Forensic psychology is one of the swiftest growing fields of the science of psychology. This sphere of knowledge applies psychology to the legal system and the law. Forensic psychologists perform two kinds of duties simultaneously: on the one hand they work in the field related to the courts (this is embraced by the word “forensic”); on the other hand – perform their clinical duties examining clients and helping them with therapy and counseling. Students of forensic psychology schools study also crime prevention problems, prison rehabilitation programs, psychology and the law, courtroom dynamics, and assist in selection of candidates for policemen.
Concerning the degrees possible to obtain in the field of forensic psychology, a student can be granted both an undergraduate and a graduate degree. Below you will see information on the three major degrees: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s. Every section contains analysis of every degree itself, courses, and future careers and jobs for psychology majors. At the very end of this article you will find a list of largest forensic psychology colleges and universities throughout the U.S. (one should pay close attention to the institutions of the states of Florida and California).
A bachelor’s degree offered by forensic psychology schools covers such topics as criminal behavior patterns and treatment, sociology, abnormal psychology, psychological testing, criminal assessment, eyewitness memory, social psychology, law and ethics, and criminal profiling. Except taking a fixed set of general courses in the field of psychology, students will acquire major skills including psychology research, communication, writing, and data analysis. Students will also learn the basics of treatment and evaluation of criminal offenders, psychopathology, crisis intervention, and personality assessment.
As regards possible career options for bachelors of forensic psychology schools, they may only pursue the following positions of the entry level: social scientist, probation officer, caseworker, and youth counselor.
The master’s degree curriculum prepares forensic psychology students for advanced work in criminal justice and settings: law firms, mental health clinics, and correctional institutions. Masters will in the end know how to perform such tasks such as consulting law enforcement officials, evaluating and treating criminal offenders, assisting victims, developing behavior profiles, and consulting at trial. The topics which are covered during the courses include treatments of criminal offenders, human development, psychopathology, psychotherapeutic interventions, forensic psychological assessment, criminal testimony, and methods of research. Students will also be trainees in forensic settings (probation centers, prisons, law enforcement and policy agencies, and courts) where jobs for psychology majors are always available.
Master’s degree graduates usually make their future careers in various settings such as protective services, correctional facilities, community mental health centers, law enforcement agencies, and outpatient treatment centers. Salaries of these professionals are known to be fairly decent.
Ph. D. in Forensic Psychology Schools
Doctoral programs underscore clinical practice and research. Students study the following subjects: family law, research design, juvenile delinquency and aggression, antisocial behavior, psychological assessment, domestic violence, and legal competencies. Special requirements include internship (in relevant settings) and a defense of dissertation.
Graduates with doctorates in the described field may become forensics professors, government analysts, medical directors, research scientists, or lead criminal investigators.
Among the largest colleges and universities of forensic psychology are the California Argosy University-San Francisco Bay Area, Capella University, University of Denver, Marymount University, American International College, Sage College of Albany, and others.
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