Overview of Available Online Forensic Psychology Degrees
Online programs in forensic psychology are psychology undergraduate degrees that have been specialized with a core of psychology classes relating to criminal behavior, abnormal psychology, and human development. The foundational coursework discusses cognitive psychology, social psychology, statistics, and research methods in psychology.
While the bachelor’s program provides a strong psychology foundation, the degree in forensic psychology is required for independent consulting as a forensic psychologist. The curriculum focuses on skills related to the practice of forensic psychology, such as interviewing, clinical practice, ethical considerations, and research methods. Internships and field work experience are an integral part of the master’s program, where students learn how to apply forensic psychology to a variety of criminal settings, such as corrections, probation, or criminal courts.
in forensic psychology can prepare graduates for advanced, independent clinical psychology work; these programs may also include psychology research methods. Advanced coursework in the doctoral program discusses psychology and civil law, juvenile justice, and forensic assessment. Practical clinical programs have a large internship component, where students work for a year or more in a setting such as a court clinic, forensic unit, or jail.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Forensic Psychology
The forensic psychology bachelor's program focuses on the intersection between psychology and law and covers the life span, criminal behavior, and the psychology of aberrant behavior. Students develop a deep understanding of the behavior of an individual, as well as the larger repercussions an individual’s actions can have on the criminal justice system. Prerequisites vary by program but may include English, laboratory science, math, and social sciences. The bachelor's degree program takes approximately four years.
Bachelor's students learn about several core areas: abnormal behavior, counseling processes and techniques, criminal profiling, crisis intervention strategies, cross-cultural psychology, forensic assessment strategies, forensic counseling, human development, motives and patterns of criminal behavior, multicultural issues and diversity in society, psychological disorders, psychological inquiry processes, psychology and law, social psychology, and violence and aggression. Program electives may include death and dying, drugs and society, forensics and the law, human sexuality, sex crimes, and victims and justice. Students also have the opportunity to develop research competencies in psychology, which involves research design, data analysis, and interpretation. Bachelor's programs usually incorporate a capstone course as a culminating experience.
Bachelor's graduates may pursue a wide range of careers in business, correctional institutions, community corrections offices, courts, government agencies, law enforcement agencies, and the military. Career options include case manager, correctional officer, crime analyst, investigative researcher, law enforcement advocate, probation officer, psychological assistant, and victims’ advocate.