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Accredited Online Forensic Psychology Degree

Play Vital Role in Solving Variety of Legal and Criminal Issues with Your Forensic Psychology Degree Online

If you are interested in solving complex criminal investigations, an online forensic psychology degree will prepare you to meet the demanding responsibilities and technical challenges of a career as a forensic psychologist. This highly specialized field of psychology combines forensic science, criminal investigation and law.

Forensic psychologists fulfill several critical roles in the judicial system, assisting a variety of legal professionals and regular people alike. You will need to develop the skills of a detective gifted with the added tools of clinical psychology. Forensic psychologists can specialize in a variety of areas; they might study research on criminal behavior, provide therapy for inmates, assessments for criminal cases, or on a more sensational level – work with law enforcement to profile and track an offender.

As a student of online forensic psychology degree program, you will learn advanced concepts of forensic psychology, criminal behavior, victimology, criminal justice and civil legal systems. You will also gain critical thinking and decision making skills and ability to apply scientific methods and research techniques to real-life scenarios.

Because of the specialized knowledge and depth of education involved, professional forensic psychologists are expected to hold a doctorate degree, which requires 4 to 7 years in most cases. Fortunately, many accredited online colleges offer master's and doctorate degrees focused exclusively on forensic psychology.

Online forensic psychology programs are considerably more affordable and often take less time than the traditional path, and eDegreeSteps offers this guide to online forensic psychology degrees.

Who Should Enroll in Online Forensic Psychology Programs?

Psychologists study the mental processes affecting human behavior. Forensic psychologists must understand principles of law as well as human behavior. A good forensic psychologist must have exceptional patience to master the unique knowledge required for this profession.

Forensic psychologists must be good detectives with strong critical thinking and observational skills. Life or death decisions are often made based on the opinions of forensic psychologists, so this career is not for the light-hearted. You will face immense pressure and deal with difficult cases and must be objective in every evaluation.

You must also be persistent to become a licensed forensic psychologist, working your way to a doctorate degree while studying challenging subjects. Forensic psychology is ideal for distance learning, allowing you to pursue your education at your own pace and under your terms.

Online Forensic Psychology Degree Prepare You for a Diversity of Professional Roles

Forensic psychologists perform numerous roles in the justice system, consulting attorneys, judges, defendants, and law enforcement in criminal cases and assisting legal and medical professionals in civil cases.

From evaluating child custody rulings in divorce cases to analyzing the mental health of criminal defendants, forensic psychologists must know the latest theories, practices, and procedures of both psychology and law. The field offers numerous specializations and employment opportunities for licensed forensic psychologists:

  • Expert witness who interprets scientific data in laymen's terms
  • Trial consultant on a wide range of legal and scientific areas
  • Law enforcement consultant who assists in criminal investigations
  • Correctional psychologists who evaluates prison inmates
  • Academic researcher who works on the edge of knowledge

Career Overview and Growth Prospects for Forensic Psychologists

Licensed forensic psychologists are in high demand at all levels of the judicial system. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other federal agencies are top employers of forensic psychologists. Job prospects are even better for psychologists who have earned a doctorate degree. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for forensic psychologists will grow at 11%, slightly lower than other occupations through 2020.

Salary Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists

Because of their specialist status and high education, forensic psychologists can earn salaries comparable to those of physicians and surgeons. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average annual salary for forensic psychologists in 2012 was 86,380 and top 10% were earning $116,240.

Trends in Forensic Psychology

For forensic psychologists to stay on top of the latest theories and practices in psychology, they have to take formal courses even after earning their professional credentials. In addition, they must know the latest changes in law and legal procedures. This demand requires continuing education to maintain professional status.

In the past, professionals had to take time off of work to attend college classes. But today, more than 25 accredited colleges offer online forensic psychology courses and degrees in forensic psychology, making staying up to date easier than ever. This trend bodes well for the ever-evolving field of forensic psychology.

Another trend in the field is the emergence of new technological tools available to forensic psychologists. As with any science, our knowledge of human behavior is advancing, thanks in part to computer-based tools and applications.

Earning an online forensic psychology degree is a necessary challenge, given the demands of the profession. Let eDegreeSteps help find the best accredited online forensic psychology programs for your career goals.

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