Criminal Psychology

Dive into the psychology behind various types of crime, from serial killers to white collar criminals.

Program Highlights

Examine the inside the mind of a criminal while watching interviews with criminal offenders to try and identify how the psychological traits manifest in their communication and mannerisms.
Analyze a simulated crime scene to determine what it tells about different psychological aspects of the offender.
Utilize forensic science to look at MO and signature aspects of different crimes and tie them to the potential psychological motivation of criminals.
Learn more about a career in criminal psychology as this course provides a great behind-the-scenes view and understanding of criminal behavior and a peek into the criminal mind.
Students will participate in a crime scene simulation and review actual criminal interrogation interview video that is from publicly available resources.

Residential Tuition:


June 25, 2023 July 7, 2023


Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo
Cal Poly SLO - San Luis Obispo, CA

Course Overview

Do you like shows like Criminal Minds, CSI, Law and Order and NCIS? Are you looking to explore careers in criminal psychology, or do you want to gain more insight into the psychology of criminal behavior? If so, then buckle up because in this course we will dive into the psychology behind various types of crime, from serial killers to white collar criminals. Thought-provoking questions such as, are the brains of criminals the same as “typical” people; and, how can psychology be applied to crime scenes will be explored. Finally, the journey will culminate in an exploration of fascinating current trends in the field. So, whether you are interested in a career in criminal psychology or just find the area captivating, this course will give you a great behind-the-scenes view and understanding of criminal behavior, so please join us for a peek into the criminal mind.

Meet your instructor

Instructor at Cal Poly SLO - Dr. Codie Place, Lecturer at Cal Poly SLO
Post-Doctoral Certificate in Forensic Linguistics
PsyD specialization Criminology
M.A. Criminal Justice
M.S. Educational Psychology
B.S. Applied Management

Dr. Place holds her, Doctor of Psychology in Criminology from the University of Arizona and is a credentialed Certified Fraud Examiner. She was previously employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for nearly 6 years, working primarily white collar and public corruption cases. While at the FBI her involvement with the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) led her to focus on understanding the importance of linguistic choices related to resistance in investigative interviews. During her time with the FBI, she also received specialized training in Crisis Negotiations and Violent Crime Behavior Analysis. She serves as a Regional Champion for the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iIIRG). She specializes in profiling violent crimes, serial killers, sex crimes, investigative interviews and the linguistic dynamics of these interviews.

Topics you'll explore

Real World Insights

Guest speakers may include local and federal law enforcement.

Get started today

Summer Springboard Pre-College Summer Program