Certificate in Forensic Psychology


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 18-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 for 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.

The Certificate in Forensic Psychology is sponsored by the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and offered through University College.

required course work

Required Courses: 12 units

  • Introduction to Criminology (U09 376)
  • Introduction to Forensic Psychology (U09 377)

At least two additional Forensic Psychology courses from the following:

  • Crisis Intervention
  • Criminal Typologies
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Psychology of Policing
  • Introduction to Investigative Psychology
  • Psychology of Deception
  • Introduction to Correctional Theory and Practice
  • Correctional Psychology
  • Principles of Forensic Assessment
  • Psychology in the Courtroom

Courses taken toward a Certificate in Forensic Psychology at University College may apply to a Bachelor of Science in Psychological and Brain Sciences at University College. 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.

Elective Courses: 6 units

A maximum of two authorized elective courses, including other courses from Psychology, and courses from other disciplines, e.g. Political Science, Sociology.

admissions requirements

Non-degree students as well as students already admitted to a degree program in University College may apply for admission to the Certificate in Forensic Psychology.

Certificates - Admission Requirements

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.

application requirements

Completed application form

The online application is available online on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed and the application fee is paid.

$35 application fee

You may pay by credit card online, or via check or money order payable to Washington University in St. Louis. You may also pay the fee by cash at the University College office. 

This fee is waived for all WashU staff.

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Still have questions?

Administrative Assistant for Academic Programs: Holly Schroeder | (314) 935-6759 | cschroed@wustl.edu

Director of Advising and Student Services: Elizabeth Fogt | (314) 935-6778 | efogt@wustl.edu