What Is Forensic Psychology?
The legal system depends on skilled professionals dedicated to making communities safer. Forensic psychologists fulfill a critical role in the criminal justice system. At the intersection of psychology, law and criminal justice, forensic psychology is the application of scientific principles to the legal process. The Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology at Grand Canyon University provides a thorough grounding in the advanced principles of human psychology, criminal behavior and societal responses to criminal behavior.
The forensic psychology Master of Science degree is offered online by GCU through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students acquire a framework of statistical analysis and research skills that can be applied to timely and relevant topics in criminal behavior. The modern curriculum covers current legal system programs, policies and ethical practices. It encourages students to proactively improve criminal justice processes and human rehabilitation. The forensic psychology degree emphasizes the main objectives of the profession: to reduce crime rates and successfully rehabilitate criminals so that they may become productive members of society.
Earn Your Psychology MS Degree with a Focus in Forensic Psychology
Strengthen your research skills and capacity for statistical analysis. Practice written and oral communication through engaging discussions with your peers and self-directed, writing-intensive projects. Gain a solid foundation of psychological knowledge and skills to guide your understanding of the current state of forensic psychology and the criminal justice system.
Study Psychology and the Analysis of Human Behavior with a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology
Study a modern curriculum taught by fully trained instructors who are experts in their fields. Some of the core program courses for the Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology include:
- Social and Cultural Psychology
- Psychology and the Legal System
- Theories of Criminal Behavior
- Offender Rehabilitation and Reintegration
- Psychopathology of Crime
Students are exposed to the biological, genetic, neurochemical, cognitive and sociological factors that underlie criminal behavior. Public policy and research-based methods for community reintegration of offenders are examined, with a particular emphasis on sex offenders, drug offenders, female offenders, juveniles and mentally ill offenders. Students develop an understanding of the classic and contemporary theories of crime causation, including theories of punishment and the psychological, developmental and social causes of crime.
Students are required to complete the Professional Capstone prior to graduation. They explore the occupational opportunities within psychological fields, and develop and present original research ideas.
Pursue a Forensic Career in the Government or Law Enforcement
Forensic psychology is a rewarding career path for individuals who desire to make a positive difference in their communities. An MS in forensic psychology may open the door to exciting possibilities in government or law enforcement agencies. Forensic psychologists are in demand across a range of settings, including within rehabilitation centers, police departments, law firms, prisons and private practices. These professionals can work directly with police officers and investigators, victims of crimes, criminal offenders, attorneys and corrections officials.
Some forensic psychologists work as researchers, seeking to enhance the profession’s understanding of criminal behavior and the criminal mind. Some jobs that may be related to this degree include the following:
- Victim advocate
- Court liaison
- Jury consultant
- Police consultant
- Corrections consultant
Graduates who hold an MS in forensic psychology may choose to enhance their career qualifications by pursuing a doctoral degree.