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PhD in Forensic Psychology - Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology

Professionals interested in reviewing advanced topics relating to the collaborative efforts between forensics and the law can do so in Walden University's PhD in Forensic Psychology with a specialization in Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology program. Get more details about this online program here.

Official Program Name:

Doctor of Philosophy in Forensic Psychology with a specialization in Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology

School Offering Program:

Walden University

Degree Level:

Doctoral

Program Prerequisites:

Students looking to enter Track I of the PhD in Forensic Psychology with a specialization in Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology program must hold a bachelor's degree, while the Track II program requires a master's degree. Experience in the criminal justice, psychology, or forensics field may also needed. All applicants to Walden University should have a high school diploma or equivalent; some programs may have additional requirements.

Program Description:

What are the roles of a forensic psychologist? How does violent crime affect both offender and victim on a psychological level? What are some theories of criminal behavior? Walden University's online PhD in Forensic Psychology with a specialization in Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology program provides a focus on these topics while also offering courses in criminal behavior, forensic psychology research, and legal issues in the field. Track I, which is designed for those with a BS, provides core classes addressing abnormal behavior characteristics, victimology, risk assessment, and the application of research results in to various fields, such as corrections, courts, and policing. In Track II core classes, students could expect to review current trends in forensic psychology, the link between forensics and the legal system, how legislation and recent laws affect social change, and controversies in forensic psychology such as the death penalty and hate crimes. In both tracks, students are required to complete four residencies, research courses, and a dissertation.

Learning Format:

Online

Program Length:

110 credits for Track I, 80 credits for Track II.

Financial Aid Available:

Eligible students could be able to receive financial aid in the forms of grants, loans, and scholarships. Contact Walden University's financial aid office for more information.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. Complete the form to the right to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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Required Courses for a PhD in Forensic Psychology with a specialization in Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology:

For both Track I and Track II, students complete 15 credits in the specialization, 20 credits in research courses, 27 credits related to the dissertation, and a 3-credit foundation class. Track I students take 45 credits in the core curriculum, while Track II requires the completion of 25 core credits. Degree program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Walden University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Track I (for students entering with a BS degree)

Foundation Course (3 credits)

  • Foundations of Graduate Study in Psychology

Core Courses (45 credits)

  • Understanding Forensic Psychology Research
  • Understanding Violence, Risk, and Threat Assessment
  • Criminal Behavior
  • Consulting for Organizational Change
  • Themes and Theories of Psychology
  • Program Evaluation
  • Advanced Issues in Forensic Psychology
  • Abnormal Behavior
  • Teaching of Psychology

Research Courses (20 credits)

  • Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Specialization Courses: Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology (15 credits)

  • Psychology in the Legal System
  • Students choose one of the following:
    • Psychological Aspects of Violent Crime
    • Criminal Investigative Analysis and Profiling
  • Students choose one of the following:
    • Victimology
    • Family Violence

Doctoral Dissertation (27 credits)

  • Writing a Quality Prospectus in Psychology
  • Literature Review
  • Dissertation (5 credits per term, minimum of 4 terms)

Track II (for students entering with a MS degree)

Foundation Course (3 credits)

  • Foundations of Graduate Study in Psychology

Core Courses (25 credits)

  • Intersection of Crime, Psychology, and the Law
  • Understanding Violence, Risk, and Threat Assessment
  • Advanced Issues in Forensic Psychology
  • Research Foundations
  • Legal Issues and Social Change in Forensic Psychology

Research Courses (10 credits)

  • Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Specialization Courses: Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology (15 credits)

  • Psychology in the Legal System
  • Students choose one of the following:
    • Psychological Aspects of Violent Crime
    • Criminal Investigative Analysis and Profiling
  • Students choose one of the following:
    • Victimology
    • Family Violence

Doctoral Dissertation (27 credits)

  • Writing a Quality Prospectus in Psychology
  • Literature Review
  • Dissertation (5 credits per term, minimum of 4 terms)

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Career Paths:

Graduates of the PhD in Forensic Psychology - Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology program could be prepared to explore job opportunities in courts, police departments, prisons, correctional facilities, or juvenile detention centers. They might consult with district attorneys, lawyers, witnesses, and other professionals to help in such areas as testimony and jury selection or provide clinical psychology services and legal analysis to both criminals and criminal justice professionals, such as police officers and parole officers. They might also pursue academic careers in colleges or universities.

Some career options available to graduates could include:

  • Forensic psychologist
  • Behavior analyst
  • Mental health professional
  • Professor of forensic psychology

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