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PhD in Forensic Psychology
Obtaining Your Forensic Psychology PhD
Becoming a forensic psychologist is going to involve many years in school, and you need to have a good understanding of the principles of psychology as well as criminology. Fortunately, forensic psychology schools are able to offer the training that you need to get started on this type of career. Those who want to go far and become actual forensic psychologists are going to want to pursue their doctorate in forensic psychology. You can find some great PhD programs in forensic psychology that can be instrumental in helping you find a great job that has a higher salary.
What Will Forensic Psychology Doctorate Programs Teach?
When you are training to receive your forensic psychology doctorate, you will learn to blend the training that you have in psychology with that of the criminal justice system. By learning how to work within the legal system and apply your training to actual cases, you will have an easier time of making the transition to the real world. Most of the programs are going to have a similar curriculum, although some may offer certain courses that others do not. You should always make sure that you look through all of the areas that the forensic psychology PhD programs are going to cover and make sure that you are choosing the right program.
The programs should teach you how to apply analytical techniques used in regular psychology to criminal investigations, as well as trials. Many forensics specialists will eventually have to go to court to act as an expert witness, and having the right training and then backing that training up with documentation and good case work will ensure that you have no trouble when you are on the witness stand.
You will learn how you are able to aid criminal investigations through all levels, from the beginning of the case when they call you in all the way through to the resolution of the trial. In addition, you will also learn therapeutic techniques that you may need to use during your work.
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What Prerequisites Do You Need to Earn a Forensic Psychology PhD?
You are going to have to have your bachelor's degree in psychology, criminology, or sociology if you are going to try to get your forensic psychology PhD. In addition to having that degree, you will also want to make sure that you have good analytical skills as well as good communication and writing skills. All of these are going to be important to possess if you are going to get your doctorate in forensic psychology and then have a long and stable career. Something else that many programs are going to look for are undergrad courses in clinical psychology.
The doctoral programs in forensic psychology are going to offer many different areas of study, as well as ways that you can apply them in the real world. Some of the things that you are likely to go over during your studies include abnormal psychology, forensic psychopathology, assessment methods and techniques, social forensic psychology, and ethics. Of course, you are likely to have some courses that deal more heavily with the criminal justice side of things. It all depends on the program that you choose for your forensic psychology PhD.
Something that you will find when you enter this field is that the learning never really ends. Even if you have your doctorate, you will always have new cases and new things to learn. Criminal behavior is always going to have elements to it that surprise and shock you, and it's important to find ways to deal with those situations. By relying on your forensic psychology education and having the willingness to look at things through different lenses, you will find that you will be able to handle just about any type of case that you have. In fact, the constant learning is one of the great things about being a forensic psychologist. Even with your forensic psychology PhD, you will always be able to learn new things and then teach them to the other psychologists that you work with regularly. For someone with an inquisitive and analytical mind, this is one of the best careers available.
What Will You Do with a Doctorate in Forensic Psychology?
With your forensics psychology PhD in hand, you have a wide range of career options open to you. You will be able to find work in many different areas. You might choose to work with juveniles and find ways to help correct their aberrant behavior before they become adult criminals. Perhaps you want to work in a consulting capacity. Many who pursue this field want to work in law enforcement because of the unique opportunities it offers to study criminals and to learn more about the reasons that they do the things that they do. One thing is certain; you will never find yourself bored when you choose this field of study!