Criminal Psychology Degree Programs

Criminal psychology basically deals with intentions, wills and thoughts that results in actions taken by criminals. It connects legal system and related intersection to create a better understanding of convicts and their psychological conditions. Opinions in legal matters are given by these psychologists for a final verdict. The unlawful behavior is recognized and studied within this subject to assist other professionals in criminology. An in-depth knowledge about the career options and degree would help you to get started as a practitioner of this field.

Job Duties

Criminal psychologists are well-known for their work. They stand up for evaluations in the respected field so that criminals are brought to courts for trials. They search out ways to know whether a particular death was a tragedy or it was planned. They also create profiles of reported individuals so that other law professionals can understand criminal’s motives and moves of a theft or a criminal act. The suspects’ profiles are then deeply scanned to solve crimes. On the other hand, they find out ways of preventing crimes as well. For this, they have to study the problems linked to crime prevention.

Furthermore, criminal psychologists also undertake rehabilitation programs in prison cells along with a briefing to the investigation teams as how to take interviews with the guilty ones. Frauds which are done online are also investigated by these psychologists with the help of Internet predators.

Degree Programs

Master Degrees

Masters level programs are typically of two years consisting of on-job training along with theoretical work. Most programs focus on criminal behavior and explains research methods, assessment and psychotherapy techniques. Courses can include personality theory, social psychology, forensic assessment, research method, psychopathology and ethics.

Ph.D. Degrees

Doctoral level degree focuses on clinical work as students need to know how to work with patients. In this program, students might learn ways of assessing risks, offenders’ behaviors and manage cognitive tests. With this degree, you might also be taught how to deal with different population groups like families, children, criminals and other victims. Students learn legal systems and how to compile their findings in an appropriate language that is used legally. Courses can include social and criminal psychology, neuropsychology, psychopharmacology, intelligence and cognitive testing, child crimes and human trafficking, mental health and public policy and Victimology.

Career Opportunities

Well qualified psychologists work in numerous settings including hospitals, state of local criminal justice systems, medical examiner’s office, police departments, research centers, universities and independent consultants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, forensic individuals being a part of other specialties held about 10,580 jobs in 2012. They might also work as a case manager, program director, clinical individual or a counselor, depending on the level of degree they have pursued.

Salary Outlook

According to, criminal psychologists on average earn an annual salary of $64,000.

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