Criminal Psychology Courses and Curriculum

Criminal psychologists use psychology to help law enforcement and related personnel solve cases. Learn about possible jobs, available degree programs and potential coursework. Schools offering Forensic Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Jobs Could I Get After Taking Courses in Criminal Psychology?

One job you could get after taking classes in criminal psychology is forensic psychologist. Forensic psychologists apply the principles of psychology in criminal justice and legal environments. In this position, you could work with attorneys, police officers, attorneys or judges. One primary job duty would be serving as an expert witness in court cases; for example, in a family court case, a forensic psychologist could help perform psychological evaluations of children. In criminal cases, you might assess the psychological health of adult defendants.

At What Education Levels Can These Courses Be Found?

Courses in criminal psychology are usually not offered at the associate's level; however, they are offered at the bachelor's level. Courses in criminal psychology are usually offered in bachelor's degree programs in forensic psychology. At the graduate level, you could take courses in criminal psychology at the master's or doctoral level.

While undergraduate classes in this area usually provide a basic understanding of psychological concepts, graduate classes can teach you to apply these principles in a clinical setting. Additionally, graduate classes in forensic psychology often teach you how to conduct professional research and practice writing techniques used in psychology. Coursework in Ph.D. programs prepare you to work on a dissertation, which is a book-length work of original research.

What Do Classes Cover?

Specialized courses in criminal psychology train you in specific concepts and skills. For example, you could learn about criminal justice ethics, abnormal behavior, substance abuse patterns, behavioral statistics or adolescent psychology. Other possible areas of study could include criminal profiling, diagnostic psychoeducational assessment, counseling theory, criminal behavior and criminal psychology research. Because this field of study requires you to work with complex data sets, many classes also provide training in research methodologies, applied statistics, data analysis and research writing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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