Accredited Forensic Psychology Colleges and Degree Programs in Texas [2024 Guide]

If your passion is in the study of human behavior and its relationship with the criminal justice system, forensic psychology is the ideal field of study for you. As a forensic psychology student, you will explore topics like criminal behavior, juvenile delinquency, and social psychology, to name a few. You might also study criminology, legal psychology, and basic forensic science.

As a forensic psychology student in Texas, you have various choices to make regarding your education. Texas has an extensive higher education system, with schools ranging from big to small, public and private, and in-person and online. Likewise, Texas offers forensic psychology studies at every level, from undergraduate to doctoral.

The list below includes popular forensic psychology programs in Texas worth your consideration. Explore this guide, consider what direction you want your education to take, and choose the program that best fits your needs!

Accredited Forensic Psychology Programs in Texas

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

  • Texas State University
  • Capella University
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Houston at Victoria
  • Prairie View A&M University
  • The Chicago School
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Texas A&M University

Texas State University

Minor in Forensic Psychology

As an undergraduate student at Texas State, you have the option of pursuing a Minor in Forensic Psychology that introduces you to this field. With 21 credits required – most or all of which can count toward your undergraduate degree – you will get a broad introduction to both the psychology and criminal justice aspects of forensic psychology.

You can pursue this minor whether you are a psychology or criminal justice major. You can also enroll if you don’t major in one of these fields, though you will have to complete prerequisite coursework to do so.

Speaking of coursework, you will take nine credits of psychology, nine in criminal justice, and complete the course requirements with an elective course in either psychology or criminal justice. Some of the courses you’ll take include the following:

  • Social Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Fundamentals of Criminal Law
  • Forensic Evidence

The elective options include Forensic Anthropology, Crime Theory and Victimization, and Criminology. Combined with the core course requirements, these electives allow you to consider crucial questions in forensic psychology, such as:

  • What are the theories that explain criminal behavior?
  • Is eyewitness testimony to be trusted in court?
  • What are jury dynamics like?
  • How do forensic psychologists determine a defendant’s competency to stand trial?
  • What is the legal definition of competency?

The admissions requirements for first-year students at Texas State stipulate that you have four years of English, math, and science courses in high school, in addition to three years of social studies and two years of world languages. SAT or ACT scores are not required if you are in the top 75 percent of your graduating class.

Additionally, you must submit an application essay, a list of work and volunteer experience, and evidence of extracurricular involvement.

University of North Texas

Forensic Science Certificate

The University of North Texas’ Forensic Science Certificate is a good option to explore if you are a biology, chemistry, or biochemistry major interested in applying your science training in a forensic setting. Combined with undergraduate courses in psychology, this certificate will prepare you for further forensic psychology studies at the graduate level.

This program, which is accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, requires you to complete 19 credits of coursework. That coursework must be done on the UNT campus and takes most students two or three semesters to complete.

The courses in this certificate program include those in biology, chemistry, and criminal justice, including:

  • Biomedical Criminalistics
  • Forensic Microscopy
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Instrumental Analysis and Lab
  • Criminal Investigation

You are further required to complete a forensic science internship that gives you hands-on experience working in a forensics setting, like a laboratory. You must also pass the Forensic Science Assessment Test that’s offered by the American Board of Criminalistics.

Additionally, you will get hands-on experience in the Instrumental Analysis course and its associated lab. UNT has superb forensic science facilities on campus, where you will learn how to conduct fingerprint analyses, ballistics analyses, and other critical forensic tests. Your work in these labs is overseen by UNT forensic science faculty who are nationally certified and engage in ongoing forensic science research. Many department faculty also serve as expert witnesses in criminal court cases.

Admission to UNT is guaranteed if you meet the following criteria for first-year applicants:

  • Rank in the top 10 percent of your class and provide either ACT or SAT scores
  • Rank in the top 25 percent of your class and have a 20 ACT or 1030 SAT score
  • Rank in the top 50 percent of your class and have a 23 ACT or 1130 SAT score
  • Rank in the top 75 percent of your class and have a 26 ACT or 1250 SAT score

You can also qualify for automatic admission if you have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or higher or are a registered member of the University’s Eagle Advantage program.

University of Houston at Victoria

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

The MA in Forensic Psychology at the University of Houston at Victoria prepares you to become a licensed mental health worker. You’ll complete a minimum of 66 credits to graduate, which typically requires about three years of studies. This is an on-campus program, which you can complete at the University of Houston Victoria campus or the University of Houston Katy campus.

The program’s core coursework establishes a strong understanding of forensic psychology. You will take courses like Psychopathology, Life-Span Developmental Psychology, and Advanced Social Psychology. You will also take the following courses:

  • Personality Assessment
  • Techniques of Family Therapy
  • Group Psychotherapy
  • Intellectual Assessment
  • Theories and Issues in Psychotherapy

You must also complete 21 credits of specialization work. This includes classes like Assessment for Forensic Psychology, Professional Practices in Forensic Psychology, and Forensic Treatment Planning and Intervention.

Additionally, you will complete three practicum experiences, each occurring in a different semester. These supervised practical experiences allow you to apply your classroom learning to real-world settings while deepening and developing your emerging skills as a forensic psychologist. There is no thesis requirement, nor is there a capstone project required for this degree.

The following are the admissions requirements for the program:

  • Have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Have completed courses in abnormal psychology, psychological research, and psychological statistics at the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • Provide official transcripts from every college or university you’ve attended.
  • Submit a one to two-page essay that discusses why you’re applying to the program and explains your career goals.
  • A letter of recommendation
  • Official GRE general test score
  • A graduate Admissions Index score of 980 or higher

An interview with a faculty member from the psychology department is also required.

Prairie View A&M University

Master of Science in Juvenile Forensic Psychology

The MS in Juvenile Forensic Psychology at Prairie View A&M University is a unique program not just in Texas but worldwide. As a student in this program, you will study psychology, criminal justice, and the legal system while getting critical training at Prairie View A&M’s Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center.

Students in this program develop a deep understanding of the theoretical explanations for juvenile crime, delinquency, and aggression. What’s more, the curriculum explores topics like family dynamics, psychological assessments, and developing psychological treatments for juvenile defenders.

To develop these and other skills, you might take courses like:

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Psychological Research Methods
  • Psychological Statistics

In addition to coursework, you must also complete a master’s thesis and an externship. The thesis involves the empirical investigation of a juvenile forensic psychology topic of your choice (that has been approved by the faculty). The purpose of the thesis is twofold: to deepen your knowledge and skills as they pertain to the practice of juvenile forensic psychology and to add to the existing body of knowledge in this field.

The externship requires you to work in a clinical juvenile forensic psychology setting where you will engage in forensic psychology practice under the supervision of an experienced psychologist. In most cases, you will be required to work about 20 hours a week. You will also participate in supervision activities with your supervisor, faculty members, and/or classmates.

To be admitted, you must meet the following admissions requirements:

  • Have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution and have a 2.75 GPA or higher.
  • Submit official transcripts from every college or university you’ve attended.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation.
  • Provide Official GRE scores, including those for the verbal, analytical, and quantitative tests.
  • Provide a 1,000-word essay that explains why you wish to pursue this degree.

You must also submit evidence of English proficiency if it isn’t your native language.

The Chicago School

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

If you want a flexible online option for completing your degree in this field, the Chicago School’s MA in Forensic Psychology is a worthy option to consider. Not only do you get the greater flexibility of an online program, but you can also choose from two different tracks: licensure and non-licensure.

The licensure track prepares you to train as a clinical forensic counselor and provide services to clients in a clinical setting. If you wish to work one-on-one or in group settings with clients with mental health needs, the licensure track is most appropriate.

However, if you already work in the field of psychology or criminal justice and want to round out your knowledge base and skill set, the non-licensure track is a feasible choice. Not only can this track improve your current job performance, but it can also set the stage for more detailed studies at the doctoral level.

The courses you will take vary between the licensure and non-licensure tracks. But, some overlap exists, including the following core courses:

  • Introduction to Forensic Psychology
  • Ethics and Professional Issues
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Applied Research (non-licensure track)
  • Forensic Psychology Practicum (licensure track)

The non-licensure option is 37 credits of coursework, while the licensure option includes practicum and internship requirements beyond the coursework. The practicum and internship experiences usually take place during the program’s second year. You might complete both requirements in the same clinical setting, or you might complete the necessary hours at multiple locations.

All told, you need at least 700 hours of practicum and internship experience over a nine to 12-month period. You are required to work 16-24 hours per week during the practicum and internship, and you must accrue at least 280 hours of direct contact time with clients.

To apply, you must meet the following admissions requirements:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university that includes one or more courses in statistics or research methods.
  • Have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Submit a resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Provide a personal essay.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation.
  • Submit official transcripts from every college or university you hhve attended.

Forensic Psychology Work Opportunities in Texas

The work opportunities that await you after graduating with a degree in forensic psychology are extremely varied. You might work in a law office, a mental health center, or for law enforcement, just to name a few.

But, the specific jobs that are available to you depend in large part on the type of forensic psychology training you have. For example, if you complete a minor or undergraduate certificate in this field, the job opportunities are somewhat limited simply because of the limited scope of your education and training. You might find a job as a junior forensic psychology research assistant or a forensic psychology technician position, both of which are entry-level jobs.

With a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology, your work opportunities in Texas expand. You could pursue employment as a victim advocate for the courts, a probation agent, or a police officer. In some instances, you might find a job as a crime analyst, forensic psychology technician, or police consultant.

To have the greatest variety of forensic psychology careers available to you, you will need a master’s or doctorate in forensic psychology. With this level of education, you can work in private practice, serve as an expert witness in court, or work as a criminal profiler. Fortunately, these and other types of forensic psychology career options are available throughout Texas and the nation, so the chances are good that you can find employment in this field upon graduating.

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.