With few colleges and universities offering admission into their psychology graduate programs without completion of the GRE test, many undergraduate students fret whether or not they will get accepted into the graduate program of their choice. However, there are a few colleges and universities that provide acceptance into forensic psychology programs without the requirement of GRE completion. These programs, like other forensic psychology graduate programs, have some common core coursework and admission requirements.
Common Courses in a Forensic Psychology Graduate Program
The sections below highlight some of the common courses often found in a forensic psychology graduate program that does not require completion of the GRE for admittance.
Graduate students must understand the atypical behaviors exhibited by individuals in order to make an accurate diagnosis. In this course, graduate students study treatments for mental disorders within abnormal psychology as well as contemporary techniques utilized in order to properly assess a person's environmental and biological factors that caused the disorder. You will need to study the history of abnormal psychology, how mental disorders arise, and specific defense mechanisms utilized by the person after certain cognitive shifts such as anxiety.
Behavioral Pathology and Statistical Data
Sometimes referred to as psychopathology, behavioral pathology and statistical data is a core course that is often required in order to obtain your graduate degree in forensic psychology. In this course, students typically study various behavioral aspects of witnesses, victims, and offenders. The study of these behaviors dives deeper into mental disorders, such as generalized anxiety, and may include statistics on the commonality of these diseases through a variety of tests like z tests vs. t tests. You will also perform an extensive amount of research related to pathology and cultural behavioral theory.
Psychology and Law
In a psychology and law course, graduate students will study how contemporary legal procedures conjoin with psychological principles and how to apply them accordingly in the field. In some courses, instructors may also choose to relate behavioral pathology, principles of psychology, and legal procedures and ethics all in one to strengthen their understanding of how essential it is for a forensic psychologist to apply theory while working closely with the law. Students taking this course will conduct thorough research.
Applied Research Methodology
Graduate students in an applied research methodology class will learn how to apply specific psychological methods to create new theories, and at the same time, solidify orthodox methods through research and statistical data. Some schools may make this an independent study or internship, while others may decide to make it a required seminar course. In general, graduate students will learn how to evaluate hypotheses based on empiricism, interventions, and therapeutic tactics.
Ethics in Criminal Justice
As part of their studies in ethics in criminal justice, graduate students learn the importance of morality in legal practices as well as with their evaluations. They will explore the code of conduct for forensic scientists and psychologists provided by the American Psychological Association or APA. Additionally, students will learn how to effectively make critical decisions and how to avoid legal immoralities when applying research or performing evaluations. Graduate students will also examine real-world ethical dilemmas within the legal system in comparison with their role as a forensic psychologist.
Schools With Non-GRE Forensic Psychology Programs
- Nova Southeastern University: Based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, this university offers a 36 credit hour Master of Science in Forensic Psychology program. Graduate students are required to complete a variety of methodology, research, and ethical assessment courses as well as one specialized track of their choice, focusing on forensic psychology in the legal system or on forensic psychology in the disaster response teams.
- University of North Dakota: This Grand Forks, ND university has a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology program consisting of 30 credit hours. Students in this program need to complete an independent study and capstone as well as 3 elective courses, one of which will require the student to participate in supervised field work.
- American International College: The 36 credit hour Master of Science in Forensic psychology program at this Springfield, MA school requires its students to complete 2 components: a psychology portion and a criminal justice portion, which focuses on research and psychology principles as well as legal aspects of criminal justice.
Admission Requirements For Non-GRE Forensic Psychology Programs
Since you don't need a GRE score for admission into these programs, the admissions process is fairly straightforward. In order to gain admission into a college or university that does not require a GRE, you usually need to have a 3.0 GPA or higher, an undergraduate degree in a field of psychology or similar discipline, a few recommendations on your academic achievements, and a personal statement detailing your interest in the program. When evaluating if you will be a good fit for the program, the college or university will compile all of your admission documents and make a decision based on the quality and depth of your success as an integral part of the program.
Universities and colleges, such as Nova Southeastern University and University of North Dakota, offer students easy access to their forensic psychology graduate program without requiring a GRE test score. Combined core forensic psychology courses such as abnormal psychology and applied methodology and a 30 credit hour completion time for the degree, graduate students receive high quality academic training and real-world application to prepare them for their rewarding vocation.