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Criminal Psychology Degrees
Psychology Schools that Offer Criminal Psychology Courses
What makes someone commit a crime? Exploring the mind of a criminal can be fascinating. The psychological processes that compose the behavior and attitudes of someone who commits crimes is the domain of the criminal psychologist. A career in criminal psychology begins with a four year bachelors degree with a focus on what events come together to affect someone making them more prone to criminal behavior. General study of the criminal experience includes understanding the cognitive and behavioral actions of human beings as well as the society that helped form them. Criminal psychology careers can include helping jurors in court proceeding by testifying to the aspects of criminal behavior as well as providing a glimpse into the criminal mind. Criminal psychologists work with criminals in the penal system to explore their mental and physical capacity to stand trial. Criminal profiling is a common practice of a criminal psychologist, done to help law enforcement with psychological assessments of suspects and to provide strategies and suggestions that can be used during the interviewing process. This may help law enforcement to capture criminals by analyzing their possible behaviors, who they might turn to for help, where they might go to hide out or if they pose a recurring danger to themselves or others. A bachelor’s degree is required before moving on to a Masters or Ph.D. in criminal psychology. In order to be successful in this demanding field, you must have good foundational training in the psychological understandings of the criminal mind.
Results Found: 125 Criminal Psychology Psychology Degrees
What are Criminal Psychology Programs?
A program in criminal psychology provides graduates with the skills and understanding of the genetic, biological and social experiences of criminals. Criminal psychology programs prepare their graduates with foundational coursework and focus intensely on understanding the scientific basis for criminal behavior. Ethics, cultural diversity, research skills and the science behind behavior are typical coursework requirements. Graduates become knowledgeable in biological, behavioral, social and individual differences and how they interact with environment, history and goals in each individual patient to gain insight into how to capture and rehabilitate criminals. Bachelors, Masters and Psy.D. Programs will focus on practice in the real world, whereas a Ph.D. will be more research and theory related.
Average Length of Program
The average length of a criminal psychology program is 4 years. Masters programs prepare their graduates with special certifications in areas such as forensic psychology. Masters programs (available to those who have achieved a bachelor’s degree) normally last from 14 months to 2 years. Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs vary with the degree specialty but usually take an additional 3+ years. Students can expect to graduate these programs as knowledgeable, insightful, focused individuals with a wealth of knowledge regarding criminal behavior and thoughts.
Opportunities in the Work Force
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that opportunities are limited and competition for Bachelors and Masters qualified positions is often very fierce. However, for those with the drive to obtain a P.D. or Psy.D., positions are more plentiful. Career options in criminal psychology include testifying in court, preparing documents for the legal system, assessing criminals to stand trial, profiling criminals and helping law enforcement to capture suspects using behavior and psychological understandings of the criminal mind. The government employs many criminal psychologists to work with FBI and CIA task forces on mass murderers or other high profile criminals. A quality education as well as work experience will help you to decide where your career path will lead.
Costs and Potential Salary
The cost of attending a criminal psychology program depends on the program length, location and final degree. Bachelors degree programs cost between $15,000 and $30,000 a year and vary dramatically depending upon residency, and if the school is public or private. Masters programs generally cost between $20,000 dollars and $40,000 per year. Graduates can expect to earn a starting salary of around $35,000/year. This salary will increase with time and is dependent on type of position and where you are located. According to Payscale.com, national salaries for criminal or forensic psychologists range from a low of $33,900 to a high of $103,000.
Why Criminal psychology?
Criminal psychologists have many choices in application of their skills and knowledge. No matter if you want to be a profiler, a research coordinator, or a clinician cataloging criminal behaviors and responses, there’s a position that will let you optimize the education and skills you have gained. Employers are looking for trained and knowledgeable criminal psychologists who bring their critical thinkng and studied backgrounds to this field. By completing a clinical psychology program at a certified school you will enter the field confidant, experienced, and ready to make a difference.
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