Top Schools for Forensic Psychology Master's Degree Programs

A master's degree in forensic psychology could lead to a career in law, criminal justice or counseling. Keep reading to learn more about three top U.S. schools offering a master's program in forensic psychology, based on program options and number of degrees conferred. Schools offering Forensic Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top Forensic Psychology School?

You will need to earn a master's degree in psychology to become a Forensic Psychologist. Due to the competitive nature of the field, potential students should focus on earning a Ph. D. in Psychology. Specific fields of study include clinical and counseling psychology. State-required licensures and forensic certification programs are available after graduating. Good forensic psychology programs often offer students hands-on experiences through fieldwork and internships. Here are a few options.

What are Three Top Forensic Psychology Schools?

City University of New York - John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, NY

The City University of New York's (CUNY) John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Forensic Psychology. CUNY was selected as the top graduate school in forensic psychology because it offers you the flexibility to choose a program that fits with your career plans. A thesis option is available, if you want to focus on research and plan on pursuing a Ph.D. after earning the M.A. Alternatively, if you want to put your training into practice after graduation, you can work with licensed psychologists and other mental health professionals through the 300-hour externship option. Additionally, you could also complete both the externship and the thesis. A combined M.A. in Forensic Psychology and Juris Doctor program is also available.

This university awarded 79 master's degrees in forensic psychology in 2012-2013, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Faculty in the forensic psychology program are professionals in the field, and many have been certified as forensic psychologists by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Financial support for graduate-level research is available to eligible students through the college's Forensic Psychology Research Institute.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
  • MA/JD in Forensic Psychology and Law
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Forensic Psychology

Marymount University in Arlington, VA

Marymount University also offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology. Marymount's master's program in forensic psychology was the first of its kind in the Washington, D.C. area. In this program, you'll be introduced to such organizations as the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice and the state juvenile justice department through observations, research activities and in-class lectures. You'll get practical, hands-on experience through a required internship, and you also have the option of applying for a study abroad program in London.

Students can also earn a second degree in clinical mental health counseling alongside the forensic psychology degree. You'll be able to pursue research opportunities while you earn your degree and can participate in the school's chapter of Psi Chi, which is the national honor society in psychology, or the psychology club. Marymount University awarded 69 master's degrees in forensic psychology in 2012-2013, according to the NCES.

  • Master of Arts in Forensic and Legal Psychology

Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ

Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology at its metropolitan campus. FDU's forensic psychology faculty have performed extensive research in such areas as forensic assessment, characteristics of violence, law enforcement, forensic mental health and clinical assessment. Students gain hands-on experience through a mandatory externship. If you plan to continue your studies and earn a doctorate, you can also participate in the school's thesis program. FDU offers a combined B.A./M.A. in Forensic Psychology that can be completed in five years. FDU awarded 11 master's degrees in this field in 2012-2013, the NCES reported.

  • Accelerated Bachelor's and Master's degree programs in Forensic Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Ten Top Schools with Psychology Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocation
Duke University4-year, PrivateDurham, NC
University of California4-year, PublicLos Angeles, CA
University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign4-year, PublicChampaign, IL
University of Kansas4-year, PublicLawrence, KS
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities4-year, PublicMinneapolis, MN
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill4-year, PublicChapel Hill, NC
University of Pennsylvania4-year, PrivatePhiladelphia, PA
University of Washington4-year, PublicSeattle, WA
University of Wisconsin-Madison4-year, PublicMadison, WI
Yale University4-year, PrivateNew Haven, CT

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:

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