Accredited Forensic Psychology Programs in Kansas [2024 Updated]

One benefit of wanting a forensic psychology career is that you can take any number of educational paths to get there. You might focus your undergraduate studies on psychology, forensic science, or criminal justice. Then, in graduate school, you might pursue a dedicated forensic psychology program to build on the foundational knowledge and skills you gained during your bachelor’s degree program.

Of course, you might also blend academic pursuits with on-the-job training. For example, you might major in criminal justice and pair that with job shadowing or a work experience in a forensic psychology setting. Conversely, you might study psychology and apply what you have learned in a forensic science setting.

Whatever path you deem best, Kansas has both in-person and online options to help you acquire the necessary competencies. Review the following popular forensic psychology programs below to see how each can help you achieve your educational and occupational goals.

Best Accredited Forensic Psychology Programs in Kansas Online

Forensic Psychology Programs in Kansas

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

  • Southwestern College
  • Washburn University
  • Wichita State University
  • Maryville University
  • University of North Dakota
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Capella University

Southwestern College

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

The BA in Psychology at Southwestern College is an introductory program to the field of psychology that you can use as a stepping stone to more advanced studies, specifically in forensic psychology. The 120-credit program takes about four years to complete if you study full-time.

As is common for undergraduate degrees, around half of the 120 credits required to graduate are general education courses (e.g., math, science, humanities), and the other half are dedicated to the major area of study. You will take lower-level and upper-level courses that include the following:

  • General Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • History and Systems of Psychology
  • Introduction to Statistics and Probability
  • Social Psychology

However, if you want to prepare yourself for advanced studies in forensic psychology, Southwestern College encourages you to take courses like Abnormal Psychology, Clinical/Counseling Psychology, and, of course, Forensic Psychology. A research course is also recommended, like a Research Apprenticeship.

Furthermore, it’s recommended that you participate in a practicum experience in a forensic psychology setting. Southwestern College will assist you in identifying appropriate practicum sites, and the psychology faculty will provide supervision alongside the practicum site supervisor.

Since forensic psychology is the study of psychology and the law, it’s also recommended that you add a criminal justice minor to your psychology major. You will take courses like Active Citizenship, Intro to Criminal Justice, and Principles of Criminal Law as part of the minor.

You can apply to Southwestern College online. There is a $25 application fee to apply as a first-year student. You must also submit official high school transcripts and transcripts from any college or university you have attended. SAT or ACT scores are also required, as is a $100 tuition deposit.

Washburn University

Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Forensic Investigations

Washburn University offers a BCJ in Forensic Investigations that gives you ample preparation in the practice of forensic science. By pairing this major with a minor in psychology, you will have a broad-based foundation upon which you can build additional skills in a forensic psychology graduate program.

This four-year, 120-credit program includes core courses, criminal justice electives, correlate courses, and general education classes. Correlate courses are those in fields adjacent to forensic science, like Forensic Anthropology, Criminal Law, and Forensic Chemistry. General education courses include basic math, science, and humanities classes.

Meanwhile, major core and elective courses include the following:

  • Introduction to Forensic Investigations
  • Principles of Investigation
  • Criminal Justice Research Methods
  • Applied Forensic Investigations
  • Forensic Psychology and Criminal Profiling

To add more psychology training to the degree, you can minor in psychology or take general electives in psychology. Courses like Psychopathology, Developmental Psychology, and Biological Psychology are all excellent options.

A unique feature of this program is that you can apply for an internship with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation once you reach your junior or senior year. This field-based learning opportunity enables you to see how the principles you have learned in class are applied in a real-world setting. Other potential internship sites include the Topeka Police Department, Kansas Highway Patrol, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Washburn University offers a variety of other majors related to forensic psychology, too. Digital Forensics, Forensic Chemistry, Forensic Biology, and Forensic Anthropology can all be effective preparation (with a slate of psychology courses) for getting into the forensic psychology field.

Washburn College’s application for admission for first-time students is available online. To apply, you must fill out an application for admission (which is free), submit your high school transcripts, and provide transcripts from any colleges or universities you have attended. SAT or ACT scores are not required to apply.

Wichita State University

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Wichita State University’s BS in Forensic Science is yet another undergraduate option to consider if you want to focus your degree on forensic science and supplement it with a minor in psychology. This 120-credit program requires 91 credits of required courses and an additional 29 credits of electives where you can focus on taking courses in psychology.

Since this is a science-based degree, you will take a number of lab science classes, including General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Analytical Chemistry. Likewise, you will take Biochemistry, Biology, and Molecular Cell Biology. Other required courses include the following:

  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Evidence
  • Forensic Identification of Narcotics and Other Illicit Substances
  • Fingerprint Development and Analysis

Applicable psychology courses that prepare you for furthering your forensic psychology studies include the Psychology of Personality, Psychological Testing and Measurement, and the Psychology of Homicide. Wichita State’s psychology department has many other course options that will be beneficial for you in finding entry-level employment or continuing your education in a graduate program.

A critical part of this program (and many others at Wichita State) is experiential learning. You will have the chance to take part in practicum, internship, and other work experiences that put you in a real-world forensics setting. Not only are these experiences valuable from a learning standpoint, but you can also make professional connections that might help you get a job in the future.

Wichita State requires first-year students to submit an application for admission online. You must have a 2.25 cumulative GPA or higher or have satisfactory scores on the ACT (21 or higher) or SAT (combined ERW+M of 1060 or higher) to qualify for guaranteed admission.

Maryville University

Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology Online

Though Maryville University is in neighboring Missouri, it offers a 128-credit online BA in Forensic Psychology that you can enroll in as a Kansas resident. This interdisciplinary program includes studies in three core areas: psychology, criminal justice, and social science. As a result of your studies, you will be prepared for entry-level positions in these fields. You will also be well-prepared for pursuing graduate studies in forensic psychology.

One of the primary features of the Maryville program is that you can participate in experiential learning activities. There is a 135-hour required internship at a location of your choosing where you can get hands-on experience in forensic psychology. You must also complete a senior capstone project that enables you to dive deep into a topic of interest to you.

Of course, you must also complete rigorous coursework throughout the four-year program. This includes classes in the following areas:

  • Social Psychology
  • Cognition
  • Police Psychology
  • Criminal Behavior
  • Social Science Research

Many other interesting and unique courses are part of this program, including Biological Psychology, Multicultural Psychology, and Abnormal Psychology, as well as Human Development Through the Lifespan, Introduction to Criminal Investigations, and Criminological Theory.

You will complete these and other courses knowing that the curriculum is aligned with the American Psychological Association’s standards. And with three yearly start dates available, you can begin your studies when you are ready.

Another unique feature of this online BA program is that you can start the work on your master’s degree before you complete your undergraduate studies. In fact, Maryville allows you to earn up to 12 graduate credits toward your master’s degree as an undergraduate student.

You can apply to Maryville University online. To be considered for admission as a first-year student, you must have a high school diploma or GED, a 2.5 GPA or higher, and submit official high school transcripts. The ACT and SAT are not required for admission consideration.

University of North Dakota

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology Online

If you are a Kansas resident and want the flexibility of online learning to complete a graduate degree, the University of North Dakota’s MA in Forensic Psychology is for you. This program is 100 percent online with no on-campus residencies required, so you can complete your studies from the comfort of your home in Kansas.

This 30-credit program includes core and elective courses that give you a broad-based foundation of forensic psychology knowledge and skills. Core courses include the following:

  • Psychology and Law
  • Research Methods in Forensic Psychology
  • Advanced Social Psychology
  • Behavior Pathology
  • Readings in Psychology

An independent study course is also required. You can use this course to complete forensic psychology research or participate in a practicum in a local setting, should you choose. Additionally, you can tailor your studies to your interests by taking elective courses such as Cognitive Psychology, Eyewitness Testimony Memory, and Diversity Psychology, among others.

To maximize your ability to learn on your own time, UND has made the courses in this degree asynchronous. There are no weekly class meeting times; instead, you can study when it’s convenient for you (though you still have set due dates for assignments).

However, though you study independently, you will have many different types of learning tools at your disposal. Lesson modules outline learning targets and dive deep into critical forensic psychology topics. There is streaming video content, online lectures, and virtual libraries available, too. There are even online simulations that allow you to explore certain forensic psychology topics more thoroughly.

You can apply to UND’s graduate school online at any time. To do so, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Your major must be in psychology or a related social science, such as social work, criminal justice, counseling, or sociology. You should have a 3.0 cumulative GPA for your undergraduate coursework, too.

When applying, you must submit the following materials:

  • Official transcripts from every college or university you have attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A personal statement
  • Proof of English proficiency (if English is not your native language)

Forensic Psychology Work Opportunities in Kansas

Kansas, like any other state, has ample job opportunities for graduates of forensic psychology programs. The Department of Corrections, psychology research firms, and private forensic science labs all typically employ workers with a background in this field. Moreover, some of the jobs in these locations are entry-level and available to you if you have a bachelor’s degree.

But if you want to expand your job opportunities as a forensic psychologist in Kansas, having a master’s degree will certainly help. General master’s programs (like the one from the University of North Dakota outlined earlier) can help you hone your skills for non-licensure positions. For example, you might pursue employment as a criminal profiler for a local or state law enforcement agency.

Another career path you might take is to start a forensic psychology practice or consulting firm. On the one hand, you might cater to law offices that employ forensic psychologists to help prepare witnesses for trial, assist in jury selection, and serve as expert witnesses. On the other hand, you might offer your services on a contractual basis to law enforcement agencies that use forensic psychology training to enhance their officers’ ability to respond to suspects or victims in crisis.

As you gain more experience and advance your education, another worthy job opportunity is working in academics. Colleges and universities employ experienced forensic psychologists to teach courses and conduct research. The key is to gain the appropriate level of real-world practice needed to become an academic practitioner. Though it can take some time to do so, working in academics can be a highly rewarding career choice.

Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Program outcomes can vary according to each institution's curriculum and job opportunities are not guaranteed. This site is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional help.