If you daydream about being the hero that solves brutal crimes and tracks down serial killers based on psychological theories, then forensic psychology scholarships can go a long way towards helping your career goals become a reality.
Forensic psychology is a fascinating applied discipline that blends psychology, criminal justice, and law together. Forensic psychologists may be involved in evaluating child custody cases, providing expert testimonies in court, giving sentencing recommendations for offenders, conducting competency evaluations, profiling criminals, or offering psychotherapy to victims.
Turn your obsession for popular TV shows like Criminal Minds, CSI, and Law & Order: SVU into a thrilling mental health career by investigating some of the following scholarship opportunities.
1. AAFP Dissertation Research Grants
Deadline: March 31st
Annually, the American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP) offers the Dissertation Research Grants to provide up to $5,000 to outstanding doctoral students who are currently enrolled in an accredited forensic psychology degree program in the United States. Eligible candidates must submit a completed application with a dissertation proposal, a current CV or resume, at least one letter of support, and a personal statement exploring their career interests in the area of law and psychology. Recipients will be chosen based on their budgetary needs, experimental design, methodological soundness, and potential for contribution to the applied forensic psychology field.
2. Adler Leadership, Public Service and Justice Scholarship
Deadline: December 1st
At Adler University in Chicago, the Leadership, Public Service and Justice Scholarship is awarded for up to $3,000 each year to students who are pursuing careers in public service by earning their degree in emergency management, criminology, counseling, or forensic psychology. Eligible candidates must be enrolled full-time in an approved undergraduate or graduate program, exhibit financial need, maintain good academic standing, be committed to ethical leadership practices, and show potential for future contributions to justice. Students are automatically considered for this scholarship when they submit their admissions application before the deadline.
3. AP-LS Doctoral Dissertation Awards
Deadline: December 31st
As Division 41 of the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) has created Doctoral Dissertation Awards to provide financial support to doctoral students in the United States who are completing their dissertations in forensic psychology, criminology, or another law-related psychology discipline. Eligible applicants must be attending an accredited U.S. graduate school, be involved in basic or applied research, have AP-LS membership, be defending their dissertation in the upcoming calendar year, and submit a signed letter of recommendation from the dissertation advisor. Recipients will be invited to present their doctoral research at the Annual AP-LS Conference in San Diego.
4. ASC Graduate Minority Fellowships
Deadline: March 1st
Since 1988, the American Society for Criminology (ASC) has hosted annual Graduate Minority Fellowships to award $6,000 to three students of color who are entering the field of criminology, forensic psychology, criminal justice, or law. Qualified African American, Asian American, Native American, Pacific Islander, Alaskan Native, and Hispanic/Latino students must attend an accredited U.S. institution, be entering their doctoral studies, have unmet financial need, and maintain excellent academic standing. Along with an application, candidates must provide proof of enrollment, an up-to-date curriculum vitae, official college transcripts, three reference letters, and a personal statement describing their career plans in justice.
5. Control of Anger & Violence Research Scholarship
Deadline: March 6th
At Fielding Graduate University, the Control of Anger & Violence Research Scholarship is awarded annually for $750 to doctoral students currently enrolled in the university's Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program with a concentration in Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, Neuropsychology, or Violence Prevention/Control. Eligible applicants must be conducting research on topics related to the control of anger or violence, have a pre-proposal recorded, and be making timely progress on their dissertation project. Forensic psychologists at Fielding can also apply for the Ernestine Magagna Baker Scholarship if they're a first-generation college student to receive up to $9,000!
Control of Anger & Violence Research Scholarship
2020 De La Vina Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
6. Early Career Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 31st
Through the American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP), the Early Career Scholarship Program is granted each year to provide $2,000 to early career forensic psychology diplomate candidates who wish to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at an ABFP-approved setting. To qualify, applicants must already possess a Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree in forensic psychology, plan to apply for board certification in forensic psychology within two years, and have current AAFP membership. For consideration, forensic psychologists must submit a copy of their fellowship acceptance letter, two letters of recommendation, official graduate transcripts, and a small application fee.
7. Ellis R. Kerley Forensics Scholarship
Deadline: April 30th
Every academic year, the Ellis R. Kerley Forensic Sciences Foundation offers at least one scholarship to a deserving graduate-level student who is currently accepted to or enrolled in an approved program leading to a degree in forensic anthropology, forensic psychology, or another closely related forensic science. Eligible candidates must possess an outstanding academic record, have graduated from an accredited U.S. school, have some association with the AAFS or ABFA, and demonstrate leadership in school or community activities. Applications must include a two-page personal essay, official transcripts, and a sponsorship letter.
8. Forensic Mental Health Association of California Scholarship
Deadline: January 15th
The Forensic Mental Health Association of California Scholarship is offered each year for worthy forensic psychology students to receive free tuition and lodging during the Annual FMHAC Conference. For consideration, qualified candidates must submit a completed application form with an original cover letter, a current resume, at least one letter of recommendation from a faculty member or supervisor, and a short essay describing how they'll contribute to this year's conference festivities. In exchange, recipients will be given responsibilities like registration, merchandise duty, or CE signing in/out through the final presentation on Friday.
9. Gene Carte Student Paper Competition
Deadline: April 15th
Also offered by the American Society for Criminology (ASC), the Gene Carte Student Paper Competition is held each year to award $500 to outstanding undergraduate or graduate-level college students who are currently enrolled on a full-time basis in an academic program related to criminology, forensic psychology, criminal justice, or a related law field. Qualified participants must submit a scholarly paper no longer than 7,500 words with references and a 100-word abstract on any topic directly relevant to the criminology profession. The ASC Committee will judge each submission based on the quality of conceptualization, clarity, aptness of research methods, and potential contribution to forensics.
10. George H. Robinson Memorial Scholarship
Funded by the Chesapeake Bay Division of the International Association for Identification (CBD-IAI), the George H. Robinson Memorial Scholarship is given for $500 each year to five students who are currently pursuing a degree in forensic science, forensic psychology, criminology, or criminal justice. Qualified applicants must maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, be enrolled full-time at an accredited U.S. institution, reside within the Chesapeake Bay region, have attained at least sophomore-level standing, and need financial assistance. Applications must be accompanied by official college transcripts, an academic advisor form, two letters of reference, and a short biographical sketch.
George H. Robinson Memorial Scholarship
P.O. Box 224
Broad Run, VA 20137
11. Grace M. Walsh Forensics Scholarship
Deadline: April 3rd
As home to one of the top 10 teams for the National Forensics Association (NFA), the University of Wisconsin at Eau-Claire is proud to deliver the Grace M. Walsh Forensics Scholarship each year for $800 to currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students who wish to compete on the university's intercollegiate forensics team. Eligible candidates must plan to attend at least three tournaments per semester, develop three different events for these tournaments, attend the Nationals should they qualify, and maintain good academic standing. Applicants are asked to complete a scholarship, attach a letter of recommendation from a previous forensics coach, and tape a six-minute audition video.
12. John A. Reisenbach Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 9th
In honor of a young advertising executive whose murder remains unsolved after he was shot and killed in a phone booth in West Village, the John A. Reisenbach Memorial Scholarship is granted annually for $2,000 to graduate students enrolled at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to receive a master's in criminal justice, forensic science, or forensic psychology. All applicants must have completed nine to 12 graduate credits, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, and compose a 500-word essay on how their graduate education will help them make New York City a safer place.
13. Lizette Peterson-Homer Grant Award
Deadline: October 1st
Sponsored by the American Psychological Foundation (APF), the Lizette Peterson-Homer Grant Award is open to graduate students in any psychology discipline, including forensic psychology, who are conducting research on the prevention of injuries in children and teens through accidents, violence, abuse, or suicide. Eligible applicants must be matriculated at an accredited U.S. institution, be earning a master's or doctoral degree, display research competence, and be committed to helping curb significant threats to child development. Applications must include a research proposal, detailed budget plan, current curriculum vitae, and faculty letter of support.
14. Lorraine Thomas Endowed Scholarship
Deadline: December 1st
In the College of Psychological Studies at Nova Southeastern University, the Lorraine Thomas Endowed Scholarship is presented annually for $1,500 to graduate students currently enrolled in the Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Psy.D. Clinical Psychology, M.S. Counseling, M.S. Family Therapy, M.S. Forensic Psychology, M.S. School Counseling, or Psy.S. School Psychology program. Qualified candidates must have clear career interests working with children or adolescents, be in good academic standing, be nominated by a CPS administrator or faculty member, have financial need, and be actively involved in clinical/research activities for their chosen psychological niche.
15. Mike Byrd Crime Science Scholarship
Deadline: May 1st
Annually, the Police Officer Assistance Trust (POAT) offers the Mike Byrd Crime Science Scholarship to award $1,000 to full-time college students who are currently majoring in biology, chemistry, forensic science, pathology, forensic psychology, criminology, or another major affiliated with crime scene investigation. Eligible candidates must be the sons or daughters of sworn law enforcement officers in Miami-Dade County, reside within southern Florida, attend an accredited in-state institution, and maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.5. Applicants must submit a completed scholarship application with a certified transcript and two recommendations.
16. Nancy B. Forest and L. Michael Honaker Master's Grant
Deadline: May 6th
Administered by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Nancy B. Forest and L. Michael Honaker Master's Grant is given annually for $1,000 to fund master's-level thesis research for graduate students in the United States majoring in any area of psychology, such as forensic psychology. To qualify, applicants must be APAGS members, be enrolled at least half-time, maintain good academic standing, attend a regionally accredited institution, and be starting their master's thesis project. Applications must include a two-page cover letter, an abbreviated research proposal, a current curriculum vitae, and one letter of recommendation.
Nancy B. Forest and L. Michael Honaker Master's Grant
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
17. NRHSP Forensic Psychology Fellowship
Deadline: January 5th
Through the National Register of Health Service Psychologists (NRHSP), a Forensic Psychology Fellowship is offered annually to clinical psychologists who are seeking to become highly competent forensic examiners capable of independent forensic assessment practice and expert witness testimony. Eligible candidates must be completed an APA-accredited doctoral program, have finished an APA-accredited internship, have prior experience in forensics or corrections, submit three letters of recommendation, and write a personal statement addressing their interests in forensic assessment. Recipients will work one year full-time for 40 hours per week on a variety of forensic cases while earning a salary of $64,060 with benefits.
NRHSP Forensic Psychology Fellowship
1200 New York Avenue NW Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005
18. Richard McGrath Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: December 1st
Funded by the Lambda Alpha Epsilon Society within the American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA), the Richard McGrath Memorial Scholarship is delivered annually for up to $1,500 to deserving student members who are majoring in any field related to criminal justice, including forensic psychology or forensic science. Qualified students must have attended at least one regional ACJA/LAE meeting, be attending an accredited U.S. institution, be actively involved in their chapter, maintain good academic standing, and be dedicated to a career in criminal justice. Candidates must be nominated by a regional or chapter president before the deadline.
19. Saleem A. Shah Early Career Scholarship
Deadline: November 30th
Offered by the American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP), the Saleem A. Shah Early Career Scholarship is designed to provide $2,000 each year in honor of an accomplished clinical psychologist in the mental health law field who was tragically killed when his automobile was struck by a drunken driver in 1992. Eligible young forensic psychologists must have earned an accredited doctoral degree in psychology, have shown significant early career achievements in forensic psychology, submit a current curriculum vitae, and provide a letter of nomination from an AAFP member detailing their contributions to psychology and law.
20. The Chicago School Global Impact Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
At the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, the Global Impact Scholarship is granted annually for $1,000 to an international student who is enrolling full-time in an on-campus program to receive a Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology, Psy.D. Clinical Psychology, Psy.D. Clinical Forensic Psychology, M.A. Counseling Psychology, M.A. Forensic Psychology, Ph.D. International Psychology, or Ed.D. School Psychology. Applicants must maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, have a combined GRE of 1300 or higher, follow full-time enrollment status, and write a short essay explaining how their education will help them globally impact the psychology field.
Earning a degree in forensic psychology means that you'll likely have to find the financial funding to afford three to six years of graduate studies beyond your bachelor's program. Even though tuition prices aren't going anywhere but up, there's no reason to give up on your career goals in applying your psychological expertise in the legal system simply due to finances. Make sure you check out some of these great forensic psychology scholarships to help reduce the financial burden of your training in investigating and preventing crimes.