Because of the experimental nature of forensic psychology, the first one to help start this field was Wilhelm Wundt who established the first psychology lab in Germany. After that it was James McKeen Cattell who did one of the first researches in the field of forensics at university of Columbia.
He asked his students to rate on their degree of trust in their answer on some questions. He found that there was some level of inaccuracy. After this experiment he asked other psychologist to do some research into witness proof. He concluded that witnesses in the court were uncertain and it started the debate about their validity in a trial.
Forensic psychology’s first seed was planted in 1879, when Wilhelm Wundt, often called the father of psychology, established his first lab in Germany. Since Wundt, the field of forensic psychology has blossomed, with contributions by many other experts.
Forensic psychology can be defined as the application of psychological practices and theories in the field of law and criminology.
The American Board of Forensic Psychology defines it:
“as the application of the science and profession of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system”
To be a licensed forensic psychologist you need to spend 10 to 11 years totally and these include an undergraduate study which takes 4 years, a master’s program and a doctoral program that can be to 5 years long.
In this article we will tell you about the best schools in the world to get a forensic psychology education and become a professional forensic psychologist.
California State University
California State University offers a Master of Science in Forensic psychology which is aimed at exploring the relationship of criminal justice system with psychology. Every student is given the maximum attention needed by the professors. Students learn modern research analysis and also study the courses on quantitative statistics. Other courses that are necessary are Psychology and the Law, A seminar on Abnormal Psychology and Courtroom and legal issues in criminalistics.
Students also have to attend seminars on different fields of psychology that they choose. They also get a 9-month practical experience in the field of forensic psychology. If you are from the state of California, the graduation fee is 7,176$ and it is 16,680 if you are from out of the state.
Holy Names University
Holy Names University has a 39-unit MA program which incorporates cultural proficiency and social justice. The program that is offered here is called Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology. The main focus in this degree is self-reflection and evidence-based practices in forensic psychology.
It is a roman catholic university but it still allows and even encourage students from different religious and ethnic backgrounds to be a part of the university. The tuition fee for the program is $18,054. The topics that are addressed in this program are listed below:
- Human Diversity in Counseling
- Psychology of Criminal Behavior
- Domestic Violence Assessment and Treatment
- Mental health
- Substance abuse
- Post-traumatic disorders
Roger Williams University
Roger Williams University is one of the prestigious universities and can be dated back to 1919. It offers a Masters of Arts in Forensic & Legal Psychology. After this program students can go and apply for PhD degree in forensic psychology.
The course range is big in this program and you can also choose elective subjects that are also available. Some of the courses are mentioned below:
- Multicultural Proficiency in Psychological Practice
- Psychology and Law
- Developmental Psychopathology
- Assessment in Criminal Law
- Professional Ethics in Psychology
- Child Assessment
Marymount University is also offering one of the best programs in the field of forensic psychology. Master of Arts in Forensic and Legal Psychology is a program that is interdisciplinary and it merge psychology with the public policy and criminal justice law. Students can also go to study in different countries like Sweden and Israel.
Students are required to complete a case analysis in their chosen field of study or they have to do a three-hundred-hour internship to complete this degree. The major areas that are covered in this degree are the following:
- Wrongful Convictions
- Death Penalty
- Bases of Psychopathology
The graduation fee for this program is $17,550