Forensic Psychology Programs and Schools in Arizona [2023 Guide]

Forensic Psychology Programs in Arizona

When you think of Arizona, you probably think of a desert scene, sky-high temperatures, and lots of cacti. And while all of these things are found in abundance in Arizona, it’s certainly not all that makes Arizona a unique location.

Towns and cities of all sizes dot the Arizona landscape, from tiny native villages to the sprawling metropolis of Phoenix. And while these locales seemingly have little in common, what binds them is a network of people that live, work, and go to school in the Grand Canyon State.

If you live in Arizona or want to relocate to pursue a forensic psychology degree, you are in luck! There are many programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels that you can choose from to advance your education and your future career.

Below is a partial list of some of the top forensic psychology programs to consider in Arizona.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

As its name indicates, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was founded as an aviation school. The first students attended the school in the late 1930s in Florida in the leadup to the U.S.’s involvement in World War II. During the war, the university taught about 25,000 American and British students how to fly.

Today, Embry-Riddle retains its roots in aeronautics, but has greatly expanded its offering of degree programs. In fact, there are more than 100 programs of study from the associate’s to doctoral levels. Additionally, the university has expanded its footprint across the nation with additional campuses, including one in Prescott, Arizona.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Psychology from Embry-Riddle is a typical four-year undergraduate program that requires you to complete 122-123 credits to graduate. The program includes studies in psychology and forensic science, as well as training in law and the U.S. legal system.

Your program of study includes 56 core credits in forensic psychology, 18 credits of designated electives, and 10 credits of open electives. The core coursework builds a foundation of understanding of psychology and forensic science, while the elective courses supplement that with more specific studies of niche topics. Some of the core courses you can expect to take include:

  • Personality and Profiling
  • Criminality
  • Investigative Methodology and Forensic Science
  • Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination
  • Sensation, Perception, and Cognition

Elective courses explore topics like White-Collar Crime, Social Psychology, and International Relations, to name a few.

In addition to coursework, you can explore forensic psychology principles in more depth in Embry-Riddle’s Forensic Science Laboratory, where you can learn forensic science techniques and apply your knowledge of the field to real-world cases.

To apply to this program, you must submit a completed application for admission and a $50 application fee. As a first-year student, you must also submit official high school transcripts (or GED scores) and any Advanced Placement scores from high school AP classes. Though not required, you can also submit a personal essay, a resume, letters of recommendation, and SAT or ACT scores.

Arizona State University (ASU)

In Tempe, Arizona, you will find Arizona State University, the largest institution of higher learning in the state with 55,000 students. ASU is also one of the largest universities in the nation, which means as a student there, you can reap the benefits of a school that has a wide reach, a diverse student body, and a collection of professors who are at the top of their fields.

Since ASU is so large (it has 58,000 additional students online), you can choose from a wide range of programs and majors. The school offers over 4,000 different bachelor’s degrees and almost 600 programs for graduate and doctoral students. Given that broad scope of selections, you can truly devise an educational plan that fits your unique needs and wants.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

Arizona State’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology – Forensic Psychology program is entirely online, which offers you the advantage of studying at one of the top public schools in the nation without leaving the comfort of your own home.

This 120-credit program takes about four years of full-time study to complete, though you could finish it in 3-3.5 years if you take an extra class each semester and take summer courses as well. Each of the 39 required courses to graduate meets for about 7.5 weeks. Since courses are accelerated, you take fewer classes at one time, which affords you the time to thoroughly explore your courses without getting overloaded.

You can enjoy a varied curriculum with courses that focus on many different forensic psychology topics. For example, you can take any of the following classes:

  • Correctional Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Statistical Methods
  • Psychology and Law
  • Forensic Psychology

Upon completing this degree, you can pursue additional training in a graduate forensic psychology program or enter the workforce. With proper training, you can go into any number of fields, including law, mental health counseling, or neuropsychology, to name a few.

Arizona State has relatively strict admissions requirements for first-year students. In addition to meeting basic competency standards, you must be in the top quarter of your high school graduating class and have a 3.0 GPA (or above) on a 4.0 scale. You must also submit ACT or SAT scores that meet minimum university requirements, which are as follows:

  • Composite score of 22 or above on the ACT for Arizona residents (24 or above for non-residents)
  • SAT reasoning score of 1120 or higher for Arizona residents or 1180 for non-residents

The University of Arizona

The University of Arizona is the second-largest college in the state, just behind Arizona State. With almost 47,000 students, the U of A campus is extremely diverse with students from all over the nation and the world. Students are enrolled at the undergraduate and graduate levels, too, with a robust 10,000 graduate students at the university.

One of the benefits of studying at the U of A is that despite its size, you can still get individualized attention from your professors. The student-to-faculty ratio is just 17:1, so in most of your courses, you will be amongst just a handful of fellow students. And when you aren’t in class, you can explore more than 400 organizations specifically for students, from clubs and sororities to sports teams and honor societies.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

At the University of Arizona, you can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Psychological Science that helps you understand the relationship between the brain, mind, and behavior. Though this isn’t a forensic psychology program, you can still build a solid foundation for a future master’s degree in forensics.

To graduate, you must complete at least 120 units of study, 42 of which must be upper-division courses. Likewise, you must take 45 credits of psychology coursework to meet the requirements of the major.

The U of A offers a breadth of courses in the psychology department. Those most closely related to forensic psychology include:

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychology of Terrorism
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Drugs and the Brain

Additionally, you can take courses on Violence and Youth, Forensic Psychology, and Advanced Methods in Psychological Research, to name a few.

You can pursue this degree on campus in Tucson, or if you need greater flexibility, you can pursue the online version of this degree. In either case, you can expect to participate in a rigorous program that challenges you to succeed.

Applying to the University of Arizona is simple. Just complete the application for admission and submit the application fee ($50 for in-state students and $80 for out-of-state students).

Additionally, you must submit official high school transcripts after you graduate from high school. Optionally, you can submit a 500-word essay and ACT or SAT scores in support of your application.

Grand Canyon University (GCU)

Grand Canyon University has grown rapidly in recent years to become one of the largest providers of education in the United States. This Christian university began in the 1940s with just 100 students. Today, there are around 20,000 students on campus in Phoenix and another 60,000 students online.

GCU’s growth has resulted in major upgrades to its campus facilities. With more than $1.6 billion invested in new buildings, infrastructure, and technology in recent years, it’s no wonder that GCU’s campus ranks as the best in Arizona and in the top 20 in the nation. Add in hundreds of millions of dollars in scholarship opportunities, and GCU is an attractive place to get your education!

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The Master of Science in Forensic Psychology from Grand Canyon University is a 36-credit program that you can complete in about two years of full-time study. You’ll explore a variety of topics in psychology and criminal justice, including criminal behavior, victimology, and the social influences on criminal behavior.

To gain expertise in this field, you will follow a curriculum that includes courses like:

  • Contemporary and Ethical Issues in Psychology
  • Offender Rehabilitation and Reintegration
  • Psychology and the Legal System
  • Social and Cultural Psychology
  • Psychopathology of Crime

Most of these courses are four credits, though some of your courses are just two semester credits each.

In addition to taking the courses listed above, you must also participate in a senior capstone project that helps you bring together your classroom learning and apply it to a real-world forensic psychology scenario.

One of the benefits of this program is that it’s offered in two forms: evening courses and online. If you’re a working professional in the Phoenix area and do best learning in a traditional classroom environment, evening classes might be the best option. However, if you need the flexibility of online learning and being able to study anytime, anyplace, the online program is likely best for you.

Grand Canyon University has a simplified admissions process. To apply to this program, complete the online application for admission and submit transcripts from each college or university you have attended. From there, a university counselor will help guide you through the rest of the process.

Work Opportunities in Arizona

After becoming a forensic psychologist, you can pursue many avenues of employment in Arizona. For example, if you are interested in working in law enforcement, you might seek a job with the Arizona Department of Public Safety and work with detectives to establish profiles of wanted persons.

As another example, you might use your skills in forensic psychology to work with attorneys for case preparation. You might help witnesses prepare to provide testimony, select jurors for civil or criminal cases, or provide psychological evaluations for attorneys’ clients.

Of course, working in academics is always an option once you have some real-world experience in forensic psychology. With so many institutions of higher learning in the state, teaching jobs often become available. Once you have had time to use your knowledge and skills in the real world, you might consider pursuing a teaching job at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, or one of the many other public and private schools in the state.

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