Choosing a Specialization for Your MS in Forensic Psychology Degree
Forensic psychology is a fascinating field for anyone interested in learning about the effects of social, biological, and psychological factors on offenders. When you study forensic psychology, you’ll also evaluate the effectiveness of systems, programs, and psychological approaches on criminal behavior. An excellent way to learn more about this area of study is to enroll in a master’s in forensic psychology degree program. Your next step will be choosing a specialization for your master’s degree.
What Is a Specialization?
Specializations are focused areas of study that complement the broader area of study of a degree. In a master’s degree program, you will typically complete foundational and/or core courses, which all students in the program will complete. Then students will take specialization courses to learn more about a particular aspect of the field of study that most interests them. Master’s degree programs typically conclude with a capstone project or a field experience.
Three Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Specialization
If your MS in Forensic Psychology program offers numerous specializations, it might be hard to choose one. Here are three questions to ask yourself:
What do I want to do after I graduate? If you have a career path in mind, then choose a specialization that aligns with your professional goals. For instance, if you’re interested in working as a jury consultant, you’ll want to specialize in the legal system or criminal justice.
Whom do I want to work with? Are you interested in working with police officers? Victims? Sex offenders? Families? Select a specialization that focuses on the population you wish to help.
What if I’m not sure what I want to do or with whom I want to work? That’s okay! You can select a general program to build a broad base of knowledge in forensic psychology. Or you may be able to design your own specialization and take a variety of courses that interest you.
What MS in Forensic Psychology Specializations Does Walden University Offer?
Walden University is an accredited university that offers an online master’s in forensic psychology degree program with a General Program and 10 specializations. They are listed below, along with an explanation of each specialization and reasons to choose it.
General Program: If all aspects of forensic psychology are equally compelling to you, there’s no need to pick a single specialization. The General Program option will enable you to take a variety of courses to deepen your forensic psychology knowledge.
Cybercrimes: Technology is the common element in crimes like child pornography, human trafficking, and cyberstalking. If you’re interested in the intersection of media, social psychology, and crime, specialize in Cybercrimes.
Family Violence: The Family Violence specialization examines abuse, violence, and murder among family members. Learn about intrafamilial crimes in this targeted specialization.
Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology: Learn about the court system, including expert testimony, jury selection, probation and parole, and corrections, in this specialization.
Military: The Military specialization will help you understand the unique challenges that military personnel and their families experience, including frequent moves and combat-related stress.
Police Psychology: In this specialization, you can gain skills that can be applied to law enforcement officer selection, training, hostage negotiation, and stress management. If you’re interested in working with police offices and departments, this is the specialization for you.
Sex Offender Behavior: Learn about need-driven behaviors, the different types of sex offenders, and treatment models in this specialization.
Terrorism: If you’re interested in working in homeland security, choose the Terrorism specialization. You’ll explore the impact of terrorism, how to combat terrorism, and ways to approach emergency preparedness, public safety, and disaster management.
Victimology: Rather than focusing on criminals, this specialization centers on victims and first responders, as well as stress disorders and treatment models.
Criminal Justice Self-Designed: This specialization focuses on forensic psychology and criminal justice. If you’re interested in these topics but want a broader base of knowledge than other specializations offer, this self-designed specialization is for you.
Self-Designed: Create your own pathway and select the courses of interest to you when you choose the Self-Designed specialization. No matter what specialization you choose, a master’s degree in forensic psychology can give you the educational foundation you need for an exciting career.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Forensic Psychology and other psychology degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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