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Psychology and Law Programs

A Booklet from the American Psychology Law Society

[Editor's note: This page was formerly titled 'Forensic Psychology Programs.' We have changed the name to 'Programs in Psychology and Law' because that is what all these programs have in common. Forensic psychology is usually thought of as clinical psychology and law, whereas the brochure lists several programs that combine law with other fields of psychology (social, cognitive, etc.) If you are specifically interested in forensic psychology, several of the programs offer specializations in that area.]


The field of psychology and law involves the application of psychological principles to legal concerns and the interaction of psychology and law, for individuals involved in the legal process. Students trained in psychology and law provide psycho-legal research in a variety of areas, develop mental health legal and public polices, and work as both lawyers and psychologists within legal and clinical arenas.

The American Psychology-Law Society, Division 41 of the APA, is actively involved in training and career development of psychologists within the field of psychology and law. Information on academic training programs is an important component for the continued growth of the psychology and law field. This brochure provides a listing and brief description of 19 academic programs that provide psychology and law training. This includes joint Ph.D./JD programs, Ph.D. programs with an emphasis on psychology and law, and other programs with psychology and law course work. For further information contact the principle authors listed below.


University of Arizona

The Psychology, Public Policy and Law Program at the University of Arizona is designed to train scholars interested in research and policy careers who will produce theoretically and methodologically sophisticated research in the psychology, policy and law interface. The Department of Psychology in cooperation with the College of Law offers training in this area leading to the Ph.D. Degree, or the J.D.-Ph.D. as concurrent degrees. Students also may apply for a dual major in the Psychology, Policy and Law Program and any other program within the Department of Psychology. The program provides the opportunity for intensive study in three areas: mental health and health policy, mental health-criminal justice interactions, and the analysis of polices and laws for policy planning. Once admitted, training is tailored to match each students' unique academic and research needs. Contact: Graduate Admissions Secretary, Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 210068, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721.

Medical College of Pennsylvania/Hahnemann University

Ph.D./JD program through Psychology Department, Hahnemann University and Villanova Law School. The program is designed to develop scientist-practitioners within law and psychology to provide research, mental health policy formulation, and clinical application. The joint program's approach is to foster an appreciation of an a facility with both traditions simultaneously. Contact: Dr. Donald N. Bersoff JD/Ph.D., Director Law-Psychology Program, Hahnemann University, Broad and Vine, Mailstrop 625, Philadelphia PA, 19102-1192, (215)762-8084.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The Law/Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska offers students a variety of options in law and psychology, including: 1) JD/Ph.D. degrees: 2) JD/MA degrees; 3) Ph.D./MLS degrees; 4) Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology; and 5) Post-Doctoral training. The JD/MA degree is intended for students whose primary interest lies in the area of law, but who wish to obtain some graduate training in psychology. Conversely, the Ph.D./MLS (Master of Legal Studies) degree is available to students who have primary interests in psychology and wish to obtain non-professional training in law. Contact: Dr. Steven Penrod JD/Ph.D., Law and Psychology Program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 318 Burnett Hall, Lincoln NE, 68588-0308, (402)472-3121.

Stanford University

Stanford University offers 4 possible combinations of Psychology/Law training. Students may earn a Ph.D. in psychology with a focus on legal psychology by taking psychology-law seminars and course work. A Ph.D./JD degree and program provides training in both psychology and law, and, psycho-legal combinations. A JD in law with a MA in psychology, and Ph.D. in psychology with a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree can also be obtained. Contact: Dr. David L. Rosehan Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford CA 94305-2130, 415-725-2412.

Widener University

This six year program leads to the awarding of the Psy.D. degree by Wideners Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology and the J.D. degree by Widener's School of Law. The program trains lawyer-clinical psychologists to integrate their knowledge of both fields, bring fresh insights to a variety of important pscyho legal problems, and play diverse roles in society, including administration, consultation, forensic practice, policy making, and teaching. Contact: Dr. Amiram Elwork Ph.D./JD, Director of Law-Psychology Program, One University Place, Widener University, Chester PA 19013-5792, (610)499-1209.


University of Alabama

Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an inclusion of psychology-law course work. The Psychology-Law concentration provides a focused experience for the individual interested in the study of clinical psychology in forensic (court), correctional, and public safety settings. This program offers training for Forensic clinicians and a background in psychology-law research. Contact: Dr. Stanley Brodsky Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Alabama, Box 870348, Tuscaloosa Alabama 35487-0348, (205)348-5083.

University of British Columbia

The Forensic Psychology area is concerned with the application of psychology to the understanding of anti-social and criminal behaviours, and to all aspects of the criminal/justice system. The fostering of both research and practice in forensic areas is the goal of this programme. The program has two distinct research and clinical paths. Contact: Dr. Donald G. Dutton Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z4, (604)822-2755.

Florida International University

The Department of Psychology at FIU offers a doctoral track in Legal Psychology. The seven faculty associated with this track emphasize the applications of social, cognitive, and industrial/organizational psychology to legal issues. This doctoral program is designed to prepare students for psychological consultation in the legal arena, legal psychology research careers, and university-level teaching. Contact: Dr. Gary Moran Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University Park Campus, Florida International University, Miami Florida, 33199, (305)348-3374.

University of Illinois at Chicago

Students interested in Law and Psychology can obtain a Ph.D. in Social, Clinical, or Community Psychology. The program provides students with theoretical and methodological training in psychology, and in the application of psychology to the legal field. Training at UIC is designed to prepare students for research positions in academic and non-academic settings. Chicago provides a stimulating, multicultural setting with a variety of research and clinical sites. Contact: Dr. Shari S. Diamond Ph.D., Department of Psychology (M/C 285), University of Illinois at Chicago, 1007 W. Harrison St. Chicago IL 60607-7137, (312)996-3036.

University of Kansas

The Department of Psychology offers a Ph.D. in Social Psychology with speciality training in psychology and law. Course work is a combination of psychology/law and law school courses. There is an emphasis on research and consultation in the legal system. Contact: Dr. Lawrence S. Wrightsman Ph.D., Department of Psychology, 426 Fraser Hall, Lawrence KS 66045, (913)864-4131.

University of Nevada-Reno

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Social Psychology with speciality training in legal psychology. Emphasis on theoretical and applied research, and psycho-legal consultation. Contact: Dr. Ronald C. Dillehay Ph.D., Center for Justice Studies/313, University of Nevada Reno, Reno NV 89557, (702)492-6636.

Queen's University

The Department of Psychology at Queen's University offers a Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology with an emphasis in correctional psychology. Students are trained to conduct research and perform clinical services in correctional settings. Contact: Dr. Vernon Quinsey Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6, (613)545-6004.

Simon Fraser University

The Graduate Program in Law and Psychology at Simon Fraser University is divided into two streams: Law and Psychology and Clinical-Forensic Psychology. Students in Law and Psychology work to develop research and experimental skills in psycholegal areas. Students in the Clinical-Forensic component develop skills to be used in clinical practice or research in the forensic arena. Both components offer the Ph.D. degree in psychology. Graduates of the Clinical-Forensic Component receive a departmental diploma signifying their specialty training in Forensic psychology. Contact: Dr. James R. P. Ogloff Ph.D./J.D., Coordinator, Graduate Program in Law and Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6, (604)291-3354.

St. Louis University

St. Louis University offers training in Psychology and Law within the Department of Psychology. This is a Ph.D. Program in Social Psychology with an emphasis on legal psychology. Course work is available within an interdepartmental structure. The program provides training for research and consultation within the legal system. Contact : Dr. Richard L. Wiener Ph.D., Saint Louis University, St. Louis Missouri, (314)977-2273.

University of Virginia

Ph.D. Program in clinical and community psychology with a possible focus on research oriented law and psychology curriculum. Primary emphasis on developing research within the psychology-law area, through psychology course work and some law school courses. Psychology faculty have a particularly strong interest in the area of law and children. Contact: N. Dickon Reppucci Ph.D., Department of Psychology, 102 Gilmer Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22906.


University of Denver

Dual Degree Program through the College of Law and the Department of Psychology, during which students can earn a J.D. and a M.A. degree. This is a general program with a primary emphasis on the law degree. Students can, however, go on to a Ph.D. degree in several different Department of Psychology programs. Contact: Dr. Norman Watt Ph.D., Department of Psychology, 2155 S. Race St., Denver Colorado 80208, (303)871-3680.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York

MA degree in Forensic Psychology. The program emphasis is the application of psychological insights, concepts and skills to the understanding and functioning of the criminal justice system. The Department offers course work in a variety of areas and includes corrections, psychology/law, public policy, and police work. Contact: Professor James Wulach, Graduate Coordinator, Forensic Psychology Department, 445 West 59th St., New York New York 10019, (212)237-8782.

Monash University, Clayton Campus (Australia)

The Department of Psychology at Monash University in Australia offers an M.A. degree in Forensic Psychology. The program is designed to prepare students to work in a variety of areas within psychology and law. This includes working with offenders and courts, judges and juries, and legal/public policy. Students are also provided with general psychological background and are encouraged to develop research skills in psychology and law. Contact: Dr. D. M. Thomson, Department of Psychology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia.

For further information about forensic/clinical psychology and law, contact Steven Norton at this address:

Steven C. Norton, PhD
APLS Training and Careers Committee
Federal Bureau of Prisons/Federal Medical Center
Department of Psychology
P.O. Box 4600
Rochester, MN 55903

For information about joining the American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of APA), please contact Cathy Oslzly at this address:

Cathy Oslzly
Department of Psychology
209 Burnett Hall
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0308

Note: In addition to the formal programs described in this brochure, a number of faculty with interests in law and psychology who are not affiliated with formal law and psychology programs, are often willing to accept graduate students.

[For more forensic psychology programs not listed in this copyrighted APA brochure, click here.]

APA-style reference for this page:

American Psychology Law Society. (1998, May 5). Psychology and Law Programs. [Online]. Available:

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