Top 10 Forensic Psychology Degree Careers [2024]

 Top 10 Forensic Psychology Degree Careers

Finding the right school is your first step toward Forensic Psychology Degree Careers.

Forensic psychology degree careers are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment of psychologists will grow by 20% in 2024.

In addition, do you want the option of making over $90,000 a year? Become a Forensic Psychologist! The field of psychology is growing, and psychology degrees are in high demand. 

Therefore, it is certainly a good time to consider what you want from your career and the appropriate education to get there. 


Top 10 Forensic Psychology Degree Careers

Top 10 Forensic Psychology Degree Careers

SECTION 1: What is it like to be a Forensic Psychologist

Forensic psychology is a branch of the larger profession of psychology.

Forensic psychologists are employed in the field of criminal justice and are generally involved in cases where one person has harmed another in some way-usually through violent crime.

Don't get confused by the word "forensic", it does not mean that forensic psychologists are working as lawyers.

Rather, it refers to the idea that these professionals work with evidence.

They examine details from an event or a series of events to determine what is likely to have happened and to gain a better understanding of the motivations and intentions behind certain actions.

If you are interested in becoming a forensic psychologist, there are several key aspects that you need to be aware of before applying for this type of position.

These aspects include:

The education needed for this position

 To become a forensic psychologist, you must first complete your undergraduate program, typically with a major or minor in psychology.

Next, you will need to complete a four-year doctoral degree program in clinical or counseling psychology.

This is followed by a minimum of three years of supervised professional experience and many hours devoted to continuing education courses.

Now let’s look at some good schools offering degree programs in forensic psychology


SECTION 2: Is It Worth Pursuing A Graduate Degree In Forensic Psychology?

Is it worth pursuing a graduate degree in forensic psychology?

Forensic Psychology is the application of psychological principles to criminal and civil law.

 If you are looking for a job as a psychologist, you may want to think about getting a graduate degree in forensic psychology.

Is It Worth Going To Graduate School For Forensic Psychology?

 To answer this question, you need to assess whether or not you like the work being done by forensic psychologists.

If you are interested, then it is probably worth looking into a graduate program.

If you are not interested in this field, then I would suggest considering another path such as clinical or counseling psychology.

 As with any career, there are both advantages and disadvantages to becoming a forensic psychologist.

 On the plus side, they have the potential to earn more money than other psychologists.

The average forensic psychologist can make upwards of $75,000 per year.

If you do decide that pursuing a graduate degree in forensic psychology is right for you, then it is important to consider what type of degree would be best. Many people choose an internship after completing their Master.


SECTION 3: How Much Does A Forensic Psychologist Make?

Forensic psychologists are in high demand because they are needed in the legal system to help out with cases.

They help prove whether or not someone is guilty.

Forensic psychologists can also be hired by private organizations such as hospitals or corporations.

Some of these institutions need help with morale and behavior problems among their employees and clients.

The average salary for a forensic psychologist is $88,000-$123,000 per year.

This can vary depending on the experience, education, and employer of the individual. Compensation ranges from $27-$48 per hour; however, this can also depend on which state the psychologist practices in.

 Read More: What Can I Do With A Degree In Forensic Psychology?

SECTION 4: Tuition Fee For Undergraduate And Graduate Degrees

A bachelor's degree program in forensic psychology is available at the undergraduate level. Undergraduate programs may last four years or less depending on whether a student chooses to pursue a B.A. or B.S.A. degree.

Graduate students can choose between two-year and four-year doctoral programs.

 Ph.D. programs typically include an internship.

Tuition fees range from $14,000 to $17,000 per year at the undergraduate level, around $25,000 per year for master's degrees, and between $40,000 and $50,000 for doctoral degrees.


SECTION 5: Top 10 Schools That Offer Degrees In Forensic Psychology

Top 10 Schools That Offer Degrees In Forensic Psychology
Top 10 schools for Forensic Psychology Degree

If you're considering a career in forensic psychology, then the 20 schools that offer degrees in the field are listed below.

 This list is meant to serve as a starting point for your research into various programs.

As with any major, it's important to find a program that provides you with the knowledge and training you need to succeed.

The Following Schools Offer Forensic Psychology Degree Programs

#1 Arizona State University

The Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology (MA) at Arizona State University emphasizes both research and practice.

It trains students to evaluate, assess and treat individuals with criminal and anti-social behaviors.

The faculty members are experienced forensic psychologists who are licensed practitioners in their field.

They provide students with hands-on experience by allowing them to participate in various campus events such as mock trials and simulated crime scenes.

Most of the courses feature small class sizes with a maximum of 19 students per class. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on their research projects throughout their time at Arizona State University.

The program offers two concentrations:

Clinical and criminological.

The clinical concentration prepares students for careers as mental health professionals working in correctional facilities or with patients who have criminal behaviors or substance abuse problems.

The criminological concentration prepares students for careers focused on criminal profiling, investigation, and prosecution.


#2 Boston College

The Forensic Psychology program at Boston College is a unique collaboration between Boston College Department of Psychology and Law, the School of Criminology & Justice Studies, and the Center for Psychological Studies in the Schools.

The program offers an undergraduate minor in forensic psychology as well as a graduate certificate of advanced study in forensic psychology.

Taught by faculty from both the psychology and criminology programs, courses cover topics ranging from the biological bases of behavior to legal decision making, with an emphasis on fusing science and practice.

Students learn how to assess and treat offenders, conduct research in criminal justice settings, and help to rehabilitate juvenile and adult criminals.

In addition, students have ample opportunity to do fieldwork in local jails and prisons.

Students gain valuable experience by working with local courts and state probation departments on their internships.

They also have access to a wide range of online resources including journals, news feeds, blogs, discussion boards, and video lectures related to forensic psychology.

The Forensic Psychology Program is part of the Department of Psychology & Law within the School of Criminology & Justice Studies at Boston College.

This department is dedicated to advancing knowledge about human behavior in legal contexts through teaching, research, and applied training, consultation services for professionals both inside and outside of academia as well.


#3 Brandeis University

Brandeis University
Brandeis University

Graduates of the master's degree in Forensic Psychology program at Brandeis University are highly sought after and are often employed within a few months of graduation.

The Master's degree program in Forensic Psychology is an online program with no residency requirement.

Students have the flexibility to complete the program while maintaining their current employment.

Brandeis University is located on a beautiful campus in Waltham, Massachusetts.

The university has been ranked among the top 10 universities in the United States by U.S. News.


#4 California State University-Fullerton

The Forensic Psychology degree program at California State University-Fullerton is designed to prepare students to enter a variety of careers in the criminal justice system as well as related fields.

The primary goal of the curriculum is to teach students how to work with criminals, victims, witnesses, and the families of all parties.

Students who complete the program will be able to assist in criminal investigations, help people recover from traumatic experiences, and work with law enforcement agencies across the country.

Students who are interested in earning a Forensic Psychology degree online should first take classes in criminal justice or psychology.

They should also have a solid foundation in math, language arts, and computer science.

Those who meet admissions requirements will be able to study under faculty members who are experts in their field and have decades of experience working with law enforcement agencies around the world.


#5 Claremont Graduate University

Claremont Graduate University offers a forensic psychology master's degree program. Forensic psychology is the application of psychology to legal matters, and the program is designed to prepare students for careers in forensic science, law enforcement, corrections, and other related professional fields.

The 30-credit program consists of two semesters of required courses as well as five electives, which can be taken from any graduate-level psychology or criminology course.

 In addition to providing students with the foundational knowledge needed for work in this field, the program also offers hands-on training through internships and fieldwork opportunities.

The curriculum includes courses on topics such as social psychology, behavioral genetics, and statistics.

 Students will also complete an internship, which gives them a chance to gain experience working in their chosen field.

Claremont is home to various research centers and institutes, including the Forensic Psychology Center, the Meta-Cognitive Research Institute, and the Neuroeconomics Research Program.

Students who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in criminology or a master's degree in psychology may want to consider these programs as well.


#6 Columbia University

If you are looking for the best forensic psychology degree then look no further than Columbia University.

Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, having been founded in 1754 as King's College by the royal charter of George II of Great Britain.

The University was established as a school for clergy, and it wasn't until 1857 that it would begin to offer undergraduate degrees to students.

In 1896, however, the University began to offer Bachelor of Arts degrees and moved away from strictly religious instruction.

Today, Columbia University is known as one of the world's leading research institutions with over 400 doctoral programs and more than 125 masters’ programs available.

It is comprised of 24 schools, including three undergraduate schools, seven professional schools, and six graduate/professional schools.


#7 Cornell University

The Master of Forensic Psychology program at Cornell University is a two-year, full-time program that provides training in the scientific study of human behavior for careers in law and related fields.

The curriculum is designed to provide students with the theoretical knowledge, research skills, and professional experience necessary to succeed in a career in forensic psychology. Their graduates are highly sought after by employers throughout the United States and abroad.

World-renowned faculty members from multiple departments within Cornell, as well as from other leading educational institutions, provide instruction to help students develop expertise in such areas as global forensics, neuropsychology, developmental psychology, criminal justice policies and practices, juvenile justice policy and research, violence risk assessment, and other related topics.

Students are introduced to cutting-edge research on human behavior and provided an opportunity to collaborate with experts in the field on research projects of their design.


#8 Drexel University

Drexel University
Drexel University

Drexel University is one of the top schools in the United States for Forensic Psychology. They offer both a BA and an MA Degree in Forensic Psychology.

The graduate program is one of the best in the country.

 They have a very low student-to-teacher ratio, so you get a lot of one on one time with your professors.

This is not like other online classes.

You get to live in a dorm and be able to meet new people as well as study with them.

It's also really cheap.


#9 Florida International University

Florida International University offers the nation's only program that exclusively prepares students for careers in forensic psychology.

Forensic psychology is the study of the criminal mind and how it is both similar to and different from the normal mind.

The field provides a broad range of career opportunities for those who wish to work with criminals or victims of their crimes.

 Forensic psychologists can serve as expert witnesses in court, conduct evaluations of offenders, perform risk assessments, provide treatment to offenders and victims, consult with law enforcement officers, and more.


#10 Adelphi University

This university has two separate programs:

One in criminal justice and one in criminology and criminal justice.

The former offers both bachelor's and master's degrees (although the latter requires a bachelor's first).

Both programs have concentrations in forensic psychology.

The school also offers online programs for students interested in earning advanced degrees.

 Read More: Top 10 Careers with PhD in Psychology

Section 6: 10 Career Opportunities In Forensic Psychology

Career 1:  Trial Consultant

 Trial consultants work for both sides of the courtroom aisle and assist attorneys in putting together their cases as well as working on individual cases.

They analyze all aspects of a trial from juror demographics to witness credibility and everything in between.

Their goal is to help attorneys win their cases and they do this by offering advice and counsel throughout the entire course of a trial.

They are typically not involved with the investigation phase but rather get involved after all evidence has been collected.

They are primarily concerned with how their clients look to juries so they analyze everything from facial expressions to emotional responses to demeanor.


Career 2: Applied Behavior Analysts

 Applied behavior analysts work with individuals who have autism or other special needs. They are trained to help individuals learn new skills that they may have trouble acquiring on their own due to disabilities.


Career 3: School Psychologists

School Psychologists
School Psychologists

A school psychologist is someone who holds a minimum of a master's degree in school psychology.

School psychologists must have a minimum of three years of experience in the educational field, and be licensed by the state board of education.

School psychologists work with teachers and parents to help students that are having trouble in school.

They may work with students to improve their study skills, organization, or discipline.

They use a variety of methods and approaches to aid students in dealing with everyday issues such as anger management, peer pressure, and parental issues.

School psychologists also do testing for learning disabilities, giftedness, and emotional problems.

 If you are seeking help for your son or daughter at school, contact your child's teacher first. The teacher may be able to help you find the resources you need or know who to refer you to for professional assistance.


Career 4: Medical Examiner

First and foremost, a Medical Examiner is a physician.

He or she is required to be licensed by the state and must meet the same educational requirements as other physicians.

Many Medical examiners have additional degrees in pathology and forensic pathology (the study of death).

 In many jurisdictions, Medical examiners perform crime scene investigations and may testify in court.

All deaths due to unnatural causes are referred to the Medical Examiner's Office, including deaths from accidents, suicide, and homicide.

 The medical examiner investigates each case, determines the cause and manner of death, and issues a report which is made available to law enforcement agencies and may be used as evidence in criminal or civil cases.

The Medical examiners typically have broader powers.

 In most states, he or she can legally order autopsies of any person who dies within his or her jurisdiction. This includes homicides, suicides, deaths occurring in prison or jail or while restrained (such as in police custody), unattended deaths (including those found at home), child abuse fatalities, vehicular-related deaths, deaths from infectious diseases, and drug overdoses involving prescription medication.


Career 5:  Forensic Pathologists

Forensic pathology is a highly specialized branch of the medical field.

 It deals with issues about death, and it helps solve crimes.

Many people work in the field of forensics, including police officers, scientists, and physicians.

All these people must have a strong background in both biology and psychology.

If you are interested in becoming a forensic pathologist, then you should be prepared to spend at least 10 more years studying after your undergraduate degree.

The main responsibility of a forensic pathologist is to determine the cause of death.

This is not as easy as it sounds because finding the cause of death can involve many different factors.

Most forensic pathologists work for coroners or various law enforcement agencies.

They usually need to examine a corpse before they can determine the cause of death.

The body might be decomposed, burned, or mutilated when it arrives at the morgue.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death, they might need to order additional tests such as toxicology tests or DNA testing.

The forensic pathologist will then use their findings to conclude what caused the person's death.


Career 6: Parole And Probation Officer

Parole and probation officer are employed by a variety of organizations, such as court systems, law enforcement agencies, and correctional facilities.

They may be called upon to perform evaluations to help determine whether a defendant is mentally fit for trial or whether a prisoner will behave well enough in prison to be released on parole.

The duties of a Parole and probation officer may differ slightly depending on his employer. He might work with defendants and prisoners who suffer from mental illness or addiction.

A Parole and probation officer might also work with victims of violent crime, as he would need to know the psychological impact of such crimes on his patients.

A Parole and probation officer also needs to know how to evaluate people's behavior and their ability to change it.

He must be able to interpret the results of standardized tests accurately and understand how this information fits into his overall evaluation.

He must also have excellent communication skills.

Career 7: Forensic Social Worker

Forensic social workers are employed in prisons, hospitals, and other institutions to help people suffering from mental illness.

They provide counseling, treatment plans, and mental evaluations as they help inmates rehabilitate themselves into society.


Career 8: Clinical Psychologists

 Clinical psychologists evaluate and treat a variety of emotional and behavioral problems in patients using therapeutic techniques like psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, cognitive therapy, behavior modification and analysis, biofeedback, and relaxation techniques.

They may also assist patients experiencing drug or alcohol addiction by conducting screenings for substance abuse disorders and referring patients to treatment programs.


Career 9: Crisis Center Counselor

Crisis Center Counselor
Crisis Center Counselor

As a crisis center counselor, you'll listen to the problems of people who are struggling with addiction, abuse, mental health issues, and other problems.

You'll help them identify solutions, refer them for treatment if necessary and support them through the process.

In this role, you'll be helping individuals in an intense period of their lives.

Your job isn't to judge them, but to help them recover from whatever crisis they're experiencing.

A background in psychology or social work can help you understand these issues and connect with people who are suffering from them.


Career 10: Court Liaison Officer

This involves psychological assessment of offenders, including sex offenders and violent offenders.

The court liaison officer may determine whether an offender is fit to stand trial and whether they are likely to re-offend in the future.

In some jurisdictions, a court liaison officer t also provides treatment


Final Remarks on Forensic Psychology Degree Careers

If you’re drawn to the idea of working in criminal justice but aren’t fond of the idea of being a police officer or a judge, then you might want to consider becoming a forensic psychologist.

This is a job that requires a psychology degree and which occurs on the sidelines of the courtroom. Forensic psychologists are usually only called upon when there are serious legal implications.

For example, if a judge has ordered an individual to undergo psychiatric testing, or if someone is accused of committing murder, etc.

These specialists help professionals make sound decisions as they assess risk factors and identify behaviors that may shed light on the criminal mind.  

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