Info for Students

Info for Students

PhD Students

For information on completing a PhD in the IPRU, please email the IPRU student liaison at

Research Fields: Professor Salfati mentors students in the PhD program in Psychology & Law, and PhD program in Criminal Justice. For more information on our PhD programs please see HERE

Courses: Students in the PhD program are eligible to take all Masters-level courses below as electives. 

MA Students

PSY746 Empirical Profiling Methods: This course deals with advanced issues relating to the empirical and scientific study, development and evaluation of offender profiling as an applied method for use in police investigations, as it is studied in the field of Investigative Psychology. The main psychological principles upon which offender profiling is based are outlined, including classification of criminal behavior, and behavioral change and consistency. The course will further build on this by focusing on methodological questions relating to classifying crime scene behaviors, linking behavioral types to offender characteristics, and linking serial offenses, and looking at profiling in the practical context of the investigative and legal system. Offered as 15-week Hybrid (part in class, part online) in Fall/Spring, and as Online 3-week intensive in Winter/Summer.

PSY748 Empirical Crime Scene Analysis: This class aims to introduce students to crime scene analysis and profiling research, using actual police crime files that are part of a collaborative research project between John Jay and the FBI, and will take them through the process of completing a research project from start to finish. This class provides an excellent basis for students to complete a thesis in the IPRU or PhD Studies, or for entrance in law enforcement. Offered in Spring only. 

PSY770 Positive Psychology: The Science of Well-Being & Flourishing: Professionals in forensic psychology often work within challenging and high stress situations such as prisons, hospitals, law enforcement and the courts. It is well documented that professionals within these fields often suffer high levels of stress, exhaustion and burnout due to the emotional nature of their jobs. Practitioners in these fields therefore need high levels of resilience skills and resources in order to withstand the demands of these types of careers, protect their own well-being. Positive Psychology provides an additional piece to psychology by focusing not on the treatment of dysfunction, but rather on the enhancement and strengthening of human functioning. The course will go through the latest in the empirical evidence of the field, and will evaluate this in relation to theory and issues related to the field of practice. The course also introduces some of the assessments and tools used in the field and will provide students with the opportunity to explore and experience some of the toolkits for themselves in relation to their own lives, and also aims to explore how positive psychology can impact individuals, clients, communities and organizations in a positive way. Offered as 15-week Hybrid (part in class, part online) in Fall/Spring. Winter/Summer sections may be offered starting 2020. 

PSY798 IPRU Research Internships in Investigative Psychology: Pre/Co-requisite PSY746/PSY770. 

PSY794 Independent Study: Pre-requisite PSY746/PSY770. 

PSY791 MA thesis in Investigative Psychology: Pre-requisites PSY746, PSY715, PSY737. Co-requisites: PSY738, PSY748. 

PSY791 MA thesis in Positive Psychology: Pre-requisites PSY770, PSY715, PSY737. Co-requisites: PSY738

Work-Study: Positions in the IPRU are available for students on the Work-Study scheme

Research Assistant positions: Available to John Jay students only, and only done as part of PSY798 or Work Study. Unfortunately, there are no RA positions or internships available to students outside of John Jay. 

For information on working with the IPRU as a Masters student, please contact the Master's Student Research Group (MSRG), or email the IPRU student liaison at

Undergraduate Students

PSY425 Seminar in Forensic Psychology. Special Topic: Investigative Psychology. This course will deal with the topic of Investigative Psychology – how we apply psychological methods to criminal investigations, such as behavioral crime scene analysis (offender profiling) and linking serial crimes. It will focus on the real science behind TV series such as Criminal Minds. Offered as 15-week Hybrid (part in class, part online) in Fall/Spring, and as Online 3-week intensive in Winter/Summer.

Work-Study: Positions in the IPRU are available for students on the Work-Study scheme. 

Research: Research positions are available for BA/MA students only (see more details in above MA section). If you are an undergraduate student at John Jay and want to get involved in research, see the Undergraduate Research Experience Program, speak to the Academic Advisor about doing research as part of your undergraduate Honors Program, or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR).