Accredited Forensic Psychology Programs in Wisconsin – Updated for 2024

Last Updated: June 28, 2024

Wisconsin might have a reputation for long, cold winters, but the Badger State is much more than snow and wind. Much of Wisconsin features quiet lakes, thick forests, and pastoral landscapes, including farms and rolling hills. Needless to say, Wisconsin has many recreational opportunities you can enjoy year-round.

Wisconsin also has some excellent options if you dream of becoming a forensic psychologist. With programs available at schools around the state, you can have your pick of degrees to prepare you for jobs in forensic psychology or advanced studies in this field.

Forensic Psychology School and Programs in Wisconsin

Below is a list of popular accredited schools offering undergraduate and graduate forensic psychology degree programs in Wisconsin:

  • Marian University
  • Marquette University
  • University of Wisconsin River Falls
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Capella University
  • University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Marian University

School Information

Marian University was founded in 1936 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The school is affiliated with the Roman Catholic church and is sponsored by the Congregation of Sisters of Saint Agnes. Marian is a small school with about 2,000 total students. The small student body means you can learn and grow in a tight-knit academic community.

As a small school, Marian has fewer academic programs than other schools. A little more than a dozen programs are available at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Nonetheless, there is a good variety of programs from which you can choose, including several tracks in criminal justice.

After earning your bachelor’s degree, you might consider a master’s degree in public safety management, which would be a nice supplement to your studies in psychology and forensic science.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

Marian University offers the only undergraduate degree in forensic science in the state. This Bachelor of Science program is multidisciplinary, with primary coursework in forensic science, biology, and chemistry. Additionally, you will take courses in criminal justice, statistics, and mathematics. Add elective psychology courses, and you’ll have a solid foundation for future learning in forensics.

Over the course of your studies in this four-year program, you’ll acquire many valuable skills, including those related to:

  • DNA analysis
  • Police science
  • Investigative processing techniques
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Evidence handling and management

You will not only learn about these and other processes in the classroom, but you will also have an opportunity to get real-world experience in an internship setting. Marian University has partnerships with several agencies where your internship placement can be arranged.

With these skills, you will have the basic qualifications for entry-level employment in various forensic-related careers. For example, you might work as a trace evidence analyst, a crime scene investigator, or a bloodstain pattern analyst. And with enough training in psychology, you might be able to combine these fields and find entry-level positions in the psychology niche, such as a victim’s advocate, a jury consultant, or a correctional counselor.

To apply as a freshman, you must have a GPA of 2.0 or above and rank in the top half of your high school class. Your total score must be 660 or higher if you have a GED. You may also submit ACT or SAT scores, though these are optional.

Marquette University

School Information

Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Marquette University is a mid-sized Catholic Jesuit university with a respected reputation for academic excellence. Marquette is ranked in the top 20 percent of universities in the nation on several metrics from various publications. This includes being named a Best Value School and one of the Best Midwestern Schools by Princeton Review.

Marquette has a student body of just over 11,000 students, 7,500 of which are undergraduates. With a 13 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio, you can rest assured that you’ll get individualized attention in your courses. What’s more, you can expect to find good employment, as Marquette is sixth in the nation for job placement within 10 years of graduation.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The undergraduate degree program in criminology and law studies at Marquette University might not culminate in a psychology degree. However, the knowledge and skills you learn in this program will set you up for success as a forensic psychologist in the future.

For example, you can add a psychology minor to your major studies or double major in psychology and criminology and law studies. With this combination of educational experience, your potential career paths are extremely varied.

You can get a graduate degree and become a forensic psychologist, go to law school and earn your J.D., or enter the workforce after graduation in an entry-level position. As a student in this program, you will take classes in the following:

  • Criminology
  • Criminal Court Process
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Methods of Criminological Research
  • Carceral Systems: Prisons, Probation, and Parole

Additionally, this program includes an internship component that places you in a law enforcement, correctional, or legal setting to get hands-on experience in this field.

If you want to get a graduate degree, you can join the 4+1 program at Marquette. This allows you to complete this undergraduate degree as well as a master’s degree in criminal justice data analytics in just five years.

To apply to this program, you must submit official high school transcripts and official college transcripts if you have already taken college-level courses. Likewise, a personal essay and a list of extracurricular activities are necessary. You may also submit ACT or SAT scores, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation, though none are required to apply.

University of Wisconsin River Falls

School Information

The University of Wisconsin River Falls is part of the University of Wisconsin System. This makes it easy to begin your education at one school and transfer to another school within the system.

River Falls is a small school with just over 5,000 students. Yet, the university has four academic colleges and offers more than 70 academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including the criminology degree outlined below.

UW River Falls has a small campus, yet a lively one. There are more than 150 student organizations and 25 intramural leagues. Each year, the school has more than 200 free events for students on campus. UW River Falls also has a robust study abroad program that’s ranked first in the state for the number of participants.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The undergraduate program in criminology from the University of Wisconsin River Falls is a four-year program that focuses on criminal behavior, theories of crime, and victimology. The coursework required for graduation also exposes you to criminology as it relates to special populations, such as:

  • Women
  • Juveniles
  • Minorities
  • White collar offenders
  • Gang members

Additionally, you will study restorative justice, the politics of crime, and deviant behavior. By minoring in psychology or double-majoring, you can also expand on your studies of the causes of crime and study human behavior.

In fact, you will develop a solid toolkit that you can use to help investigate and solve crimes. This includes:

  • Developing a rich understanding of criminal theory
  • Developing the ability to interpret and analyze data
  • Cultivating a thorough understanding of human behavior
  • Understanding how to work through conflict in an ethical manner

All told, this major requires that you complete 18 credits of core requirements and 18 credits of directed electives, with the remainder being general education requirements that round out your degree.

Applying to this program requires that you be admitted to the University of Wisconsin River Falls. To do so, you must submit high school and college transcripts (if applicable), a list of extracurricular activities, and your employment history. Additionally, you must submit a completed essay.

Medical College of Wisconsin

School Information

The Medical College of Wisconsin is the second-largest research institution in the state, with hundreds of millions of dollars invested in research each year. Though most of its 1,500 students are medical students (including 700 in residency and 200 in fellowship), others are post-doctoral fellows or in graduate school.

The college has extensive relationships with other academic institutions and medical training facilities throughout the state. This enables you to get a well-rounded education with experiential learning opportunities within your specialty of study. Your education will be top-notch, too – the Medical College of Wisconsin is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Many of the school’s programs have professional accreditations as well.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The forensic psychiatry fellowship from the Medical College of Wisconsin is designed for medical school graduates that want to expand their knowledge and skills in forensic psychiatry practice. This is a highly competitive one-year program during which you’ll have multiple rotations in various forensic psychiatry settings.

For example, you will complete rotations at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Central Wisconsin Center, and the Mendota Mental Health Institute. You will also have the opportunity to conduct outpatient forensic evaluations and conduct research in forensic psychiatry.

Your course of study includes weekly meetings with other fellows in relevant psychiatric and legal issues. You will learn from certified forensic psychiatrists, attorneys, forensic psychologists, and other highly qualified clinicians with expertise in this field.

In addition to weekly confabs with other fellows, you will have the opportunity to attend professional events, like the annual meeting of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law. Doing so enables you to connect with forensic psychology professionals and network with potential employers.

To apply, you must provide the following:

  • A current CV
  • A personal statement
  • Official transcripts
  • A medical school dean’s letter
  • Medical school transcripts
  • A copy of your medical school diploma
  • A writing sample
  • Three letters of recommendation

Forensic Psychology Work Opportunities in Wisconsin

As with many careers in psychology, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for some entry-level positions. In forensic psychology, you might find work in a laboratory setting as a research assistant at one of Wisconsin’s universities or in a law enforcement setting as a forensic assistant in Milwaukee.

However, if you pursue advanced training, you can expand your career possibilities in Wisconsin and beyond. For example, if you want to work with attorneys in Madison to prepare their clients for courtroom testimony, you’ll need a master’s degree in forensic psychology. The same is true if you want to be a jury consultant for an attorney’s office in Eau Claire.

If you want to practice in a clinical setting in Wisconsin, you will need to continue your studies in a doctoral program. A Ph.D. or Psy.D. in forensic psychology can prepare you to work directly with clients – both perpetrators and victims – in one-on-one or group clinical situations.

You will also need to be licensed by the state to practice as a clinical psychologist, though. Licensure can be obtained in one of several ways, including via examination or reciprocity with another state.

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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.