Becoming a Forensic Psychologist: How to become a Forensic Psychologist
To become a licensed psychologist working in the criminal justice system, you will need to earn a doctoral degree and be responsible for designing your own degree programs. Through your undergraduate and/or graduate program, you should also pursue internships and fellowships to give you field experience. Once you graduate, you can take a licensing test or certification test to become a psychologist.
Top Schools Offering Forensic Psychologist Degree Programs:
The links below will allow you to request free enrollment information directly from top national schools that offer a Forensic Psychologist degree program:
Degree Requirements to become a Forensic Psychologist:
It may be hard for you to find a designated college program just for forensic psychologists, but you will be able to design your own degree based on psychology courses and criminal justice classes. Once you enter graduate school, you may find it easier to take more specialized courses in forensics and criminal psychology, as well as social psychology, race and ethnic issues, public policy, the court systems, juvenile justice and others. These courses will prepare you to evaluate defendants, clients and the criminal justice system with an interdisciplinary approach, considering the different laws, social issues, economic issues, policies and relationships that shape criminals, the accused, and the people that represent or punish them in the courts.
Duties of a Forensic Psychologist: What are the duties / traits of a successful Forensic Psychologist?
Forensic psychologists are responsible for analyzing criminal behavior, including mental cognizance. They must interview defendants and inmates and then communicate their findings to lawyers and judges through testimony or reports. Sometimes, forensic psychologists also teach at universities and consult for probation and parole agencies, as well as the police department or district attorney’s office.
Forensic Psychologist Salary: How much does a forensic psychologist make?
Entry-level forensic psychologists typically earn around $53,000 per year, but depending on their supplemental jobs — like teaching at a university — and their levels of experience, they can earn much higher salaries.