The Best Colleges for Criminal Psychology

December 20, 2022
By AdmissionSight

The Best Colleges for Criminal Psychology

What is criminal psychology?

So, what is criminal psychology? Criminal psychology is a subfield of psychology that examines offenders’ ways of thinking, as well as their behaviors and overall mental health.

The best colleges for criminal psychology trained students so that they can conduct criminal profiling, consult with law enforcement and police, and oversee clinical research to gain a deeper understanding of the mentality of a criminal.

A significant amount of public interest in forensic and criminal psychology can be attributed to the proliferation of popular culture.

Why study criminal psychology?

Criminal Psychology welcomes you to the field of understanding a criminal’s mentality when committing a crime. One can also investigate the criminal justice system and seek advocacy for government and federal-state entities that deal with criminals.

Thus, why should you study criminal psychology? Simply put, it provides a diverse range of professional options, including advocacy, forensic psychology or criminal psychology, law enforcement, research, and working with criminals themselves. They can also become advocates for victims.

What are the best colleges for criminal psychology?

The following are the best colleges for criminal psychology that you can take a look at:

Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Illinois

This institution has a particular emphasis on preparing students for careers in professional and applied psychology. It has over 4,000 students who come from all over the country rather than just Chicago itself, which is one of the reasons why it is one of the best colleges for criminal psychology in addition to its forensics program.

Young man talking to a couple while sitting on a chair.

Students have the opportunity to take psychology classes that incorporate simulations of real-life situations as part of their degree programs. In addition to that, it offers the following classes:

  • Master’s degree programs in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Psychology
  • Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Forensic Psychology

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

This college was ranked 15th for crime studies in the year 2019. Because of this, students who are interested in pursuing a career in criminal psychology have shown a great deal of interest in their curriculum.

View of the entrance of John Jay college.

It was established in 1965, and over the years it has been home to a large number of prestigious research academies, such as the Institute for Criminal Justice and the Ethics Academy of Critical Incident Analysis. The following kinds of programs are available through it:

  • Bachelor or Master’s in Forensic and Criminal Psychology
  • Twofold Master’s degree programs in Forensic Psychology and Juris Doctor (Along with New York Law School)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Psychology

The University of Missouri St. Louis

The Department of Criminology and Justice provides a variety of educational opportunities, including master’s, bachelor’s, and even doctoral degree programs. Students in their first years of college are required to attend classes that include death law, death advocacy, and corrections.

View of University of Missouri at sunset.

Ph.D. programs on the other hand typically allow students to take courses in criminology in addition to those in psychology. The program assists students in developing the skills necessary to succeed in the working world.

University of Denver, Colorado

You will gain an understanding of the in-depth psychoanalysis of criminals as well as criminal psychology when you are enrolled in their psychology faculty. They consist of many different kinds of information-filled deep pockets such as lab test reports, research papers, and other similar things. The following are some of the programs that they offer:

  • Master of Arts in Criminal and Forensic Psychology
  • Doctorate Programs for Clinical Psychology

View of University of Denver college building.

University of Pennsylvania

The psychology program at this college offers an interdisciplinary starting point, which includes the study of economics, law, psychology, and history. As the only school in the Ivy League that focuses on criminology, students at the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Criminology are expected to meet the standards of criminal psychology, bio-psychoanalysis, and the socio-political worlds. They place a significant emphasis on research as a component of their curriculum.

View of Upenn signage.

University of Maryland College Park

This educational institution provides students with access to a diverse selection of criminology and criminal psychology classes. Along with a wide variety of extracurricular activities, it provides students with the opportunity to participate in internships for academic credit.

Entrance of University of Maryland.

In addition to that, they provide students the chance to advance their careers by participating in a study abroad program or the Criminal Justice Student Association.

University of California, Irvine

With both undergraduate and graduate levels of study, the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at this university is consistently regarded among the best in the country. They investigate the complexities of criminal psychology as well as the socio-economic factors that contribute to criminal behavior.

UC Irvine pathway view

This course not only provides in-depth education regarding the psychoanalysis of offenders but also field placements, which include going on visits to police stations and the office of the public defender.

Florida State University

A four-year undergraduate program in criminal psychology is available, during which students learn foundational information in criminology, sociology, and history at Florida State University.

Florida State University view at day time.

Columbia University

After graduating from this college with a degree in forensic psychology from the Department of Forensic Psychology, you can pursue a career as a criminal psychologist and be asked to work at police stations.

front building of american university

The psychological examination of deviant behavior is the primary emphasis of this study. It consists of more advanced instruction in topics such as criminal psychology, criminology, advocacy, and so on.

Bay Path University

The courses offered at this university have a strong focus on the psychological and social underpinnings of criminal behavior, as well as the effects that behavior has on communities.

a female psychologist looking at the camera smiling

Even though it is a private university, the fact that students have direct interaction with the requirements of criminals of both sexes makes it an attractive option for those who are interested in pursuing a career in the field of criminal psychology.

What should I look for in a criminal psychology program?

Given the wide variety of options among the best criminal psychology programs, the next step is to choose one. So, what should I look for in a criminal psychology program?

When choosing a school or college, make sure that the programs provide a solid understanding of the criminal justice system in general and especially cater to the forensic psychology sector.

They should also be strong in a range of research topics in the criminal justice system, particularly those dealing with criminal behavior and mental health.

You should also be concerned with a well-experienced teacher and department. It is preferable to enroll in a program with a national level of academic success. This is because, in addition to criminal psychology, they provide courses in history, general psychology, and sociology.

What are the admission requirements for criminal psychology?

The standards needed to get into a school can differ from one to the next. In most cases, institutions require prospective students to submit the following information:

Certain universities offer a degree in forensic psychology that may remove parts of these prerequisites, while others may ask for additional information.

What are the careers in criminal psychology?

Graduates who have attended the best colleges for criminal psychology and earned a degree have numerous job options available to them. They might work as a forensic investigator, FBI agent, or counselor in mental health facilities. They also have the option of working in the criminal justice system as forensic psychologists or correctional case managers.

Many occupations in the field of criminal psychology are centered on the investigation of the psychological factors that play a role in the conduct of crimes. Interviews with criminals and analyses of crime scenes can be conducted by trained professionals in order to aid law enforcement and reduce the likelihood of future criminal activity. Students who successfully complete the program may find employment at the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, a local law enforcement agency, or a mental health facility.

If you are interested in this career path and you want to attend one of the best colleges for criminal psychology, it is best to have a head start on your college application.

Over the past decade, AdmissionSight has become an industry leader in helping students gain admission to selective institutions throughout the world. We have one of the best success rates in the business, with 75% of our students being accepted to elite institutions like Stanford, MIT, UChicago, and Caltech. Please feel free to contact us right away to schedule your preliminary consultation.


Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.