Forensic Psychology Certification and Certificate Program Summaries
Forensic psychology combines the study of psychology and criminal justice, with a concentration on the psychology of crime and criminal behavior. A post-graduate certificate program in forensic psychology prepares students for clinical, research and counseling careers in the criminal justice system. Doctoral-holders can gain board certification as forensic psychologists through the American Board of Professional Psychology and American Board of Forensic Psychology.
Post-Graduate Certificate in Forensic Psychology
This certificate program prepares students to participate in criminal justice procedures such as interviewing crime victims and developing criminal profiles of potential suspects. Clinical studies introduce students to the process of assessing clients, developing theories of behavior and diagnosing mental illness. Students learn to develop treatment plans, provide expert testimony and assess clients in a correctional environment. Other areas of focus are rehabilitation, investigations and victimology. Admission requires a master's degree in psychology or a related field, a 3.0 graduate GPA (grade point average) and a personal statement essay.
The certificate coursework is research-intensive. The program includes a clinical component and substantial studies in criminal law. Other topics in the program include:
- Risk assessment
- Juvenile justice
- Constitutional law
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- Sex crimes
Popular Career Options
Graduates who do not hold a Ph.D. and who want to become licensed psychologists will need to enroll in a Ph.D. program in a related area of psychology. Other career options for certificate graduates include:
- Research assistant
- Clinical director
- Correctional counselor
Graduates who hold or obtain a Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology can pursue the Diplomate in Forensic Psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and the American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP). Applicants are required to have 1,000 hours of supervised forensic psychology experience obtained through post-doctoral training or qualifying work experience. Applicants are also required to hold state licensure as psychologists in order to obtain the forensic psychology designation. The American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP) offers professional development opportunities to its members, including workshops that can be applied to continuing education requirements.
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