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Master of Science (M.S.) in Forensic Psychology

Majors Overview August 19, 2013

Forensic psychology is the science where psychology meets legality. In other words, it is the understanding of criminal law influenced by the psychology of criminals, not to mention, all other figures involved in criminal trials, such as judges, attorneys and other positions. Forensic psychologists are hired to work in the courtroom setting and out in the field and particularly for questioning.

The forensic psychologists must answer questions in a medically accurate manner, even while using language the court understands (Not quite laymen’s terms, but not medical terms either). This mental health professional will also help attorneys evaluate individuals for testimony, plea of insanity, competency to stand trial, risk assessment, child custody rights, and even interpreting polygraph information. The job is extremely important as it helps the prosecution or defense builds a case through a credible witness. Without proper understanding and adherence to legal and psychological procedure, truly damaging results could occur.

It is also within this person’s capacity to provide a recommendation for sentencing, treatment, or even providing extra information directed at the judge. The forensic psychologist, oftentimes the mediator working with attorneys and judges, is an important part of the legal process. Due to the high demands of this job and tremendous responsibility, a master’s degree is usually the minimum degree that will serve as an entry level achievement.

What does a Student Learn in a M.S. in Forensic Psychology Degree Program?

The Master of Science in forensic psychology degree is exclusively for criminal and civil courtroom cases and presumes the student already knows a great deal about the core subject. The M.S. degree will prepare students to go further, offering them information on how the legal process work, evaluation and treatment of offenders and their victims, and other aspects of psychology, and with a psychopathology focus. Most of these degrees require a certain number of hours of direct supervision by a licensed psychologist.

Required courses usually involve studying social sciences, research methods and statistics. As courses progress, more information is given on criminal psychology, intellectual and cognitive ability of a subject, objective personality assessment, and information about how brains function, and how this affects behavior. Elective subjects could be anything from criminal behavior, a study of violence, counseling and rehabilitation, crisis intervention and substance abuse. There may also be training involved in juvenile criminals, sex offenders, terrorism and ethics that all doctors must be aware of at all times.

While the top schools are often cited as the best schools to attend, in truth, there are many colleges that offer advanced training in forensic psychology, such as the schools listed below. The master’s program at alternative schools often provide flexible scheduling, online learning, the ability to work and go to school at odd hours, and web access to materials, databases and other invaluable information.

If you want to be more involved in the legal system pursue a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology degree program with the school of your choice. Be a part of the day-to-day justice process and enjoy a high paying career!

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
2 Program(s) Found
  • 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.
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  • Flexible Scheduling
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  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology program helps students prepare for careers in counseling, marketing/sales, human services, ministry, and more.
  • The School of Psychology & Counseling received a 95% match rate for 4th year Psy.D. student internships in 2015.
  • Programmatic accreditation for psychology programs is provided by the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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