Forensic psychology is a fascinating field of study concerned with the application of psychology in law and law enforcement. For example, it is used in treating mentally ill offenders, providing expert testimony in court, and also in analyzing a criminal’s mind and intent. So to prepare for this work students need to take criminal justice and civil legal courses as well as psychology courses. If you are interested in working in this area, a forensic psychology doctorate will qualify you to apply for very rewarding positions. As well as studying as a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), you can also study it as a PhD.
This page will tell you more about these programs, where to locate suitable schools, and the career prospects after graduating. You can find PsyD or PhD in Forensic Psychology programs by browsing the schools and programs at the foot of the page and also by using the search boxes in the right-hand column. Prior to taking a doctorate in this area, you need to have completed a relevant masters degree in psychology. If you are interested in this area, you may also like to check the criminal justice page for useful programs and advice.
What do you study?
In a forensic psychology doctorate program, you are trained to provide psychological services within the criminal justice and civil legal systems, e.g., to evaluate the psychological fitness of individuals who must stand trial. You must state and defend your psychological evaluations in court, so you need to be quick-witted and have good communication skills, as well as having the required psychological and legal knowledge. Courses covered would include: epidemiology of mental/behavioral disorders; risk factors for violence and criminality; profiling and patterning; psychological testing, prediction and intervention measurement; assessment; criminal and civil law and procedures; forensic treatment and intervention skills; interpersonal skills, communication skills, and, professional standards and ethics.
What are the opportunities with a forensic psychology doctorate?
Forensic psychology research work, consultation and clinical practice has grown considerably over recent years and this growth is expected to continue over the next ten years. There are now various sub-fields that you can work in, including: clinical-forensic psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, criminal investigative psychology.
Graduates with a forensic psychology PhD have more career opportunities than those with only a forensic psychology masters degree.
In the US, salaries for forensic psychologists average around US$70,000 (PayScales.com).
List of schools and programs
Welcome to Argosy University
Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges: College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education, College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.
- School Psychology - Certification program (PsyD)
- Clinical Psychology (PsyD)
Founded in 1959, California Lutheran University's dedicated, accomplished faculty works with small classes of students who are open-minded—and are seeking to grow as individuals. Everyone at Cal Lutheran is committed to helping each student pursue their passions to discover their purpose, and follow that purpose to transform their community—and the world.
- Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology
You believe a better world is possible, and you want to be part of it. We share your vision.
Adler University educates students to engage the world and create a more just society. Established in 1952 to build on the pioneering work of Alfred Adler, the first community psychologist, the University offers master’s and doctoral degree programs for social change. Students enroll and complete degree programs at our urban campuses in downtown Chicago and Vancouver.
- Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology