Forensic Psychology Schools and Programs in Colorado [2023]

Study Forensic Psychology in Colorado

If you love to spend your free time outdoors, there are few places better than Colorado. With soaring mountain peaks, beautiful forests, and activities ranging from ice climbing to mountain biking, you won’t lack things to do when you’re not studying.

But Colorado is also a hotbed of collegiate activity. There are dozens of two-year and four-year colleges you can choose to complete your degree. Many of these schools offer psychology majors and minors, and some even offer specialized programs in forensic psychology.

Below is a list of some of the best programs you might consider if you wish to pursue your forensic psychology studies in the Centennial State.

Forensic Psychology Programs in Colorado

The University of Denver

School Information

The University of Denver was founded in 1864 and is the oldest private research institution in the Rocky Mountain region. Its long history and tradition of academic excellence have earned DU many awards, including a ranking in the top 100 universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

DU is unique in that it has a larger graduate student population than undergraduate – there are more than 7,000 graduate students on campus, yet just 5,700 undergraduates.

DU is also unique in that it has very close ties with many businesses and organizations in the Denver area. These partnerships benefit you in the form of practicum and internship placements. They also help the community by tackling tough issues like crime, homelessness, and climate change.

Program Information

The Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology from the University of Denver gives you the opportunity to build skills needed for clinical psychology practice while also getting hands-on experience working in forensic psychology and law.

Specifically, you will learn how to apply psychological principles to civil and criminal cases and learn how to work with clients that are incarcerated and might have a mental illness.

This two-year program concentrates your studies on three primary competencies:

  • Individual and group therapy across the lifespan
  • Psychological assessment of varying populations
  • Consultation in criminal justice and legal settings

You will master these competencies through coursework like Criminal Evaluations. But you will also gain real-work experience in a field placement in the Denver area. For example, DU works with local jails, counseling centers, and treatment centers to get you appropriate experience practicing forensic psychology. You might also work with district attorney’s offices, public defenders, or in programs for at-risk youth.

This program might qualify you for licensure as a psychologist in the state of Colorado and other states. However, licensing requirements vary, so it’s prudent to consult with your state’s licensing board to see if this master’s program meets their requirements.

To apply to this program, you must submit an application for admission (with a $65 application fee), two essays, and two letters of recommendation. You must also submit official undergraduate transcripts that show a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5. A resume or CV is also required.

Colorado Mesa University (CMU)

School Information

Colorado Mesa University is on the Western Slope in Grand Junction. CMU is a small school with less than 11,000 students, yet the University offers many amenities associated with much larger schools. For example, you can take advantage of many academic assistance programs like tutoring to help you be more successful in the classroom.

Additionally, CMU’s faculty is known for their expertise in their respective fields and their dedication to helping all students learn.

The location of CMU is a benefit as well. You can easily access hiking, biking, skiing, and many other forms of recreation. Grand Junction has many amenities of a large city, yet it’s still small enough that you can enjoy many quaint, quiet areas near campus. Of course, CMU also offers many online courses and programs, so you can pursue your education remotely, too.

Program Information

If you major in psychology or criminal justice at Colorado Mesa University, you can add a Forensic Investigation – Psychology minor that prepares you for entry-level careers in forensic psychology. Likewise, you will gain valuable knowledge for pursuing a graduate degree in this field.

This minor requires that you take 22 semester credit hours of forensic investigation courses. This includes 13 credits of required classes, such as:

  • Death and Forensic Science and Death and Forensic Science Laboratory
  • Professional Issues in Forensic Science
  • Crime Scene Processing and Crime Scene Processing Laboratory
  • APA Style of Writing for Psychology Minors
  • Forensic Psychology

Additionally, you must take three of the following elective courses:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Psychological Testing
  • Drugs and Human Behavior
  • Psychological Interviewing

Combined with your psychology or criminal justice major, you will have a breadth and depth of knowledge that’s useful for many post-graduate pursuits. As noted earlier, you might find entry-level positions in forensic psychology with no additional training. This might entail working as a legal researcher, a police counselor, or an advocate for victims of crimes.

If you want to become a licensed forensic psychologist, though, you will need to obtain a graduate degree in forensic psychology and likely a Ph.D. in forensic psychology as well.

To enroll in this program, you must first be admitted to Colorado Mesa University. Admissions requirements for first-year students stipulate that you fill out an admission application and submit official high school transcripts. ACT or SAT scores can also be submitted, but are not required.

Colorado State University (CSU)

School Information

Colorado State University is in Fort Collins, a burgeoning city along Colorado’s Front Range. As a CSU student, you can take advantage of the many recreational opportunities in the area, which include skiing, fishing, hunting, and watersports.

But while you are on campus at CSU, you will enjoy a community that’s committed to inclusion and diversity. The University recently adopted operating principles that focus on these areas, along with social justice, integrity, service, and respect.

CSU is also known for the research conducted by its students and faculty. The University recently completed nearly $2 billion in improvements to its main campus, so you can conduct research in state-of-the-art facilities. Likewise, CSU spends about $400 million on research each year, making it one of the top public research universities in the country.

Program Information

Colorado State University’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology offers several concentration areas, including one in Mind, Brain, and Behavior. This specialty focuses on cognition and biological psychology, both of which are important for understanding human behavior and criminology. This track’s focus on science and research is also beneficial for you if you intend to continue your studies in a graduate program in forensic psychology.

Another option you might consider is CSU’s concentration in Addictions Counseling. The knowledge and skills you gain in this track allow you to become a Certified Addiction Counselor, who often work for law enforcement agencies to provide services to detainees with an addiction.

Of course, the Clinical/Counseling Psychology track is another excellent option if you wish to become a forensic psychologist. This track helps you build the basic skills needed to provide effective counseling services for juvenile and adult offenders.

Each concentration requires that you first complete at least 30 credits in psychology. To earn your bachelor’s degree from CSU, you must complete a minimum of 120 credits, 42 of which must be upper-division courses. You must also maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA throughout your studies.

To apply to CSU as a first-year student, you must complete an application for admission and pay the $50 application fee. Furthermore, you must also write a personal statement and submit high school and/or college transcripts.

You can choose to submit ACT or SAT scores, letters of recommendation, and a letter of academic explanation if you choose, though these are not required.

The University of Colorado at Boulder

School Information

The University of Colorado at Boulder is the flagship institution in the University of Colorado System. Its campus in Boulder is home to the largest portion of the system’s students – more than 36,000 of the 66,000 students that attend CU campuses.

CU Boulder is one of the top research universities in the nation. In fact, it’s one of just 36 public research institutions in the Association for American Universities (AAU). No matter which of the University’s 4,200 courses you take, you will find challenging coursework with opportunities to learn, grow, and challenge yourself.

Likewise, CU Boulder will help you find ways to improve your life and the lives of those around you with the knowledge you gain in your studies.

Program Information

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program at CU Boulder requires that you complete at least 120 credits of coursework. Of these, 36 or more credits must be in psychology. While this is a general psychology degree, the knowledge and skills you learn can help you lay the foundation for more specific forensic psychology studies in graduate school.

Over the course of this four-year program, you will gain insight into the human condition and why people behave the way they do. You will explore cognitive processes, behavior, emotion, and social psychology, to name just a few subjects.

If you take additional courses in criminal justice, you will have a nice blend of studies to prepare you for a future career in forensic psychology. For example, you might take a psychopathology class to learn more about mental disorders and why they occur, then take a criminology class to learn why people commit crimes.

As a graduate of this program, you can pursue many different employment pathways. You might find an entry-level position in law enforcement or with a government agency. Likewise, you might seek employment in the healthcare industry. These are just a few examples – an undergraduate degree in psychology opens many doors!

You can apply to this program as a first-year student by submitting an application and the $65 application fee. You must also submit an essay, answer two short-answer questions, submit official high school or secondary transcripts, and provide at least one academic letter of recommendation. You can submit ACT or SAT scores, but they aren’t required.

Work Opportunities in Colorado

Colorado offers many unique work opportunities that mirror its unique geography. As a forensic psychologist in Colorado, you might work in urban or rural areas, high mountain towns, or small villages surrounded by farmland. Each location differs in the duties you might be expected to carry out.

For example, if you work as a forensic psychologist for the Denver Police Department, you might spend most of your time advocating for victims of crime, preparing officers to provide expert testimony in court, and working with prosecutors for jury selections.

In contrast, if you are self-employed in a mountain resort town, you might spend the majority of your time in one-on-one counseling sessions or providing consulting services to local organizations.

Of course, you might work strictly on a consultative basis and provide forensic psychology services to businesses and organizations in Colorado and abroad.

Colorado’s population is growing rapidly, adding about 1.5 million residents in the last 20 years. With more people come more problems and, often, more crime. Though more crime isn’t a good thing, it ensures that you will likely have good job security as a forensic psychologist in Colorado in the years to come.

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