Explore Our Online PhD in Forensic Psychology Program
Our online forensic psychology program can help you develop deeper insight into the nexus between psychology and the criminal justice system, explore mental health issues that may drive criminal behavior, and prepare you to make a social impact as a researcher, teacher, or consultant.
In Walden’s online PhD in Forensic Psychology program, you will explore the systems and programs that strive to create positive change in the legal system and community settings. Broaden your understanding of advanced forensic psychology and examine ways to evaluate programs designed for populations such as the incarcerated, recently released offenders, the mentally ill, and juvenile offenders.
Automatically waive up to six courses if you have earned a master’s degree in a related field1, shortening you journey to a PhD.
Gain a competitive advantage through specialized coursework that is focused on forensic psychology.
Choose from the General Program or six specializations—including two self-designed options—to align your studies with your specific career goals.
Learn from subject matter experts and delve into real-world case studies. Walden’s faculty includes renowned forensic psychologists and other thought leaders in this exciting and diverse field.
Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.
Four academic residencies support your progress at key points in your doctoral journey. Residencies also strengthen your scholarly and professional connections.
Earn Your Master of Philosophy Degree Along the Way
Walden understands the rigors involved with preparing for your doctorate. To signify how far you’ve come on your journey, you will be eligible to be awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree upon completion of program requirements, prior to completion of your dissertation.
Walden is one of a few universities that offer this advanced research master’s degree. Highlight your academic achievement and show employers and others that you possess comprehensive knowledge in your field of study.
Walden offers a Fast-Track Option. Students can complete their doctorate in less time by taking advantage of this path. With the Fast-Track Option, students take additional courses and begin their dissertation early to expedite their path through the program.
As a graduate of this program, you will be prepared to:
- Evaluate behavior using psychological theory and research from a forensic psychology perspective.
- Analyze seminal works in forensic psychology in terms of their relation to education and/or research.
- Differentiate between advanced legal concepts pertaining to forensic psychology.
- Integrate principles of advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research related to forensic psychology.
- Evaluate how assessment elements (psychological assessment, risk assessment, psychological reports) are used within forensic psychology settings.
- Engage in decision-making using relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA and Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists) in forensic work settings.
- Promote social change through the integration of principles of forensic psychology in scholarly and/or professional activities.
As a graduate of Walden’s PhD in Forensic Psychology program, your career options may include:
- Program evaluator
- Program manager
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this program.
FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Forensic Psychology
A forensic psychologist applies psychological theory and practices to the criminal justice and legal system. They do this by evaluating criminal behavior in order to determine the motives and mindset of an offender. A forensic psychologist often works with local law enforcement and has a presence in the courtroom, providing testimony of their findings and assessment for a judge and jury. By uncovering a person’s mental state at the time of a crime, not only do forensic psychology professionals identify the drive behind the action, they also help prevent the same crimes from happening in the future.
Psychology plays an important role in the legal system. If you’re interested in making an impact in the criminal justice system as a psychology professional, a PhD in Forensic Psychology may be for you. Here are a few highlights that come with earning the degree:
- You’ll get a specialized education. Enrolling in a PhD in Forensic Psychology program will start you on the path toward a laser-focused, specialized education that will allow you to completely immerse yourself in forensic psychology, enabling you to follow your passion and prepare for a rewarding career.
- You’ll gain a competitive edge. A doctoral degree in forensic psychology is more than a line on a résumé. It tells potential employers you have the advanced expertise to get the job done.
- You’ll do independent research in your field. Pursuing a PhD in Forensic Psychology gives you the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research in a chosen area of your field.
- You’ll be viewed as an expert. Earning your PhD in Forensic Psychology degree can provide you with the academic credentials you need to be viewed as an expert in your field.
- You’ll graduate as a forensic psychologist. Though additional training may be required, you’ll be graduating as a forensic psychologist prepared to enter the criminal justice system and make an immediate difference for populations such as the incarcerated, recently released offenders, the mentally ill, and juvenile offenders.
Walden’s PhD in Forensic Psychology program offers a number of specializations. Here are some things to consider when deciding how to focus your studies:
- Give thought to your aspirations, passions, and career goals, and look for a specialization that aligns with them.
- Think about research topics you might wish to consider for your doctoral study. The information you gain in your specialization courses can be leveraged as you complete your research.
- Keep in mind that, if you don’t find the perfect fit for your choice of specialization, Walden’s PhD in Forensic Psychology options also include a Self-Designed specialization that allows you to choose a variety of courses from different focus areas.
If you’re considering a career in forensic psychology, a PhD degree program can provide the rigorous and stimulating coursework you need to make your mark in this rewarding field. Here are some of the exciting courses you might take on your way to a PhD in Forensic Psychology at Walden:
- Victimology: Learn how victims interact with the police and the legal system, and how factors of class, race, and sexual orientation affect the perception of the victim.
- Understanding Violence, Risk, and Threat Assessment: Explore the various assessment techniques and instruments used within the forensic psychology arena.
- Advanced Issues in Forensic Psychology: Apply problem-based learning to cases and scenarios such as juvenile delinquency, terrorism, and human trafficking as well as examine current trends and issues in forensic psychology.
- Disaster, Crisis, and Trauma: Study how natural and human-made disasters impact the psychology of individuals and groups.
- Police Psychology: Learn about the roles and responsibilities of forensic psychology professionals working with and in police departments.
Pursuing a PhD in Forensic Psychology can give you the expertise you need to qualify for a range of professional opportunities and enjoy a meaningful career effecting change in the legal system and community settings. Some of the positions possible with a PhD in Forensic Psychology include:
- Program manager
A forensic psychology PhD can also prepare you to work in a variety of settings, including:
- Law enforcement agencies
- Forensic laboratories
- Research centers
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of a degree program.
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