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Forensic Psychology Masters ?


fpsych96

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I'm currently trying to decide between two Forensic Psychology graduate programs. One is a Forensic Psychology, M.A. program and the other is a Community Psychology M.A., with a Forensic Psychology concentration. The course load for the first program is very specific to Forensic Psychology, but they do not offer any research experience.  Only externship experience and the program is double the price.

The Community Psychology program doesn't offer many Forensic Psychology courses (4 required for the concentration), but they do offer both internship experience and the opportunity to do a thesis and get involved in research.  I'm not positive about whether I'll do a PhD yet (I probably will - Forensic or Clinical) so I don't know if I would be better off getting involved in research. Anyone else pursing a graduate degree in Forensic Psychology -- Is it more beneficial to do a concentration in Forensics with the option to do research or a program that's specific to Forensics without research?

Edited by fpsych96
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I would definitely do the option with research. Unless it's a license eligible masters in counseling with a focus on forensics, a forensic psych MA is purely an experimental degree. If you cannot do a thesis/research, there is very little you can do with that degree once done with it. A non-licensable masters is typically a stepping stone for doctoral studies. 

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34 minutes ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

I would definitely do the option with research. Unless it's a license eligible masters in counseling with a focus on forensics, a forensic psych MA is purely an experimental degree. If you cannot do a thesis/research, there is very little you can do with that degree once done with it. A non-licensable masters is typically a stepping stone for doctoral studies. 

Thank you so much for your response on this! I was leaning towards research, but now I’m worried about whether PhD programs will take the school into consideration. The first one is at GWU and there have been graduates who went on for their PhD, but also some who got jobs in community organizations. The other program is University of New Haven and it’s a really small school and program so I’m worried about that

 

Do you have any insight into how much PhD programs weigh where you went to school? 

Edited by fpsych96
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The rank of the MA program would be more important than the school overall. Neither of those programs are big names in the forensic psych world so I wouldn't really put one above the other in terms of name alone. 

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  • 1 year later...
On 3/12/2019 at 1:22 PM, PsyDuck90 said:

The rank of the MA program would be more important than the school overall. Neither of those programs are big names in the forensic psych world so I wouldn't really put one above the other in terms of name alone. 

Hi! I know this is years later and you may not see this at all but I am currently waiting back on a bunch of programs/finishing interviews for forensic psych and I have looked all over to try and find some sort of ranking of the programs to see which are better known as opposed to some that might not be. Do you have any insight on this?!

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19 minutes ago, laneia said:

Hi! I know this is years later and you may not see this at all but I am currently waiting back on a bunch of programs/finishing interviews for forensic psych and I have looked all over to try and find some sort of ranking of the programs to see which are better known as opposed to some that might not be. Do you have any insight on this?!

The best thing to do is to look at the faculty. Places like John Jay, Sam Houston, and Texas A&M to name a few have some of the big names in the field of forensic psychology as faculty. The programs that have the big names usually have the better reputations. 

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10 minutes ago, PsyDuck90 said:

The best thing to do is to look at the faculty. Places like John Jay, Sam Houston, and Texas A&M to name a few have some of the big names in the field of forensic psychology as faculty. The programs that have the big names usually have the better reputations. 

Thank you for answering ! Yeah, that's what I have been doing but I feel like it's harder to find the names for Masters programs. There are one or two that come to mind but other than that I am struggling.

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1 minute ago, PsyDuck90 said:

The best thing to do is to look at the faculty. Places like John Jay, Sam Houston, and Texas A&M to name a few have some of the big names in the field of forensic psychology as faculty. The programs that have the big names usually have the better reputations. 

I would agree with this. I completed my masters in forensic psych at a small school and program which is not super well-known (Forensic conferences don't even have a meet and greet session for the school like programs like John Jay or Sam Houston get). However, one of the professors in the program is a huge name in the field and they were able to provide us students with connections and opportunities we would have never had access to without knowing them. I was also accepted to a clinical PhD this cycle, and if you are planning to apply eventually, keep in mind that wherever you end up going for your MA, it is imperative to strive for both research and clinical experience to make yourself a competitive applicant.

Also, keep in mind that there are some employment opportunities just at the master's level for forensic psych. The program that I went to considers it a "terminal degree." You are able to participate in death penalty mitigation in certain states with just a Forensic Psychology MA, and there are also some other jobs you can do within the field with just an MA.

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