Undergrad Psych East Coast


I am currently a junior living in Trenton NJ. I would like to stay in a 4 hour radius from my home. I am looking for a college with a strong undergraduate degree in Psychology… my plan for the future is to become a forensic psychologist. It is best for forensic psychologists to partner with a law firm for a more stable income of work/money… so I think it would be a good idea for me to go to a college with a strong law department too… so i could possibly create networking and connections for down the road.

Once again, I can’t emphasize how much I would like to stay in a 4 hour radius from zip code 08620. I don’t necessarily have a preference on size or city/suburbs… this is somewhat just a list of schools to look up and draft for possible colleges. Im a junior so i’m just starting to look at colleges and would like to visit a wide variety of colleges over the summer.

Let me know what you think!

Thank you :slight_smile:

Here is some information. Were you looking for an undergrad degree in this area? It appears that there are not many schools that offer forensic psych programs. It may be better to pursue it as a specialization at the Master’s level.


Almost every college has a psychology major and there are tons of colleges and universities in a four hour radius of Trenton Unlikely you will have much if any contact with law students as an undergraduate student. Try putting your academic stats and geographic preferences into the SuperMatch on CC (under Find a College to the left side). And be sure to check to see if schools you consider appear to be affordable by running the Net Price Calculator in each college’s website.


I was thinking about doing just psychology for undergrad then going somewhere to get my graduate in forensic psych!

look at Temple u in phila

Clark University is a mere half hour beyond your radius. It has a strong reputation in psychology. http://news.clarku.edu/news/2013/07/08/clark-university-included-on-princeton-reviews-ranking-of-great-schools-for-psychology-majors/

Well if you had the stats, Princeton. Also Hopkins, NYU, Penn State, UPitt, U Maryland, Boston U. All have awesome psych departments

If you are willing to come to Massachusetts, then you should check out BU, Tufts and Clark.

Good General Psych programs can be found anywhere, but these programs can also offer exposure to Clinical Psych:

BU has a large masters program,
Tufts has one of the only undergrad programs
Clark has a Phd program

and they all can also provide some exposure to Law:

BU has an undergrad criminal justice certificate:

Tufts has several law courses (taught by practicing lawyers) offered through the Experimental College as well as a course in Psychology and the Law

Clark offers an undergrad program in Criminal Justice

Good Luck

So two things, even though I think it’s a bit premature to think about this. Number one, “forensic psychology” isn’t really a subfield of psychology. What I mean by that is most forensic psychologists actually have a PhD in a different subfield of psychology (like clinical, counseling, or school especially, but occasionally another one) but their main area of practice is law/forensics. Secondly, it’s not necessarily best for a forensic psychologist to partner with a specific law firm for clients; some forensic psychologists work for the police or another government agency; others are in private practice and may have referral relationships with several law firms or agencies. That said, I’m not sure any networking and connections you created as an undergrad with the law school would be useful to you in your future career anyway.

In any event, undergrad psychology departments typically aren’t ranked. Most strong schools will also have a strong psychology department. Boston U and Clark U are two universities that have been referenced that have strong psych departments. Rutgers has a pretty good psychology program, as does TCNJ. What are you looking for in a university/college other than location? There are a lot of good schools with good psych departments within a 4-hour radius of you.

In general, I don’t think it is premature to be thinking about a career, but it is premature to be committing to one.

In fact, with a degree that is as ubiquitous as Psych, I would argue that it is very important. (Speaking as a parent of a Psych Major).

Forensic Psychology is an “applied” psychology discipline. It builds upon one of the “basic” disciplines.

At the undergrad level, it is a good idea to get some exposure to the application area that you are interested in (as well as other application areas for your major), to figure out what you really like. This can be done through applied coursework, internships and/or research/independent study.

The ability to take an applied course or two that exposes you to the area of Law as well as Clinical Methods is a big plus in deciding if you really like the field and it also serves as a differentiator among the millions of Psych grads out there.

One of the top academics in the field of Forensic Psych is Saul Kassin.

He is at Williams, but unfortunately he is in the process of retiring. I am not sure what the succession plan is, but Williams could also be an option as they have a course in Psychology and the Law and research opportunities, but no applied coursework that I am aware of.

In terms of other academics in the field, Sam Sommers (a behavioral psychologist) at Tufts is one of Saul Kassin’s pupils. He has won a number of teaching awards as well as a early career excellence award from the American Psychology Law Society. He also performs research in the area of Psychology and the Law as well as teaching courses.