Forensic Psychology Resource Center
Learn all about the fascinating field of forensic psychology.
Why Forensic Psychology?
One of the fastest growing fields of psychological study is forensic psychology, which applies psychology to the law and the legal system.
Forensic psychologists perform both forensic duties, which are related to the courts, and clinical duties, as they personally treat clients with counseling and therapy.
Forensic psychologists also study problems of crime prevention, rehabilitation programs in prisons, courtroom dynamics, psychology and the law, and help select candidates for police work. Practicing forensic psychologists hold PhDs or master's degrees in psychology.
Resources and Information
If you're interested in the field of forensic psychology, you'll find everything you need to know to enter this exciting field. Use our career resource center to find current information on:
What You'll Do as a Forensic Psychologist
Forensic psychologists perform the following functions:
- Carry out psychological evaluations of defendants to determine trial competency
- Conduct assessments to determine whether a person is at risk for re-offending
- Offer expert testimony on criminal forensic matters or other psychological disorders
- Research psychological issues that have an impact on the legal system
- Work with at-risk populations, such as inner-city youth and trauma survivors
- Train criminal justice workers to safely handle individuals with psychological problems
Forensic psychologists work in a variety of environments, but are often employed by the local or state government to work in conjunction with that area's criminal justice system. Forensic psychologists can also work in universities, research centers, hospitals, medical examiners' offices, forensic laboratories, police departments or as independent consultants.
Forensic Psychology Training
To become any type of psychologist takes a lot of education and work, and often both a bachelor's and a graduate degree. In order to become a forensic psychologist, students should take a good deal of psychology and criminal justice courses at the undergraduate level. A bachelor's in psychology is an excellent beginning to a career in forensic psychology.
Did You Know?
- The word forensics is derived from the Latin term "forensic," which means "of the forum." The "Forum" is the famous law court of ancient Rome, the remnants of which still stand today in Rome.
- Forensic psychology has been around since the turn of the twentieth century. The first forensic scientist is Hugo Munsterberg, who published "On the Witness Stand" in 1908.