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
- Offers online master’s and doctor of philosophy programs in Psychology.
- Students may also enhance their professional development and choose from several specializations, including Addiction, Gender Diversity Studies, Organizational Psychology, and more.
- Both the master’s and doctor of philosophy programs have no GRE or GMAT exam requirements.
- 100% of faculty possesses a doctoral degree in their field.
- Most courses are online, but some require in-person engagement in local communities through internships/externships and other clinically supervised activities.
- Mental Health Policy and Practice - Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
- General Psychology - PhD of Psychology
- Several institutional scholarship opportunities are available to students who qualify.
- Features several learning model options, including online, residency, and hybrid options.
- Offers graduate degree programs in organizational leadership, mind-body medicine, psychology and human science.
- Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
- Two teaching locations in Seattle, Washington with the university headquarters located in Oakland, California.
- Ph.D. Psychology
- Ph.D. Psychology, Psychophysiology Specialization
- Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
- Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
- Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
- College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
- College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
- Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
- Ph.D. in General Psychology - Performance Psychology
- Ph.D. in General Psychology - Integrating Technology, Learning, and Psychology
- 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.
- Clinical Psychology (PsyD)
For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.
- PhD in Psychology