parking can get hectic. Professor are very understanding though.” – Sophie from New Albany, IN

Roger Williams University

Roger Williams University is a private institution located in Bristol, RI, that was named for a 17th century visionary who advocated for religious liberty, equality, and a government free of religion. What began as a junior college back in 1956 is...

“…RWU is a fantastic school that thrives on building a student's academic performance. The staff and professors genuinely care about their students and will help them reach their life goals. It is truly a great place to learn.” – T from Stoughton, MA

Faulkner University

Originally founded as Montgomery Bible School, Faulkner University is a Christian liberal arts school in Montgomery affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Faulkner confers undergraduate degrees in over 70 academic majors and its honors program...

“…very proactive hands on teachers that are serious about helping you to learn.” – Colea from Montgomery, AL

University of New South Wales (UNSW-Sydney)

The University of New South Wales is an Australian public university in the Sydney metro area. UNSW is home to nine academic faculties conferring undergraduate degrees and is a member of the Australian coalition of research universities known as...

The University of Central Oklahoma is a 4-year public school in the Oklahoma City metro area and one of the oldest universities in the southwest United States. UCO oversees six colleges granting bachelor’s degrees in 121 areas of study and operates...

“…The University of Central Oklahoma is very beautiful inside and out. Campus is well kept, teachers are nice, and the education is top notch. I would recommend this school to anyone trying to further their education. 10 out of 10! ” – Justin from Edmond, OK

The College of Saint Rose

Located in Albany, the capital of New York, the College of Saint Rose is a liberal arts institution sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet. This 4-year institution is located in the Pine Hill neighborhood, which is noted for its...

“…This school is the prefect size for anyone. The programs are very good. Everyone makes you feel comfortable.” – Dylan from Slingerlands, NY

Kentucky State University

Founded in 1866, Kentucky State University is a public institution situated in Frankfort, KY. The school offers a liberal arts education and is also a land-grant institution. Popular majors at KSU include human development, nursing, and criminal...

“…Kentucky State University has been good to me overall. The professors and advisors are great here. However, the institution is only as great and fun as you make it.” – Chrysencia from Columbus, OH

St. Andrews University

St Andrews University is a public institution based in St. Andrews, Fife, and is the oldest university in Scotland. It is one of the most difficult universities in the UK to gain admittance to. St. Andrews University operates its own wind farm and is...

“…great programs, family-feel, small school” – Alexandria from Evans, GA

Holy Names University

Founded in 1868 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, Holy Names University is a 4-year Catholic school in Oakland. Holy Names grants undergraduate degrees in 15 academic programs. As a Catholic university, Holy Names celebrates mass on...

“…this university is a great institution. it has provided me with the best college experience. i feel part of a family here with all the students and faculty. ” – Maribel from Riverside, CA

Quincy University

Originally founded in 1860 as St. Francis Solanus College, Quincy University is a 4-year liberal arts college in western Illinois affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Quincy grants undergrad degrees in over 40 academic majors and provides a...

“…Quincy University is like a big family home. Everyone knows everyone for something or other. Everyone is very friendly, loving and accepting. ” – Philip from South Holland, IL

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott
The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ, is an institution focused on STEM programs. It is the first FAA-approved training center for airline certification in the US. The school is also home to the NASA Space Grant lab and the nation...

“…Embry-Riddle is a great university with dedicated educators. Be prepared to be challenged and incredible opportunities will unfold in front of you. If you love aviation then Riddle is the place for you.” – Andrew from Cave Creek, AZ

Cazenovia College

Cazenovia College is situated in Cazenovia, NY, and offers more than 35 undergraduate programs in liberal arts and professional studies. One of the smallest liberal arts schools in the region, Cazenovia features small classes and 96% of students...

“…cazenovia college is great for its size because it does have a lot more to offer then one would think. most of the people are friendly, and willing to get to know a diverse group of people. and the campus life overall is good if you are one that...” – Kara from Little Falls, NY

Corban University is a private, independent institution that provides a Christ-centered education outside of Salem, Oregon, situated on a forested hillside. Corban offers traditional on-campus degrees as well as five that can be completed entirely...

“…a fun, christian environment where you can fellowship with other believers and can learn a lot from a christian perspective. there are over 50 majors and programs available here, so it is very likely that you will find something you are interested in...” – Brandon from Sultan, WA

Originally founded as a school for immigrants in 1855, American International College is a 4-year liberal arts college in southern Massachusetts. AIC is home to three schools conferring bachelor’s degrees in over 40 academic majors. To help students...

“…This college is quite diverse and fit for an individual looking for a small school to fit in. small classes and lot of attention from professors” – Amoya from Springfield, MA

National Louis University
National Louis University is based in Chicago, IL, with satellite locations in Florida and abroad in Poland. NLU has historically stressed the importance of academics in early childhood education and founded the National Parent Teacher Association...

“…National Louis seems like a great place to go to school with a beautiful location and architecture. I found the best degree possible and will be getting a double major within two years! My advising counselor is really helpful and kind. ” – Aqsa from Niles, IL

Bay Path University

Named for a trail utilized by Native Americans, Bay Path University is an all-female undergraduate college in southern Massachusetts with co-educational programs at the graduate level. Bay Path confers bachelor’s degrees in 58 programs of study and...

“…the campus is small, friendly and welcoming to new and transfer students. it was a great education program and other majors. ” – Jessica from Longmeadow, MA

Walla Walla University

Walla Walla University is a private institution founded in 1892 and is founded on Christian teachings and values of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Walla Walla is rated as having a “selective” admissions process and orchestrates an honors program...

“…The teachers are always willing to help you, even if you just need to talk. The level of education and resources at this university are phenomenal; we have a wide variety of teachers that have excellent application experience to what they're teaching...” – Liliya from Alvarado, TX

Kingston University London

Located just 25 minutes from central London, Kingston University offers internationally-recognized qualifications and welcomes around 100 new students from the USA every year, with many more on Study Abroad and exchange programs. Founded in 1899, the...

Castleton University

Founded in 1787, Castleton University is a public liberal arts institution located in the rural town of Castleton, Vermont. It is the first institution of higher learning established in the state and home to the Jeffords Science Center, which is...

“…i love castleton state college; the fact that i can recognise people from all of my classes is my favorite part of going to a small school. the quality of education is amazing for the cost of tuition. ” – Jazmin from Vergennes, VT

University of Houston-Victoria is a state-funded institution and part of the U of H system. The school operates a satellite location in a suburb of Houston, Katy. UHV offers a Degree in Three program where students can graduate one year earlier in...

“…As with any university, you have good professors and those who are less than stellar. My classes are all online and sometimes the selection of online classes is limited. However, UHV is generally a really good school.” – Tammy from Roanoke, TX

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Originally founded as the only liberal arts college in the United States with a focus on Criminal Justice and Forensic Science, the CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a senior college of the City University of New York system in Manhattan....

“…amazing. john jay college has a great program for students considering law school. they have a dedicated faculty and a supportive staff. they understand the struggles that their students are facing and provide as much help as possible.” – Christine from New York, NY

The College of Saint Elizabeth is a private co-educational Catholic institution located in New Jersey, less than an hour train ride from New York City. Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth and as one of the first colleges to...

“…The college of Saint Elizabeth, also known as CSE, is a small learning community with incredible staff and students. Although it is a liberal art school, this institution provides a large variety of careers path that many students can choose from....” – Emelia from Newark, NJ

Saint Ambrose University

Founded in 1882, Saint Ambrose University is a private institution that provides a liberal arts curriculum in the “Catholic Intellectual Tradition.” Admissions are rated as “selective” and the campus is home to several buildings listed on the...

“…st. ambrose university is a small, liberal arts college. it is diverse in the acedemic and social possibilities for their students. laslty, it is a very warm and welcoming place, a home away from home. ” – Emily from Arlington Hts., IL

Alliant International University is a private for-profit institution based in San Diego, California. Alliant operates multiple campuses around the state and abroad in Mexico, Japan, and China. Students can opt for the “Fast-Track” and take graduate...

Maryville University of Saint Louis

Founded in 1872, Maryville University of Saint Louis is a 4-year private school in the St. Louis metro area. Maryville grants undergraduate degrees in over 65 academic majors featuring a comprehensive liberal arts and professional curriculum. In...

“…Maryville University welcomes all students right away. There are great teachers to learn from, students to become great friends with, and extremely helpful and energetic faculty members always there to help you along the way. Its definitely a home...” – Allison from Perryville, MO

Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus

Fairleigh Dickinson University operates two campuses in New Jersey, a metropolitan campus in Teaneck, and a suburban campus in Florham, which makes FDU the largest private university in the state. FDU offers a Two Worlds degree programs, which allow...

“…a school with great diversity and professors who are willing to help you with any problem you may have. the classes are small and can garentee you some one-on-one time with your professor! other than some personal financial problems, this school is...” – Joemarie from West New York, NJ

Martin Methodist College

Martin Methodist College is a liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It is located in the rural town of Pulaski, Tennessee, and operates centers in Spring Hill and Northfield, along with a virtual online campus. The Martin...

“…Martin is a very small school, only about 1,200 students, but that is the best part about it. It feels like home, the tight-nit community make the transition from high school to college a lot less stressful. All in all, Martin is a great school and a...” – Kara from South New Berlin, NY

The University of the Southwest is a 4-year Christian university in southeast New Mexico. Southwest is home to colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, and Education that offer 28 bachelor’s degree programs, including in Christian Studies. Student...

“…I would give the University of the Southwest a 8 I love everything about the school. They has small class size so the teacher has time to help and work one on one if you need it. Everyone is really nice and willing to help. There are many different...” – Sarah from Hobbs, NM

William James College is a psychology-oriented graduate institution established in Newton, Massachusetts. The college values experiential learning and offers many opportunities for field placement in a variety of potential settings. Students enrolled...

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago is a graduate school and member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology. The Chicago School uses a special model of education, The Engage Practitioner Model,...

“…You can get a high quality education from this school. Classes and people are quite fun and decent. Teachers care about your education, and help you out. ” – James from Chicago, IL

CUNY Graduate School and University Center

CUNY Graduate School and University Center is rated as a Doctoral University with Highest Research Activity and set in Midtown Manhattan. The graduate school is home to several research centers and promotes interdisciplinary research and...

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a graduate institution, with campuses in Chicago, Grayslake, Irvine, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. Academics at The Chicago School are focused on service learning and hands-on experience, allowing...

The University of Puerto Rico in Ponce is the only campus in the UPR system in the southern region of Puerto Rico. UPR Ponce is home to 12 academic departments and an honors program. To provide an opportunity for students to earn money while taking...

“…Its a perfectly competing university of the state of Puerto Rico and excels giving its students top notch education with well known professors recognized by their research.” – Juan from Ponce, PR

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a private, medical education institution with a campus maintained in Washington, DC. The college’s DC campus offers 18 academic programs that award master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and graduate...

The University of Puerto Rico-Carolina is a regional campus in the UPR system in northeast Puerto Rico. UPRCA is home to 11 academic departments and offers several bachelor’s degrees unique in the UPR system including Forensic Psychology, Interior...

“…The University of Puerto Rico at Carolina is student centered. The University of Puerto Rico at Carolina has a lot of Nature. The University of Puerto Rico at Carolina provides a great educational experience.” – Joel from Puerto Rico

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Irvine is a graduate university. Despite the midwestern city in its name, it’s located in the Los Angeles area. Because the Irvine campus features a large Latinx population, The Chicago School...

“…The Chicago School has great teachers who are active in their field and knowledgeable about current treatments and legal issues. However, some programs are only offered as online-blended, meaning less class time and more independent study, which may...” – Elizabeth from Fountain Valley, CA

Established in 1965, Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez is a private, Christ-centered institution located in western Puerto Rico. As one of the world’s 25 pontifical universities, PUCPR offers over 30 undergraduate and eight...

“…The best university in Business class. Accessibility Important” – Yasmin from Puerto Rico