Forensic Psychology Degrees
A forensic psychologist is a professional involved in profiling suspects, their mental health and motives. These skills are helpful to the police in their investigations and in the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders in mental and special hospitals. Persons intending to earn forensic psychology degrees need to meet certain educational qualifications as well as possess certain traits.
While in high school, you need to have a keen interest in subjects such as science, public speaking, psychology and statistics. These provide you with the basic skills and familiarity as you progress to become a forensic psychologist. A career as a forensic psychologist is highly demanding because your work involves dealing with sex offenders, insane persons who are accused of crimes and highly unpredictable characters who have the potential to cause you physical or emotional harm. The problems involved are also complex because they may not have a quick solution; therefore, you need to be quick in your problem solving and good at decision making.
You also need to have the desire to assist persons accused of crimes, an interest in determining the cause and consequences of criminal acts and excellent IT, communication and research skills.
It is important to note that you will receive a practicing license from your state if you have a doctorate degree in forensic psychology so you must be ready to put up with many years of study.
Once you have completed high school, you need to enroll in a graduate school where you must select pure psychology or take psychology while emphasizing in courses such mathematics or sciences. There are some students who opt to pursue forensic degrees and law in schools that offer joint degree programs to increase their chances at getting employed.
It takes around 5 or 7 years of study to earn a doctorate in forensic psychology, but it is important to note that getting admitted into the doctorate program is no easy task because of its competitive nature. If you continue with your education further by undertaking a research project, you will earn a PhD which is useful if you intend to pursue teaching or research. After completing your training, it is advisable to apply for an internship in a correctional facility or forensic medical facility where you will get the necessary experience to assist you in your career.
You then need to apply for certification from the American Board of Forensic Psychology where you will be certified and allowed to use the title of a Diplomat of Forensic Psychology. You also need to join the American Psychology Association because this is where you will meet with other professionals in the industry which increases your chances of getting a job.
There are several graduate schools that offer degrees in forensic psychology with some also offering online classes. These includes include Tiffin University, Argosy University and California Baptist University.
An interesting fact about forensic psychology degrees is that once you have one it is very easy for you to be accepted in schools that offer advance degrees in law, criminal justice and mental health counseling.