The intersection of psychology and criminal justice, Forensic Psychology offers prospective students numerous degree options.
The Forensic Psychology Profession
Forensic psychologists serve as expert witness and testify on the psychological state of individuals involved in court cases and criminal investigations. Forensic psychologists often provide their expert opinion on the defendant’s competency to stand trial. These professionals also might diagnose the state of mind of the defendant at the time of the offense. Forensic psychologists often opine on sentencing recommendations, treatment recommendations, and witness credibility. They also train and evaluate law enforcement professionals and assist in the development of criminal profiles.
Forensic Psychology Degree Options
The Forensic Psychology degree is offered at the associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral level. Associate’s programs provide baseline knowledge in the field. Bachelor’s programs cover Abnormal Psychology, Family Counseling, Personality Theories, and Developmental Psychology. Master’s programs attract individuals that are currently working in law enforcement, corrections, victim’s assistance, treatment facilities, and other social services agencies. Curriculums explore realistic mock trial experience, hostage negotiation simulations, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Doctoral programs are reserved for those who seek to explore a career in teaching, research, or consulting. This degree involves a great degree of self-directed study.
Graduates of all degrees pursue careers in the justice system, child protection services, civil matters, juvenile justice, and many other fields.
Forensic science, or forensics, is a rapidly growing field of criminal investigation whereby forensic technicians employ their technical skills in the field. To become a forensic scientist, students must obtain at least an associate's degree in fields such as criminal investigation, forensic psychology, criminal justice, and more.