Info for Students

Info for Students

PhD Students

Research Fields: Professor Salfati is a faculty member in the CUNY Graduate Center PhD programs in Psychology & Law, and Criminal Justice, both of which are housed at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. For more information on our PhD programs please see HERE

PhD Mentoring 2021-2022: Professor Salfati is currently not taking new students in either the Psych & Law or Criminal Justice programs. However students may apply to do their research electives in the lab. Co/Pre-Req PSY746 or PSY770 depending on research area. [updated Dec 2nd 2021]

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. 

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. NOTE: Next class will be Spring 2023.  

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, especially as it applies to law enforcement and other first responder occupations. 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. 

PSY798 Faculty Mentored research. IPRU Research Internships in Investigative Psychology: Pre/Co-requisite PSY746/PSY770. By application only. 

PSY794 Independent Study: Pre-requisite PSY746/PSY770. By application only. 

PSY791 MA thesis in Investigative Psychology: Pre-requisites PSY746. Co-requisite PSY748/PSY798 & PSY738. NOTE: Professor Salfati is currently not taking new thesis students in Spring 2021. [updated Dec 2nd 2021]

PSY791 MA thesis in Positive Psychology: Pre-requisites PSY770Co-requisites: PSY798 & PSY738.

Work Study: Positions in the IPRU are available for students on the Work-Study scheme. Please contact Dr Salfati for details. 

Research Assistant/Internship positions (for John Jay students): RA and Internship positions are only available as part of PSY798 in the area of Positive Psychology. Co/Pre-Req PSY770. Positions are only available for MA level students. 

Research Assistant/Internship positions (for non-John Jay students): Unfortunately, there are no RA positions or internships available to students outside of John Jay. 

For information on current opportunities to work in the IPRU as an MA research student or thesis student, please contact the Master's Student Research Group (MSRG).


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. 

PSY425 Seminar in Forensic Psychology. Special Topic: Positive Psychology & Forensic Practice. It is well documented that professionals within the forensic fields often suffer high levels of stress, exhaustion and burnout due to the challenges and 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. The course provides students with an overview of the psychological research that aims to strengthen first responder practitioner wellbeing. Students will have the opportunity to explore and experience some of the toolkits for themselves in relation to their own lives, and prepare them for a healthy engaged career, and also aims to show how positive psychology can impact individuals, clients, communities and organizations in a positive way. 

Research/Thesis: Unfortunately, there are no RA positions, internships, or research/thesis available for undergraduates. If you are an undergraduate student at John Jay and want to get involved in research, your other options are to contact 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).

Work-StudyPositions in the IPRU are available for students on the Work-Study scheme. Please contact Dr Salfati for details.