Best Degrees in Criminal Psychology

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Best Degrees in Criminal Psychology Badge

If you’re fascinated by both psychology and criminal justice, consider earning one of the best bachelor’s in Criminal Psychology.

The study of criminal psychology, or forensic psychology, bridges the gap between psychology and criminal justice. You’ll examine the biological, social, emotional, and cognitive components of human behavior. You’ll also explore how individual behavior impacts society as a whole.

Through theory, research, and hands-on practice, you’ll contemplate why people commit crimes and to prevent them. This knowledge prepares you for a variety of careers or graduate study in social work, psychology, law enforcement, or other criminal justice careers.

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What kind of bachelor’s degree in Criminal Psychology should you get?

Many careers in psychology and criminal justice will require an advanced degree. For example, professional counselors must have a master’s degree, and forensic psychologists, expert witnesses, and professors or researchers will need a doctoral degree.

Of course, whatever career you’d like to pursue, a bachelor’s degree is your first step. These programs are available both on-campus and online. Both formats have their advantages. However, online programs offer you the flexibility to complete coursework anytime, anywhere. If online programs appeal to you, check out our list of the Best Online Forensic Psychology Degrees.

How much money do people make with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Psychology?

With a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Psychology, your career and median salary options (per the Bureau of Labor Statistics) include:

  • Law enforcement officer: $63,380
  • Probation officer: $53,020
  • Crime scene analyst: $58,230

These careers are growing as fast or faster than average. Jobs for crime scene analysts, for example, are projected to grow by 17% over the next decade. If you choose to pursue graduate study, you’ll have additional career options with higher salaries.

What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Psychology?

A bachelor’s degree in Criminal Psychology can lead to jobs in law enforcement and crime scene investigation. You can also become a probation officer, a court liaison, or a victim’s advocate.

You may also choose to pursue graduate study in law, criminal justice, psychology, forensic psychology, social work, or other related fields. With a master’s degree, you can become a licensed counselor. With a doctorate, you can work in academia or as a forensic psychologist.

What are the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Psychology?

To apply for these programs, you’ll need to submit an application with your high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. You may be required to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

Once admitted to the program, you’ll take courses in psychology, crime analysis, criminal behavior, forensic psychology, theories of personality, and more. You may complete field experiences, research projects, and various presentations. Additional courses in professional ethics or psychology and law may be required. These programs generally take four years to complete.

What are the best bachelor’s in Criminal Psychology?

After a thorough investigation, we’ve concluded that the following programs offer the best bachelor’s in Criminal Psychology. We considered factors like school reputation, tuition cost, the overall return on investment, and accreditation.

All College Choice rankings rely on trusted sources including:

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • PayScale
  • U.S. News and World Report
  • Princeton Review
  • Official college and university websites and course catalogs

Choose any of the following programs, and you can rest assured that you’ll receive solid training in criminal psychology. Whether you plan to take your bachelor’s degree to graduate school, a courtroom, or into the field, these programs will prepare you to succeed.

  1. Florida Institute Of Technology
    Location

    Melbourne, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Florida Institute of Technology is a private university that was founded in 1958. With a total enrollment of fewer than 4000 students, this school offers all the resources of a national research institution with the hands-on, close-knit learning experiences of a small college. This global university attracts students from all fifty states and awards a number of bachelor and masters degrees in topics like civil engineering, environmental science, and, of course, criminal psychology. With an emphasis on community service and making a difference in the global community, Florida Techs program in criminal psychology is one of the most hands-on around.

    Program Features

    This program incorporates coursework in a variety of settings. For example, students will engage in thorough class discussions of real-world case studies, become involved in research studies regarding human behavior, or participate in applied work at one of many local internship sites. Faculty members are profoundly committed to making a difference in the world, and help students do the same by involving them in research, community activities, and professional services. Required classes include:

    Victim Studies and Advocacy Forensic Behavior Investigation and Identification Psychology of Learning and Motivation Personal and Professional Development

    Notables

    This school is ranked as a Tier One Best National University by U.S. News World Report and has been recognized as a Best Buy in college education by Barrons Guide. The school offers an excellent return on investment and has an ideal location close to many major employers. In addition to a degree in criminal psychology, the school also offers related programs in clinical psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, forensic psychology, and more. Numerous certification areas and graduate degrees are also available for students wishing to continue their education after completing a bachelors degree.

  2. The College Of Saint Rose
    Location

    Albany, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Albany, NY, the College of Saint Rose is a private university of fewer than 3000 students that offers an exceptional program in criminal psychology. Despite being relatively new, the program in Forensic Psychology at the College of Saint Rose features a strong, interdisciplinary curriculum design and is just one of a handful of degrees of this kind. This program is one of the most hands-on of its kind, allowing students to engage in research opportunities and internships. For example, many students work with expert faculty advisors to crack real-life cold cases in the Cold Case Analysis Center.

    Program Features

    This degree requires a total of 73 credits and is extremely integrative. Many students will go on to pursue a masters degree in counseling or a doctoral degree in a related subject like law or psychology upon graduation. This program requires a senior seminar capstone course and allows students to choose from three different program concentrations. They may pursue a legal concentration, a clinical concentration, or a basic degree depending on their specific career goals. A research honors concentration is also available.

    Criminal Behavior The Court Systems Forensic Psychology Biopsychology Abnormal Psychology

    Notables

    This degree is a great one to pursue if you are looking to obtain a job immediately after graduation it is incredibly popular and well-respected by industry professionals. Because Saint Rose is located in the central capital region of New York, students have the opportunity to explore discipline-specific internships in the field of forensic psychology. The city of Albany is ranked as one of the best among small metropolitan areas in the United States for providing students with opportunities outside of the classroom. Its also a top destination to work and live after graduation.

  3. University Of New Haven
    Location

    West Haven, CT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of New Haven is a private university that was founded in 1920 and is located in New Haven, CT. With a small enrolment of just 5,216 students, this school is ranked as one of the Best Colleges Regional Universities North by U.S. News World Report. With an ideal location just 80 miles from New York City, the school houses nearly 100 different undergraduate majors. Among them, the forensic psychology program at the University of New Haven is a bachelor of arts degree and features a unique additional concentration in psychology.

    Program Features

    This degree is housed in the prestigious Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and is highly interdisciplinary as it involves courses and faculty from the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences. Faculty are leaders and innovators in the discipline, bringing professional and academic experiences to the classroom. Students will engage in courses such as:

    Police and Investigative Psychology Theories of Personality Drugs and Behavior Cognitive Neuroscience

    Notables

    This school is continuously growing and offers cutting-edge programs that allow students to be engaged in their communities. Alumni are leaders in the field and work with current students to provide them with career and internship opportunities. The school was included in the Princeton Reviews The Best 382 Colleges guidebook and is also one of the few universities to be included as a member of The New American Colleges and Universities. This exclusive consortium consists of independent colleges that are dedicated to integrated liberal education, emphasizing professional studies, and granting students opportunities for civic engagement.

  4. Cuny John Jay College Of Criminal Justice
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in New York, NY, CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice was founded in 1965. As the name suggests, this school is dedicated to providing students with exemplary opportunities for research, service, and training in the fields of fire science, criminal justice, public safety, and public service. The bachelor of science in Forensic Science is a great choice for students who wish to better understand the role that creativity, problem-solving, and analysis play in solving and preventing crimes.

    Program Features

    This program requires 120 total credits for degree completion. It provides rigorous professional training for students who intend to work in forensic science laborites, or who want to work in another capacity regarding research, teaching, or medicine. The school has a heavy emphasis in chemistry and allows students to choose from three different tracks in Toxicology, Molecular Biology, or Criminalistics. Required courses include:

    Analytical Toxicology Forensic Pharmacology Forensic Science Laboratory Internship Toxicology of Environmental and Industrial Agents

    Notables

    This school is ranked as one of the best Regional University North as well as one of the Top Public Schools by U.S. News World Report. This is due in part to the schools dedication to student involvement and academic success. The average student-to-faculty ratio is just 18:1, and with an average freshman retention rate of 78 percent, its clear that students are satisfied with the high quality of education they receive at this urban college.

  5. California Baptist University
    Location

    Riverside, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    California Baptist University is a private university that was founded in 1950 in Riverside, CA. the university offers a wide range of degree options and is home to a whopping 75 bachelors programs with 159 different concentrations. The psychology degree at California Baptist enables students to choose from multiple different minors and concentrations. Several that are available include industrial and organizational psychology, medical anthropology, social work, sports psychology, and, of course, forensic psychology.

    Program Features

    California Baptists program in psychology explores the many ways that humans relate to each other, and particularly how those relationships are influenced by the mind. This program heavily emphasizes research, hands-on training, and theory, and is taught by Christian professors who have decades of practical experience in their chosen fields of study. Required courses include:

    Theories of Personality Abnormal Psychology Theories of Counseling History and Systems of Psychology Cognitive Psychology

    Notables

    California Baptist is one of the countrys premier Christian college, offering multiple programs and educational partnerships. The school offers flagship International Service Projects and United States Projects programs so that students may engage in dynamic cross-cultural experiences. These programs send students all around the world to participate in community-building projects that help to build upon their training and to give them marketable skills.

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