Ph.D. Program in Law and Psychology

About the Ph.D. Program

Our program is designed to train a new generation of scholars in the field of Law and Psychology by taking a broad interdisciplinary approach that combines rigorous training in the Law and Psychology field along with advanced training in psychological science, research methodology, statistics, criminological theory, and legal theory. Our goal is for our students to use this training to tackle the many important but understudied areas where legal policy is in desperate need of empirical, psychological research. We have created this program for individuals looking for a career in academic research, trial consulting, and/or applied legal policy research. Note that this is not a clinical training program and our graduates are not license-eligible. 


Graduate students in this degree program have a set of required and recommended courses: 

Statistics & Methods Core: Quantitative Analysis I (ANOVA), Quantitative Analysis II (Regression), Quantitative Analysis III (Multivariate Analysis), Experimental Research Methods

Substantive Core: Advanced Legal Psychology, Advanced Forensic Psychology, Advanced Social Psychology

In addition, students will choose electives based on their desired area of specialization, including (but not limited to):

Basic psychology courses (e.g., Developmental Psychology, Psychopathology, Cognitive Science)

Advanced statistical courses (e.g., SEM, Bayesian Analysis, Data Visualization, Big Data)

Psychology & Law courses (e.g., Advanced Correctional Psychology; Children and the Legal System; Mental Health and the Law; Neuroscience of Crime; Law, Litigation, and Science)

Criminology courses (e.g., Seminar in Criminological Theory; Advanced Topics in Corrections; Advanced Topics in Courts and Sentencing; Advanced Topics in Juvenile Justice; Advanced Topics in Crime and Victimization).

In total, students will complete 84 credit hours (54 credits of coursework plus 30 credits of research), a masters thesis, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Like most similar programs, the PhD in Law and Psychology seeks to fully fund its students. ASU policy does not allow us to “guarantee” funding, but students are only admitted if we expect to have adequate funding to support them for 4-5 years. Funding may come in the form of a Teaching or Research assistantship, which involves 20 hours per week of responsibilities. The average amount of support for a 20-hour TA/RA academic year position at in our program is a $28,000-$30,000 stipend, health insurance, and full tuition remission. Summer funding is available (typically $8,000-$10,000), but is not guaranteed. In addition to TA/RA positions, ASU offers a number of internal fellowships and grants, and we automatically consider each of our admitted students for these funds. 

Joint Degrees (e.g., JD/PhD)

At this time we do not offer a formal joint degree option. Students wishing to obtain a JD/PhD would need to independently apply to and be accepted into our PhD program and the JD program at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. Note that TA/RA tuition remission does not cover law school tuition.

For More Information

Still have questions? Read our list of Frequently Asked Questions or contact Jessica Salerno, program director, at