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Many organizations, such as federal or local agencies, seek qualified graduates with degrees in criminal psychology. This degree helps people understand how a criminal's mind works. Curricula also cover the legal systems in place to prevent and address all kinds of crime.

Criminal psychology degree-holders might work in law enforcement, corrections, or legal services. They may also work in forensic psychology. A bachelor's degree in criminal psychology typically fulfills the education requirements for one of these high-profile careers.

Learners who want to work specifically in law enforcement should look for a hands-on degree that offers fieldwork. Students more interested in why people commit crimes may enjoy a degree with a psychology emphasis more.

This page ranks the best criminal psychology degrees. It also offers information on degree types, salary potentials, and careers for graduates.

What Kind of Criminal Psychology Degree Should You Get?

A degree in criminal psychology prepares learners to work in diverse fields, including private investigation, law, and forensic science. However, since these fields vary, students should research degrees that provide coursework in their career of interest.

In addition, a bachelor's degree should fit into learners' current life commitments. Working students can benefit from programs that provide both high academic quality and a flexible learning format. Our list of the best schools for criminal psychology includes both on-campus and online degrees.

Our list of degrees includes schools that offer both quality and affordability. Students unsure about which degree to pursue to meet their goals can look at our ranking of the best online colleges and universities.

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How Much Money Do People Make With a Degree in Criminal Psychology?

A bachelor's degree in criminal psychology prepares students for many careers. Average salaries and the potential for growth vary by the exact career degree-holders decide to pursue. People with many years of experience and additional education often earn higher salaries.

Graduates can become detectives and criminal investigators. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these professionals earn a median annual salary of $86,940. Criminal psychology degree-holders can also work as forensic psychologists. These psychologists earn median salaries of $82,180 annually. Top-earning forensic psychologists make more than $137,000 per year.

The BLS projects jobs for psychologists to grow 8% from 2020-2030, which is about as fast as the national average for all occupations. This growth amounts to the addition of 13,400 psychologist jobs each year on average.

What can you do with a degree in criminal psychology?

With a degree in criminal psychology, graduates can pursue a variety of careers. They might work as a crime analyst, FBI agent, or mental health counselor. Degree-holders may also become a correctional case manager or a forensic psychologist.

Many criminal psychology jobs focus on uncovering the psychological motivations that occur in the commission of crimes. Professionals may interview criminals or evaluate crime scenes to create a profile to assist law enforcement or to prevent crimes from occurring. Graduates could work for a local law enforcement office, a mental institution, or the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime.

What Are the Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Psychology?

To become a criminal psychologist, students take courses in many disciplines. After earning a bachelor's degree, students must earn a Ph.D. in psychology to become licensed psychologists.

Bachelor's in criminal psychology curricula include psychology and sociology courses. Students also take advanced coursework in criminal behavior and abnormal psychology. A high-quality degree in criminal psychology also includes hands-on, experiential classes. Some programs offer pathways to professional licensure with organizations like the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology.

Admittance to a bachelor's program in criminal justice requires a high school or GED diploma. Applicants should demonstrate strong communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Many schools request a high school GPA of at least 2.5. Some schools require SAT or ACT scores.

What Are the Best Criminal Psychology Degrees?

Prospective students should look for the degree that provides them with the flexibility and adaptability necessary for them to pursue their academic and personal goals.

The best programs provide high-quality education and are also affordable. Our list of the best schools considers the rigor of study provided by each program. When we compiled our list, we also factored in the school’s affordability. We determined affordability by the school's overall return on investment, as well as factors like retention, student satisfaction, and reputation among industry employers.

To learn more about the process we use to make our ranking decisions, take a look at our methodology page.

The list below features the schools that do not just have the best programs but are also the best choices for student satisfaction, affordability, and value. Check out the best criminal psychology degrees below.

#1

Florida Institute of Technology

School Information
Location Melbourne, Florida
Admission Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor's in forensic psychology program at Florida Institute of Technology, a private institution, earns top marks. The Melbourne-based school offers both in-person and online enrollment options. Undergraduates benefit from strong student support services and rigorous academics.

The program builds comprehensive skills and knowledge through both general education and major courses. Students complete general education requirements by taking classes in the social sciences, STEM, and humanities. Within the major, learners take upper-division courses that provide an advanced understanding of forensic psychology, preparing graduates for the job market.

Florida Institute of Technology at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 66%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 58

Undergrad Tuition In State: $41,720

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $41,720

Graduation Rate: 59%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $46,900

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#2

The College of Saint Rose

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Admission Rate 87%
Graduation Rate 61%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The College of Saint Rose offers 46 bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor's in forensic psychology. This program incorporates knowledge and skills that prepare students for many career paths. After completing a bachelor's degree, graduates can also pursue higher degrees to specialize their training.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces major principles and practices in forensic psychology. In addition to major coursework, undergraduates build communication and critical thinking skills in general education courses. Students can explore other interests by choosing a minor or a second major.

Student services supports incoming degree candidates academically and socially. For example, career counselors work with students to determine their professional goals and create a plan to reach them.

The College of Saint Rose at a Glance:

Location: Albany, New York

Type of School: private

Admissions Rate: 87%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $32,218

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $32,218

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#3

University of New Haven

School Information
Location West Haven, Connecticut
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 62%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor's in forensic psychology degree at University of New Haven, a private institution, stands out for its academic quality. Located in West Haven, Connecticut, the school serves students of all backgrounds through campus and online courses. Undergraduates benefit from rigorous academic standards and comprehensive college support services.

The program includes general education and major courses that emphasize key skills and knowledge. The general education curriculum includes classes in the humanities, mathematics, and communication. The major curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to the field, preparing graduates for entry-level roles in diverse industries.

University of New Haven at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 83%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 61

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $39,000

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $39,000

Graduation Rate: 62%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $40,500

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#4

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

School Information
Location New York, New York
Admission Rate 41%
Graduation Rate 52%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of arts in forensic psychology program at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice prioritizes accessibility in its course options. This program builds broad knowledge and skills that prepare students for entry- and mid-level careers. The degree also prepares graduates for master's-level programs, which open up additional career opportunities.

The bachelor's curriculum covers foundational and advanced criminology topics. Undergraduates also complete general education requirements, which strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills. Enrollees can explore other academic and professional interests by declaring a minor or a second major.

Incoming degree candidates benefit from the school's strong student services support. For example, career counselors recommend job training workshops and offer career assessments.

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice at a Glance:

Location: New York, New York

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 41%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,930

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,880

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#5

California Baptist University

School Information
Location Riverside, California
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 63%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

California Baptist University offers a total of 89 bachelor's programs, including a bachelor of arts in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology. With this degree, students can pursue entry-level careers in diverse industries. Graduates also meet the requirements for master's and doctoral programs by earning a bachelor's degree.

The curriculum includes foundational and advanced courses in forensic psychology. Undergraduates complete general education courses that strengthen communication, writing, and critical thinking skills. Students can gain interdisciplinary training by choosing a minor or second major.

The school's student services provide support for incoming degree candidates. For example, financial aid counselors work with enrollees to determine sources of educational funding such as grants, scholarships, and loans.

California Baptist University at a Glance:

Location: Riverside, California

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 78%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Undergrad Tuition In State: $32,942

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $32,942

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