Can I work while studying for my masters degree in forensic psychology?
Many students work while pursuing a masters degree in forensic psychology. One popular job related to your degree is working in a lawyer’s office or with a legal team. A job in a law office can prepare you for tasks in your career that are intertwined with the legal system. This includes researching and writing documents that will be submitted to the courts and crafting expert testimonies. It will also give you insight into the law and ethical situations that forensic psychologists should be aware of before they begin their career.
Another job that will supplement your MS forensic psychology degree is an administrative position in the mental health field such as a therapist’s office or a clinic. Substance abuse detox, treatment or rehabilitation centers often require less formal training for employees than a hospital or mental health clinic. In this environment, you may have more access to patients and a greater opportunity to use your psychology training than in a traditional hospital setting.
Working while earning your masters degree in forensic psychology will give you valuable experience in the field, but it can make it difficult to dedicate enough time to your courses. In addition, the top forensic psychology masters programs all require a hands-on internship or field placement before graduation. This may make it even harder to balance your work life with your education. Some of the scheduling difficulties may be avoided if you are pursing an online masters degree in forensic psychology or if your masters degree program does not require an internship.
Are there any scholarships for traditional or online masters students in forensic psychology?
The American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) grants several $750 awards each year to graduate students who are interested in researching psycho-legal issues in their master in forensic psychology coursework. As a part of the American Psychological Association, the AP-LS is the leading professional organization for forensic psychologists in the U.S. Only student affiliate members are eligible for these scholarships.
Psi Chi offers several scholarships for masters students who are members of the honor society. These awards range from $300 to $7,000 per year, and some scholarships are renewable for up to 4 years. Some Psi Chi grants fund research while others are general scholarships.
The American Psychological Association (APA) hosts a searchable database of grants and scholarships for students on its website. With more than 150,000 members in 54 subfields of psychology, the APA is the nation’s largest psychology organization. Another listing of funding opportunities for forensic psychology students is available from the Association for Psychological Science.
Many of these scholarships are also available if you decide to earn your forensic psychology online masters degree. Accredited online masters in forensic psychology are eligible for government grants and loans like any accredited traditional on-campus program. Unaccredited programs are not eligible for any government funding or for many private scholarships.
Are there any notable people who have earned masters degrees in forensic psychology?
The field of forensic psychology was pioneered more than a century ago, but universities only began offering degrees in the specialty in the last 2 decades. Before a masters degree in forensic psychology was available, students who wanted to pursue careers in forensic psychology often earned a masters degree in clinical or general psychology.
Clark L. Hull earned his masters from the University of Michigan in 1916, majoring in psychology. Hull studied the role of deprivation and conditioning on behavior and theorized about the psychological processes of criminals. He taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1916 until 1929, when he began teaching at Yale. He taught until his death in 1952.
David Canter is a British forensic psychology professor and psychologist who is a pioneer in offender profiling and investigative psychology. Since earning his masters degree, he has published 20 books and over peer-reviewed 150 papers on the subject of forensic psychology. He currently teaches at the University of Huddersfield.
Are there any brick-and-mortar colleges that offer an online forensic psychology masters degree program?
There are several traditional universities that offer both a forensic psychology degree on campus and a forensic psychology masters online. These schools are typically more prestigious than a for-profit online school. Earning a masters degree from a well-respected university often gives you the opportunity to begin your career at a higher forensic psychology pay rate.
The University of North Dakota offers 1 of the nation’s best MS in forensic psychology degree programs. While this degree requires more laboratory and clinical experience than can be offered in an online format, the school does offer an MA in Forensic Psychology online. This degree focuses on the legal and ethical aspects of the field rather than the diagnostic or clinical angles that are the focus of the on-campus degree. One on-campus visit is required during the 2-year program, and affordable in-state tuition is offered regardless of your residency.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology awards an MA in Forensic Psychology through a 20-month program offered in an online and in-class blended format. Most courses are offered entirely online, but some require campus visits for testing or presentations. The curriculum for this masters degree program is designed to be flexible enough for working adults and accessible to students from across the country. It also includes several unique courses such as the psychology of terrorism.