Dennis J. Stevens, PhD
Forensic Psychologist

How do I become a forensic psychologist?

Forensic psychology, according to the Society of Police and Criminal Psychology is one of the newer disciplines in psychology, and does not yet have one formal, structured path to the profession, but we can identify a path that most forensic psychologists have taken. The vast majority of psychologists who work regularly within the legal system have a doctoral degree and received their graduate training in clinical psychology or (less frequently) counseling psychology. This makes sense when you realize that many of the activities of forensic psychologists are clinical/applied in nature. They obtained their knowledge of forensic psychology through on-the-job training and experiences, post-graduate educational and training opportunities, and attendance at professional meetings conferences. Of the forensic psychologists who do only research, many are I/O or social psychologists.  

Until recently, there were very few graduate programs that offered even one course in forensic psychology, let alone an entire "track."  Now we are beginning to see forensic tracks in some of the clinical training programs, and a few programs devoted to training psychologists to do forensic research, including some masters programs. 

Educational Opportunities in Police and Criminal Psychology

Many of these programs can be found listed at the website of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology. The SPCP lists the following opportunities for training in police and criminal psychology for the convenience of individuals using our site. We do not control or make any warranty concerning the value of any academic program listed below.

Listings of Psychology Degree Programs
All Psychology Schools

Criminal Justice Degrees

Guide to Online Schools


Individual Degree Programs
Adler School for Professional Psychology
Victoria Priola-Surowiec, Psy.D.
Director, Police Psychology Program
Adler School of Professional Psychology
65 E. Wacker Place
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 201-5900

Alliant International University, Ph.D. and Psy.D. in Forensic Psychology
Eric Hickey, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Forensic Studies
Alliant International University
5130 E. Clinton Way
Fresno, CA 93727
(559) 456-2777

Argosy University, M.A. in Forensic Psychology and M.A. in Professional Counseling/Forensic Specialty
1550 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 600
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 243-5300
866 703-2777 

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Masters of Arts Program in Forensic Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
325 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL  60610
(800) 721-8072;
(312) 322-3150

Drexel University (formerly Hahnemann University), Ph.D. / J.D. Program
Dr. Richard Redding & Dr. Naomi Goldstein, Co-Directors
Law-Psychology Program
Drexel University
Broad and Vine
Mailstop 625
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1192
(215) 762-8084

Florida International University, Applied Psychology Program with Specialty Track in the area of Law/Psychology
Dr. Margaret Bull Kovera
Department of Psychology
University Park Campus
Florida International University
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 919-5959

Forest institute of Professional Psychology, Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology with Optional Specialization in Forensics or Corrections.
Andrew Lundgren
Admissions Counselor
The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute
2885 W. Battlefield Rd
Springfield, MO 65807
417-823-3455 or 800-424-7793 (Phone)
417-823-3442 (Fax)

Honolulu Police Department, Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Police Psychology
Herbert M. Gupton, Ph.D., ABPP
Human Services Unit
Honolulu Police Department
715 S. King Street, Suite 500
Honolulu, HI  96813
(808) 723-7722

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
James S. Wulach, Ph.D., J.D.
Graduate Coordinator in Forensic Psychology
Forensic Psychology Department
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
445 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 237-8782

Marymount University, M.A. in Forensic Psychology
2807 N. Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 284-5901

Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology with a Forensic Specialization Track
221 Rivermoor Street
Boston, MA  02132
(617) 327-6777

Prairie View A & M University, Masters of Science in Juvenile Forensic Psychology
Dr. M. Denise Lovett, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Prairie View A & M University
P.O. Box 4017
Prairie View, TX  77446
(936) 857-2170

Roger Williams University, Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Office of Graduate Admission
One Old Ferry Road
Bristol, RI  02809
(866) 264-9768

Simon Fraser University, Law and Psychology Ph.D. Program and Clinical-Forensic Psychology Ph.D. Programs
Dr. Don Read, Professor & Director
Graduate Program in Law and Psychology
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6
(604) 291-3354

University of Alabama, Clinical Training Ph.D. Program, Psychology-Law Concentration
Department of Psychology
University of Alabama
Box 870348
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0348
(205) 348-5083

University of Arizona, J.D. / Ph.D. Program
Dr. Bruce Sales, Director
Psychology Policy and Law Program
Department of Psychology
University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721
(520) 621-7447

University of British Columbia, Forensic Psychology M.A. or Ph.D. Programs
Dr. Donald G. Dutton, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C. CANADA V6T 1Z4
(604) 822-2755

University of Denver, J.D. / M.A. Program
Dr. Norman Watt, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
2155 South Race Street
University of Denver
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 871-3680

University of Illinois at Chicago, Ph.D. with minor in Psychology and Law
Dr. Bette Bottoms, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology (M/C 285)
University of Illinois at Chicago
1007 W. Harrison St.
Chicago, IL 60607-7137
(312) 996-3036

University of Kansas, Ph.D. in Social Psychology with Emphasis on Psychology and the Law
Dr. Lawrence S. Wrightsman
Department of Psychology
426 Fraser Hall
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045
(913) 864-4131

University of Liverpool, M.Sc. in Forensic Psychology & Criminal Investigation
A 100% online program offered in partnership with Laureate Online Education B.V
De Entree 11-13
1101 BH Amsterdam Z.O.
The Netherlands
Program goals and curriculum:

University of Nebraska--Lincoln, J.D. / Ph.D. Program, J.D. / M.A. Program, Ph.D. M.L.S. (Master of Legal Studies) Program, Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology, and Postdoctoral Training Programs
Dr. Richard L. Wiener J.D./Ph.D.
Law and Psychology Program
209 Burnett Hall
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0308
(402) 472-3121

University of Melbourne, M.Crim. and Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology
Dr. Tony Ward
Department of Psychology
University of Melbourne
Melbourne 3010, Australia

University of Nevada-Reno, Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Social Psychology with Specialty Training in Legal Psychology
Dr. Ronald C. Dillehay, Ph.D
Center for Justice Studies/313
Universityo f Nevada-Reno
Reno, NV 89557
(702) 492-6636

University of Texas at El Paso, Ph.D. in Psychology and Law
Dr. Harmon M. Hosch, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology University of Texas at El Paso El Paso, TX 79968-0533 (915) 747-5551

University of Virginia, Ph.D. in Community, Social or Clinical Psychology
Department of Psychology
102 Gilmer Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22901

Widener University, Psy.D. / J.D. Program
Dr. Amiram Elwork, Ph.D./J.D.
Director, Law-Psychology Program
One University Place
Widener University
Chester, PA 19013-5792
(610) 499-1206

Additional  information about training opportunities in law and psychology are available from:
The American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of APA) (A product of APA)
All Criminal Justice Schools: A guide to Education and Careers in Criminal Justice
All Psychology Schools: A guide to Psychology Education and Careers