How To Become A Criminal Psychologist
If you are interested in learning how to become a criminal psychologist, then you have come to the right place. The field of criminal psychology (also known as forensic psychology) is highly specialized and requires upwards of seven years of study (including a doctorate) in either psychology or philosophy. Criminal psychologists examine crime scene information and relevant data about the crime, including the motive and possible suspect, and attempt to piece together a cohesive case. This guide will give you a basic understanding of what it takes to become a criminal psychologist.
- College. In order to become criminal psychologist, you must first obtain an undergraduate degree in the field of psychology. Normally, this process takes around four years of study at an accredited college. Make sure you take as many science (both life and social) and math courses as possible, as this will assist you with your graduate degree. Having a high grade point average will also ease your transition into any post-college program.
- Graduate school. Criminal psychologists possess a doctorate degree in the field of psychology or philosophy. Choose a program that has been tailored towards your goal, such as Psy.D. in criminal psychology, and work hard to obtain a high GPA. Generally, a doctorate degree in psychology will take up to five years to obtain and requires a dissertation, many hours of research training and practical competence.
- Field work. Before you can become a full-fledged criminal psychologist, you must complete one year of field work. Many graduate schools offer post-doctoral training programs that will assist you with obtaining this invaluable experience.
- Obtain certification. All criminal psychologists are required to be certified and licensed by the state they intend to work in. Every state has different requirements, so check with you local library for specific information.