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. Students are able to complete this certificate online, however, course availability may vary depending on the semester.

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.

Business-related programs at CAPS are not accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) at Washington University. Most courses are three units.

This program is offered either mostly or fully online.  Students entering the U.S. on an F-1 or J-1 Visa must enroll in a program full time.  F-1 students are only permitted to enroll in one online course per semester and J-1 students may only enroll in non-credit online courses that do not count toward their degree program.  The School of Continuing & Professional Studies (CAPS) cannot guarantee face-to-face enrollment options each semester of full time enrollment, therefore cannot issue an I-20 or DS 2019 to F-1 and J-1 students for this program.  If you are an F-1 or J-1 student and wish to enroll in a CAPS program while here on a Visa, please contact our recruitment team to discuss your options for face-to-face program enrollment.  F-1 and J-1 students should not enroll in online courses or programs without first consulting the university’s Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS).


Units of Required Courses


Units of Elective Requirements

Required Courses – 6 units

  • U09 376 – Introduction to Criminology
  • U09 377 – Introduction to Forensic Psychology

Elective Requirements – 9 units

Students choose from among the following:

  • U92 323 – Sex Trafficking
  • U09 3251 – Juvenile Delinquency
  • U92 326 – Gender and the Prison System
  • U69 3306 – Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
  • U09 368 – Introduction to Psychopathology and Clinical Psychology
  • U92 371 – Gender and Crime
  • U09 378 – Crisis Intervention: The Criminal Justice Response to Chaos, Mayhem, and Disorder
  • U09 384M – Principles of Forensic Assessment
  • U09 385 – Criminal Typologies
  • Additional authorized forensic psychology courses

Application Requirements

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