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Top Forensic Psychology Schools in the U.S.

According to PhDs.org, each year less than 0.1 percent of all social and behavioral sciences graduates earn a forensic psychology degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, reports that forensic psychology job opportunities will grow by 18 percent through 2020.

The reason may be that forensic psychology programs are few and far between. In the history of forensic psychology, only 22 colleges in the U.S. offer training at any level in this subject. Programs at the master’s level are most common. There are only three doctoral programs for forensic psychology in this country.

A listing of all 22 forensic psychology schools can be found at the end of this article.

Top Five Forensic Psychology Schools

When looking for a forensic psychology program, look for faculty who specialize in this concentration. Course offerings in legal assessment techniques are also useful; these skills come in handy when working with police, attorneys and others in the criminal justice system. Programs with internship opportunities are also advantageous. Of course, also consider a school’s placement record. The best programs place the majority of graduates in related careers or graduate school.

The top five schools for forensic psychology, as compiled by degreedirectory.org, are listed below.

CUNY: John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a specialized campus of City College New York, is ranked no. 10 by U.S. News in Best Grad Schools in Criminology. The school is also ranked no. 38 in Top Public Schools nationwide.

The school is home to the Forensic Psychology Research Institute and the Center for Crime Prevention and Control. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice is one of the three schools in the nation to offer a doctoral program in psychology and law. Programs in forensic psychology offered through the John Jay College include:

  • Master of Arts in Forensic Mental Health Counseling
  • Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
  • Master of Arts Juris Doctor in Forensic Psychology and Law
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science
  • Doctor of Psychology and Law

John Jay CollegeCity University of New York
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
445 W. 59th St., Room 2131N
New York, NY 10019

Michigan State University: School of Criminal Justice

Michigan State University is the oldest continuous degree-granting program in criminal justice. The Forensic Science Master’s program provides instruction in theoretical and practical forensic psychology. Students may choose from one of three concentration areas: forensic chemistry, forensic biology or forensic anthropology.

The school is ranked no. 7 in Criminology by U.S. News and no. 28 in Top Public Schools.

MSU_logoMichigan State University
School of Criminal Justice
560A Baker Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824


Fairleigh Dickinson University

The program at Fairleigh Dickinson University is designed to offer students the maximum possible exposure to the broad field of forensic psychology coupled with a streamlined curriculum that allows for completion 18 months. Students are exposed to all of the areas of forensic psychology practice and gain invaluable clinical experience through the completion of a 300-hour externship placement. Students also have the option to participate in forensic research and complete a thesis and have access to the school’s new, state-of-the-art cybercrime lab.

The school’s seven core faculty members, including a criminologists and sociologist, all hold doctoral degrees in clinical, social and experimental psychology. Located in the greater New York area, a number of opportunities for research, internships and job placement are available to graduates.

Fairleigh_Dickinson_University_logoFairleigh Dickinson University
Metropolitan Campus
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666


Roger Williams University

The Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology is designed to prepare students to provide assessment and treatment services in a forensic setting or for further training at the doctoral level. Students will be trained in psychological testing, treatment, research methodology and psychopathology. Internships and practica are available at a variety of forensic sites. Experiences include the areas of group psychotherapy, sex offender treatment, individual psychotherapy, psychological testing and specialized assessment techniques.

Students have the opportunity to study alongside experienced forensic psychology faculty and publish findings in the Journal of Research in Psychology.

Roger Williams UniversityRoger Williams University
School of Justice Studies
One Old Ferry Road
Bristol, RI 02809


University of Denver

U.S. World News ranks the University of Denver in its Top 100 National Universities. The college features three full-time forensic psychologists among its faculty.

The Master of Arts in forensic psychology was first offered at the GSPP in 1999 in response to the growing interest in the rapidly developing field of forensic psychology. It is designed to train students to become mental health professionals, able to work in a variety of clinical settings within the criminal and civil legal system, including but not limited to: adult, juvenile and child populations; victim assistance; police consultation; correctional institutions; domestic violence and child abuse programs; and trial consulting.

Denver UniversityUniversity of Denver
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
2460 South Vine Street
Denver, CO 80208


Alliant International University
10455 Pomerado Road
San Diego CA 92131-1799
American International College
1000 State Street
Springfield MA 1109
California Baptist University
8432 Magnolia Ave
Riverside CA 92504-3297
Castleton State College
62 Alumni Dr
Castleton VT 5735
Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago
325 N Wells Street
Chicago IL 60654
Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles
617 W 7th St
Los Angeles CA 90017
College of Saint Rose
432 Western Ave
Albany NY 12203-1490
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Rd
Teaneck NJ 7666
Florida Institute of Technology
150 West University Boulevard
Melbourne FL 32901-6975
Graduate School and University Center
365 Fifth Ave
New York NY 10016
Holy Names University
3500 Mountain Blvd
Oakland CA 94619-1699
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
899 Tenth Ave
New York NY 10019
Marymount University
2807 N Glebe Rd
Arlington VA 22207-4299
Mount Ida College
777 Dedham Street
Newton MA 2459
Prescott College
220 Grove Ave
Prescott AZ 86301
Roger Williams University
One Old Ferry Rd
Bristol RI 02809-2923
Saint Ambrose University
518 W Locust St
Davenport IA 52803-2898
St Andrews Presbyterian College
1700 Dogwood Mile
Laurinburg NC 28352
Tiffin University
155 Miami Street
Tiffin OH 44883
University of Denver
2199 S. University Blvd
Denver CO 80208

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