Forensic PsychologyA concentration in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts

"I have always been fascinated with the way a person’s mind works," says Tanaysia Jefferson ’19. "I am also interested in the court process, specifically how the court system works with someone not mentally competent. I researched many universities and found that the University of New Haven was the best school to pursue my interests."

Learn how psychology and the law intersect

Why do people commit crimes? What characteristics or traits do criminals exhibit? Is there a way to prevent them from committing a crime in the first place? These questions have consumed professional psychologists for decades in their quest to understand and treat the criminal mind and protect society.

They are questions that have also consumed the legal system. Particularly, the issue of what a criminal’s mental state was at the time of the offense. That’s where forensic psychology comes in — also known as the merger between psychology and law.

One of the primary jobs of a forensic psychologist within the legal system is to determine competency to stand trial. This requires the forensic psychologist to understand mental competency not just in a psychological sense but also in a legal sense and present the determination of sanity or insanity in a way that the court can understand. Trial lawyers, law enforcement agencies, and crime victims are some of the people that forensic psychologists come into contact with, besides criminal and juvenile offenders.

The University of New Haven offers an enhanced academic experience for students interested in pursuing forensic psychology that will better prepare them for future careers and graduate school placement. Housed in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, the forensic psychology concentration also incorporates courses and faculty from the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences.

Learn from professors who are dedicated to your success.

Our faculty are leaders and innovators in their fields, bringing both deep professional experience and academic rigor to the classroom.


Experiences in and out of the classroom provide good preparation for graduate school.

Envision Your Future

The information below is designed to show the many possible careers you could pursue with your major. The research is provided by Encoura, the leading research and advisory firm focused exclusively on higher education. It includes median national salaries and industry growth projections over the next decade. Click here to view the full report.


Social and Human Service Assistant

15% Growth 2017-2027


Social Science Research Assistant

9% Growth 2017-2027


Probation and Parole Officer

5% Growth 2017-2027

Selected Courses and Programs
  • This course focuses on the functions of the police psychologist such as candidate screening, stress management and counseling, hostage negotiations, critical incident debriefing, and fitness for duty evaluations. Application of psychological principles to investigation strategies such as profiling and hypnosis will also be explored.

  • This course is intended to provide an overview of the various theoretical perspectives in personality psychology. A number of important psychological theories will be used to understand personality, including psychoanalytic, biological, learning, socio-cultural, and trait approaches. Students will be asked to apply their understanding of theory.

  • This course introduces the student to the relationship between drugs (legal and illegal) and human behavior. The main topics will include the role of drugs in today’s society, drug abuse and addiction, the treatment of addiction, and the use of psychoactive drugs in treating psychological disorders.

  • This course explores the neurological underpinnings related to cognitive processes and their associated behaviors. Specifically, the course will focus on the brain’s role in complex human behaviors such as attention, body movement, consciousness, emotions, decision making, formation and retrieval of memories, and the production and understanding of language.

  • To view the complete list of courses you'll take while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology, check out the Academic Catalog:

    Psychology, B.A. - Forensic Psychology Concentration

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