United States Masters in Forensic Psychology on Campus Programs

Masters in Forensic Psychology on Campus programs offer options to prepare students for entry into PhD programs or the workforce, depending on the student's personal goals. A Masters degree in Forensic Psychology is a specialized psychology degree that applies psychological science and research to criminology and legal systems. Forensic psychologists understand the criminal mind, help victims and play a key role in the criminal justice system. The path to becoming a board certified and licensed Forensic psychologist may involve using a masters degree in Forensic Psychology as a stepping stone to further doctoral studies. This being said, some masters programs do prepare students to enter the workforce, although not necessarily in the same roles that come with higher education.

Forensic Psychology Masters on Campus Degree Program Information

Masters in Forensic Psychology on Campus Program Overview

Masters in Forensic Psychology degree programs may cover subjects such as forensic psychology from a community perspective, applications in mental health settings, program planning and evaluation in the field, and the interconnections between psychology and the criminal justice system. Masters programs in Forensic Psychology typically take 2-3 years to complete. Admission commonly requires a bachelor’s degree; if this in not in psychology, you may have to make up some requisite courses. Many masters programs in Forensic Psychology combine coursework with an externship, and there are thesis and non-thesis options.

Students who end their studies with a master's degree in Forensic Psychology may explore related occupations, such as psychologist assistant or researcher, but those pursuing careers as certified forensic psychologists should complete doctoral degree programs. Make sure to thoroughly investigate each program thoroughly to evaluate it against your personal career goals.

Potential Advantages to Masters in Forensic Psychology on Campus Programs

Studying on Campus offers students the opportunity for face-to-face learning, and the chance to build new networks. While distance-learning programs work well for self-motivated individuals, a university atmosphere may be extremely supportive and interactive for those who enjoy group dynamics. Additionally, being at a Forensic Psychology graduate school gives you access to all their resources and facilities, from gymnasiums to libraries and social services.

If you are excited by the prospect of attending college, you can use the GradSchools.com site to help you find campus programs in Forensic Psychology.  Use the city, state, or country tabs to find Masters programs by location. Then, request information from the school to find out about their individual courses and curriculum. Some of the listings might include: Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Forensic Psychology, MA Forensic Psychology, or MS Forensic Psychology.

Masters in Forensic Psychology Program Potential Coursework

It is likely that courses will vary between universities, although students can expect coursework that combines study of legal cases, past psychological research and basic criminal justice concept. Courses provide students with a comprehension of the judicial system and of the psychological theories that apply to criminology and various legal proceedings. Students might expect a range of courses that may include:

  • Psychopathology of serial criminals and terrorist agents
  • Treatment of sex offenders
  • Ethical issues involving interrogation
  • Juvenile forensic psychology
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Forensic sciences
  • Conducting forensic research
  • Abnormal behavior psychology
  • Police and correctional psychology
  • Criminal behavior
  • Trauma
  • Victimology

Forensic psychologists either work to counsel victims or work as experts who help law enforcement.

Accreditation and Licensure For Forensic Psychologists

The two main tracks available for masters programs in forensic psychology are: licensure and non-licensure. While some forensic psychology master's programs prepare students for state-licensure and certification, others do not. Furthermore, you can find masters programs that support entry into doctoral programs, while others prepare students to enter the workforce, although not in senior positions.

Once you have obtained a master's degree in forensic psychology, you can seek American Board of Forensic Psychology certification. Forensic Psychology is a recognized specialization in psychology according to the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and offers certification examinations.

In most states, practicing psychology or using the title of “psychologist” requires licensure; most clinical and counseling psychologists need a doctorate in psychology, an internship, at least 1 to 2 years of supervised professional experience, and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.[i]

All states require mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists to be licensed in the state in which they practice. Licensure requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of post master’s degree supervised clinical experience (internship or residency). Furthermore, counselors and therapists must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes.

Potential Career Paths in Forensic Psychology

Depending on education level, licensure and other determinants, graduates with a Masters degree in Forensic Psychology might work as Forensic Psychologists or Mental health Counselors. Jobs are found in government agencies, schools, hospitals, and in research facilities.

Ready to Pursue a Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology?

Whether you are working in a career where the insights of a masters degree in forensic psychology would be useful or you wish to specialize in the field, there are a variety of programs to select from. Why not initiate a search for Forensic Psychology graduate schools on GradSchools.com today!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm | bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm | bls.gov/oes/current/oes193039.htm

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