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Explore Our Online PhD in Forensic Psychology Program

Our online forensic psychology program can help you develop deeper insight into the nexus between psychology and the criminal justice system, explore mental health issues that may drive criminal behavior, and prepare you to make a social impact as a researcher, teacher, or consultant.

In Walden’s online PhD in Forensic Psychology program, you will explore the systems and programs that strive to create positive change in the legal system and community settings. Broaden your understanding of advanced forensic psychology and examine ways to evaluate programs designed for populations such as the incarcerated, recently released offenders, the mentally ill, and juvenile offenders.

Accelerated Journey Option

Automatically waive up to six courses if you have earned a master’s degree in a related field1, shortening you journey to a PhD.

Specialized coursework

Gain a competitive advantage through specialized coursework that is focused on forensic psychology.

Six Specializations

Choose from the General Program or six specializations—including two self-designed options—to align your studies with your specific career goals.

REAL-world CASE STUDIES

Learn from subject matter experts and delve into real-world case studies. Walden’s faculty includes renowned forensic psychologists and other thought leaders in this exciting and diverse field.

Program Savings

Speak with an Enrollment Specialist to learn about our current tuition savings.

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Specializations

TRACK I: Choose this track if you have a master's degree in forensic psychology.

TRACK II: Choose this track if you have a master's degree in another discipline.

General Program

Evaluate behavior, analyze seminal works in forensic psychology, integrate principles of advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research related to forensic psychology, and engage in decision-making using relevant ethical codes.

Track I Track II

Criminal Justice Self-Designed

This self-designed specialization allows you to create a unique learning program to deepen your knowledge of forensic psychology as well as focus on criminal justice practice and theory.

Track I Track II

Crisis Leadership Management

Explore definitions of leadership, major theoretical leadership models, and contextual and situational factors related to leadership and change.

Track I Track II

Crisis Response

Discover how you can work with police departments or other law enforcement agencies assisting in officer selection and training, stress management, critical incident stress debriefing, hostage negotiations, and selection of special operations officers.

Track I Track II

Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology

In this specialization, you will examine probation and parole services, corrections, and their interaction in the criminal justice system.

Track I Track II

Self-Designed

The Self-Designed specialization allows you to create a unique learning program to deepen your understanding of forensic psychology.

Track I Track II

Victimology

This specialization allows you to dive more deeply into the experience of the victim as well as that of first responders who may experience vicarious traumatization by working closely with victims.

Track I Track II

Admission Requirements

Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.


Residencies

Four academic residencies support your progress at key points in your doctoral journey. Residencies also strengthen your scholarly and professional connections.

Earn Your Master of Philosophy Degree Along the Way

Walden understands the rigors involved with preparing for your doctorate. To signify how far you’ve come on your journey, you will be eligible to be awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree upon completion of program requirements, prior to completion of your dissertation.

Walden is one of a few universities that offer this advanced research master’s degree. Highlight your academic achievement and show employers and others that you possess comprehensive knowledge in your field of study.

Fast-Track Option

Walden offers a Fast-Track Option. Students can complete their doctorate in less time by taking advantage of this path. With the Fast-Track Option, students take additional courses and begin their dissertation early to expedite their path through the program.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of this program, you will be prepared to:

  • Evaluate behavior using psychological theory and research from a forensic psychology perspective.
  • Analyze seminal works in forensic psychology in terms of their relation to education and/or research.
  • Differentiate between advanced legal concepts pertaining to forensic psychology.
  • Integrate principles of advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research related to forensic psychology.
  • Evaluate how assessment elements (psychological assessment, risk assessment, psychological reports) are used within forensic psychology settings.
  • Engage in decision-making using relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA and Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists) in forensic work settings.
  • Promote social change through the integration of principles of forensic psychology in scholarly and/or professional activities.

Career Impact

As a graduate of Walden’s PhD in Forensic Psychology program, your career options may include:

  • Researcher
  • Consultant
  • Teacher
  • Administrator
  • Trainer
  • Program evaluator
  • Program manager
  • Analyst

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this program.


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