If you have an interest in criminal justice and psychology, you can easily combine these two interests to carve out a fascinating career for yourself. You could study criminal psychology, with a criminal psychology certification added to your education, and become what is known as a Criminal Forensics Psychologist.
There is a great deal of debate concerning what your actual job title would be, because this is a relatively new field. Some of these professionals are referred to as Forensic Psychologists, and some are referred to as Criminal Psychologists. Other titles are used as well, and in the end it just depends on what the organization that you work for calls the job.
Aside from what your job title will actually be, the role that you will play in the criminal justice field is vitally important. You may do basic or applied research on the legal system, or on specific subjects within the legal system – including criminals or those who capture and prosecute criminals. You may find yourself in a role where you teach police officers and other criminal justice professionals how to deal with criminals within the system, from a psychological aspect. You may deal with criminals directly to get a psychological picture of what makes them do the things that they do. You may serve in a consultation role for lawyers, police departments, courts, or correctional facilities.
If you want to become a Forensic Psychologist, you should start your education by obtaining an Associate’s degree in psychology, and then a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in criminal justice or criminology. You should advance your degree and obtain your master’s degree in psychology and in Forensic Psychology specifically if possible. At that point, you will be employable, but you should go on and obtain your doctorate as well, which makes you more valuable to the criminal justice field.
Course Title: Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Name of Business: John Jay College, The City University of New York
Location: 445 W. 59th Street, Room 2131N, New York, New York, United States
Course Description: This is an advanced degree program designed specifically for those who will enter the field of psychology in the criminal justice arena. This is a 42 credit hour curriculum.
Course Title: Forensic Psychology
Name of Business: Eisner Institute for Professional Studies
Location: 16133 Ventura Blvd., Suite 700, Encino, California, United States
Course Description: This institute offers a Doctorate Degree Program, a Masters Degree Program, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree Program, all geared towards various psychology disciplines, including Forensic Psychology.
Course Title: Criminology
Name of Business: The Florida State University
Location: 634 W. Call Street, Tallahassee, Florida, United States
Course Description: While this is not actually a psychology program, it is a program that covers criminal psychology, as well as other aspects of criminal justice. This is a great starting point for those who wish to pursue a career as a criminal psychologist, who are just starting their education.
Course Title: Psychological Aspects of Criminal Behavior
Name of Business: Tidewater Community College
Location: 121 College Place, Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Course Description: This is just one course that awards 3 credits, and it should definitely be a part of your psychology education if you wish to go into the field of criminal psychology. It is also suitable for those who are already working in the field of psychology, and online courses are available.
Course Title: Various Forensic Psychology Courses and Programs
Name of Business: The California School of Forensic Studies
Location: 5130 E. Clinton Way, Fresno, California, United States
Course Description: This school only offers PhD programs, in the field of Forensics. Areas covered include Forensic Psychology – Clinical, Forensic Psychology – Non-Clinical, and Forensic Psychology.