Forensic Psychology info?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by johnp, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. johnp

    johnp New Member

    Hello everyone

    Is anyone here familiar with the field of forensic psychology? Psychology has always interested me and doing some research I believe the forensic/criminal field interests me most. Doing competencey assessments for trials, criminal profiling, working in a prison, studing psycho/socio paths, etc.

    Im finishing my BA in Psych. And need direction for my next step. In my reading Ive seen many debates over APA accredited vs. not, licensure problems. Should I work on a masters in forensic psych or a different branch of psych? Should I just try to get into a phd/psyd program in forensic psych?

    Any info would be appreciated most of my google searches lead me to a website saying how to become a profiler like the criminal minds show, and plugging capella, argosy, walden.

    Thanks in advance, John
  2. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    I can't really answer your questions for you. However, I can inform you that University of North Dakota offers an online Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology | Online & Distance Education

    I would stay away from the for-profit schools. You'll have a much better chance of landing a job in this field with a degree from a state university (with a B&M campus).

    Best of luck,
  3. armywife

    armywife New Member

    I also find this field very interesting and have looked into it but I still keep wondering what can you really do with this degree? Will it get you employed anywhere? That's the reason i haven't pursued it. I know theoretically you should be able to use it but I don't know if realistically you can.
  4. Try a quick google search. To my understanding, most practicing forensic psychologist are clinical psychologist whom chose to "specialize" in the forensic arena.
  5. major56

    major56 Active Member

    Coventry University: online MSc in Forensic Psychology and Crime (British Psychological Society accredited)
    Coventry University - Forensic Psychology and Crime MSc degree course

    University of Liverpool: online MSc in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Investigation
    Master of Science in Forensic Psychology & Criminal Investigation - Laureate Online Education & University of Liverpool - Online Masters Degrees

    Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology: MA in forensic and counseling psychology (combines intensive on-site weekends and online learning over a two-year period)
    Forensic Psychology Masters Program – MSPP, The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Boston, Massachusetts

    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology: MA in Forensic Psych. – Applied Forensic Psych. Svcs. (online /blended)
    M.A. in Forensic Psychology: Applied Forensic Psychology Services | The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  6. johnp

    johnp New Member

    I did some research into ND awhile ago and I believe there is some residence requirements which is good I think. I might contemplate a masters from a b&m online but if I pursue a doctorate that would have to be b&m traditional butt-in-seat. I just feel you will get a better grasp that way.

    Very good questions armywife hopefully someone here can help,
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2011
  7. eilla05

    eilla05 New Member

    This is another area that am extremely interested in and almost pursued a Masters in forensic psych. The only thing that kept holding me back really was the lack of good affordable online programs. APA accreditation from what I understand doesn't matter on the Masters level if that is what your referring to, it only matters in doctorate programs as a Masters in Forensic Psychology doesn't qualify you to become licensed psychologist. I wish I could remember the few programs I found that offered this Masters online but I can't at the moment! I will do some digging and see what I can find for you.
  8. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Pretty much everything that has been posted so far is accurate....the APA accredits only doctoral programs, so at the Master's level, you're looking for RA.

    The UND program is solely an academic degree (no hands-on experience), while the MSPP degree (I have one) is a clinical program where you have to do 2 years of hands-on internships, and once you graduate, you'll be eligible to take the exam for Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Massachusetts, and since it's a 60-hour degree, you'll qualify for most states. The only thing is, some states require Career Counseling, which MA does not, but MSPP does offer it as an elective in the summer.

    There are no geographical restrictions for MSPP, so if you could arrange an approved internship site in your home area and made the trips to Boston for the required residencies, it's theoretically possible to do the program from a distance, but it would be a challenge for sure.
  9. johnp

    johnp New Member

    Thanks eilla the only masters Ive really seen are ND and a handful of for profits. As for the APA I am aware that they only come into play when speaking of doctoral degrees. I read on SDN(student doctor network) forum that people who graduated with a Phd in forensic psych from a RA program that was not approved by the APA had trouble getting licensed and practicing.

    Revised question once I finish my BA, should I search for a RA, APA approved, Doctoral program if my end goal is to become a licensed working Forensic Psychologist? Or work on a masters first? Or just give up and become a truck driver lol.
  10. perrymk

    perrymk Member

    FWIW, I testify in court as an expert, but not in for psy.

    I would suggest you go straight to the PhD. The work you will potentially be doing is not going to be routine (psych evaluations) and may be in adversarial settings (court). One can't be overqualified to render an opinion of that nature.
  11. johnp

    johnp New Member

    Thanks perry thats the direction I was leaning towards. Upon further research peacefulchaos was right clinical psychologists specialize in forensic psych. The APA doesnt accredit any forensic psych program, only phds with a concentration in forensic, the list of schools is here for anyone whos interested and may stumble upon this:

    APA Accredited Schools for Forensic Psychology |

    Anyone have any knowledge of the actual job field? How does one put there Phd. to work for them? Look for job offerings asking for forensic psychologists? Im very blurry here being a grease monkey since 14 I am unaware as to how Phd doctors find jobs. Might be a dumb question but I have no idea so best to ask. :)
  12. perrymk

    perrymk Member

    I'm sure there is a for psy professional association. That would be a place to start. Then check state employment web sites. That is, those sites specializing in working for a state. Florida has one called PeopleFirst that lists openings for the state. State prison jobs will be in there. I suppose looking at associations or even employers (prisons, social service agencies, etc.) would also be an option.
  13. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    Perhaps this organization could provide you with some career information?

    American Board of Forensic Psychology - Homepage
  14. johnp

    johnp New Member

    Thanks guys!
  15. johnp

    johnp New Member

    Local b&m is very veteran friendly tuition covered 100%. They offer adult fast paced night classes. Classes are 8 weeks long, and meets 1 night a week.

    The only major they offer that is anywhere near my interest of Forensic psychology is Criminal Justice with a concentration in Criminology.

    Would I be making a mistake pursuing this degree-path, if upon graduation I wanted to study for a phd in forensic psychology??
  16. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Do they not offer a major in psychology? Or anything else close?
  17. johnp

    johnp New Member

    Not in the Adult learning fast paced program only the traditional programs
  18. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Graduate programs in psychology will commonly want lots of undergraduate credit in psychology, and often the GRE subject test which is benchmarked on about the coverage of a major in the subject.
  19. johnp

    johnp New Member

    Another idea they offer a ba in professional studies with either a minor or concentration in which I could do psych.

    Better option?
  20. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice are definitely related (I have graduate degrees in both fields), but they are also distinct academic disciplines.

    I am loathe to say that any legitimate higher education is a "mistake", but if your ultimate goal is a doctorate in Forensic Psychology, then you should target your search to that field.

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