Doctorate in Forensic Psychology: PhD Degree Program Information

February 12, 2017 – 04:41 pm
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Master of Arts and Master of Science in Forensic Psychology programs teach students to apply the therapeutic and analytical techniques of psychology to criminal trials and investigations. In the two year programs, students learn to aid criminal investigations by using psychological assessment methods to identify likely culprits. Programs also prepare psychologists to serve as witnesses in trials, where they use their knowledge to speak to the likelihood of a defendant's guilt. Students also learn to provide defendants and criminals with counseling and rehabilitation services. Some programs emphasize a certain aspect of forensic psychology, such as juvenile justice.

  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in psychology, criminal justice, sociology or related subject
  • Program Length: Two years

Doctorate in Forensic Psychology

Applicants typically have a bachelor's degree in a subject like psychology, criminal justice or sociology. Forensic psychology students need to have strong analytical skills and be good oral and written communicators. Many programs look for applicants who've completed undergraduate courses in clinical psychology and statistics.

The curricula for forensic psychology master's degree programs are interdisciplinary, offering coursework in psychology and criminal justice. Students learn the theoretical aspects of the field as well as the real-world applications.

  • Forensic psychopathology
  • Forensic psychological assessment methods
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Social forensic psychology
  • Forensic psychology ethics

Popular Career Options

Earning a master's degree in forensic psychology prepares graduates for careers working in corrections, the justice system or the private sector. Graduates can work in one of several capacities, working directly for governmental agencies or as private consultants.

  • Juvenile corrections officer
  • Forensic psychology consultant
  • Law enforcement officer


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  • avatar How many years would I have to be in college to get a doctorate degree in forensic psychology?
    • Forensic psychologists must earn a Ph.D in clinical psychology, counseling or forensic psychology, which takes about 5-7 years.