|Forensic psychology is the application of psychology to field of law and the criminal justice. Due to the dramatization of forensic psychology by the media and its sensational portrayal in movies and television programs, the popularity of forensic psychology as a career has grown phenomenally in recent years. Forensic psychologists are frequently depicted as elite criminal profilers who work side by side with criminal investigators deducing a killer's next move. In reality, most forensic psychologists work within the criminal justice system and with the courts. They are involved in custody disputes, lawsuits and insurance claims. Others work in family courts providing psychotherapy services, investigating reports of child abuse, performing child custody evaluations and conducting visitation risk assessments.|
Many forensic psychologists also work within the civil court system assessing competency, providing psychotherapy for crime victims, and providing second opinions. Those working in the criminal courts often work with child witnesses, perform competency evaluations, and provide psychological assessments of adult and juvenile offenders.
Most positions require that a forensic psychologist have a doctoral degree in psychology, usually in clinical or counseling psychology. While many colleges and universities provide general doctoral programs in psychology that will qualify you to practice as a forensic psychologist, there a few schools that offer degrees specifically designed for the study of forensic psychology. These programs combine courses in both psychology and law.
Once you've finished your degree, you'll need to apply for board certification before you can practice as a forensic psychologist. The American Board of Forensic Psychology offers aspiring professionals the ability to become certified as a Diplomat of Forensic Psychology.
Below you'll find accredited colleges and universities providing online and campus-based undergraduate and graduate degrees in Forensic Psychology.
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