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Advance the Study of Criminal Behavior With a PhD in Forensic Psychology

Do you want to serve the criminal justice system in the areas of consulting, research, or teaching? Reach your personal and professional potential with a PhD in Forensic Psychology.

A PhD in Forensic Psychology program academically prepares students to be advisors, thought leaders, and scholarly contributors in this evolving field. In our program, you’ll take a deeper dive into the biological, psychological, and socioeconomic factors that can drive criminal behavior. Be empowered with tools and support services that keep you feeling confident and motivated every step of the way.

Why Choose Walden?

Specialized Coursework

Gain a competitive advantage through specialized coursework focused exclusively on forensic psychology.

Expert Faculty

Our faculty includes subject matter experts in the field of forensic psychology, including consultant and author Dr. Eric Hickey.

Ongoing Enrichment

Expand your learning beyond the classroom with regular webinars and optional four-day intensives focused on key topics.

Fast-Track Option

Take additional courses each term and start your dissertation early.

Earn Your MPhil Along the Way

Qualify for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree upon completion of certain program requirements.

Program Savings

Speak with an Enrollment Specialist to learn about our current tuition savings.

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Program Details

Learning Tracks

TRACK I: Choose this track if you have a master's degree in forensic psychology.

TRACK II: Choose this track if you have a GPA of 3.0 on bachelor’s degree or master's degree in another discipline.

FAST TRACK: Walden offers a Fast-Track Option. Students can complete their doctorate in less time by taking advantage of this path. With the Fast-Track Option, students take additional courses and begin their dissertation early to expedite their path through the program.

Curriculum - General Specialization

Admission Requirements

Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.


Four academic residencies

 support your progress at key points in your doctoral journey. Residencies also strengthen your scholarly and professional connections.

Earn Your Master of Philosophy Degree Along the Way

Walden understands the rigors involved with preparing for your doctorate. To signify how far you’ve come on your journey, you will be eligible to be awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree upon completion of program requirements, prior to completion of your dissertation.

Walden is one of a few universities that offer this advanced research master’s degree. Highlight your academic achievement and show employers and others that you possess comprehensive knowledge in your field of study.

Your Doctoral Journey

At Walden, we’ll guide you every step of the way with a comprehensive suite of support resources designed to help you confidently pursue the finish line, including our Doctoral Degree CoachTM. Are you ready to reach a higher level in your field?

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A Personalized Guide to Completing Your Doctorate

Earning your PhD in Forensic Psychology requires commitment, perseverance, and hard work. You can do it, and Walden is here to help—with our Doctoral Degree Coach™.

  • Map and Track Milestones: Break your research down into manageable, sequential steps. See where you are, what’s ahead, and what you’ve already accomplished—all in one place.
  • Meet Weekly Targets: No more guesswork. Set prompts based on your to-do list and receive reminders and updates directly to your inbox.
  • Connect With Faculty: Stay on the same page and keep your progress on track. With shared access to your dashboard, your chair can easily guide you through your checklists, goals, and timelines.
  • Access Helpful Resources: Quickly find support from the right person at the right time. Our comprehensive resource guide points you in the right direction—no more frustrating searches.

Tuition and Fees

General Program Specialization

Paying for Your Education

Our Enrollment Specialists can help you outline a plan and find resources for funding your education.

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Program Savings

Speak with an Enrollment Specialist to learn about our current tuition savings.

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General Program

Evaluate behavior, analyze seminal works in forensic psychology, integrate principles of advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research related to forensic psychology, and engage in decision-making using relevant ethical codes.

Criminal Justice Self-Designed

Tailor your study path to deepen your knowledge of forensic psychology while focusing on criminal justice practice and theory.

Crisis Leadership Management

Explore major theoretical leadership models and contextual and situational factors related to leadership and change.

Crisis Response

Gain skills needed to assist in police officer selection and training, critical incident stress debriefing, and hostage negotiations.

Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology

Examine probation and parole services, corrections, and their interaction in the criminal justice system.


Tailor your learning program to deepen your understanding of the forensic psychology field.


Dive deeper into the experience of the victim as well as that of first responders who may experience vicarious traumatization.

Program Outcomes

Dive Into the Captivating Field of Forensic Psychology

In Walden’s forensic psychology PhD program, you’ll advance your understanding of this fascinating sub-field of psychology. Examine behaviors underlying various forensic populations, such as the incarcerated, recently released offenders, those with mental illness, and juvenile offenders. Develop an advanced research skill set that allows you to produce independent scholarly research on timely topics.

Career Outlook

The title “Dr.” doesn’t just look good on paper—it has the potential to help you unlock more credibility, influence, and opportunities in your career. With a PhD in Forensic Psychology degree, you’ll be academically positioned for more professional autonomy and greater possibilities in this fascinating field.

While many online forensic psychology degree holders seek careers in academia, others pursue paths in private consulting, nonprofit organizations, and research institutes. Make valuable contributions as a teacher, consultant, or researcher and help shape safer communities.

A PhD in Forensic Psychology can academically prepare you to work in settings such as:

  • Private consulting
  • Universities
  • Court systems
  • Government agencies

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of this program, you will be prepared to:

  • Evaluate behavior using psychological theory and research from a forensic psychology perspective.
  • Analyze seminal works in forensic psychology in terms of their relation to education and/or research.
  • Differentiate between advanced legal concepts pertaining to forensic psychology.
  • Integrate principles of advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research related to forensic psychology.
  • Evaluate how assessment elements (psychological assessment, risk assessment, psychological reports) are used within forensic psychology settings.
  • Engage in decision-making using relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA and Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists) in forensic work settings.
  • Promote social change through the integration of principles of forensic psychology in scholarly and/or professional activities.


Meet Your Academic Team

  • Barbara Palomino Develasco

    Academic Coordinator

    Dr. Palomino deVelasco is a court-approved forensic expert in South Florida. Her clinical/forensic practice focused primarily on forensic psychological evaluations in the areas of competency, insanity, capital punishment, and risk assessment evaluations.

  • Eric Hickey

    Senior Core Faculty

    Dr. Hickey has published several books and articles on the etiology of violence and serial crime. He is noted for his field experience working with the criminally insane, sex offenders, and other habitual criminals. His expertise is chronicled in dozens of TV documentaries, including appearances on CNN and 20/20.

Why Choose Walden?

FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Forensic Psychology


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