Forensic Psychology Graduate Programs and Schools in Minnesota [2024]

Last Updated: May 26, 2024

As far as psychology concentrations go, forensic psychology is one of the newer fields of inquiry and practice. Yet, it has exploded in popularity in recent years, thanks in large part to the portrayal of forensic psychologists in popular TV shows and movies.

While art doesn’t always imitate life, forensic psychology is nevertheless an exciting field. Depending on your area of employment, you might work with law enforcement, in attorney’s offices, or in private practice. Of course, before doing so, you must get a relevant education.

There aren’t many forensic psychology programs in Minnesota. However, you can explore many online forensic psychology degree options. Below is a list of in-state programs to begin your studies and some of the popular online options to explore as well.

Forensic Psychology Programs in Minnesota

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering forensic psychology programs in Minnesota:

  • Hamline University
  • Capella University
  • Walden University
  • Arizona State University
  • Maryville University
  • Southern New Hampshire University

Hamline University

Hamline University was founded in 1854 before Minnesota was even a state. Not only was Hamline the first university in the Minnesota Territory, but it was also among the first co-educational colleges in the nation. That trailblazing history includes many other firsts, including the first school in Minnesota to confer a master’s degree to a woman, the first medical school in Minnesota, and hosting the first intercollegiate basketball game – all before 1900!

Today, Hamline has roughly 4,000 students. The small student body means the university also has small class sizes. In fact, the student-to-teacher ratio is just 13:1. Nearly half of Hamline students are the first in their families to attend college, and about 44 percent of students are minorities, making Hamline a highly diverse school. If you enroll, you will be eligible for a work-study program that pays $3,000 toward your education. Nearly all of Hamline’s students also receive grants or scholarships.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from Hamline University is unique in that it’s an interdisciplinary degree that combines teachings from psychology, criminal justice, and legal studies. It is the only such program in the state.

You can pursue this concentration as part of your major in any of the three areas listed above. In each case, you will need about four years of full-time study to complete your degree. The psychology and legal studies options culminate with a Bachelor of Arts, while the criminal justice option results in a Bachelor of Science.

This concentration includes coursework in:

  • Courts and Testimony
  • Legal Systems in American Society
  • Theories of Criminal Behavior
  • Psychopathology
  • Forensic Psychology and the Law

In all, you must complete 27 credits in the forensic psychology concentration to complete the program (in addition to the requirements needed to complete your bachelor’s degree).

You can start your online application to Hamline University. To qualify for admission as a first-year student, you must submit official high school transcripts. You can also submit SAT or ACT scores and letters of recommendation to support your application, though these are not required.

Walden University

Walden University was founded in 1970 in an effort to increase access to higher education. In those days, Walden focused on pathways for educators to complete a doctorate. Today, Walden, which is headquartered in Minneapolis, is known nationwide as an online university with a host of majors and degree programs for working adults. It is a private, for-profit university with numerous professional accreditations. Walden is also regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The advantage of pursuing your forensic psychology degree from Walden is that you get flexible options for finishing your program. Walden offers various types of learning formats to suit your needs. For example, you can take courses in a structured format that’s akin to traditional learning. Alternatively, you can try Tempo Learning, which is a work-at-your-own-pace format.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The Master of Science in Forensic Psychology program from Walden University is a 48 quarter credit program that can be completed in as little as two years. The program includes foundation and core courses, forensic psychology specialization courses, and a capstone or field experience.

As part of your studies, you will take classes in:

  • Cybercrimes
  • Family Violence
  • Police Psychology
  • Victimology
  • Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology

Though this degree does not lead to licensure, it is good preparation for a Ph.D. program in forensic psychology. You can use this master’s degree to seek non-licensure positions in this field as well.

When applying for jobs, employers want to see you have relevant field experience. You’ll get that experience in an optional 11-week field placement in a location applicable to your specialty. You’ll work 60 hours at the field site and get practical experience applying your online learning to real-world situations.

You can apply to this program online at any time. You must have a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for admission to this program. You must also submit official undergraduate transcripts showing that a bachelor’s degree has been conferred.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University is one of the largest universities in the nation. In addition to more than 80,000 students studying on campus, there are more than 62,000 students online. That means ASU has more than 142,000 students in the ASU system. As a result, ASU is one of the most diverse colleges in the country, both in terms of student demographics and the courses and programs offered.

For example, the university has over 400 bachelor’s degree programs between its physical and online campuses. There are also more than 550 graduate degree and doctoral degree programs. With many programs online, you can earn a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree from ASU without ever stepping foot on campus.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

Arizona State offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with an available concentration in forensic psychology. This online program is available to students worldwide, so you can get the foundational education required for a career in forensic psychology from the comfort of your home in Minnesota.

This is a typical 120-credit undergraduate program. While most students need four years to complete a program like this, you could finish it in as little as three years if you take extra classes each semester.

Taking courses during the summer session will also help you speed up the timeline to graduation. Adding extra courses to your schedule is made easier because each class is just 7.5 weeks long. Taking fewer courses at a time allows you to concentrate on mastering the skills of each course more thoroughly.

As part of your studies, you will take courses like:

  • Forensic Psychology
  • Personality Theory and Research
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Psychology and Law

Completing this bachelor’s program sets you up nicely for getting a master’s degree in forensic psychology. Many entry-level jobs in this field are also available with a bachelor’s degree.

The admissions requirements for first-year students at ASU are quite stringent. You must meet essential competency standards to be considered. You must also be in the top 25 percent of your graduating class and have a 3.0 GPA or above.

Maryville University

Maryville University was founded in 1872 in Missouri on a site that includes rolling hills, lakes and creeks, and forests. The idyllic setting makes for a peaceful learning environment. However, Maryville is perhaps better known for its extensive online campus that allows you to get a degree without living in Missouri. In fact, more than 6,400 students study at Maryville through the online campus (compared to about 10,000 onsite).

With almost 100 degree programs – about half of which are available online – Maryville gives you plenty of options for completing your college education. If you’re just starting your college experience, one of Maryville’s online bachelor’s degree programs is a great place to start.

As an online university, Maryville gives you the ability to complete your degree without ever stepping foot on campus. Better still, you can continue your education and get a master’s or doctorate completely online as well.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

Maryville’s online bachelor’s degree in Forensic Psychology offers you multiple levels of flexibility for completing your degree. There are no campus requirements or field experiences, so the degree can be completed 100 percent online. Furthermore, you can start the program in the spring, summer, or fall terms – whichever one fits your schedule the best.

This interdisciplinary program combines the studies of psychology, social science, and criminal justice. As such, you will take courses in each area, giving you a wide range of expertise that will be useful for entry-level forensic psychology positions or for pursuing a graduate degree.

Your coursework for this degree includes:

  • Psychology core courses like Introduction to Psychology and Abnormal Psychology
  • Social science research courses that familiarize you with experimental design, data analysis, and statistical methods
  • Criminal justice core courses like Criminal Procedure and Criminal Justice Theory

This program also requires a 135-150 hour practicum experience, during which time you will learn how to apply forensic psychology principles in a relevant professional setting.

To apply as a first-year student, you must complete the online admissions process. You must provide official high school transcripts as part of your application.

Forensic Psychology Work Opportunities in Minnesota

Because of the portrayal of forensic psychologists in pop culture, many people who enter this field might think the only option is to work as a profiler for the FBI. And while this is certainly an option – the FBI has a field office in Minneapolis – it is just one of many pathways you might pursue.

For example, with a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology, you might work as a victim advocate for the court system. A victim advocate is just what it sounds like – someone to advocate on behalf of the victims of crimes. Advocates often attend hearings with victims, communicate with attorneys on the victim’s behalf, and might also provide basic counseling and support services.

More careers open up for you if you get a master’s degree in forensic psychology, though. This is particularly true if you complete a licensure track master’s degree and become a licensed forensic psychologist. With a license, you can work for yourself in private practice, which can be advantageous because you can choose the type of clients you work with.

For example, you might specialize in conducting forensic psychological evaluations of defendants in criminal trials. As another example, you might concentrate on providing counseling services and trauma interventions for people that have been abused.

Some forensic psychologists also work in clinical mental health settings. You might specialize in working with people who have an addiction in a residential treatment setting. Alternatively, you might work in a community reentry setting in which you assist people who have been released from jail in integrating back into the community.

The options for a forensic psychologist are endless, both in terms of how you get your education and the specific field in which you work in Minnesota. No matter your path, the skills you learn in your forensic psychology program will help you build the expertise you need to provide your clients with the psychological services they deserve.

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