What Does a Forensic Psychologist Do On a Daily Basis?
A forensic psychologist is someone who has the knowledge available to offer an expert psychological opinion in any civil or criminal legal matter. They are trained to determine if a defendant should be considered fit to stand trial, they may give an expert psychological opinion on whether an elderly or ill person is competent to make decision. There are a variety of other reasons that forensic psychologists are called upon for a civil or criminal case.
Master’s Degree Programs and Requirements
To obtain a forensic psychology masters degree, you must first earn an undergraduate degree. Many masters programs require that you have maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better during your undergraduate studies from an accredited institution. While each forensic psychology masters program differs, it is generally expected that your undergraduate studies included at least one psychology class.
The objective of a good forensic psychology masters program is to equip students with the knowledge to allow them to bring psychology into the legal and public policy arena in a way which is research-based, ethical and academically informed.
There are forensic psychology masters programs offered on both full-time or part-time basis. Most programs consider a student to be full-time when they are taking at least 9 credit hours per semester.
The Making of a Good Forensic Psychologist
A good forensic psychologist is first and foremost, a good clinical psychologist. You need to have gained experience working with people out in the field, as well as gaining increased knowledge through the formal educational process. Many people view forensic psychologists as people who only work on extreme criminal cases, since a very long time, that is how they were being depicted in movies and television. However, many people who are forensic psychologists work in places such as prisons, juvenile detention centers, community mental health centers, and private practices just to name a few.
Once you have determined that you want to pursue forensic psychology, you will want to thoroughly research the type of education you still need, as well as experience you still need to be able to go out and apply your knowledge in the real world. Forensic psychology masters programs are certainly a starting point for this type of career, and will be a great help when you are applying for jobs in this field.
While forensic psychology is gaining popularity because of its portrayal in television shows and movies, it is important to maintain a realistic view of what your daily tasks would consist of, and talking to people in this line of work is a great way to determine if this is something you are interested in pursuing as your career path in life.
Below find more interesting articles about the different programs, schools, rankings and salaries.