This site will offer guidance for those looking to obtain a doctorate-level degree in psychology. While you may come across master’s level degrees and programs in the field of forensic psychology, it is important to recognize that a forensic psychologist must have either a PsyD or PhD degree from an APA accredited program.
When planning a career as a forensic psychologist, you can obtain a PsyD or PhD degree from a general doctoral program. Keep in mind that in order to practice as a forensic psychologist, you must attend an American Psychological Association (APA) (or Canadian Psychological Association) accredited doctoral program.
Although there are a few schools that offer degrees in clinical forensic psychology (such as John Jay College), it is not necessary that you graduate from one of these programs in order to pursue a career in forensic psychology. Instead, seek out doctoral program that offers a specialized forensic track, rotation or experience. Also, look for an institution or program that boasts forensic psychologists as part of their faculty or that has faculty members who are actively conducting forensic psychological research.
Chances are, your selection of a doctoral program and school will largely be based on your location, personal preferences, and acceptance. While searching programs, also take into account the school’s rankings, and specifically how the program ranks amongst graduates based on their EPPP (the Examination for the Professional Practice in Psychology) scores. The EPPP is an examination used to assist the states boards of psychology “in their evaluation of the qualifications of applicants for licensure and certification.” See the EPPP handbook. Every candidate seeking licensure must take this examination a part of their state’s licensing requirements.
According to the handbook, the average pass rate for first time EPPP doctoral-level candidates is around 80%, in recent years. The following is a resource that ranks doctoral-level psychology programs by their EPPP scores. School Rankings. If the school you are considering falls below the national average, or at the bottom of the list, it is something to consider. Many schools routinely have a 100% pass rate, this is also something to consider.