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Criminal Profiler Degrees and Careers
(found programs from 107 schools)

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Criminal profiling is an investigative profession used to assist law enforcement and government agencies pursuing unknown perpetrators. Criminal Profilers typically have a background in forensic and/or investigative psychology, giving them the skills needed to recognize the personality traits and characteristics of criminals based on crime scene evidence.

"It's a combination of analyzing the physical and behavioral evidence, reconstructing a crime from the beginning to the end and coming up with the most scientific determination possible with the information available."
- The Profiler by Pat Brown

Additional background in relevant subgenres of psychology also helps criminal profilers understand the complex facets of human behavior in relation to crime and the legal system. Criminal profilers commonly work for local, state or federal law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Additionally, there are criminal profilers that work independent of such agencies and provide their services upon request to lawyers, police departments and government agencies such as the FBI or National Security Administration (NSA).

The job of a criminal profiler falls somewhere between the fields of law enforcement and psychology, often depicted in popular television shows and Hollywood movies. Also known as: "criminal investigative analysis" to "crime action profiling" and "investigative psychology," the job entails using the research and analytical skills relevant to the psychological sciences to better comprehend criminal behavior. When you earn your degree in criminal justice, you can open up more doors of opportunity and go further in your career. Use this site to find out more about careers in the field of criminal justice, and to contact the schools with programs that interest you. Whether you want to search by level of degree, location of school, or by career type, CriminalJusticePrograms.com is your place to start moving ahead.


Criminal Profiler Job Description

Essentially, the criminal profiler's job is to create a psychological profile of a criminal suspect, which can then be used to help catch the suspect. This is done by examining evidence from the crime, interviewing witnesses and victims, and analyzing crime scenes. Information gleaned from these investigations can then be used to help the profiler determine a pattern of criminal behavior, which hopefully can be used to find out more about the suspect (and potentially help to catch him or her). Aside from developing profiles of real-world criminals, criminal profilers may also conduct research and write reports on patterns of criminal behavior by going through old case studies and interviewing convicted criminals.

Criminal profilers with doctoral degrees may also work in academia, teaching and publishing about their work. Criminal profilers may also be called upon to testify as expert witnesses in court proceedings.


Criminal Profiler Requirements

Successful criminal profilers must possess excellent analytical and critical thinking abilities, good communication skills, and the ability to effectively analyze scientific and statistical data. Degree requirements for criminal profiling are not specifically outlined, in part because it's such a small field and there are a very limited number of degrees specific to only criminal profiling. Your best bet is to get a dual degree in psychology and criminal justice, and to then gain job experience working in law enforcement, ideally as an investigator. A master's degree in forensic psychology or the behavioral sciences can also help advance your career. Some law enforcement agencies, including the FBI's behavioral sciences unit, also provide training specific to the field, however these programs usually require you to already have advanced qualifications and job experience.


Curriculum for Criminal Profilers

Here are some courses that may be included in your criminal justice program. If you are interested in the following areas, review our school listings on our Forensic Science Degrees page to request more information. With CriminalJusticePrograms.com you have an efficient way to connect with colleges that can prepare you for career success.

Mental Health Professionals, Social Science and Law

This course examines the interaction between mental health and the criminal justice system. Criminal profiling has a strong basis in understanding the role of mental health as it relates to law and the criminal justice system. Issues such as: civil commitment, mental health testimony, and the rights of mental health patients in a legal setting. Additionally, issues such as competency to stand trial and insanity defense pleas are analyzed. Child custody outcomes and disputes are reviewed and antisocial personality cases are examined. The objective is learning the applications and limitations of mental health within the judicial system.

Research Methods and Design

The aim of this course is to understand and implement proper scientific research. Students will gain knowledge of different types of research (correlation vs. experimental) and the benefits and limitations of such methods. Research ethics will be an integral part of the course as students learn acceptable research practices. Additionally, the structure of research is explored through hypotheses testing, carrying out surveys, experimental design, evaluating programs and data analysis.

Criminal Psychological Assessment

In this course students learn how to apply and rank criminal assessment measures. Students administer, score, and interpret data results that are currently used in criminal forensic procedures. Included in these test are risk assessment, mental state during a criminal offense, competency, and psychopathology. As such, students will be able to apply diagnosis according to the American Psychological Association's updated version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).

Human Growth and Development

This course focuses on developmental milestones that occur throughout an individual’s lifespan. Beginning from the prenatal stage through adulthood, students learn typical developmental landmarks in relation in age. Such stages include: prenatal, infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. The milestones include several aspects of development, such as physical, cognitive, social and emotional. Forensic aspects are also applied, including attachment, development of conscience, self-control, and risk management and preventive strategies.

Criminal Behavior

This course examines accepted theories of aggressive and criminal behavior and mentalities. Current classification models are used to analyze various viewpoints from cognitive, psychodynamic, social learning, and behavioral theories. To illustrate these theories, case studies are used to facilitate such applications. Additionally, issues such as sex crimes, delinquency and substance abuse may also be explored.

If you are interested in these courses, contact the schools on our Forensic Science Degrees page to learn more about their programs. We recommend contacting multiple schools to be sure you weigh your options carefully and make the best decision!

Criminal Profiler Career Outlook

Most criminal profiling jobs are at the state or federal level although a criminal profiler may also find employment as an independent consultant, or at colleges or universities. Since positions are so limited, criminal profiling is an extremely tough field to break into. The most prominent employer of profiler-type professionals is probably the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which first started systematically using criminal behavior analysts in the 1970s and continues to run a behavioral sciences unit. Other potential employers may include the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Homeland Security and international law enforcement organizations like Interpol.

According to the 2012 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage of detectives and criminal investigators in the US is $77,860, while the mean annual wage of psychologists is $86,380 and that of psychology educators at the post-secondary level is $74,240. These are probably good ballpark figures for what a criminal profiler might earn, although this number will vary based on the level of employment and experience.


Criminal Profiler Trends

Since its debut, criminal profiling has been met with skepticism as to how useful it is to the actual apprehension of criminals. Even so, most people agree that psychology-based criminal behavior analysis can at the least give us intriguing insights into the development and workings of a criminal mind. Criminal profiler job opportunities remain extremely limited and those interested in the field are increasingly likely to develop skills that permit them to work in other law enforcement jobs, notably criminal investigation and crime scene analysis. In order to score a high-profile job, like those offered by the FBI, prior law enforcement experience is a must. Those who don't want to give up on the dream of a criminal profiler career are therefore well-advised to get their start by pursuing a job in criminal investigation or crime scene analysis.


Criminal Profiler Degree Programs

Welcome to the most complete directory on the Web of Criminal Profiler programs. It contains all the nationally accredited programs, from 107 schools across the country.

Featured Schools Accepting Students from Across the US:




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Alabama

Faulkner University (Montgomery, AL)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science - Criminalistics
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Arizona

Arizona State University (Phoenix, AZ)
Programs Offered:
BS - Criminology and Criminal Justice (online)
Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science - Interdisciplinary Studies: Criminology and Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science - Criminology and Criminal Justice, Master of Science - Applied Criminology
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Arkansas

Arkansas State University (State University, AR)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
Arkansas State University-Beebe (Beebe, AR)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
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California

California State University-Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
Programs Offered:
Master of Science - Criminalistics
Fresno City College (Fresno, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science - Criminology, Certificate - Criminology, Certificate of Achievement - Criminology
San Diego State University (San Diego, CA)
Programs Offered:
Master of Criminal Justice and Criminology - Criminal Justice and Criminology
Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, CA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology
University of La Verne (La Verne, CA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology
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Colorado

Metropolitan State University of Denver (Denver, CO)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology
Regis University (Denver, CO)
Programs Offered:
BS - Criminology (online), MS - Criminology (online)
University of Denver (Denver, CO)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
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Connecticut

Central Connecticut State University (New Britain, CT)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
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Delaware

University of Delaware (Newark, DE)
Programs Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminology, Master of Arts in Criminology
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Florida

Florida Memorial University (Miami Gardens, FL)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Computer Criminology, Combined BS/MS Program - Criminology, Doctor of Philosophy - Criminal Justice and Criminology, Joint Master's Degree - Criminology and Public Administration, Joint Master's Degree - Criminology and Social Work, Master of Arts - Criminology (online)
Gulf Coast Community College (Panama City, FL)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Arts - Criminology / Criminal Justice (Transfer Track)
St. Johns River State College (Palatka, FL)
Programs Offered:
Master of Science - Criminology & Criminal Justice
St. Petersburg College (Clearwater, FL)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Arts - Criminology
University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology & Law, M.A./J.D. - Criminology, Law, and Society, Master of Arts - Criminology, Law, and Society, PhD - Criminology, Law, and Society
University of South Florida (Tampa, FL)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology, Doctor of Philosophy - Criminology, Master of Arts - Criminology
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Georgia

Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA)
Programs Offered:
PhD - Criminal Justice and Criminology
Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, GA)
Programs Offered:
Minor - Criminology
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Hawaii

Chaminade University of Honolulu (Honolulu, HI)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology and Criminal Justice
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Illinois

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (Carbondale, IL)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology, Law, and Justice, Doctor of Philosophy - Criminology, Law, and Justice, Master of Arts - Criminology, Law, and Justice
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Indiana

Ball State University (Muncie, IN)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Arts - Criminology, Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
Butler University (Indianapolis, IN)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology and Psychology, Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
Grace College and Theological Seminary (Winona Lake, IN)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology, Bachelor of Science - Criminology
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Iowa

Buena Vista University (Storm Lake, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology & Criminal Justice
Graceland University (Lamoni, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Sociology - coursework in criminology, justice, etc.
Grand View University (Des Moines, IA)
Programs Offered:
Certificate - Paralegal Studies: Criminology
Iowa State University (Ames, IA)
Programs Offered:
Major in Criminology & Criminal Justice
Saint Ambrose University (Davenport, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminalistics
Upper Iowa University (Fayette, IA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology
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Kentucky

Morehead State University (Morehead, KY)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology, Master of Arts - Criminology
Northern Kentucky University (Highland Heights, KY)
Programs Offered:
Minor - Criminalistics
Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, KY)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology, Master of Arts - Criminology (online)
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Maryland

University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Princess Anne, MD)
Programs Offered:
Master of Science - Criminology and Criminal Justice
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Massachusetts

Assumption College (Worcester, MA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor Degree - Sociology and Anthropology - Concentration in Criminology
Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
Programs Offered:
Doctor of Philosophy - Criminology and Justice Policy
University of Massachusetts-Boston (Boston, MA)
Programs Offered:
Forensic Criminology (online)
University of Massachusetts-Lowell (Lowell, MA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice and Criminology, Doctoral Program in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Graduate Certificate - Forensic Criminology (online), Master of Arts - Criminal Justice and Criminology (online)
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Michigan

Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti, MI)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
Lake Superior State University (Sault Ste Marie, MI)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice - Criminalistics (online)
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Minnesota

Central Lakes College-Brainerd (Brainerd, MN)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science - Criminalistics
University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
Programs Offered:
B.A. - Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance
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Mississippi

Jackson State University (Jackson, MS)
Programs Offered:
Master of Arts - Criminology and Justice Services
Mississippi State University (Meridian, MS)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Criminology
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Missouri

Avila University (Kansas City, MO)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology and Justice Studies
Columbia College (Columbia, MO)
Programs Offered:
Minor - Criminology
Drury University (Springfield, MO)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
Maryville University of Saint Louis (Saint Louis, MO)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice / Criminology
Missouri State University (Springfield, MO)
Programs Offered:
BA in Criminology, BS in Criminology, MSAS Criminal Justice, Master of Science in Criminology (Accelerated, Traditional, or Online) (online)
Saint Louis University (Saint Louis, MO)
Programs Offered:
Master of Arts - Public Sociology and Criminology
University of Missouri-Kansas City (Kansas City, MO)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice and Criminology
University of Missouri-St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor Degree - Criminology and Criminal Justice, Master of Arts - Criminology and Criminal Justice, PhD - Criminology and Criminal Justice
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Montana

The University of Montana (Montana, MT)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Sociology - Criminology Option, Master of Arts - Sociology - Criminology Option
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Nebraska

University of Nebraska-Omaha (Omaha, NE)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology and Criminal Justice, Doctor of Philosophy - Criminology and Criminal Justice, Master of Arts - Criminology and Criminal Justice, Master of Science - Criminology and Criminal Justice - Counseling, Master of Science - Criminology and Criminal Justice - Public Administration, Master of Science - Criminology and Criminal Justice
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New Jersey

Centenary College (Hackettstown, NJ)
Programs Offered:
Certificate - Criminalistics
Fairleigh Dickinson University (Teaneck, NJ)
Programs Offered:
Minor - Criminology
The College of New Jersey (Ewing, NJ)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology
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New Mexico

University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
University of New Mexico - Valencia Campus (Los Lunas, NM)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Arts - Criminology
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New York

Cazenovia College (Cazenovia, NY)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology & Homeland Security
CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice (New York, NY)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
Keuka College (Keuka Park, NY)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology and Criminal Justice
Niagara University (Lewiston, NY)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology and Criminal Justice
St. Joseph's College New York (Brooklyn, NY)
Programs Offered:
Bachelors in Criminal Justice - Law and Justice
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North Carolina

Barton College (Wilson, NC)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology
Johnson C Smith University (Charlotte, NC)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
Mount Olive College (Mount Olive, NC)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice and Criminology
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Wilmington, NC)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology - Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Arts - Criminology, Master of Arts - Criminology and Public Sociology
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Ohio

Cleveland State University (Cleveland, OH)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor Degree - Criminology
College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, OH)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology / Sociology
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Oklahoma

Oklahoma City University (Oklahoma City, OK)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Justice Studies: Criminology, Master of Science - Criminology
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Oregon

Portland State University (Portland, OR)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology (online), MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Rogue Community College (Grants Pass, OR)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science - Criminology
Southern Oregon University (Ashland, OR)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology & Criminal Justice (CCJ), Bachelor of Science - Criminology & Criminal Justice (CCJ)
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Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania (California, PA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology, Master of Arts in Applied Criminology (online)
Community College of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, PA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science - Criminology
Immaculata University (Immaculata, PA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology/Sociology
La Roche College (Pittsburgh, PA)
Programs Offered:
Certificate - Criminalistics
Mount Aloysius College (Cresson, PA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
Saint Joseph's University (Philadelphia, PA)
Programs Offered:
MS - Behavior Analysis (online)
Slippery Rock University (Slippery Rock, PA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology and Criminal Justice
Wilkes University (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
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Puerto Rico

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico (Mayaguez, PR)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology, Master in Social Sciences - Criminology
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South Carolina

Coker College (Hartsville, SC)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
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Tennessee

East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, TN)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology, Master of Science - Criminology
University of Memphis (Memphis, TN)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology and Criminal Justice, Master of Arts - Criminology and Criminal Justice
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Texas

Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, TX)
Programs Offered:
Master of Arts - Criminology
St Edward's University (Austin, TX)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
Texas A&M University Commerce (Commerce, TX)
Programs Offered:
Masters in Applied Criminology (online)
The University of Texas at Arlington (Arlington, TX)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology and Criminal Justice
The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College (Brownsville, TX)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (Odessa, TX)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
University of Houston-Clear Lake (Houston, TX)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology, Master of Arts - Criminology
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Virginia

Hampton University (Hampton, VA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice/Criminology
John Tyler Community College (Chester, VA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science - Criminology
Longwood University (Farmville, VA)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts - Criminology
Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA)
Programs Offered:
PhD - Criminology and Criminal Justice
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West Virginia

West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology and Investigations
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Wisconsin

Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Criminology and Law Studies
University of Wisconsin-Platteville (Platteville, WI)
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science - Chemistry - Criminalistics