The American Board of Forensic Psychology defines forensic psychology as “the application of the law and profession of psychology to questions and issues relating to the law and the legal system.” It is that branch of psychology which specifically deals with issues that connect psychology and the law.
As a graduate of forensic psychology, you may find yourself testifying in criminal cases, custody disputes, and civil rights cases. You will serve as the key in bridging the gap between the legal system and the study of the human mind and behavior in the courtroom. Your expertise in both the legal system and the study of human behavior may help lay people in the courtroom understand more clearly the proceedings and findings of the case. You will not usually find yourself in a typical clinical setting handling clients who voluntarily seek assistance. You will be handling people who are there out of their own free will, as in the case of determining the mental capacity of a suspect.
Other career options include working for mental health centers, hospitals, and correctional facilities. Later on, you can also enter into private practice and provide consultations for attorneys and judges in criminal and family courts.
Generally, this field has experienced a significant growth as more and more students become interested in this branch of psychology. The number of enrollees in forensic psychology has increased to almost 10 percent across the country. In North Carolina, there are already 3,800 forensic psychology graduates. Following a projection of 9 percent increase, this number is expected to rise up t0 4, 105 five years from now. Located in Laurinburg, St Andrews Presbyterian College is the largest forensic psychology school in North Carolina. The average tuition for forensic psychology in North Carolina is $21,190 per year.
Forensic psychologists in North Carolina earn an average $56,093 annually. Depending on your degree and the length of your experience, you can earn more than as $86,711 per year.
Related: How to become a Forensic Psychologist.