Sep 3, 2019
1
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
Hi all, first post here:

I’m interested in forensic or criminal psychology as well as specific clinical areas.

My situation is this: I have a B.A in Psychology with a GPA over 3.0, which is fine, but that’s about all I have going for me on paper. My work history is mediocre at best and unrelated to the field, and I can’t find any internships that don’t want current students. So I won’t be able to get into grad school because I won’t have work/internship experience, and I can’t get the experience I want because they want you to be in school. My GREs will be high verbally and may suck on the other, averaging to average.

There is a school I know I can get into because they know me as a student already and they’ve told me as much. They have a masters of counseling only however and I don’t want to be a counselor. I want to study criminal behavior, even victim advocacy, research, and write. Not counseling, or at least not without it being in that area.

So should I just get my Masters in what I can and then get my PhD? Which I feel is a waste of time? But I also feel like trying unsuccessfully to get in schools while I hunt for internships unsuccessfully will be maybe more wasteful. The whole thing is paralyzing!
Thx,
Lillie
 
Sep 5, 2019
3
0
Status
Psychology Student
If possible, it might be a good idea to volunteer to work in a psychology research group that's studying the population you want to work with. Starting out as a volunteer for no pay makes it much easier to get into whatever type of research you want. This would probably allow you to make connections in the field and learn from other professionals how best to get where you want to be. I realize that it's a privileged position to be able to work for free, and not everyone can, but even if you did one or two days a week of that it could really help you figure things out. Even just trying to meet with professors in psych departments who are doing forensics and asking them for advice could be helpful.
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2007
9,856
3,587
Louisville, KY
Status
Psychologist
Hi all, first post here:

I’m interested in forensic or criminal psychology as well as specific clinical areas.

My situation is this: I have a B.A in Psychology with a GPA over 3.0, which is fine, but that’s about all I have going for me on paper. My work history is mediocre at best and unrelated to the field, and I can’t find any internships that don’t want current students. So I won’t be able to get into grad school because I won’t have work/internship experience, and I can’t get the experience I want because they want you to be in school. My GREs will be high verbally and may suck on the other, averaging to average.

There is a school I know I can get into because they know me as a student already and they’ve told me as much. They have a masters of counseling only however and I don’t want to be a counselor. I want to study criminal behavior, even victim advocacy, research, and write. Not counseling, or at least not without it being in that area.

So should I just get my Masters in what I can and then get my PhD? Which I feel is a waste of time? But I also feel like trying unsuccessfully to get in schools while I hunt for internships unsuccessfully will be maybe more wasteful. The whole thing is paralyzing!
Thx,
Lillie
Criminal psychology isn't really "a thing" formally. Forensic and correctional psychology is though.

The question is...what do want to do? Research criminal behavior/traits and patterns? Get a phd in criminology, sociology, or psychology working with mentor/professor who does the exact same line of research? Work clinically with offenders? --in which case a phd/psyd in (general) clinical psychology is sufficient so long as you get some relevant experience along the way. And even if you don't, the state prison systems usually hire most anyone who will tolerate that kind of environment. Even the Federal Bureau of Prisons system isn't all that picky from what I can tell? They always seem to be hiring, especially in the more remote locations. Want to work for the FBI or other agencies doing profiling kinda stuff? Become a law enforcement agent. Go from there. Want to be an expert witness doing insanity/competency/diminished capacity evals on the outpatient level? Clinical psych phd/psy.d. at reputable program and a formal forensic post doc.
 
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