Information compiled by the GradSchools.com team - last updated November 2010
Studying in the field
The area of forensic psychology incorporates the knowledge of psychology, law, the legal system and legal process as they relate to offenders, victims, and their families. This branch of psychology seeks to understand the pathology of criminal behavior while addressing possible contributing factors such as culture and socioeconomic origins. Developing skills in this area of study enables mental health professionals to more competently evaluate and treat juvenile and adult offenders, including those with psychopathic personality. Employment options are offered in a variety of clinical settings with the forensic psychologist working closely with the criminal and civil legal system. Forensic Psychology professionals are also an integral part of social service agencies such as child advocacy centers, protective services and domestic violence programs.
Although the primary focus of graduate forensic psychology programs is the study of psychology as it pertains to both civil and criminal law, specialties of study are also available. Some of these specializations include, but are not limited to: Psychology and Treatment of the Juvenile Offender; Substance Abuse Assessment and Intervention; Psychology of Cultural Differences; and Crisis Intervention. To prepare students for work in the field, forensic psychology programs are supplemented with practicum experience and research activities. Depending on your area of interest, research multiple programs to determine which program will fit your needs.
Job opportunities in the field
With the growing demand for forensic psychology professionals, numerous employment options are available in a variety of forensic settings within the criminal and civil legal system. Some of these settings include: juvenile detention centers,prisons, community mental health centers, parole and probation offices, court service units, and specialized agencies such as victim assistance agencies and child advocacy centers. Visit the sites of our sponsoring programs for more specific information and to learn about particular programs and areas of focus.