Accredited Forensic Psychology Programs in Missouri [2024 Guide]

Last Updated: May 26, 2024

Missouri is a beautiful state with rolling hills, thick forests, mountains, lakes, and rivers. You can explore large cities like St. Louis and Kansas City or head to the state’s rural areas and enjoy southern hospitality at every turn.

As a prospective forensic psychology student, Missouri offers other benefits. You can choose from many different programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Likewise, a broad spectrum of Missouri’s colleges and universities provide forensic psychology programs.

Having a lot of choices is a double-edged sword, though. On the one hand, variety is nice for finding the perfect fit for your needs. On the other hand, having so many choices can be a little intimidating.

Forensic Psychology Programs in Missouri

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

  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Missouri State University
  • Capella University
  • Missouri Baptist University
  • Maryville University
  • Purdue Global

Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis is a private, non-profit research university with a renowned reputation for academic rigor. The university offers programs in eight academic divisions, including medicine, law, business, and engineering. Arts and architecture, arts and science, social work, and public health are additional areas of study.

With more than 17,000 students, Washington University is a good-sized school. The university offers its students many programs and support services to ensure success. Academic support, financial aid assistance, libraries, and laboratories are among the services you can take advantage of as a student.

Additionally, the university has a minuscule 7-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio that will enhance your ability to succeed in your degree program.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

As an undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, you can kickstart your education in forensic psychology with a 12-credit certificate program.

This program is designed to give you a broad introduction to the field. You will take two required courses – Introduction to Criminology and Introduction to Forensic Science – in addition to two (or more, if you like) elective courses.

The elective courses are what allow you to tailor the certificate program to your interests. You can choose from interesting and unique topics like:

  • Criminal Typologies
  • Investigative Psychology
  • Principles of Forensic Assessment
  • Crisis Intervention: The Criminal Justice Response to Chaos, Mayhem, and Disorder
  • Introduction to Psychopathology and Clinical Psychology
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Introduction to Forensic Anthropology

Whatever courses you choose to take, you can participate in on-campus classes or take online courses. In either case, you will learn from experienced faculty who challenge you to develop critical skills that prepare you for advanced studies in forensic psychology.

Applying to this program is easy – you just need to be a Washington University student (degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking).

Missouri State University (MSU)

Missouri State University is a public institution located in Springfield. The school has three other physical campuses, including one in China, and an outreach program with distance and online learning opportunities. You can pursue various degrees ranging from associate to doctorate.

MSU is a good-sized university with over 26,000 students. The school offers a nice variety of programs for its students, too – more than 100 undergraduate degrees, more than 60 graduate degrees, and seven doctoral programs.

MSU also offers dozens of student programs ranging from honor societies to fraternities and sororities to club sports teams. The diverse learning and social opportunities make MSU a top choice for your education.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

Missouri State offers a unique forensic psychology program – a Forensic Child Psychology Graduate Certificate. This is one of the first such programs in the United States. The curriculum focuses on helping you develop the necessary skills to assist children in preserving their memories of traumatic events, particularly in instances in which the criminal court system is involved.

This 12-credit program requires you to complete the following courses:

  • Forensic Child Psychology
  • Psychology of Child Abuse and Exploitation
  • Forensic Psychology: Child Abuse and the Law
  • Directed Research

Enrollment in this program doesn’t require you to be a graduate student. However, if you aren’t a graduate student, you must apply to the graduate school before beginning your course of study for this certificate program.

This certificate will supplement your undergraduate and/or graduate studies in psychology, criminal justice, or a related field. It does not lead to licensure or professional certification but helps you develop crucial skills for working with vulnerable children.

To apply, submit a graduate application for admission and pay the associated application fee. You don’t have to pay the application fee again if you’re already a graduate student.

Missouri Baptist University (MBU)

Located in West County in St. Louis, Missouri Baptist University has around 4,500 students who get a Christian education in a small school setting. You’ll find programs designed to be inclusive of all students and offer the chance to build skills, character, and help you become a well-rounded person.

With plentiful opportunities to study abroad and participate in mission trips, you can further your development while assisting people around the world.

Missouri Baptist offers small class sizes – lower-division courses average 30 students, while upper-division courses average 20 students. The overall student-to-faculty ratio is just 14-to-1, so you will have the small class environment you need to succeed.

Additionally, MBU offers flexible scheduling, so you can choose between traditional 16-week daytime classes or 8-week evening classes to best suit your schedule.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Psychology from Missouri Baptist University is a four-year program that prepares you for advanced studies in this field in a graduate degree program. Likewise, the basic skills and knowledge you learn in this program might qualify you for an entry-level position in a forensic psychology setting.

The curriculum includes foundational coursework in psychology, upon which you build a better understanding of how to apply psychological approaches in legal situations. For example, you will take many criminal justice-related courses, like:

  • Probability and Statistics
  • Policing Institutions
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Crime
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminology

You will take a host of psychology courses, including Abnormal, Cognitive, and Social Psychology, as well as Theories of Personality, General Psychology, and a course in Tests and Measurements.

A further component of this program is an internship. You can choose to participate in a criminal justice internship or a psychology internship. Typically, this experience occurs toward the end of the degree program and serves as a culminating learning opportunity.

You can begin the application process by filling out an online application for admission. Doing so is free. You must also submit a letter of recommendation form and official high school transcripts. Standardized test scores are optional.

Maryville University

Founded in 1872 near St. Louis, Maryville University has a long tradition of excellent academics. Not only that, but the university is also known for its beautiful location. The campus includes forests, creeks, rolling hills, and two lakes. And with a short 20-minute drive to downtown St. Louis, you can also enjoy the amenities the big city offers, like dining, shopping, and professional sports events.

Maryville is a mid-sized school with around 10,000 students between the physical and online campuses. The school offers nearly 100 degree programs, which include more than 50 online degrees, more than 25 master’s degree programs, and ten doctoral programs. You’ll enjoy small class sizes, one-on-one academic advising, and individual career exploration services during your time at Maryville.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The 128-credit bachelor’s degree in Forensic Psychology from Maryville University offers a varied curriculum that explores psychology, criminal justice, community services, and related fields. As a graduate of this program, you’ll have the competency to work in entry-level positions in victim assistance, corrections, and social services, to name a few.

The courses you take explore topics like:

  • Human Cognition
  • Criminology
  • Introduction to Criminal Investigations
  • Psychological Testing
  • Police Psychology

Additional required classes include Juvenile Delinquency, Multicultural Policing, and Abnormal psychology.

This program also requires you to complete an internship experience. You can complete the internship in a criminal justice setting (e.g., law enforcement or corrections) or a social science setting (e.g., social services or victim assistance).

As a student in this program, you can use several unique services. If you study on campus, you will receive a free iPad to assist you in your studies. You will also get to work with a life coach who will help you identify your strengths to personalize your education. On-campus psychology students enjoy small class sizes, too – around 13 students per class.

You can apply to this program by submitting an application for admission. You must also submit official high school transcripts and official transcripts from every college you’ve attended.

Forensic Psychology Work Opportunities in Missouri

Forensic psychologists who work for law enforcement agencies like the FBI tend to be the romanticized ideal of what people think forensic psychologists do. And while being a criminal profiler in Missouri is a distinct possibility, much of what forensic psychologists do is much more mundane.

For example, let’s assume you work in St. Louis for a large law firm. As the firm’s resident forensic psychologist, you might spend most of your time preparing witnesses for court testimony. Forensic psychologists often help attorneys develop jury pools for cases as well.

As another example, you might contract with the state police to offer training to officers throughout the state. This training might be anything from teaching officers how to deal with a suspect with a mental health condition to debriefing officers after a traumatic event, like an officer-involved shooting.

Luckily, as a forensic psychology graduate, you can apply your skills in many more settings, from teaching at a college to working for yourself in private practice to working in a research setting to develop new tools for forensic psychologists.

Some careers in the field of forensic psychology require an advanced education, like a master’s degree or doctoral degree. However, even with a bachelor’s degree, you can find entry-level work to build your skills and prepare for advanced studies in forensic psychology.

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