The online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program affords students the opportunity to pursue a concentration in forensic psychology. This combination gives students a solid foundation of psychological principles with a deeper understanding of how they influence the criminal justice sphere. Graduates of this program not only grasp the essence of being human – how we learn, develop, relate to others, and process information – but they understand how these critical facets of personality influence the American criminal justice system, from criminal behavior, law enforcement, and corrections to trauma, addiction, and counseling.

  • Courses start every 8 weeks
  • Prior college, law enforcement, military training, and more may be accepted for credit towards your degree
  • Convenient online delivery or can be combined with limited face-to-face courses one night a week in our small classroom setting
  • Benefit from highly qualified faculty

Learning Objectives

Graduates of the Psychology program will:

  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge base of psychology.
  2. Demonstrate scientific inquiry and critical thinking skills.
  3. Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological explanations and practices and adopt values that build community in a diverse world.
  4. Demonstrate effective communication skills in a variety of formats.
  5. Apply psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits.
  6. Apply Christian faith to an understanding of psychological science.

In addition to the objectives for the Psychology major, graduates of the Forensic Psychology concentration will:

  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge base of psychological principles as applies to the criminal justice system.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of forensic psychological evaluations and assessment in criminal cases.

Career Opportunities

This program will give you a competitive edge for both entry-level positions and advancement opportunities, including:

  • State & Local Law Enforcement
  • Federal Law Enforcement
  • Corrections
  • Courts
  • Private Security & Business
  • Crime Analysis
  • Victims Advocacy
  • Research

Potential careers with a graduate degree, licensure, and/or credentials include:

  • Applied Behavioral Analysis
  • Counseling
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Professor or Instructor
  • Jury Consultant
  • Expert Witness

Courses Within the Major

MATH 310 Statistical  Applications

This course presents an introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics used in collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data as it relates to business or health care applications.

PSY 320 Human Development

This course investigates human development from conception through death. Topics include physical, cognitive, perceptual language, social, and moral development across the lifespan.

PSY 340 Social Psychology

This course is a study of the social behavior of individuals and groups. Topics include conformity, social influence, conflict, justice, altruism, aggression, prejudice, and attitudes.

PSY 350 Research Methods

This course is an introduction to basic research design. Topics include ethical guidelines, experimental design, correlational design, sample selection, questionnaire construction, reliability and validity of measurements, and internal and external validity. Students design a research study, write an IRB proposal, and present findings in an APA style research paper.

PSY 370 Cognition

A course about mental processes including perception, attention, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, and language.

PSY 390 Biological Psychology

This course is designed to introduce students to neuroanatomy, brain mechanisms, and the physiological bases of behavior related to sensory systems, movement, sleep, learning, memory, and psychological disorders.

PSY 420 Abnormal Psychology

Psychopathology is examined from a biopsychosocial perspective. Students are introduced to the DSM-IV-TR. Topics include etiology, symptoms, and treatment of depressive, anxiety, somatoform, and dissociative disorders, as well as schizophrenia, substance-related, and age-related disorders, and personality disorders.

PSY 499 Senior Capstone

Students develop a written paper and oral presentation that reflects an area of interest and integrates a significant amount of their previous coursework. Limited to senior psychology majors.

PSY 315 Forensic Psychology

An introduction to psychological principles and the legal system. This course includes, but is not limited to, topics such as evaluation and treatment of offenders, victim services, juvenile justice, family services and law, police psychology, risk assessment, and correctional psychology.

PSY 380 Theories of Personality

A survey of historical and contemporary theories on personality. Major theoretical approaches include psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, dispositional, social, and humanistic-existential.

PSY 430 Psychology of Addictive Behaviors

This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of the nature of addiction, including progressive stages and the accompanying “system of denial,” the impact of chemical dependency/behavioral addiction on individual users, families and communities, and to explore prevention and intervention strategies and treatment resources.

PSY 450 Psychometrics

Students are introduced to educational and psychological assessment, such as measures of aptitude, achievement, intelligence, personality, and vocational interest. An emphasis is placed on principles of psychometrics, including test items, standard scores, reliability and validity, and interpretations. While students have some hands-on experiences with particular measures, this course does not train students to administer these tests.

PSY 465 Introduction to Counseling Skills

This course is designed to introduce basic interviewing skills to students who anticipate future work in Christian ministry, teaching, counseling, or other related fields. While this course involves students’ practice of basic listening, empathy, and rapport-building skills, it is not intended to prepare students for clinical practice.

PSY 475 Psychology of Trauma

This course covers the meaning and scope of trauma, the role of betrayal in trauma, trauma in the lives of individuals and families, and the trauma that individuals experience at the hands of several societal institutions: academic, religious, and military. Students will also learn how trauma affects the brain, body, and emotions during the traumatizing event and over time. Common trauma-related diagnoses and current theories in understanding and effecting healing in individuals who have experienced trauma will be covered. Students in the course will reflect upon faith and biblical scriptures as we ask challenging questions about the intersection of God, Christian belief, and trauma.

CJ 330 Corrections in the 21st Century

This course focuses on the different types of correctional institutions, the residents, programs, and the management of these facilities. Discussion will include the special problems associated with corrections and the correctional institutions. History, philosophy and development of adult and juvenile probation, and parole will also be addressed.

CJ 331 Criminal Law and Procedure

This course offers an overview of the theoretical issues and functions of the law involved in the controlling of criminal behavior in society. Historical foundations and the limits of the law will be covered with a correlation of constitutional law.

CJ 340 Criminal Investigation

This course will focus on the student’s ability to accomplish a myriad of criminal investigations upon learning the facts of cases and the evidence as presented.  Students will understand the relevant components of a successful and ethical investigation and be able to summarize evidentiary procedure by articulating their information in various investigative reports. Upon completion of this course, students will be prepared to train in the field with experienced training investigators. They will be able to recognize and evaluate evidence and generate a complete written report ready for the judicial system.

CJ 353 Criminology

This course examines the major criminological issues. This would include definitions of crime and development of theories of crime causation relative to legal, social, political, and psychological perspectives.

CJ 420 Juvenile Justice System

This course introduces the theoretical foundations of delinquency causation. This course will trace the American juvenile justice system and study the rationale of the court system, its jurisdiction, police interaction with juveniles, and the correctional strategies for young offenders.

CJ 440 Victimology

This course introduces students to the world of crime victims.  Students will explore policy developments and practical applications which stem from the concern over victims. They will examine the progression from a criminal to the victim justice system. This course will also present an overview of conceptual and substantive issues in victim-centered theory and research, including the impact of crimes upon the victim and the role of the victim.

All courses are subject to change.