Providing a strong, interdisciplinary foundation, a bachelor's degree program in forensic psychology prepares graduates for careers in criminal justice. Subjects typically covered include applied psychological statistics, definitions of insanity and the principles of criminal behavior. Most programs require an internship with a criminal justice organization. Program specializations available include child and adolescent psychology and criminal psychology.
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Forensic Psychology Bachelor's Degree
Most forensic psychology bachelor's degree programs require prerequisite coursework in English, mathematics, science and social studies. Applicants to these programs must hold a high school diploma or the equivalent and the majority of programs require ACT or SAT scores. The forensic psychology bachelor's degree program is made up of multiple disciplines, such as criminal justice, sociology and psychology. Common courses include the following:
- Introduction to psychology
- Fundamentals of forensic psychology
- Forensic behavior analysis
- The American criminal justice system
- Abnormal psychology
- The sociology of crime
Career Outlook and Salary Info
Jobs for forensic psychologists, along with other psychologists, were expected to grow 19% from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Opportunities will be strongest for those with a doctoral degree, while those with a bachelor's or master's degree will face significant competition. Salaries for forensic psychologists are comparable to those of other psychologists, such as clinical and school psychologists. As of May 2015, mean annual wages for psychologists were $93,050.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in forensic psychology may pursue advanced degrees at the master's and doctoral levels. In addition to advanced degrees in the field itself, degrees in clinical, developmental, social and cognitive psychology are relevant to careers in forensic psychology. The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) offers certification in forensic psychology to individuals who possess a state license, a doctorate in psychology and several years of experience; to earn board certification, a specialty board examination is required.
Students who would like to get started in the forensic psychology field can earn a bachelor's degree. Bachelor's programs provide training in behavior analysis and criminal justice and offer specializations. More advanced positions in the field require graduate level education.