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

Criminal psychology involves study of the thoughts, intentions and reactions of criminals. Most degree programs related to this field are in forensic psychology. Forensic psychology is an interdisciplinary program that uses psychology and criminal justice to help judges, attorneys and other legal professionals understand the psychological findings of a particular case. Graduates may work in criminal justice, psychology, social work or law enforcement.

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Best Schools in the U.S. for Criminal Psychology

1. University of Denver in Denver, Colorado

The University of Denver (DU) was founded in 1864 and is located near downtown Denver. The School of Professional Psychology offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Forensic Psychology, a 2-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.

Graduates have found careers working with prosecutors of domestic violence cases, counseling at-risk youth, giving legal assistance to victims and providing outpatient treatment for substance abuse. DU was ranked 91st among graduate psychology programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2009 and is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Contact Information

  • Address: 2199 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208
  • Phone Number: (303) 871-2000

2. CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, New York

CUNY John Jay College is a liberal arts school located in Manhattan, dedicated to the study criminal justice and related fields. The college was ranked 121st among northern universities for 2011 and tenth among graduate criminology programs in 2009 by U.S. News & World Report.

The school has a Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology, which is an interdisciplinary program that looks at research methods, psychological theory and their application to the legal system. Coursework includes criminology, alcoholism and substance abuse, correctional psychology and family court.

The M.A. in Forensic Psychology program focuses on psychopathology, personality assessment and therapeutic techniques. Classes include 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 in psychology, counseling, social work or related field.

A Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.) program with a forensic psychology track leads to a clinical psychology Ph.D. and meets New York state licensing requirements for psychologists. Classes include ethics, gender and diversity issues, forensic evaluation, psychopathology and psychometrics.

Contact Information

  • Address: 899 Tenth Ave., New York, NY 10019
  • Phone Number: (212) 237-8000

Good Programs for Criminal Psychology in the U.S.

College/University Name Total Student Enrollment Address Phone Number
CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice 15,330 899 Tenth Ave., New York, NY 10019 (212) 237-8000
University of North Dakota 13,172 University Station, Grand Forks, ND 58202 (800) 225-5863
University of Denver 11,644 2199 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208 (303) 871-2000
Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus 8,804 1000 River Rd., Teaneck, NJ 07666 (201) 692-2000
Prairie View A & M University 8,608 FM 1098 Rd. & University Dr., Prairie View, TX 77446 (936) 261-3311
Florida Institute of Technology 8,227 150 W. University Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901 (321) 674-8000
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey 7,559 Jim Leeds Rd., Pomona, NJ 08240 (609) 652-1776
Roger Williams University 4,587 One Old Ferry Rd., Bristol, RI 02809 (401) 253-1040
California Baptist University 4,103 8432 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, CA 92504 (951) 689-5771
Saint Ambrose University 3,729 518 W. Locust St., Davenport, IA 52803-2898 (563) 333-6000
University of Houston - Victoria 3,655 3007 N. Ben Wilson, Victoria, TX 77901 (877) 970-4848
Marymount University 3,480 2807 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22207 (703) 522-5600
Tiffin University 3,429 155 Miami St., Tiffin, OH 44883 (800) 968-6446 x6446
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago 2,245 325 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 329-6600
Castleton State College 2,191 62 Alumni Dr., Castleton, VT 05735 (802) 468-5611
Sage College of Albany 2,056 140 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY 12208 (518) 292-1717
Prescott College 1,119 220 Grove Ave., Prescott, AZ 86301 (877) 350-2100
Thomas College 997 180 W. River Rd., Waterville, ME 04901 (207) 859-1111
St. Andrews Presbyterian College 600 1700 Dogwood Mile, Laurinburg, NC 28352 (910) 277-5000
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles 312 617 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90017 (213) 627-2580
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