Declare as a psychology major.
Core psychology courses may include:
- Intro to Psychology
- Behavioral Psychology
- Abnormal Psychology
- Cognitive Psychology
- Biological Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Statistical Methods
- Psychology Seminar
- Criminal Law
- Developmental Psychology
Consider a specialty.
- Hone your interests. Start looking into a niche related to forensic psychology. Narrow down the options that appeal to you the most.
- Take foundational courses for the field, such as forensics, psychology of deviance and abnormal psychology. Consider taking courses in criminology or criminal justice. These courses will help you determine which areas interest you the most.
- Talk to professors or academic professionals at your school who are working in your area of interest. Find out what topics they’re researching. Some forensic psychology careers are steeped in research; determine if you’re interested in these and if so, learn what areas you want to focus on. It’s never too early to start forming thesis ideas.
Take the GRE.
- Know the minimum admittance score requirements for your school.
- Take multiple practice tests.
- If your practice scores remain low, consider a paid GRE prep course.
- Schedule your test date with enough time to take again if necessary.
Get reference letters.
- Stay friendly with professors and make an effort to make yourself memorable to them. Ask questions in class and attend office hours. If you make an impression, professors will likely remember you when you start requesting references.
- If you and your instructors or academic acquaintances have fallen out of touch, don’t feel intimidated about approaching them. They will likely need to be reacquainted with your interests and goals before writing a reference letter.
Choose a graduate school.
- Our psychology school database can help you find the best graduate forensic psychology programs. The school you attend is directly proportionate to your success finding employment after graduating. Choose a school with not only a reputable forensic psychology program, but also a strong network of alumni to help with your job hunt. Look for professors conducting research you’re interested in.
Adult forensic psychologists examine, treat and testify on behalf of adult patients regarding their mental state.
Examples of Issues Affecting Adult Offenders
Adult forensic psychologists provide crucial input to legal cases, including litigation where criminal competency in regards to custody, child welfare, domestic abuse, sex offenses and other violent crimes is of primary concern. Specialists can evaluate the risk for future offenses, client competency to stand trial and the feigning of mental illness or cognitive impairment. Adult forensic psychologists can also provide expert testimony, consultation and professional training.
Common Job Titles