Accredited Forensic Psychology Colleges and Graduate Programs in New Jersey [2024]

Last Updated: May 26, 2024

As a college student in New Jersey, you have many different options for pursuing your education. After all, New Jersey has dozens of psychology colleges and universities in all corners of the state. You can study at a small school or a large one, a public school or a private one, on campus or online.

Additionally, you can choose from a wide range of forensic psychology-related programs. You can get an undergraduate degree in forensic science, criminal justice, or psychology. You can continue your education in a forensic psychology master’s degree program as well.

Fortunately, there are numerous in-state options for training in forensic psychology.

Forensic Psychology Programs in New Jersey

Listed below are some of the popular colleges offering forensic psychology graduate programs in New Jersey:

  • Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Capella University
  • Kean University
  • Montclair State University
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Southern New Hampshire University

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Fairleigh Dickinson University is a private, non-profit four-year college established in 1942. FDU is the largest private school in all of New Jersey and offers more than 100 degrees and programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. The university has two campuses in New Jersey plus two international campuses – one in British Columbia and another in England.

FDU has more than 12,000 students who study part-time or full-time. As noted a moment ago, dozens of degree programs are available for study. Each of these programs allows you to study when it’s most convenient for you – days, nights, or weekends. Likewise, you will enjoy small classes and professors who are experts in their fields – two features that ensure you will get a high-quality education.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology from FDU is a 36-credit on-campus program that can be completed in as little as 1.5 years. The program has a broad focus on forensic psychology and serves as a terminal degree in this field.

Your studies will be varied and include coursework in legal topics, psychological assessments, and ethics. You will also take courses in the following:

  • Statistics and Research Methods
  • Psychopathology
  • Forensic Interviewing Techniques
  • Clinical Practice in Forensic Contexts
  • Psychological Basis of Criminal Behavior

In addition to coursework, you are required to complete a 300-hour externship during which you will provide forensic psychology services to clients in a supervised setting. Externship placements occur in many settings, including hospitals, inpatient psychological treatment centers, and prisons.

As a student in this program, you can also take part in forensic research and be part of a weeklong trip to England, where you will visit FDU’s campus and explore British Common Law.

You can apply to FDU online . You must have a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher to be admitted to this program. You must also submit the following:

  • A personal statement
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended
  • Two letters of recommendation

Kean University

Kean University was founded in 1855 as a teachers’ college. It was the first public university in the state. Over the years, the university grew far beyond teaching teachers how to teach. Today, Kean boasts more than 16,000 students majoring in more than 50 undergraduate and 70 graduate programs. Kean also offers a handful of doctoral programs.

As a student at Kean, you can join student organizations to enhance your college experience. In all, there are more than 130 organizations on campus. You can join sports clubs, academic groups, community service organizations, and more. Additionally, Kean offers a diverse campus with students from around the U.S. and across the world.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

Kean University’s Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology is a 36-credit on-campus program that prepares you for work in various settings, including correctional facilities, court systems, and mental health practice. Moreover, this program is a good precursor to doctoral studies in psychology or law, ultimately enabling you to become a licensed psychologist in NJ.

Coursework is divided among required and elective classes – 30 credits and six credits, respectively. Some of the required courses you must take include:

  • Human Development Across the Lifespan
  • Advanced Abnormal Psychology
  • Aggression, Violence Risk, and Threat Assessment
  • Neuropsychological Assessment
  • Psychology of Criminal Behavior

You also have the chance to take part in externship experiences that allow you to see forensic psychology applications in the workplace. There are also many research opportunities in which you can explore topics of interest in greater detail.

To apply, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA. Furthermore, you must take undergraduate courses in general psychology, statistics, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, and experimental psychology.

When applying, you must submit the following:

  • Official transcripts from each college or university you’ve attended
  • A professional resume or curriculum vitae
  • A personal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation

Montclair State University

Montclair State University was founded as a normal school to teach teachers in 1908. As the school grew and expanded, so too did its course and degree offerings. Today, the school has more than 21,000 students who can choose from over 300 undergraduate minors, majors, and certificates. Montclair also offers programs and certificates at the graduate level.

Throughout its history, Montclair has provided its students with a high-quality education. That education starts with small class sizes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 17-to-1. Outside of class, you can participate in dozens of campus activities, including honor societies, community service organizations, and various student clubs. The school is also located near New York City, so you can take advantage of its benefits by taking a quick train ride into the city.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program at Montclair State University offers a concentration in Forensic Psychology that enables you to enter the workforce as a non-licensed psychologist. For example, you might work in a drug court setting, child and family advocacy, or rehabilitation programs for offenders.

Since this program focuses on children, adolescents, and families, your studies include close evaluations of topics like juvenile delinquency, psychological assessment of children, and domestic violence, to name a few. You will also take courses in the following:

  • Ethics and Professional Issues in Psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Treatment and Rehabilitation in Forensic Settings
  • Forensic Psychology in Criminal Proceedings
  • Child/Family Forensic Assessment

An externship is also required, during which you will participate in delivering supervised services to forensic psychology populations. The externship occurs over the course of the final two semesters of the program.

You can apply to Montclair’s graduate school online. You must have an undergraduate degree to be eligible for this program. You must also submit the following:

  • Undergraduate transcripts from each college or university you’ve attended
  • A personal statement or essay
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GRE test scores

New Jersey Institute of Technology

The New Jersey Institute of Technology was established in the early 1880s as a school for training industrial workers. Over the years, NJIT became New Jersey’s premier polytechnic university. Its academic training programs have garnered wide praise for their quality, which makes sense given that NJIT is one of the top universities of its kind in the nation.

As a student at NJIT, you’ll enjoy small class sizes and a student-to-teacher ratio of just 15-to-1. With an intimate learning environment like this, you will get the individual academic attention you need to be successful in your studies. Speaking of your studies, you can choose from more than 125 degrees and programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including forensic science, as outlined below.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science from NJIT is a good foundational degree for expanding your understanding of the biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics components of forensic studies. Combined with undergraduate coursework in psychology and a graduate degree in forensic psychology, you will be well-prepared for any master’s-level career in this field.

This 120-credit program requires about four years of full-time study to complete. It’s an on-campus program, so you will need to live in the Newark area while you complete the curriculum. While in the program, you will take courses like:

  • Information Technology and the Law
  • Digital Crime
  • Law and Evidence
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Physical Methods of Forensic Analysis

This program also includes cooperative work experience opportunities during which you work in a forensics setting and gain valuable insights into the application of your knowledge in real-world settings.

Admission to NJIT is competitive. Typically, admitted students are in the top quarter of their high school graduating class and have a 3.0 GPA or higher. Students that take AP or IB courses in high school and do well are given priority.

Forensic Psychology Work Opportunities in New Jersey

The career opportunities in the field forensic psychology that await you in New Jersey are extremely varied. Jobs for forensic psychologists are varied throughout the U.S., but with New Jersey’s high population and easy access to New York City, the careers you can pursue are even greater.

Many forensic psychologists in New Jersey are self-employed in private practice. The advantage of having a private practice is that you can determine the type of clients with whom you work. For example, you might focus your career on providing forensic psychology consultations to public defenders and defense attorneys. Conversely, you might contract with prosecuting attorney’s offices to provide expert testimony as part of their case against a defendant.

As another example, you might consider working for a social service agency. In an instance in which domestic violence or child abuse is suspected, forensic psychologists might be used to assess the extent of the abuse by conducting forensic assessments of the victims and the accused. You might also be asked to evaluate the fitness of a parent to retain custody of their children.

Yet another avenue you might take for working as a forensic psychologist in New Jersey is to work for law enforcement. Agencies at the local, state, and federal levels have forensic psychologists on staff to help devise criminal profiles, assess and evaluate suspects, and train members of law enforcement in psychological principles.

You can have a rewarding and fulfilling career in any of these cases. The question is, which of these (and many other) career paths will you take? Your degree program at a New Jersey-based college can help you answer that question.

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