What is forensic psychology?
Forensic psychology is a combination of psychology and law. This field is an applied branch of psychology. It involves applying psychology to criminal investigations and the existing law. In simple words, forensic psychology deals with assessing the psychological state of criminals and victims.
Degrees in forensic psychology
Usually forensic scientists need a degree in forensic psychology. There are many schools and universities that are offering degrees in forensic psychology, law and psychology. It usually takes 5 to 7 years for a student to complete all necessary degrees required to become a forensic psychologist.
The degrees available in this field are:
A BS bachelor in science (forensic psychology), is a 4 year program designed to teach students the different aspects of psychology and its applications in the criminal field. They develop skills in profiling and patterning and how to assess various crime victims. They are given knowledge about all the professional standards and the application of forensic treatment in regards to the legal system.
Some of the Courses studied in this program are:
- Research methodology
- Processing techniques
- Behavioral process
- General psychology
- Development psychology
- Theories personality
- Social psychology
- Abnormal psychology
- Criminal law
Masters in forensic psychology is a program that prepares students to apply various neuropsychology and clinical skills to psychological services that prevail within the civil legal system of a country. They are given sound knowledge of epidemiology, behavioral disorders, violence and criminality, profiling and patterning, prediction intervention measurement, law and criminal justice procedures, etc. In this program, these students learn the concept of forensic treatment while learning to develop such skills for forensic assessment in the professional field. Some of the main courses studied in MS forensic psychology are:
Research methods in forensic psychology
- Forensic skills
- Psychology of criminal behavior
- Forensic mental health
- Psychology of law and justice
- Integrative psycho therapy
A doctoral program can also be attained in forensic psychology. This is also known as a PhD in forensic psychology. This program is a combination of research, academic teaching and training across various placements.
Some of the top universities offering such programs include University of Denver, CUNY, and University of South Dakota.
Why study forensic psychology?
The most common types of jobs that a forensic psychology major can get are:
- Jury consultant
- Forensic scientist
- Working with convicts and criminal
- Criminal investigator
- Clinical forensic psychologist
The salary of a forensic psychologists ranges from $33,000 to $113,000 per annum.