What is forensic psychology? It is the application of psychology in law and law enforcement. For example, it is used in treating mentally ill offenders, providing expert testimony in court, and also in analyzing a criminal’s mind and intent. So to prepare for this work students need to take criminal justice and civil legal courses as well as psychology courses. And this is what a typical forensic psychology masters program covers.
If you are interested in becoming a forensic psychologist, then you will need a masters degree. This page tells you more about these programs, where to find them, and also associated programs in criminology and justice studies.
What do you study in these programs?
In a forensic psychology masters program, you learn how its principles are applied in a range of settings from correctional institutions to court systems to community-based programs. You also learn to provide psychological services within the criminal justice and civil legal systems. For example, you are trained to evaluate the psychological fitness of individuals who must stand trial. You must state and defend your psychological evaluations in court, so you need to be quick-witted and have good communication skills, as well as having the required psychological and legal knowledge.
Courses covered would include: epidemiology of mental/behavioral disorders; risk factors for violence and criminality; profiling and patterning; psychological testing, prediction and intervention measurement; assessment; criminal and civil law and procedures; forensic treatment and intervention skills; interpersonal skills, communication skills, and, professional standards and ethics. Usually you can select electives that will build your knowledge of how forensic psychology professionals work within an area that interests you, e.g., law enforcement, legal and organizational consultation, and program analysis.
What are the opportunities with a forensic psychology masters?
Forensic psychology research work, consultation and clinical practice have grown considerably over recent years and this growth is expected to continue over the next ten years. There are now various sub-fields that a graduate with a masters in forensic psychology can work in, including: clinical-forensic psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, criminal investigative psychology. But graduates with a forensic psychology PhD have more career opportunities than those with only a forensic psychology masters degree.
Remuneration is good – in the US, a forensic psychologist salary is around US$70,000 (PayScales.com).
List of schools and programs
Welcome to Argosy University
Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges: College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education, College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.
- Forensic Psychology (MA) (Online)
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