List of the Top Criminal Psychology Schools in the U.S.

Find out which top schools offer criminal psychology programs. Get information about why these schools stand out to decide if one of them is the right one for you. View article »

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  • 0:00 School Overviews
  • 0:51 The University of Denver
  • 1:16 CUNY John Jay College
  • 2:44 The Chicago School
  • 3:21 Top Criminal…

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

Criminal psychology involves study of the thoughts, intentions, and reactions of criminals. Preview several top schools in the field with these kinds of programs as well as a list of other exceptional institutions. Most degrees related to criminal psychology are offered in forensic psychology. Forensic psychology is an interdisciplinary field of study that uses psychology and criminal justice to help judges, attorneys, and other legal professionals understand the psychological findings of a particular case. Some of the most well regarded programs in this field are offered at the University of Denver, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. These schools stand out for the research opportunities and field experiences they offer to students, as well as their unique specialization options.

The University of Denver

The University of Denver School of Professional Psychology offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology, a two-year program that blends psychology with study of the civil and criminal justice systems. Coursework includes trauma and crisis intervention, forensic mental health, adult psychopathology, and psychology of criminal behavior. Students also engage in direct service through field placements, getting experience with diverse populations in a variety of settings.

CUNY John Jay College

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice, part of the City University of New York system, is dedicated to the study of criminal justice and closely related fields. It's also home to the Forensic Psychology Research Institute. The school offers an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology program that looks at the applications of psychological theory and research methods to the legal system. Coursework covers such topics as criminology, alcoholism and substance abuse, correctional psychology, and family court.

The Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology program focuses on psychopathology, personality assessment, and therapeutic techniques. Classes cover topics including crime scene analysis, violence and aggression, eyewitness identification, and terrorism. Students can elect to complete a thesis or perform a 300-hour externship under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. Graduates can practice psychology in the criminal and civil justice system or pursue further doctoral study. John Jay also offers a post-graduate certificate in forensic psychology for those who have earned a master's degree in psychology, counseling, social work, or a related field. A Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology program with a forensic psychology track leads to a clinical psychology doctorate and meets New York state licensing requirements for psychologists. Classes include ethics, gender and diversity issues, forensic evaluation, psychopathology, and psychometrics.

The Chicago School

Chicago School of Professional Psychology has locations in Chicago, Illinois and around the country. At the Chicago campus, both a master's and doctoral degree related to criminal psychology are available. The Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology program offers an online non-licensure track as well as campus-based counselor licensure tracks with generalist, sex offender, child protection, and corrections specializations. The latter option gives students the opportunity to study such topics as hostage negotiation and crisis intervention. A Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Forensic Psychology can also be earned.

Top Criminal Psychology Schools

Let's take a quick look at some other top-rated criminal psychology programs.

College/University Name Distinction Location
Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus Offers an accelerated Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology program that takes five and a half years to complete Teaneck, NJ
Florida Institute of Technology Offers the only Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology program in the state Melbourne, FL
Marymount University Offers a Master of Arts in Forensic and Legal Psychology program with an intelligence studies concentration Arlington, VA
Prairie View A & M University Offers a Master of Science in Juvenile Forensic Psychology program Prairie View, TX
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Offers a five-year dual Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program with a graduate forensic psychology track Pomona, NJ
Thomas College Students earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a forensic science concentration can enroll in the guaranteed job program Waterville, ME
University of North Dakota Home to the Northern Plains Center for Behavioral Research Grand Forks, ND

Many schools in the United States offer degrees in criminal psychology or a related field. Among these, the University of Denver, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology stand out as some of the best.

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