Forensic psychology examines the intersection of human behavior and criminal justice, and it applies theories and skills from psychology to the legal system, including areas such as law enforcement, corrections, victim services, and the treatment of offenders. Forensic psychology includes five major sub-disciplines—police psychology, investigative psychology, criminal psychology, correctional psychology, and legal psychology—all of which are covered in the course work comprising the 15-unit Certificate in Forensic Psychology.
Forensic psychologists are growing in numbers in judicial systems and law enforcement, working in correctional facilities, law enforcement agencies, police offices, school and university settings, community service agencies, and private practices. In addition to being a springboard to graduate study in Psychology, Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Criminology, the Certificate in Forensic Psychology complements undergraduate degrees in Psychology, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Urban Studies, Biology and Chemistry.
Online or In-Classroom Formats Available
Students are able to complete this certificate online, however, course availability may vary depending on the semester. Learn more about our online learning options.
Non-degree students as well as students already admitted to a degree program in the School of Continuing & Professional Studies may apply for admission to the Certificate in Forensic Psychology. There are no formal requirements for admission to undergraduate certificates. Students should speak with an academic advisor regarding their preparation for specific certificates or courses.
US Citizenship or Eligible Noncitizen
International students interested in the certificate programs must hold a visa that permits part-time study (including F-2 and J-2 visas). Students holding F-1 visas are not eligible for these programs. Students holding a B-2 visa may be eligible if the coursework is recreational or avocational in nature.
NOTE: The School of Continuing & Professional Studies is designed for students with adult responsibilities who may require part-time and flexible course schedules. Current high school students and recent graduates seeking a traditional WashU college experience should apply through the undergraduate admissions office: admissions.wustl.edu.
Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis and typically take three to five business days. An application is incomplete and will not be reviewed until all of the application requirements have been received or processed. Applicants are encouraged to submit all materials by the following dates:
- Summer 2024: April 30, 2024
- Fall 2024: July 31, 2024
- Spring 2025: Dec. 31, 2024
Completed Application Form
The online application is available on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed and the required documents have been received.
We are here for you every step. Getting started at CAPS is easy.
1. Meet with an Advisor
- Schedule an appointment with an advisor online.
2. Start Your Application
- Applying is easy, and our advisors are here to help you find the path that fits your needs. Apply Today!
3. Plan Ahead
- Explore ways that can help you afford your education such as tuition payment methods, scholarships and financial aid.
Take a course today. Apply later.
At CAPS, students can take courses without applying to a degree program. If you are interested in taking a class to get to know CAPS, to fulfill credits, for professional development, or to follow a passion, the non-degree option is for you. Learn more.
REQUIRED COURSES: 6 UNITS
- Introduction to Criminology (U09 376)
- Introduction to Forensic Psychology (U09 377)
ELECTIVE COURSES: 9 UNITS. Choose from:
- Sex Trafficking (U92 323)
- Juvenile Delinquency (U09 3251)
- Gender and the Prison System (U92 326)
- Introduction to Forensic Anthropology (U69 3306)
- Introduction to Psychopathology and Clinical Psychology (U09 368)
- Gender and Crime (U92 371)
- Crisis Intervention: The Criminal Justice Response to Chaos, Mayhem, and Disorder (U09 378)
- Principles of Forensic Assessment (U09 384M)
- Criminal Typologies (U09 385)
- Additional authorized forensic psychology courses
Courses taken toward a Certificate in Forensic Psychology may apply to a Bachelor of Science in Psychological and Brain Sciences at CAPS. A single course can count toward any two of the following categories: 1) major requirements; 2) basic requirements for numerical applications or non-Western culture; and 3) distribution requirements.
Student Success Navigators
Every CAPS student is paired with a Student Success Navigator at the time of admission to help you navigate your path and needs. We will provide you with the tools to make each moment spent on your education as valuable as possible. Students will receive:
- individual appointments with an experienced Student Success Navigator;
- career planning services to prepare you for opportunities after graduation;
- a partner throughout your journey to ensure success.
Student Success Navigators are available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.