Published on June 11, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
Learn more about our editorial process

University Headquarters (HQ) is an industry-leading, independent educational organization that provides independent college rankings using a proprietary formula to create first class unbiased rankings. The team at University HQ strives to provide accurate and trustworthy rankings that highlights the best programs for forensic psychology in Iowa.

Get Matched With Forensic Psychology Colleges

What is Forensic Psychology?


Forensic psychology is a fascinating field that combines psychology and the justice system. In Iowa, individuals interested in pursuing a career in forensic psychology have a variety of options for education and employment. Iowa forensic psychologists work in many settings, from correctional facilities and mental health facilities, courtrooms, and private practices. They may provide expert testimony in court cases, assistance with criminal investigations, and assess the mental health needs of individuals involved in legal proceedings or support individuals who have been victims of crime.

Iowa residents interested in becoming forensic psychologists usually require earning a doctorate of psychology with an emphasis in forensic psychology, with coursework covering criminal behavior, psychopathology, forensic assessment, and the legal system as part of their curriculum. Internships or supervised practicum experiences are also needed to gain practical experience in the field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Iowa had 80 psychologists employed in forensic psychology as of May 2020 and earned a mean annual wage of $88,430. Please keep in mind that this field can be competitive; individuals may require additional certification or licensure in certain settings before they can practice this field effectively.

Overall, forensic psychology is an exciting and rewarding field with opportunities for growth and advancement in Iowa. By pursuing the necessary education and gaining experience in the field, individuals can work toward a fulfilling career in forensic psychology.

 

Compare Popular Online Forensic Psychology Programs

Online Forensic Psychology Education in Iowa


Forensic psychologists are highly-skilled professionals who apply their knowledge of psychology to the legal and criminal justice systems. Working at the intersection between psychology and law, these specialists use their expertise to assist legal matters by evaluating individuals involved such as defendants or witnesses to gain insight into their mental state, behavior patterns, potential motivations, or any potential vulnerability in various legal matters.

An integral component of a forensic psychologist's role is performing evaluations to analyze psychological influences on an individual's actions, which may involve conducting interviews, analyzing evidence, and interpreting behavioral patterns - providing invaluable information for legal proceedings. Forensic psychologists may be called upon as expert witnesses in court proceedings to assist judges and juries better comprehend complex psychological issues surrounding cases.

Forensic psychologists play an essential role in helping the legal system make informed decisions by providing insights into psychological aspects of criminal behavior and other legal matters. Their unique skill set allows them to act as bridges between psychology and law - offering insightful information that has an enormous influence on case outcomes and simultaneously increase understanding and compassion for participants in legal systems.

Online Associate Degree in Forensic Psychology (AS)

An associate degree in forensic psychology may be difficult to find. However, a degree at this level in psychology, counseling, social work, or another related educational field may provide an ideal gateway into the fascinating world of criminal behavior and behavioral analysis. Through coursework and hands-on experiences, students can develop their knowledge of psychological principles and foundational learning about human behaviors. This can help them build their knowledge base before they learn how these subjects intersect with criminal justice systems. This level of education may also serve as an ideal preparation for exploring potential careers such as law enforcement, social work, or victim advocacy as it gives you an overview of the field and you will need to continue your education in a bachelor’s program to focus your education.

An associate degree provides students with a solid platform from which to advance academically or enter the workforce directly. By exploring topics like criminology, abnormal psychology, and research methods - individuals may gain insights into human behavior both generally and within legal contexts. Furthermore, this educational path offers hands-on learning experiences which develop critical thinking skills necessary for analyzing criminal motives while offering support services for victims impacted by crime.

National Rankings - Online As In Forensic Psychology

Online Bachelors Degree in Forensic Psychology (BS)

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree program in forensic psychology opens a fascinating world of combining psychology with the criminal justice system. This unique field equips students with the foundational knowledge and skills to understand human behavior, analyze criminal behavior patterns, and eventually contribute meaningfully to legal proceedings. With coursework covering topics such as abnormal psychology, criminal profiling, and forensic assessment techniques, students can gain valuable insights into the complexities of human nature within the context of crime.

Furthermore, a bachelor's degree in this field provides a solid foundation for further studies or entry-level positions in various fields such as law enforcement agencies, correctional institutions, or victim advocacy programs. Graduates are equipped with critical thinking skills, research proficiency, and an understanding of ethical practices essential for navigating the intersection between psychology and law enforcement. This degree not only offers academic enrichment but also practical experience through internships or research projects that prepare students for real-world applications in forensic settings.

National Rankings - Online Bs In Forensic Psychology

Find Your Online Forensic Psychology Program

Online Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology (MS)

Earning a master's in forensic psychology can open a world of exciting possibilities at the intersection of psychology and criminal justice systems. Focusing on applying psychological principles to legal matters, graduate programs equip students with skills such as criminal behavior analysis, forensic assessment techniques, and courtroom testimony. Graduates may then pursue careers with law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, or victim advocacy organizations. However, it’s important to note that you will need a doctorate to gain licensure as a full forensic psychologist.

An aspect that sets master of forensic psychology apart is its emphasis on exploring the intersection between mental health and the legal system. Students explore topics like criminal profiling, risk evaluation, and treatment planning for offenders. Not only can students acquire theoretical knowledge through internships and research projects; professional in this field also play a crucial role in shaping decisions regarding criminal investigations, competency assessments, and sentencing recommendations.

National Rankings - Online Ms In Forensic Psychology

Online PhD Degree in Forensic Psychology (PhD)

Embarking on a PhD in forensic psychology allows even further delving into the complex interplay between human behavior and the legal system, as well as other psychological research. Not merely confined to crime scenes and courtrooms, this advanced degree equips individuals with a profound understanding of criminal motivations, psychological tactics, and the intricacies of forensic assessments. The journey toward a PhD in forensic psychology demands a deep commitment to research, critical analysis, and ethical decision-making within the realm of criminal justice.

As Iowa students contemplate pursuing this rigorous academic path, they are not just aiming for expertise in profiling criminals or providing expert testimony. Rather, a PhD in this field opens avenues for innovative research initiatives that have the potential to influence policymaking and shape the future of forensic practices. By exploring cutting-edge methodologies, statistical techniques, and emerging technologies in forensic psychology research, students can make tangible contributions toward enhancing investigative procedures and strengthening rehabilitation efforts within correctional facilities.

Get Our Paying For College Guide

Online Forensic Psychology Certifications

Earning a forensic psychology certification can greatly enhance your career prospects in this fascinating field. With specialized training and expertise, you can delve into the complexities of criminal behavior and the legal system, making a significant impact on investigations and legal proceedings. Certifications, such as the American Board of Professional Psychology's forensic psychology certification, demonstrate your commitment to excellence and proficiency in applying psychological principles to forensic settings.

Moreover, obtaining a forensic psychology certification can open doors to diverse job opportunities within law enforcement agencies, court systems, correctional facilities, and research institutions. Accredited programs provide comprehensive training in areas such as criminal profiling, risk assessment, victim advocacy, and ethical considerations in forensic practice. By pursuing certifications in forensic psychology, you position yourself as a knowledgeable expert capable of making critical contributions to the justice system while advocating for fair treatment of individuals involved in legal proceedings.

By acquiring specialized knowledge through certification programs and demonstrating your expertise through practical experience, you can carve out a successful path toward becoming an esteemed professional in this field. Whether serving as an expert witnesses or advising policymakers on mental health legislation - a forensic psychology certification equips you with the tools needed to excel in this challenging yet rewarding profession.

Become a Forensic Psychologist in Iowa


Forensic psychology is a fascinating field that combines the principles of psychology with the criminal justice system. If you have a passion for understanding human behavior and a desire to work within the legal system, becoming a forensic psychologist in Iowa could be a great career path for you. Here are some steps to help you achieve your goal.

  • Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

    To become a forensic psychologist, the first step should be obtaining a bachelor's degree in psychology or another related field. This will give you an in-depth knowledge of human behavior and psychological principles.

  • Step 2: Pursue a Graduate Degree

    To become licensed forensic psychologists in Iowa, one must earn a graduate degree in either forensic psychology or related fields such as clinical psychology. Most positions require doctoral degrees; therefore, consider pursing either a PhD or PsyD in this discipline.

  • Step 3: Gain Experience

    Practical experience is a crucial component of becoming an accomplished forensic psychologist. Consider participating in internships and research opportunities during your graduate program dedicated to this specialty for valuable hands-on training, expanding your resume, and making invaluable contacts in the field.

  • Step 4: Obtain Licensure

    Iowa law mandates that forensic psychologists be licensed by the state to practice, so obtaining licensure requires passing both the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and state-specific licensing requirements.

Find Online Forensic Psychology Programs

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology?


It’s unlikely that your bachelor’s will be in forensic psychology, instead it will likely focus on general psychology, counseling, social work, or another related field. With a bachelor's in one of these fields, the career opportunities can be intriguing, though most licensure in psychology or counseling requires a master’s degree at a minimum. One pathway could include becoming a victim advocate, providing support and guidance to individuals experiencing trauma or criminal victimization. This role offers direct impactful work with people through challenging times. Another exciting option would be working as a probation officer, using your knowledge of psychology to assess and monitor individuals serving probation sentences.

Potential Careers for Forensic Psychology Graduates


Child, Family, and School Social Workers:

Child, family, and school social workers provide essential assistance to children and families facing various forms of difficulties. Their primary goal is to enhance children's wellbeing by addressing any social, emotional, or behavioral issues which impede development.; Additionally, they often collaborate with schools, government agencies, and community organizations to ensure these resources and support networks are readily available to their charges.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's or master's degree in social work or a related field
  • State licensure or certification as a social worker (requirements vary by state)
  • Knowledge of child development, family dynamics, and school systems
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively with diverse populations
  • Experience working with children and families in a social work or related setting

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for child, family, and school social workers in the US in 2022 was $56,680
  • The mean annual wage for child, family, and school social workers in Iowa is $51,460

Marriage and Family Therapists:

Marriage and family therapists specialize in counseling and therapy services designed to aid individuals, couples, and families dealing with relationship problems such as communication challenges or any other interpersonal challenges compromising relationships. Their goal is to identify emotional, behavioral, or psychological factors which affect these relationships and offer solutions.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Master's degree in marriage and family therapy or a related field
  • State licensure as a marriage and family therapist
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Empathy and ability to build rapport with clients
  • Knowledge of therapeutic techniques for working with couples and families
  • Experience in providing counseling services to diverse populations

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for marriage and family therapists in the US in 2022 was $56,570
  • The mean annual wage for marriage and family therapists in Iowa is $52,050

School Psychologist:

School psychologists play an essential role in assuring the mental health and well-being of their student populations in an educational setting. Working alongside students, teachers, parents, and administrators to address any behavioral, emotional, or academic concerns which might impede students' learning or development, school psychologists collaborate closely with all parties involved to address any potential threats to students' education or development.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Master's or doctoral degree in school psychology or a related field
  • State licensure or certification as a school psychologist
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of psychological assessment tools and therapeutic techniques
  • Experience working with children and adolescents in an educational setting

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for school psychologists in the US in 2022 was $87,550
  • The mean annual wage for school psychologists in Iowa is $68,370

Social and Human Service Assistant:

Social and human service assistants provide assistance to individuals and families requiring help. Under the supervision of social workers, counselors, or other professionals - they aid clients in accessing services and resources designed to enhance quality of life.

Necessary Requirements:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent; an associate's or bachelor's degree in social work or a related field is preferred
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively with diverse populations
  • Compassion, empathy, and a nonjudgmental attitude towards individuals experiencing hardship
  • Knowledge of social service programs and resources available in the community
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team and follow professional ethics and boundaries
  • Experience working in a social services setting or related field is desirable

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for social and human service assistants in the US in 2022 was $38,520
  • The mean annual wage for social and human service assistants in Iowa is $38,470

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists:

Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work to successfully reintegrate those placed on probation or parole back into society and reduce further criminal activity. They assess clients' needs, create customized rehabilitation plans to fit each client's situation, monitor progress closely, provide support during rehabilitation sessions, and offer guidance throughout their transition back into society.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in criminal justice, social work, psychology, or related field (some positions may require a master's degree)
  • Knowledge of criminal justice system procedures and laws
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse populations
  • Experience in counseling or case management is preferred
  • Certification or licensure as a probation officer may be required by some jurisdictions

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists in the US in 2022 was $59,860
  • The mean annual wage for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists in Iowa is $72,330

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers:

Mental health and substance abuse social workers offer help and counseling for individuals coping with mental health disorders or substance use problems. These professionals work directly with clients to devise treatment plans, provide therapy sessions, and connect them to resources within the community - an indispensable aid in helping navigate personal mental health challenges or address substance use disorders.

Necessary Requirements:

  • A bachelor's or master's degree in social work or a related field
  • Licensure as a social worker in the state of practice
  • Knowledge of mental health disorders, substance abuse treatment modalities, and counseling techniques
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse populations
  • Experience working with individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues is preferred

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for mental health and substance abuse social workers in the US in 2022 was $60,130
  • The mean annual wage for mental health and substance abuse social workers in Iowa is $49,850

Mental Health Counselors:

Mental health counselors provide vital assistance and advice for individuals facing mental health challenges, emotional turmoil, or life stresses. Working closely with their clients, these professionals develop strategies for managing them while increasing self-esteem and overall wellness.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Master's degree in counseling, psychology, social work, or a related field
  • State licensure as a mental health counselor or therapist
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to empathize with clients and provide nonjudgmental support
  • Knowledge of evidence-based therapeutic techniques and interventions
  • Experience working in a mental health setting or similar clinical environment is preferred

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in the US in 2022 was $49,710
  • The mean annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Iowa is $56,460
Check Out All Forensic Psychologist Careers And Salaries

Search All Programs