Law and Psychology, PhD

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Laws are written to maintain order among people in society while psychology studies why people do what they do. This program melds the two fields to help explain how human behavior interacts with and is affected by the legal system.

The PhD program in law and psychology is designed to train a new generation of scholars in the field by taking a broad interdisciplinary approach that combines rigorous training in the law and psychology field with training in advanced research methodology and statistics, criminological theory, and contextual training in other subfields of psychology.

The goal of the program is for students to use this knowledge to tackle the many important but understudied areas where the legal system is in desperate need of empirical psychological research.

At A Glance

Law and Psychology, PhD

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Application Deadlines

Please visit the Law and Behavioral Science website for more information and news / events.

Degree requirements

Required Core (21 credit hours)
PSY 515 Quantitative Analysis I (3)
PSY 516 Quantitative Analysis II (3)
PSY 517 Quantitative Analysis III (3)
PSY 544 Advanced Psychology of Criminal Investigation (3)
PSY 545 Advanced Legal Psychology (3)
PSY 546 Advanced Forensic Psychology (3)
PSY 550 Advanced Social Psychology (3)

Electives (36 credit hours)

Required Research (15 credit hours)
PSY 500 Research Methods (3)
PSY 792 Research (12)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
PSY 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students are required to take 15 credit hours of research coursework and 36 credit hours of elective coursework.

When approved by the student's supervisory committee and Graduate College, this program allows 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree to be used for this degree. If students do not have a previously awarded master's degree, the 30 hours of coursework is made up of electives and research.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in psychology, criminal justice, social science, or a closely related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. GRE scores
  4. letters of recommendation
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

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