Provide students with a multidisciplinary foundation of knowledge and skills drawn primarily from the fields of psychology and criminal justice, with additional emphasis from communications, philosophy, health education, sociology and chemistry. Students will develop and refine critical skills in applying research and practice within legal applications primarily related to: forensic hospitalization, corrections; law enforcement; and, the courtroom.


Learning Outcomes 

  1. Use critical thinking in analyzing psychological theory, research and practice with legal settings.
  2. Apply an understanding of complex social, moral, and psychological influences of human behavior within legal contexts.
  3. Explain professional codes of behavior and understand ethical values and constraints affecting psycho-legal practice.


According to the American Psychological Association (2014), individuals with skills and expertise in the field of forensic psychology are in high demand. There has been rapid growth over the past 35 years in training programs offered in the field of forensic psychology and continued growth is expected over the next 10 years (Burl, Shah, Filone, Foster & DeMatteo, 2012) 

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (2014), employment opportunities for individuals with knowledge and skills in forensic psychology may include: Social and community managers, Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, probation officer and correctional treatment specialist, Social and human services assistants, Mediators, Police identification and records officers, Criminal investigators and special agents, Legal support workers, Research assistants, Social service case workers and treatment providers. 

Additionally, according to the APA (2014), individuals with a minor in forensic psychology could go on to pursue graduate training in the following areas: Clinical or Counseling Psychology, Social work or Clinical psychotherapy, Forensic or Criminal psychology, Lawyer or Judge. 

The Forensic Psychology minor was designed to complement wide variety of majors and provide students with skills relevant for careers that interface with Psychology and legal practice.


The Forensic Psychology minor should be planned with an advisor.

Forensic Psychology Advisor: Dr. Tracy Powell, powellt@wou.edu, (503-838-8299)

The Forensic Psychology minor consists of 27 credit hours of which at least 15 hours must be upper division. All students complete a required core, and then choose form elective options listed below. Students with a major in psychology or criminal justice should meet with an advisor to determine if replacement courses are necessary based on major and minor coursework overlap.


Required Core: 24 Credits 

PSY 202 Gereral Psychology 4
PSY 336 Intro to Forensic Pscyhology 4
PSY 438 Advanced Forensic Psychology 4
CJ 213 Intro to Criminal Justice 4
CJ 252 American Courts 4
CJ 450 Criminology 4


 Electives: 3 Credits 

COM 327 Communication in the Legal Field 3
COM 328 Law and Popular Culture 3
PHL 251 Ethics 3
PHL 380 Philosophy of Law 3
HE 366 Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs 4
HE 412 Bullying 4
SOC 225 Social Problems 3
SOC 354 Sociology of Deviant Problems 4
CH 320 Intro to Forensic Science 3
PSY 328 Mental Health 4
PSY 450 Abnormal Psychology 4
PSY 461 Psychopharmacology 4
PSY 463 Childhood Psychopathology 4
CJ 225 Substance Abuse 4
CJ 322/AN 328 Forensic Anthropology 4
CJ 328/AN322 Forensic Osteology 4
CJ 352 Criminal Law 4
CJ 435 Corrections 4
CJ 455 Correctional Casework & Counseling 4
CJ 463 Topics on Juvenile Issues 4




1. My major is psychology (or criminal justice); can I minor in forensic psychology?

Yes, any major can be combined with a minor in forensic psychology. However, if a class is used for the minor (e.g., PSY 328) it can’t also be used for the major. In other words, students cannot “double-dip” or use the same course for your major and minor.

2. I am majoring in something other than psychology or criminal justice. How would a minor in forensic psychology help me?

The forensic psychology minor would be beneficial for anyone interested in developing a greater understanding of psychological disorders and the law. The interdisciplinary forensic psychology minor will help students to develop effective critical thinking skills, and understand complex social, moral, and psychological influences of human behavior necessary for effective civic responsibility.

3. Do any of these classes have prerequisites?

Yes, a few of the courses do have prerequisites. There are prerequisites for all of the psychology courses which can be satisfied by (1) taking PSY 201 and PSY 202, one of which can count for the “additional social science course” needed for Liberal Arts Core Curriculum (LACC).

4. Is a practicum required for this minor?

No, a practicum is not required but it is encouraged as it is a great way to get real-world job experience and make connections in any field.