BS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology

Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

What is Forensic Psychology?

Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology degree program provides an overview of the intersection of psychology and the criminal justice system. This program is for students interested in working with people who need assistance coping with the aftereffects of a violent crime. Students who are curious about the cause of crime as well as the role of the legal system and psychology may find this career path desirable. The American Psychological Association defines forensic psychology as “the application of clinical specialists to the legal arena” or applying clinical psychology skills (assessment, treatment and evaluation) to forensic settings. Those with a forensic psychology bachelor of science degree may find themselves in a variety of roles including:

Working in child custody and criminal defendant evaluations Delivering treatment programs for juvenile or adult offenders and those suffering from substance abuse Participating in investigations or conducting them Assisting in counseling services, mental health care, psychological screening and assessment Facilitating individual or group therapy, crisis management and other evaluations Researching or teaching psychology and law connections

Forensic psychology is a broad field as specialists may work in a variety of settings such as rehabilitation or research centers, hospitals, forensics labs, medical examiners’ officers, police departments, law firms, education institutions, government agencies, prisons/jails and private practices for independent consulting. Forensic psychologist professionals may also work alongside police officers, attorneys, defendants, offenders, patients, victims and their families. In GCU’s Bachelor of Science program, forensic psychology focuses on where the science of the mind intersects with the law. Students gain insight into the psychological experiences of victims and abnormal behavior. Students also engage in the study of general psychology, human behavior criminology and other justice-related areas.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology - Forensic Science Requirements at GCU

Students will gain competencies in these core areas: (1) Foundations of Psychology (2) Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking (3) Ethical and Sociocultural Responsibility (4) Personal and Professional Development (5) Forensic Psychology. The forensic psychology emphasis examines the role of forensic scientists in the justice and psychology fields. Students acquire knowledge of criminological and victimological theories and will apply psychology theories to better understand criminal behavior and propensity. Emphasis areas of study include:

  • Roles, responsibilities and limitations of forensic psychologists
  • How motivations, deviance and abnormal behaviors can lead to crime
  • Differences between various criminological theories
  • Victim theory to explain patterns of victimization and precipitation of crime

Course topics include:

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Criminal Behavior, Victimology and Law
  • Understanding Trauma
  • Experimental and Abnormal Psychology
  • Professional Capstone Project (preparing a written proposal for a research project that focuses on the resolution of an issue or problem significant to professional psychological practice)

What Can You Do With a BS in Forensic Psychology Degree?

Earning a bachelor of science in forensic psychology is a recommended starting point toward becoming a forensic psychologist, which typically requires advanced education. This bachelor’s program is also designed for individuals seeking a career as a correctional professional, social worker, community mental health professional, social and community service manager, social and human service assistant or community and social service specialist. Other occupational areas include homeland security and private-sector work.

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TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Program Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
Online: 7 weeks [More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
PROGRAM TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]
Online: $470 per credit [More Info]

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
64 credits
Open Elective Credits:
16-22 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Required General Education Courses

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This foundation course in the science of behavior includes an overview of the history of psychology, the brain, motivation, emotion, sensory functions, perception, intelligence, gender and sexuality, social psychology, human development, learning psychopathology, and therapy.

Course Description

This course serves as a foundation for undergraduates in the field of psychology. Professional skill development, such as an introduction to scientific reasoning, research foundations, critical thinking, literature reviews, and scholarly writing are covered, as well as contemporary ethical issues in the field of psychology. Students have the opportunity to apply guidelines proposed by the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics when exploring topics. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

This writing intensive course is a study of the nature and causal determinants of human behavior, including the definition and scientific measurement of personality. Theories studied include the psychodynamic, Neo-Freudian, trait, biological, humanistic, cognitive, and behavioral theories. The Christian perspective on the nature of human personality is also explored. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

Students entering Child and Adolescent Psychology gain a more in-depth knowledge of development from conception through adolescence. Major theories of physical, motor, emotional, and social development of children are critiqued and analyzed. Students engage in learning about the developmental milestones, personality, language, moral development, typical and atypical behaviors, and learning and cognition. An emphasis on research methodology and interpretation is used to analyze the concepts in this class.

Course Description

This course provides a study of social and group factors affecting individual behavior. Attention is given to the development of attitudes, roles, norms, group processes, aggression and cooperation, persuasion, stereotypes and prejudices, and social awareness. The role of culture in social processes is emphasized.

Course Description

This theoretical and research-based course covers psychosocial, emotional, physical, and cognitive aspects of human development from emerging adulthood to death. Theories of development and applications to real-world situations provide a context for understanding how humans transition across stages of adulthood to death. Scientific approaches for studying developmental psychology stress the importance of research methodology and research interpretation. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

This course reflects psychology’s growing interest in health-related issues, and gives students an overview of the broad topics in health psychology. Topics include theories of health behavior, patient adherence, stress and pain development and management, cancer and chronic illness development and management, and health-related behaviors such as substance use, proper nutrition, and exercise. This course focuses on health from a biopsychosocial perspective. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

This course provides an examination of the basic theories of criminology including victimology. The course exposes students to the motivators of criminal behavior to better understand crime and those who commit crime.

Course Description

This course is a study of elementary theories of probability, distribution, and testing of statistical hypotheses. Practical experience is provided in the application of statistical methods. Prerequisite: MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This course includes an introduction to the experimental study of cognition and neurophysiology. Topics include sensation and perception, memory, learning, language, metacognition, intelligence, problem solving, decision-making, mental imagery, consciousness, attention, and the development of cognition through the life span. Major theoretical perspectives and current research within the fields of cognition and neuroscience are discussed. This course also provides students with a basic understanding of the neural underpinnings of a variety of cognitive processes. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the field of forensic psychology. Forensic psychology is where the science of the mind intersects with the law. This course explores the scientific principles of psychology as applied to the legal setting. The role and practice of forensic psychology is explored.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to criminal liability with an emphasis on the elements of a crime and governmental sanctions of individual conduct as formulated by the legislature and the court system.

Course Description

This course is a laboratory course emphasizing both the theoretical and applied aspects of experimental design and research methodology. A variety of activities are performed in such areas as learning, motivation, and perception. Prerequisite: PSY-380.

Course Description

This course offers an overview of various types of trauma, and effects of traumatic experiences within the physical, emotional, sociological, cognitive, and spiritual domains of a human being. It studies the dynamics of trauma throughout the human life-span development. It offers a brief overview of trauma, informed care assessment and treatment, and ethics associated with working with trauma victims.

Course Description

The capstone project is the culmination of learning experiences for students in the psychology program at Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students prepare a written proposal for a research project that focuses on the resolution of an issue or problem significant to professional psychological practice. The proposal includes a problem statement, review of literature, research methods, research questions, limitations, and ethical considerations for the research. The proposal needs to reflect synthesis and integration of course content and professional practice. The capstone project is guided by the baccalaureate program student learner outcomes. This capstone course needs to be completed at the end of program. Prerequisite: PSY-452.

Course Description

This is a writing intensive foundation course in the science of abnormal behavior that offers students the opportunity to study the origin and development of abnormal patterns and disorders. This course is designed to assist students in recognizing and understanding mental illness through increased awareness of emotional, functional, and physiological factors influencing mental health. Specific topics include symptoms, diagnoses, etiology, epidemiology, and treatment of various psychological disorders and syndromes.

Program Locations


GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

Program Domains

On-campus program disclosures (4 years) Online and Evening program disclosures (4 years)

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.

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