Forensic Psychology Masters Programs
Masters in Forensic Psychology Programs prepare students to apply psychological concepts in a variety of legal settings. Students may deepen their knowledge of psychology and human behavior, while also developing an understanding of the justice system and how these two interact. Typically a two-year program, a Masters in Forensic Psychology could be great for students who aspire to help understand crime and stop it in the future.
Forensic Psychology Masters Programs: What is Forensic Psychology?
Forensic Psychology is the application of psychological research and methods to issues related to the criminal justice system. This may be in a clinical or research capacity. Forensic psychology might be used in jails, law enforcement, government agencies (like Social Services or the Department of Homeland Security), law offices, or in private practice, to name just a few. Forensic psychologists may counsel offenders or victims, provide court testimony and assessment, or provide insight to lawyers and other members of the legal system.
Research methods to better understand criminology and its social and physical influences may be conducted at universities, government agencies and other organizations. This may help influence policy and inform decisions regarding criminal profiling, crime trends, effective treatment for offenders, and crime prevention. Forensic psychology covers any application of psychology to issues relating to the legal system however, so it's uses could be limitless.
Masters in Forensic Psychology Program Overview
Masters in forensic psychology programs come in a variety of forms, mirroring the vast nature of the field. And each may be designed to achieve slightly different goals. First, they may be offered as a psychology program with an emphasis in forensic psychology or in forensic psychology itself. Either may result in a Masters in Science (MS) or Master in Arts (MA) degree. While all of these cover core concepts in forensic psychology, they could have different approaches to the subject matter. Read program details and descriptions to see which might fit your needs.
Forensic Psychology Masters Tracks
Additionally, there are two primary tracks in forensic psychology masters programs to choose from: licensure and non-licensure. Are you interested in research? Or hoping to practice in a clinical setting? While some forensic psychology masters programs prepare students for state-licensure and certification, others do not. Furthermore, some masters in forensic psychology programs are designed to lead into PhD programs. It is important to understand your goals prior to choosing a program. This way you can use your studies to prepare for your career or future training.
Masters in Forensic Psychology Potential Curriculum
Forensic Psychology Masters programs' curricula combine core and elective coursework covering psychology and legal subjects. Students are also typically required to complete a thesis paper and an externship. In class, students study legal cases, past psychological research and basic criminal justice concepts. This may help them develop an understanding of the judicial system and of the psychological theories that apply to criminology and a range of legal proceedings. Students may also learn to locate, analyze and present forensic findings for courts, judges, attorneys and counseling or rehabilitative agencies. Common courses might include the following.
- Forensic sciences
- Conducting forensic research
- Abnormal behavior psychology
- Police and correctional psychology
- Criminal behavior
- Criminal justice ethics
- Juvenile forensic psychology
Some masters programs in forensic psychology also offer specialized areas of concentration. This may allow you to further focus your studies and dive deep into a particular population or application of forensic psychology. Focus areas might include juvenile forensic psychology, terrorism, cyber-crime, public policy or criminal justice. Programs vary so research a few options to see which best matches your interests.
Applying to Masters Programs in Forensic Psychology
Admission to a masters in forensic psychology program typically requires a bachelors degree from an accredited university. While some programs may prefer a bachelors degree in psychology or a related field, others may accept students with different majors. However, these students may need to pass prerequisite psychology courses prior to enrollment. Students may also be required to submit official transcripts and GRE test scores. Every masters in forensic pschology program is unique, so following up directly to learn more about how you might apply.
Online Forensic Psychology Programs
Master in forensic psychology programs may come in two different forms: online and on campus. The online program format could be great for working students and those juggling multiple responsibilities. Most online forensic psychology masters programs allow students to access classes on their own schedule. Plus coursework, discussion boards and assignments are accessible anywhere with an internet connection.
Forensic psychology masters schools are great for those who prefer in person learning. Classes meet at regular times on campus and allow students to work side by side with peers. This could be especially helpful for those looking to practice their interview and counseling skills. Plus many schools have additional resources on campus, such as libraries, career centers and student activites. Programs vary so follow up directly to find out more.
Is a Masters in Forensic Psychology Degree For You?
A masters degree is required to become a practicing forensic psychologist. Those with a masters in forensic psychology might pursue a career as psychological assistant in clinical, counseling, or research settings.i They might also pursue a role as a mental health counselor.ii This being said, completion of a PhD or PsyD in psychology may increase employment and salary opportunities. Most clinical psychologists need a doctoral degree. If this is your intended career path, earning a masters degree in Forensic Psychology will support further studies. Additionally, once you have obtained a masters degree in forensic psychology, you can seek American Board of Forensic Psychology certification (ABFP).i
DID YOU KNOW? : The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) classifies forensic psychology as a recognized specialty and offers certification examinations.
What is a Forensic Psychologist?
Forensic psychologists apply their understanding of human behavior and thought processes in diverse legal situations. Their knowledge of psychological principles is used to help judges, attorneys, and other legal specialists understand the psychological aspects of a particular case. Examples might include determining a defendant’s mental state or competency to stand trial, helping to develop a suspect’s psychological profile, or assessing a witness’s credibility. You might also be in the position to identify an offender based on their behavior, or counsel a victim after an offence has occurred. Forensic psychologists often testify in court as expert witnesses and typically specialize in family, civil, or criminal casework.iii
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the overall employment of psychologists is projected to grow 19 % from 2014 to 2024. This is considered faster than average. Forensic psychologists might work for federal government, agencies such as correctional agencies, judicial courts or with counseling agencies.
The BLS also reports that job applicants with a master’s degree will face competition for most positions, and many of them will find jobs with alternative titles. This is because almost all states restrict the use of the title “psychologist” to Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree holders.i
Ready to Pursue Forensic Psychology Masters Programs?
Why not review forensic psychology master programs to find one that aligns with your vocational and academic goals? Whether you are looking for a Forensic Psychology School so that you can pursue your master’s degree on campus, or are looking into distance-learning, GradSchools.com can simplify your search.
A location search is perhaps the best way to find masters in forensic psychology programs in a city, state or country of your preference. Or, you can browse forensic psychology masters online programs for a convenient way to earn your degree. Once you find programs you like, contact them directly by clicking the link and filling out the simple on page form.
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm#tab-4 | [iii] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2009/spring/art02.pdf
- Some of the nation's most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
- Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
- Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
Walden University’s MS in Forensic Psychology program prepares you to apply strong new insights, skills, and perspectives to a variety of nonclinical roles in areas like cybercrime, criminal investigative analysis and profiling, terrorism, and...
The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyUpcoming Start Date: January 07, 2019
The Chicago School's online M.A. in Forensic Psychology: Non-Licensure Track program is designed for students who wish to learn how to apply psychological theories to the juvenile, civil, and criminal justice systems.
- Washington, DC
- Chicago, IL
- Irvine, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Bristol, RIBristol, RI
Roger Williams University
A two-year, full-time program, the M.A. in Forensic & Legal Psychology is designed to prepare students for applied, clinical, experimental, or related Ph.D. training focused on forensic or legal psychology.
- Bristol, RI
Grand Canyon University
The Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology is a program designed for individuals who desire promotion and/or continued academic exposure in the field of psychology. The program provides a comprehensive, rigorous, and ana...
Liberty University OnlineUpcoming Start Date: January 14, 2019
Liberty University’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice – Forensic Psychology, 100% online program, trains current and prospective criminal justice professionals in the application of psychological principles...
Nova Southeastern UniversityUpcoming Start Date: January 07, 2019
The Master of Science in Forensic Psychology is a 36-credit online program that provides students with insight into the intersection of psychology and legal issues...
- Newton, MANewton, MA
William James College
William James College offers a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Forensic and Correctional Counseling. Graduates meet the requirements to become a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Massachusetts.
- Teaneck, NJTeaneck, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Our program at Fairleigh Dickinson University is designed to offer our students the maximum possible exposure to the broad field of forensic psychology while at the same time streamlining a curriculum that allows students to finish in 18 months.
- Arlington, VAArlington, VA
The program provides graduates with the skills and knowledge they need in a variety of forensic settings.
- London, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom
London Metropolitan University
Aims of the course This MSc provides you with an advanced and up-to-date understanding of theoretical and applied issues in Forensic Psychology and t...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Our Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Forensic Psychology program prepares graduates to provide clinical counseling and advocacy services for individuals involved in the criminal justice system, correctional system, court systems, behavioral...
- Springfield, MASpringfield, MA
American International College
This program is designed for students with a baccalaureate degree in psychology, criminal justice or a closely related field.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
City University of New York (CUNY) John Jay College
This Program, developed within the Psychology Department, has been approved by New York State as a “license eligible” academic program.
- New York City, NY
- Leicester, United KingdomLeicester, United Kingdom
- Canterbury, United KingdomCanterbury, United Kingdom
University of Kent
Psychology at Kent offers a supportive, dynamic and diverse environment for creative research and learning.
- Glasgow, United KingdomGlasgow, United Kingdom
Glasgow Caledonian University
- London, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom
King's College London
Equips psychology graduates with the skills necessary to work with mentally ill offenders.
- Denver, CODenver, CO
University of Denver
Forensic psychology concerns the application of psychological knowledge, skills and competencies to the civil and criminal...
- Alameda, CAAlameda, CA
The Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology program offered by Argosy University is designed to educate and train those currently working or seeking to work in fields utilizing the practice of forensic psychology.
- Portsmouth, United KingdomPortsmouth, United Kingdom
University of Portsmouth
One year Master's degree examines criminal behaviour, interventions with offenders, investigative psychology and legal process.
- Guildford, United KingdomGuildford, United Kingdom
University of Surrey
- Victoria, TXVictoria, TX
University of Houston - Victoria
The MA degree in Forensic Psychology will prepare you to work with people in legal settings and apply psychological knowledge.
Post University OnlineUpcoming Start Date: January 07, 2019
Forensic Mental Health Counseling Concentration (MSHSV) ...