Careers in forensic psychology are at the intersection of legal practice, law enforcement and psychology. This dynamic and exciting field offers a wide range of employment opportunities. Most forensic psychology careers require a graduate degree. If you choose to earn your Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology, you will have laid the foundation to pursue any of the following career paths.
1. Law Enforcement Consultant
Forensic psychologists can serve as consultants to police departments and federal law enforcement agencies. Even within this subfield, forensic psychologists can serve in many different capacities. Some specialize in evaluating aspiring police officers and federal agents to determine whether they meet mental and behavioral health requirements for employment.
These consultants may also work with officers who have been involved in shootings or other traumatic events. They may provide therapeutic intervention and return-to-duty evaluations. Forensic psychologists who work with law enforcement agencies may also perform the following duties:
- Developing profiles of suspects
- Advising on case investigations
- Developing curriculum for law enforcement employees
- Providing training for law enforcement officers and agents
2. Criminal Justice Evaluator
Some forensic psychologists work directly with suspects, defendants and convicted inmates. These professionals travel to correctional facilities to evaluate defendants’ mental competency and determine if they are able to stand trial. They also conduct clinical evaluations of convicted inmates and consult on programs for rehabilitation based on their findings.
3. Trial Consultant
Forensic psychologists who work as trial consultants typically work with the prosecutor’s office, but some of them may also serve as trial consultants for the defense. Attorneys who are litigating civil lawsuits also employ trial consultants. The primary responsibility of a trial consultant is to evaluate potential jurors to uncover biases and preconceived prejudices. Trial consultants can also advise on jury selection.
4. Family Court Evaluator
Some forensic psychologists feel called to devote their careers toward promoting the welfare of one of the most vulnerable populations: children. If you choose to become a family court evaluator, you may be responsible for investigating reports of child abuse. You may serve as an advocate for victims of child abuse and neglect. You may also perform child custody evaluations and in-home family visitation risk assessments.
5. Forensic Psychology Researcher and Professor
After earning an MS in Forensic Psychology, you may choose to pursue a doctoral degree. With a doctorate, you could pursue an academic career in this specialized field. Many universities and colleges employ forensic psychologists. In this role, you could educate the next generation of psychologists while pursuing your own research interests.
Grand Canyon University offers a number of rigorous graduate degree programs, including the Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology. To learn more about the programs offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, visit our website or click on the Request More Information button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.