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.
- General Psychology - PhD of Psychology
- Mental Health Policy and Practice - Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
The Chicago School is a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution with more than 4,285 students at campuses across the country (Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.) and online. TCSPP has been an innovator in the field of psychology and related behavioral science for more than 30 years. TCSPP offers more than 20 degree programs and a wealth of opportunities for international experiences.
- Ph.D. Business Psychology, Consulting Track
- Ph.D. International Psychology
- Psy.D. Clinical Psychology