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    The 25 Best Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology Degrees 2021

    July 27, 2021 | Staff Writers

    Forensic Psychology Degree

    What is Forensic Psychology?

    Forensic psychology combines the fields of criminology, law, and psychology. Forensic psychology is essentially the study of people’s mindset in regards to following or breaking the law. The aim of these studies is both to prevent crime and to rehabilitate criminals.

    What Can I Do With a Doctoral Forensic Psychology Degree?

    A doctoral forensic psychology degree is required to be a licensed practitioner. Some universities offer joint law and psychology degree programs that prepare students for licensure and a career in forensic psychology. Others offer an integrated forensic psychology degree. Graduates of a PhD in forensic psychology programs often work for police departments and government law enforcement agencies. Many practitioners also work as consultants. Some forensic psychologists also work at research institutions or teach at the university level.

    What Are the Requirements for Ph.D. Degrees From Forensic Psychology Colleges?

    The application requirements for Ph.D. degree programs at forensic psychology colleges are quite stringent. Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree, generally with a 3.5 minimum GPA. A master’s degree in general psychology or forensic psychology may help an applicant’s chances of being admitted, but strong applicants may be accepted immediately after receiving their bachelor’s degrees. Once in a doctoral forensic psychology program, students must complete three to four years of classes, at least one practicum (internship), and successfully submit a dissertation. The dissertation is usually composed of an in-depth research project.

    Rank School Location
    1University of WyomingLaramie, Wyoming
    2Florida International UniversityMiami, Florida
    3Sam Houston State UniversityHuntsville, Texas
    4John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew York City, New York
    5University of NevadaReno, Nevada

    The 25 Best Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology Colleges

    1

    University of Wyoming

    • Laramie, Wyoming
    • Graduation Rate: 54%

    The University of Wyoming offers an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Psychology and Law. This program prepares students to enter the field of forensic psychology. Students have the opportunity to get real-world experience in forensic psychology as part of the program.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $5,581 in-state; $18,151 non-resident
    Visit School Website
    2

    Florida International University

    • Miami, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 72%

    Florida International University has a top-ranked Legal Psychology program that can prepare students for a career in forensic psychology. Students have the opportunity to earn tuition waiver and a stipend with a teaching assistantship. Students also have access to world-class research facilities.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $6,565 in-state; $18,193 non-resident
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    3

    Sam Houston State University

    • Huntsville, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 67%

    Sam Houston State University‘s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program offers a Forensic emphasis. This program does forensic evaluations for many courts in the area surrounding Huntsville, TX. Students must complete a year-long practicum experience to graduate.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $8,536 in-state; $18,664 non-resident
    Visit School Website
    4

    John Jay College of Criminal Justice

    • New York City, New York
    • Graduation Rate: 43%

    John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, has an interdisciplinary doctoral program in Psychology & Law. This program prepares students to enter the field of forensic psychology. This program requires students to complete two practica experiences.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $7,470 in-state; $15,420 non-resident
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    5

    University of Nevada

    • Reno, Nevada
    • Graduation Rate: 53%

    The University of Nevada has a Social Psychology Ph.D. program with an emphasis in Social Psychology and Law/Justice. Students have the opportunity to work with two national judicial training centers. The program takes about five years to complete.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $8,034 in-state; $23,086 non-resident
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    6

    University of Nebraska

    • Lincoln, Nebraska
    • Graduation Rate: 67%

    The University of Nebraska offers a joint Ph.D./J.D. program in Psychology and Law that can prepare students for a wide variety of fields, including forensic psychology. Students will be able to get hands-on experience in both areas. Internships may be available with local law enforcement agencies.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $9,522 in-state; $25,828 non-resident
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    7

    University of Alabama

    • Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    • Graduation Rate: 68%

    The University of Alabama has a doctoral Clinical Psychology program with a concentration in Psychology & Law. This program is one of the oldest in the field, as it was established in 1971. Students will be able to get hands-on experience in research centers and with local law enforcement.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $10,780 in-state; $30,250 non-resident
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    8

    University of Texas

    • El Paso, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 37%

    The University of Texas – El Paso offers a leading doctoral program in Legal Psychology. This program can prepare students for work in the private sector, at government agencies, or in academia. Students have access to three different forensic psychology research laboratories.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $9,161 in-state; $21,524 non-resident
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    9

    Arizona State University

    • Tempe, AZ
    • Graduation Rate: 67%

    Arizona State University has an interdisciplinary Ph.D program in Law and Psychology. This program is aimed at preparing students for a career in academia. Students can complete the program in four to six years.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $11,338 in-state; $31,338 non-resident
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    10

    Albizu University

    • Miami, FL
    • Graduation Rate: 87%

    Albizu University is a small, Hispanic-oriented university. It has an excellent doctoral program in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Forensic Psychology. This program is intended to prepare students to work with Hispanic populations.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $12,444
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    11

    University of California

    • Irvine, California
    • Graduation Rate: 87%

    The University of California – Irvine is widely considered to be one of the finest public universities in the state, so it’s no surprise that it made our list. UCI’s program offers students teaching and research assistantship positions that provide a full tuition waiver and a stipend. This program takes about six years to complete.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $13,727 in-state; $43,481 non-resident
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    12

    Montclair State University

    • Montclair, New Jersey
    • Graduation Rate: 65%

    Montclair State University offers the top-ranked doctoral program in New Jersey. Its Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology degree program can include a specialization in Forensic Psychology. Students are required to complete a one-year internship before they can graduate.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $13,073 in-state; $21,033 non-resident
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    13

    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

    • Chicago, IL
    • Graduation Rate: 69%

    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is one of the few institutions of higher education that focus on one field, so it should be no surprise that its Forensic Psychology doctoral degree is highly ranked. Chicago School operates campuses all over the country, and this program is offered in Los Angeles and Irvine, CA. Students have opportunities for internships in correctional facilities and courts.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $21,564
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    14

    Spalding University

    • Louisville, Kentucky
    • Graduation Rate: 51%

    Spalding University offers one of the oldest and best-known forensic psychology doctoral programs in the country. The degree is technically a Clinical Psychology doctorate with an emphasis in Correctional and Forensic Psychology. Spalding is affiliated with Catholicism, but students of all faiths are welcome. Students will have an opportunity to complete an internship at a forensic or correctional site.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $25,200
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    15

    Palo Alto University

    • Palo Alto, CA
    • Graduation Rate: 30%

    Palo Alto University is a small private institution with an excellent doctoral program in forensic psychology. Its Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology degree offers an emphasis in Forensic Psychology. This program includes a 2,000-hour internship.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $22,755
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    16

    William James College

    • Boston, Massachusetts
    • Graduation Rate: 70%

    William James College is a private institution solely focused on psychology. It offers a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Forensic Psychology. Students must be accepted into the doctoral program, then apply separately to be accepted into the Forensic Psychology track.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $33,960
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    17

    Nova Southestern University

    • Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 62%

    Nova Southeastern University offers a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Clinical Psychology. The program is located on its main campus in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Students have the opportunity to do a joint MBA/Ph.D.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $32,110
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    18

    Cornell University

    • Ithaca, New York
    • Graduation Rate: 94%

    Cornell University is undoubtedly the most prestigious university on this list, as it is an Ivy League institution. It offers a dual Ph.D./J.D. program in Devalopmental Psychology and Law. This program takes students roughly six years to complete.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $57,222
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    19

    Florida Institute of Technology

    • Melbourne, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 57%

    The Florida Institute of Technology offers a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Forensic Psychology. Students must complete a year-long internship before graduation. There are internship opportunities available at correctional facilities.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $42,470
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    20

    University of Denver

    • Denver, Colorado
    • Graduation Rate: 79%

    The University of Denver has the leading Forensic Psychology doctoral program in Colorado. Students in the Clinical Psychology Psy.D. program can specialize in Forensic Psychology. Students are required to complete an internship after they have completed all coursework.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $52,515
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    21

    Pacific University

    • Forest Grove, Oregon
    • Graduation Rate: 58%

    Pacific University, which is based in Oregon, offers one of the leading Forensic Psychology doctorates in the Pacific Northwest. Its Psy.D. in Clinincal Psychology program offers a Forensic Psychology track. Students have to complete fieldwork, an internship, and two practica to ensure that they graduate with plenty of experience.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $46,402
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    22

    Widener University

    • Chester, Pennsylvania
    • Graduation Rate: 56%

    Widener University has a leading Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology that offers a Forensic Psychology concentration. Students must have one year of experience in the field to be considered for this program. Students will have the opportunity to complete a paid internship as part of their degree path.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $47,328
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    23

    Fairleigh Dickinson University

    • Teaneck, New Jersey
    • Graduation Rate: 39%

    Fairleigh Dickinson University offers a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a Forensic track. Students complete a year-long internship during the last year of the program. They must also complete a dissertation related to forensic psychology.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $42,220
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    24

    Drexel University

    • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Graduation Rate: 70%

    Drexel University has a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program with a Forensic Psychology emphasis. Students must serve as teaching assistants, which grants them a tuition waiver and a stipend. The program can be completed in four (if the student already has a master’s) or five years.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $54,516
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    25

    Fordham University

    • New York City, New York
    • Graduation Rate: 79%

    Fordham University offers a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Forensic Psychology. Students must complete a practicum where they diagnose mental disorders. Externship opportunities are available at correctional institutions.

    School Overview

    Tuition per year: $54,393
    Visit School Website

    How We Ranked These Institutions

    We considered each school’s tuition and graduation rate when creating these rankings. We considered only the in-state tuition rate if an institution charges different rates for in-state and non-resident students. To come up with each school’s final ranking, we took the yearly tuition rate and added a multiplier equal to the percentage of enrolled students who didn’t graduate. Example: School A has a yearly tuition rate of $10,000 and a graduation rate of 75%. The school will have a rating of 12,500 (10,000 x 125%). Lower ratings are better.

    If you work for one of the schools on this list and you want to ask a question or make corrections, feel free to contact us.

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