About Us

Florida International University's Department of Psychology emerged as home to one of the premier programs in the nation for the study of legal psychology. Our faculty come from diverse backgrounds in research training, areas of interest and practical experience. Together they have created a Legal Psychology doctoral program that provides students with a solid foundation in the traditional, current and emerging trends in the field.

The Department of Psychology offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Legal Psychology. Students complete a series of courses designed to provide a thorough understanding of psychological theory and methodology as well as applied and basic research in psychology. Graduates of the program are required to demonstrate mastery of legal psychology, statistics and methodology, and a traditional area of psychological study (e.g., cognitive, social, development). Students are expected to maintain full-time status in the program by taking at least 9 credits during both Fall and Spring semesters.

Legal Psychology is a growing field with enormous potential (see the August 1995 APA Monitor story on the National Invitational Conference on Education and Training in Law and Psychology). Florida International University is one of the few universities in the world with a doctoral concentration in legal psychology, and it is well-respected in psychology-law circles. The Department of Psychology offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Legal Psychology.

The Legal Psychology program focuses on such issues as witness memory, interrogations, investigative interviewing, lineups, deception detection, children's testimony, and juror decision-making. The major focus of the Legal Psychology program is to conduct empirical research. Students are expected to have a strong interest in the research process. The Legal Psychology program capitalizes on Florida International University's location in the major litigation center of the Southeast United States. Doctoral students are expected to master a series of core course requirements designed to facilitate a thorough grounding in theory, methodology, and content both in basic and applied research. Students are also required to pursue specific areas of interest through apprenticeship with a primary advisor for the purpose of acquiring direct research experience.