How Can I Become a Forensic Psychologist?

The world of forensics is a varied and dynamic field where there are many types of employment. A forensic specialist helps resolve issues and problems from the past and may work with psychology, economics, or within different scientific applications. A forensic psychologist must consider the evidence and must then provide an educated opinion on the facts provided. Many forensic psychologists work in the legal world and may provide expert testimony in trial situations after research is complete.

Argosy University offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology Concentration.Click here to contact Argosy University and request information about their programs.

Kaplan University offers a BSCJ – Forensic Psychology. Click here to contact Kaplan University and request information about their programs.

Post University offers a Bachelor’s – Human Services: Criminal Justice (Online). Click here to contact Post University and request information about their programs.

Walden University offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Forensic Psychology (Online). Click here to contact Walden University and request information about their programs.

Training to become a forensic psychologist requires time spent in advanced education to become a licensed clinical psychologist, and a variety of additional training beyond the classroom. Finding employment as a forensic psychologist won’t come from a degree that says “forensic psychology.” A future forensic psychologist must enter school in a traditional psychology program and is often expected to remain in school until receiving a doctorate in clinical psychology.

Finding a Program of Study

Because the demand for forensic psychologists has grown in the past several years, some universities have started offering programs designed with forensic psychology in mind. However, most of these programs are relatively new and are designed as a terminal degree (which is a master’s degree). Deciding to enter a master’s program in forensic psychology rather than enter a doctoral program in clinical psychology is a decision that can only be made by the student.

Resource: Top 10 Best Online Forensic Psychology Degree Programs

There are only a few programs in the entire nation which cater to postdoctoral study within forensic psychology, and these programs may only accept a few students each year. Due to such exclusivity, many future forensic psychologists will choose to enter a traditional doctoral program or will enter a master’s program instead. When entering a standard doctoral program, future forensic psychologists will want to craft a dissertation that very specifically deals with forensic psychology.

Expanding Upon Psychology Education

Because the work of a forensic psychologist is so tightly associated with the law (civil and criminal), some students enroll in law classes during or after being awarded a degree in psychology. Although obtaining a law degree might sound like an appropriate course of action, most students will take a handful of legal classes rather than pursue a full law degree. The intersection of law and psychology is a vital one within forensic psychology, but a double-major isn’t always the best way to go.

In addition to seeking additional education within the realm of law, internships within an area of forensic psychology are incredibly valuable due to the real-world experience needed on job applications. Different industries where internships may be available include prisons, hospitals, and mental health facilities. In addition, a student will also want to seek out membership within the American Psychology-Law Society.

Forensic psychology is a growing albeit exclusive field, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that jobs within this forensic specialty may offer employment within many places like law firms, insurance companies, and government departments. Because the training required to become a forensic psychologist requires much more than a basic bachelor’s degree, individuals who wish to work in this field must be prepared to remain in college for many years until receiving a terminal master’s degree or a doctorate.