Psychology & Law Program

For General Information

 Ph.D. Program in Psychology
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
524 West 59th Street, Room 10.65.34
New York, NY 10019


For Application, Admission and Registration Information:

The Graduate Center
Office of Admissions, Room 7201
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Telephone: 212.817.7470


Director of Psychology & Law Training: Professor Margaret Bull Kovera
Degree Requirements:
60 credits of coursework
(Graduates are not eligible to become licensed as psychologists)

The Psychology & Law Training Program emphasizes research training as well as training in applied work such as evaluation research and policy development. It will prepare students as academicians and as applied researchers able to provide professional psychological expertise to and within the criminal and civil justice stems. This program prepares students to develop and conduct independent basic science research in the domain of Psychology & Law. The program includes social, cognitive, developmental, policy and decision sciences orientations. Scholarly activity by members of the program addresses issues such as: jury decision-making in criminal and civil cases (e.g., impact of pretrial publicity, expert testimony, legal instructions, juror characteristics, evidence presentation styles and technologies); the ability of jurors to understand and use scientific and probabilistic evidence; the plausibility of psychological assumptions built into legal rules of evidence and procedure; group processes in juries; jury selection by attorneys and social scientists; the accuracy of child and adult eyewitness identification and crime reports; adolescent brain development and risk-taking behavior; trauma and witness memory; the development and detection of deception; the impact of investigative procedures on witness memory; assessment of the utility and biases inherent in police procedures; police psychology; attributions of blame in sexual assault; the intersection of psychology, gender, and the law; impact of and responses to injustice; inter-group relations and prejudice; analysis of crime scenes and criminal behavior; and the psychology of confessions, false confessions and alibis.

To view the model curriculum in Psychology & Law, click here.

To view the Psychology & Law Training Program Student Handbook, click here (2012-2013 revision coming soon).

To view the Psychology & Law Course Checklist, click here.

For a list of faculty who teach in our Psychology & Law training program, click here.