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Capella University

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Southern New Hampshire University

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Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology

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Forensic Psychology Graduate Programs in Pennsylvania (PA)

Forensic psychology is psychology relating to law and individuals involved in the legal system, including criminals. Several schools in Pennsylvania offer programs relating to forensic psychology at the graduate level. Read more below.

Carlow University

At Carlow University, students can pursue a Master of Arts in Psychology (MAP) and/or a Certificate in Fraud and Forensics to develop their understanding and skills of law and psychology. The MAP program can be concentrated in forensic psychology and finished in four semesters of full-time study (around 1.5 years). The certificate consists of 11 credit hours, can be completed entirely online, and provides instruction in white-collar crime topics including fraud.

Drexel University

Drexel University has a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program that can be concentrated in forensic psychology and completed in five years. Students who seek a higher degree can also purse the JD/Ph.D. dual degree to be extensively prepared in both law and psychology; the dual-degree program consists of 176 credits and takes around seven years to complete.

Widener University

At Widener University students can earn a PsyD in Clinical Psychology with a focus in forensic psychology. The program consists of 120 credit hours and takes an average of five years to complete. Students can also purse a dual degree of PsydD/MCJ (criminal justice) to expand their professional expertise.

School Name Programs Offered Average Graduate Tuition (2018-2019)*
Carlow University Certificate in Fraud and Forensics
Master of Arts in Psychology
$18,234
Drexel University Ph.D.: Clinical Psychology
JD/Ph.D.
$34,155
Widener University PsyD: Clinical Psychology
PsydD/MCJ
$22,300

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Admittance Requirements for Forensic Psychology Graduate Programs in PA

Graduate programs in forensic psychology require applicants to have a bachelor's degree, and some schools may require that degree to be in criminology, psychology, or a related subject. Many programs, especially those which award a doctoral degree, may require applicants to have earned a competitive score on the GRE. Programs may also require applicants to have a certain undergraduate GPA and work history. Students are typically required to provide references and a personal statement of education and career goals.

What Can You Do with a Graduate Degree in Forensic Psychology?

Correctional Treatment Specialist

Correctional treatment specialists are advisors for criminals on parole or probation. These specialists help their clients to create a plan for rehabilitation and may examine inmates through mental tests and questionnaires. Correctional treatment specialists often work with others to create educational programs, and make recommendations regarding inmate release. These positions typically require at least a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or behavioral science fields, but a graduate degree in forensic psychology enables applicants to articulate an extensive understanding of both the law and psychology components of these positions.

Detective or Criminal Investigator

Detectives and criminal investigators collect evidence, conduct interviews, and observe suspects. Some detectives and investigators may perform arrests and raids as well as specialize in certain types of crime (such as fraud). Although many employers may only require a bachelor's degree, a master's degree in forensic psychology gives applicants a deeper understanding of both criminal behavior and legal processes.

Postsecondary Psychology Teacher

Postsecondary teachers educate students beyond high school in colleges and universities. Universities may require educators to have a doctoral degree while community colleges may only require a master's degree. Psychology instructors may be responsible for developing course curriculum, assignments, and grading policies as well as educating students. Graduates of a master's degree or doctoral degree program in psychology may have a deeper understanding of forensic and other psychology along with a familiarity of effective psychology teaching methods.

Psychologist

Psychologists study behavior, emotions, and social processes by observing and analyzing interactions between people. Forensic psychologists apply psychological principles in legal systems to assist attorneys and judges understand the psychological components of cases, and often testify as expert witnesses in trials. Most psychologist positions require a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. and may also require applicable licensure because of the responsibility and extensive knowledge required to effectively perform job duties.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Correctional Treatment Specialists and Probation Officers $53,020 3%
Detectives and Criminal Investigators $81,920 3%
Postsecondary Teachers: Psychology $76,710 12%
Psychologists $79,010 14%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Students can earn a master's degree, doctoral degree, or a certificate in forensic psychology through at least three schools in Pennsylvania. Graduates are prepared for a variety of careers such as forensic psychologist, detective, educator, and correctional treatment specialist.