The field of forensic psychology concerns all of the psychological aspects of the criminal justice system, including demonstrating defendants' insanity or competency, choosing juries and establishing criminal intent. While associate's programs in forensic psychology are not typically available, students can pursue an associate's degree in criminal justice, which often contains some forensic psychology-related coursework and is available through distance learning. Coursework can be completed online, but it is important to note that some schools require students to take exams in approved proctored settings. Both public community colleges and private online institutions offer these programs, which usually take about two years to complete. It is also possible to earn a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or psychology or a master's degree in forensic psychology.
Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice
Online associate's degree programs in criminal justice cover the fundamentals of legal policy, the administration of justice and law enforcement. A few general education courses are required as well. Online associate's programs in criminal justice do not usually have any on-site requirements, although some schools may require students to complete exams in an approved proctored setting.
Some typical core courses include:
- Forensic Psychology
- Juvenile Law
- Homeland Security and Terrorism
- Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement
An online associate's degree program in criminal justice can prepare students for entry-level positions in law enforcement, corrections and related fields, or for further education.
Continuing Education Information
After completing associate's degree programs in criminal justice, students can transfer their units of study to bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice or psychology. Beyond the bachelor's level, a few schools offer master's degrees in forensic psychology. Some of these master's programs are offered online.
Even though it is not possible to earn an associate's degree in forensic psychology online, programs in criminal justice are available. After earning an associate's degree in this field, students have the educational background necessary to enter the workforce or pursue more advanced studies in the field, either online or on campus.