Forensic psychology is a complex field that studies the relationship between the human mind and our criminal justice system, as well as general psychology. Professionals in this field are trained in crime analysis and prevention. They work closely with law enforcement, social service and legal agencies.
Undergraduates who decide to pursue the forensic psychology major may be fascinated by the psychosocial factors that contribute to the formation of a criminal mind. At this academic level, students will explore various assessment methods and tactics for gathering data, as well as develop a groundwork knowledge of human psychology. Students can also expect to gain experience in statistical analysis, program development and management.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
With a bachelor’s degree, job-seekers tend to have more success in finding employment, as the degree is required for many occupations. Moreover, students gain a broad range of knowledge from foreign politics to literature and biology that can be both useful but also enjoyable. The forensic psychology major is great for those who are interested in the subject and already know they want to work in the field.
Fortunately, graduates of programs in forensic psychology, who decide not to work in the field have the qualifications for a number of jobs they would not without a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s programs are great opportunities for individuals who want better paying jobs and greater job security; they can also be used a stepping stone for master’s and doctorate programs in forensic psychology.
Inside a Forensic Psychology Bachelor's Degree Program
Undergraduate students in the forensic psychology major will be introduced to a diverse number of subjects essential to the degree. They will take courses in psychology, law and leadership, crime, and other related subjects. Students will also need to gain knowledge of assessment methods and how they work to predict criminal behavior and profiling. Additionally, students of forensic psychology will learn the vocabulary and vernacular used in the field. They will gain fluency in the methodology for gathering psychological information and preparing background data.
Courses one might find listed in an undergraduate-level forensic psychology curricula include ‘Leadership and Management,’ ‘Cognitive Psychology, Victims and Justice,’ ‘Social Psychology,’ ‘Psychology and the Law,’ and ‘Principles and Methods of Statistics.’
The bachelor’s degree typically requires four years of hard work, regardless of the major. Some online programs may permit an accelerated or delayed graduation. During the four years, students earn general college and major-specific credits, write papers, and complete collaborative projects. Many departments of forensic of psychology have their students complete a capstone project before graduation.
What’s Next for Forensic Psychology Bachelor's Degree Holders?
Forensic psychology bachelor’s degree holders have a wide variety of career options available to them. Graduates may find work as case managers, victim advocates, or forensic treatment specialists. A popular occupation among graduates is forensic science technician. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, forensic science technicians earned a median salary of $55,360 in 2014. In the same year, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists earned a median annual wage of $49,060.
Students may elect to continue their education in graduate programs in forensic psychology, counseling, clinical psychology; others choose to attend law school.