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3 Interesting Courses You Might Take When Earning an MS in Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology includes fascinating topics such as criminal investigation, cybercrimes, and vicarious trauma.

Many people study forensic psychology in hopes of effecting positive change for public policy and the justice system. Psychology is a window into understanding the root causes of crime—and can reveal new, effective ways of dealing with offenders. Whether you have a background in criminal investigation, social work, public safety, or research, pursuing a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology can broaden your understanding of critical issues like cybercrime, victim advocacy, and the socio-economic conditions that impact criminal behavior.

Many master's programs in forensic psychology offer an array of specializations. For example, Walden University’s MS in Forensic Psychology program has 10 specializations from which to choose, including Cybercrimes, Family Violence, Police Psychology, and Terrorism.

3 Interesting Courses You Might Take When Earning an MS in Forensic Psychology

What are some of the topics you’ll delve into as part of your studies? Here are three interesting courses you might take while earning an MS in Forensic Psychology.

1. Psychological Aspect of Cyber Crimes

Cybercrime is on the rise, costing businesses a collective $2.7 billion in 2018.1 Hacking, identity theft, human trafficking, and cyberbullying are trends we hear about in the news—but what are the psycho-behavioral factors influencing criminals who engage in these activities? This course explores the roots of cybercrime, guiding students to identify distinctive traits in perpetrators and victims. You will also learn about the growing global problem of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children, using the legal system and social structures as a backdrop to aid understanding. Ultimately, you’ll come away with a deep knowledge of the ways technology enables perpetrators, and a keen vision for preventing and responding to cybercrimes.

2. Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue

Public safety officers, caregivers, counselors, and other helpers often suffer psychological distress after working with victims of traumatic events. A helper’s empathy can evolve into vicarious trauma, a terrifying experience of PTSD symptoms as he or she bears the mental burden of the victim’s experiences. A related condition, compassion fatigue, happens when a caregiver neglects adequate self-care and experiences a combination of exhaustion, heightened stress, and depression. In this course, you will consider ways to treat and prevent vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue, drawing on wisdom from counselor educators, clinicians, and supervisors. The course includes several hands-on opportunities, including a needs-assessment exercise and the opportunity to make recommendations for educating trauma-response-helping professionals about dealing with vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. To conclude the course, you’ll interview a trauma-response-helping professional and create a wellness plan for the individual and their organization.

3. Criminal Investigative Analysis and Profiling

Crime scene investigators face complex situations and must take a structured approach, evaluating case elements using careful methodologies that take both scientific and behavioral perspectives into account. In this course, you will take on the role of an investigative analyst considering a criminal case, learning how to sort through and consolidate background information and apply offense-specific profiling concepts to the victim, the offender, and the crime. You’ll learn to develop logical arguments based on your investigation and create a written report to communicate them.

If you want to start or advance a career in forensic psychology, the right online degree program will keep you engaged and learning with courses like these and so much more.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Forensic Psychology program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


Note on Licensure
The MS in Forensic Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,