dcsimg

Forensic psychology schools

Which types of jobs are available for those interested in forensic psychology?

Forensic psychologists are psychologists who are employed by the courts or legal professionals to render expert opinions, recommendations, diagnoses and testimony. The Council of Specialties in Professional Psychology recognizes 13 different practice areas; depending on which of these specialties a psychologist is trained in, he or she will be called on to provide different services as a forensic psychologist. For example, a child psychologist might be engaged by family court to assess a child's mental state after an allegation of abuse, while a social psychologist might offer an opinion as to the effects of pretrial publicity on the community of potential jurors.

The day-to-day routine of forensic psychologists is determined by what their speciality is and where they work. For example, some forensic psychologists are employed by prisons, where they consult on matters related to inmates' mental states, such as competency to stand trial. Forensic psychologists might have a private clinical practice and be called in as needed by local attorneys. In this case, their workload is dependent on the court's schedule, with periods of high intensity before deadlines or hearings. Others do forensic psychology research at institutions including universities and government organizations. Still others work for law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI.

Psychologists are attracted to forensic psychology careers for the intellectual stimulation and because it is a way of earning income that is not dependent on patients' insurance providers. But the work poses some challenges. Ethical issues can come up; for example, if a forensic psychologist becomes friendly with the attorneys who hire him or her, it can be hard to maintain impartiality. Testifying in court can be emotionally distressing, as can working closely with criminals or their victims.

Formal training required to work in a career related to forensic psychology

Most forensic psychologists have a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) or Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology). There are some graduate programs offering joint degrees in psychology and law, which are excellent forensic psychology degrees. In these programs, you might take interdisciplinary courses, such as behavioral science and the law or research in law and psychology. You can also earn a degree in some other branch of psychology, such as clinical psychology, and then move into forensic psychology through internships or other post-doctoral programs. It typically takes five years of graduate school to earn a doctorate.

The typical career path of someone interested in forensic psychology

Forensic psychology jobs have been classified by the US Department of Labor's Occupational Information Network as investigative/social/artistic. This means forensic psychology careers are good for people who like to work with ideas, interact with a variety of people, and who are good at seeing designs and patterns and expressing themselves.

It can take a while for psychologists to establish their careers as forensic specialists. An article in the American Psychological Association's (APA) GradPSYCH Magazine points out that many psychologists start out in private practice and do forensic work on the side. The volume of their forensic work increases as they establish relationships with attorneys. Official licensure as a forensic psychologist by the American Board of Professional Psychology is contingent on having a doctoral degree, 1000 hours of professional experience and passing scores on oral and written exams.

Job outlook and salary information for those interested in forensic psychology

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts average 2008-2018 job growth of 12 percent for psychologists in general, but demand for forensic psychologists is likely to be higher. GradPSYCH Magazine identifies forensic psychology as a "postgrad growth area," and quotes Ira K. Packer, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who says that, "demand for forensic psychologists is outstripping the supply." Ever since it was recognized by the APA as a specialty in 2001, more and more people have been pursuing degrees in forensic psychology. APA surveys indicate that in 2007-2008 there were 538 applications to Ph.D.-track forensic psychology degree programs, and by 2009-2010 that had more than doubled, to 1,212 applications.

Forensic psychologists have excellent earning potential. According to the APA, the 2007 median starting salary for forensic psychologists was $60,000. The BLS reports that clinical, counseling and school psychologists earned a mean 2009 annual wage of $72,310. And GradPSYCH Magazine cites Mary Connell, a practicing forensic psychologist, who estimates that established forensic psychologists earn between $200,000 and $400,000 a year.

Find a Forensic Psychology School that's Right for You!
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
Argosy University , Online (campus option available)
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology , Online (campus option available)
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  •  Ranked one of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  •  Offers a no-obligation, 3-week trial period where students may determine if the university is right for them before they commit to it.
  •  Strives to be a student’s partner in lifelong learning; committed to helping them achieve their goals.
  •  Serves students of all ages, from first-graders learning to read to professionals seeking postgraduate training.
  •  Provides career-oriented diploma through master’s programs in fields such as healthcare, business, legal and paralegal services, information technology, criminal justice and design.
Show more [+]
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found

•Graduate programs include Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, M.S. in Psychology, and M.S. in Counseling.
•Has an outpatient mental health facility that provides clinical services to adults, adolescents, children, families, and couples that also serves as a training center for advanced doctoral students.
•Founded in 199 with a dedication to the scientific study of psychology with a Catholic understanding.
•Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Does psychology interest you? See if Grand Canyon University could be a good fit for your journey in discovering the human mind!
  • GCU offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in either General Psychology or Industrial & Organizational Psychology.
  • The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education, blending the study of traditional humanities in a modern context.
  • GCU offers a variety of learning options, including: traditional degree programs offered at our main campus, online degrees, or evening classes meeting once a week at various locations.
  • Founded in 1949, GCU is a regionally accredited, private Christian university and is recognized as offering some of the best online education programs in the nation.
  • Request information and learn more about our program offerings, start dates, financial aid and more!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits