Forensic Psychology Certificate

Graduate Certificate of Completion in Forensic Psychology

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Discover the Forensic Psychology Certificate - Postgraduate Program

Forensic psychology is a multidisciplinary specialization that blends together law, criminal justice and psychology. Forensic psychologists extract evidence-based data from research studies and apply them to the legal field. The Graduate Certificate of Completion in Forensic Psychology at Grand Canyon University equips students to understand the complexities of legal issues, criminality, crime reduction and criminal rehabilitation.

Offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this forensic psychology certificate is ideal for students with a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as criminal justice, sociology or criminal justice. This program does not directly lead to one becoming a forensic psychologist, but is a comprehensive survey of crime analytics and societal responses to crime. There is an emphasis on scientifically sound research methods and the application of theory in practice, policy development and initiative implementation.

Explore the Psychological and Sociological Factors of Crime with a Forensic Psychology Certificate Online

The forensic psychology certificate, offered online by GCU, allows you to pursue higher education while continuing to meet your current obligations. Our online learning platform is an interactive way to complete your coursework and engage with your peers and instructors. This graduate certificate program is also available via evening classes on campus. It requires a total of 16 credits for completion. The online courses are eight weeks in length.

Students will learn to apply scientific reasoning, demonstrate psychology information literacy and incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry. Explore theories of criminal behavior and how it affects individuals and communities, and examine diversity issues as they pertain to crime and society. Understand crime causation and preventive strategies that can inform your future practice.

Apply Theories to Real-Life Case Studies

The rigorous curriculum includes a blend of instructional coursework, scientific research and real-life case studies. In Theories of Criminal Behavior, students examine the classic and contemporary theories of crime causation. Students explore the following concepts:

  • Victims and victimology
  • Developmental theory (life/latent) and critical criminology
  • Public order, violent crimes and property crimes
  • Social structure and social process theories
  • Rational choice and trait theory

The forensic psychology certificate program continues with a close look at the legal foundations of the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems. In Psychology and the Legal System, students examine criminal procedures, pre-trial processes and post-conviction procedures.

In Psychopathology of Crime, students examine the many diverse factors that underlie criminal behavior. These include biological, neurochemical and sociological issues. There is a focus on addiction, brain imaging and future biopsychosocial research.

The graduate certificate program concludes with Offender Rehabilitation and Reintegration. Students closely examine the rehabilitation of convicted criminals and their reintegration into society. There is an emphasis on rehabilitation for specific populations, including sex offenders, drug offenders, juvenile offenders, female offenders and mentally ill offenders.

Find a Career in Law Enforcement and Criminal Forensics with a Forensic Psychology Certificate

As long as there are criminals, society will require law enforcement and forensic specialists. As a criminal forensic specialist, you could pursue opportunities that would enable you to make a positive difference in your community. Some examples of employers that may hire individuals with a background in forensic psychology include:

  • Government agencies
  • Police departments
  • National law enforcement agencies
  • Correctional facilities
  • Juvenile detention centers
  • Law firms
  • Courthouses

Some graduates may choose to broaden their career opportunities by earning advanced degrees. The Graduate Certificate of Completion in Forensic Psychology builds a solid foundation for pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree.

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Total Credits: 16
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
Online: $565 per credit [More Info]

Course List

16 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
16 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course explores classic and contemporary theories of crime causation, including psychological, developmental, and social causes of crime and theories of punishment.

Course Description

This course provides a psychological perspective for understanding legal issues, an examination of the various roles, functions, strategies, and interagency relationships of the courts, government entities, elements of the crime, and the individual as it relates to due process within the context of crime control.

Course Description

This course requires students to comprehensively examine various psychopathologies behind criminal behavior. Topics such as biological, genetic, neurochemical, cognitive, and sociological factors underlying criminal behavior will be examined. A focus will be placed on addiction, brain imaging, and future biopsychosocial research.

Course Description

This course examines various approaches to rehabilitative treatments in offender populations. A close look at rehabilitative methods within sex offenders, drug offenders, white collar criminals, cyber criminals, female offenders, juveniles, and mentally ill populations will be taken. Students will examine public policy and research based methods for successful prevention and community reintegration.


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.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

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

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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