Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Psychology

Students interested in criminal psychology may consider programs offering bachelor's degrees in psychology with concentrations in criminal justice. These programs cover forensic psychology, psychological disorders, and causes of crime. An undergraduate degree can get you started in the field of criminal psychology, and some programs are available online. Schools offering Forensic Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Bachelor's Degree Programs Are Offered in Criminal Psychology?

If you're looking for a bachelor's degree program in criminal psychology, you will more commonly find Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree programs in psychology with a criminal justice concentration. Within either program, you will gain strong knowledge of the psychology of criminal behavior, the social impact of crime and the workings of the criminal justice system. You will also take into account what types of treatment options to use on specific offenders.

Program of Study Psychology major with criminal justice concentration
Common Courses Forensic psychology, substance abuse in the criminal justice system, victimology
Online Options Fully online programs available
Possible Careers Probation officer, substance abuse counselor, case manager
Median Salary (2019) $66,987 (for all forensic psychologists)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 11% growth (for psychologists, all other)**

Sources: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Topics Will I Study?

Your program generally combines core psychology courses with classes that are specific to criminal psychology and the criminal justice system. Core coursework may include classes in human relations, abnormal psychology, psychological research methods, social psychology, conflict resolution and child development. Some programs may require fieldwork or a senior capstone project.

Your criminal psychology courses may focus on the causes, treatment and impact crime has on certain communities. Courses may also discuss the psychological differences between different types of criminals. You could also study police effectiveness, biosocial crime and the psychology of urban life in addition to the role that race, gender and social status play in criminal activity. Other topics of study may include:

  • Criminal mind and psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Crime and causes
  • Psychological disorders
  • Treating substance abuse in the criminal justice system
  • Victimology (the study of victims)
  • Sex offenders

Are Online Programs Available?

You can find bachelor's degree programs that are entirely online. These programs typically follow the same coursework that traditional on-campus programs do. You must have access to a computer with an Internet connection. You will most likely communicate with your instructor through e-mail, telephone or online discussion boards. You'll be expected to complete specific assignments, but you will not need to attend real-time lectures or class meetings.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

A bachelor's degree in criminal psychology will not qualify you to become a criminal psychologist. You need at least a master's degree to work as a licensed or certified psychologist in the criminal justice field. A bachelor's degree can qualify you to assist criminal psychologists with corrections programs, or you could find such positions as:

  • Probation or parole officer
  • Corrections officer
  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Case manager
  • Rehabilitation advisor

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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