Master's and doctoral degree programs in forensic psychology are available from several top institutions in the United States. Explore a handful of these schools and learn what makes their programs distinct. The three schools we profile offer graduate degree programs in psychology and are also highly ranked among their peers. Forensics is a very specialized field and program requirements may include the completion of an internship or externship, a clinical competency exam, submission of a thesis, and/or participation in work-study programs for gaining experience in the field. Students may elect to earn a master's or doctoral degree in forensic psychology, although not all programs are offered by all schools. Explore two of U.S. News & World Report's top-ranked schools and one top school that offers multiple concentrations in forensic psychology.
University of Denver in Colorado
The University of Denver is a private university with high research activity, as classified by the Carnegie Foundation in 2015. In 2013, the university was tied for #92 among U.S. News & World Report's top psychology programs. In 2017, the school was tied for 86th in U.S. News & World Report's ranking of top universities in the nation.
The Graduate School of Professional Psychology offers a two-year, full-time Master in Forensic Psychology program. Students must pass an oral clinical competency exam in their second year and are required to participate in an internship. 29% of alumni have gone on to doctoral programs, and 71% have found employment in law firms, government settings, and mental health facilities. Through the curriculum and internship components, students acquire the knowledge and skills needed for the application of psychological theory in criminal and civil justice systems.
CUNY John Jay College
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a liberal arts college and research institution that is part of the City University of New York (CUNY). It was ranked 10th on U.S. News & World Report's list of top graduate schools with criminology programs in 2009.
The John Jay College offers several forensic psychology degree programs, including an M.A. and two Ph.D. programs. The M.A. in Forensic Psychology prepares students for careers in the civil and criminal justice systems and requires either a 300-hour externship or the completion of a thesis. The clinical psychology track of the Ph.D. program trains students to become licensed psychologists and requires competency in forensic applications and scholarship. Graduates may work in assessment and intervention or in a forensic practice. Ph.D. candidates in the program's experimental forensic psychology track are prepared for academic, applied research, and advisory positions for and within the justice systems. The department of psychology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice also offers a 4-year M.A. in Forensic Psychology/J.D. in partnership with New York Law School.
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The Chicago School
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago is a not-for-profit school that offers an array of degree programs in psychology. The school's Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Forensic Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and offers concentrations in adult, child and family, forensic neuropsychology, and law enforcement. The school offers an M.A. in Forensic Psychology that is a non-licensure track or an M.A. in Psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology. Both of these programs are offered online. The Doctor of Psychology in clinical forensic psychology has four concentrations available and takes four years to complete. Students have access to the Chicago School's Forensic Center to gain valuable hands-on experience in the field. Coursework includes topics like psychopathology, forensic assessment and violence, and risk assessment.
Top Forensic Psychology Programs
Here are some additional top forensic psychology graduate programs and some of the degrees they offer in the field:
|Holy Names University||Oakland, CA||Offers a dual master's degree program in counseling psychology and forensic psychology|
|Marymount University||Arlington, VA||Offers an M.A. in Forensic and Legal Psychology/M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program|
|Prairie View A&M University||Prairie View, TX||Offers an M.S. in Juvenile Forensic Psychology program with thesis/externship options|
|Prescott College||Prescott, AZ||Students in the limited-residency M.A. in Humanities program can design a forensic psychology curriculum|
|Roger Williams University||Bristol, RI||Has a full-time M.A. in Forensic Psychology program that offers thesis/non-thesis options, depending on students' career goals|
|Tiffin University||Tiffin, OH||Offers an M.S. in Criminal Justice with a concentration in forensic psychology|
|University of North Dakota||Grand Forks, ND||Has a M.S. in Forensic Psychology program that is offered on campus, as well as an M.A. in Forensic Psychology program that is offered online for working professionals|
Students can pursue a master's or doctoral degree in forensic psychology from some of the top schools in the nation, including the University of Denver. These top graduate programs stand out in the specializations and hands-on experiences that they offer.