Hey! I’m Agrona and I am also in the BA/MA Forensic Psychology program. Forensic Psychology has become an extremely popular major and I must admit that I fell in to all the hype of it as well.
In high school, my favorite classes were always history and government, but then I took one psychology course and learning the information just came so naturally. When entering college, I think it is important that you choose a major that you know you will enjoy and you will be happy with the courses offered in that major.
Forensic Psychology has some amazing classes like Theories of Personality, Culture, Psychopathology and Healing, Psychology of Criminal Behavior and the Masters program has even greater courses like Psychology and the Law, Counseling and Rehabilitation of Offenders, and Criminal Forensic Assessments. If you know who the best professors are to take for these courses, you are guaranteed to enjoy every minute of the classes. I always recommend asking the other students in your classes about who to take and their reasons why. Usually, it is known who the best and worst professors are because you either hear students raving about a professor or everyone complaining about them.
Forensic Psychology in both undergrad and masters level provides you with insight as to how it will be in working with a prison population, working with the mentally ill, or even dealing with substance abusers. I do feel that the courses prepare you well and give you a clear idea about what jobs to look in to and which ones to stay away from. That is helpful because it is hard to know what you want to do and the courses in the Forensic Psychology are great in directing your search.
Forensic Psychology did not end up being for me, but maybe it is your calling.
Hello! This is Nikki H., a senior at John Jay in the BA/MA program. When I initially chose this major, my motivation was to follow my dream. I had a research proposal for a treatment program for sex offenders, and I was determined to help the world.
And then I had to pay my own bills.
As I started to realize the cost of New York versus how much money I would typically earn with this major, I began to realize that following my dreams was not necessarily the best route for this student. I bring this up to make a point: following your dreams is a great path, if money is of no object. If money is somewhat important, then it is necessary to do some research before jumping into any major; look into the career outlooks for the various majors that you’re interested in. Within my research, I discovered that a B.A. in Forensic Psychology is a degree that really needs to be followed up with either a M.A. or a Ph.D. Even after earning, let’s say, an M.S.W. or a M.A. in Forensic Psychology, your income from that extra degree wouldn’t even cover the cost of living and school expenses for those two years that you spent earning it (salary snapshot for forensic psychologists). And as for a Ph.D., it’s commonly known in the Ph.D. world that you earn one for the love of academics, not for an increase in your salary.
My hopes are not to dash your dreams, but to inject you with a dose of reality. I wish I would have been advised to a more practical major – one that I would enjoy, but one that would also provide a decent income once I graduate. This is not to say that you cannot earn a decent living after you graduate with a degree in forensic psychology, but it will entail a lot of hard work. If you are looking to make a decent amount of money without years of working your way up in the profession, save yourself the financial struggle and try going for a M.B.A. or a B.S. in Engineering (these two majors are known for the ease of post-graduate financial opportunities).
Hey guys! Mary from Academic Advisement here! I’m currently a lower senior in the BA/MA Forensic Psychology program and I’m here to discuss a little profession that most people like to call Profiling. The majority of students that enter John Jay’s Forensic Psychology program want to become Criminal Profilers. Well unfortunately guys, there’s kind of no such thing. The FBI does not have agents called “Profilers”, they do however, have NCAVC (National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime) Agents (the FBI website has an awesome FAQ website for the NCAVC: here!). Not to further crush your dreams, but in addition to not having the job title of “profiler”, you also won’t be flying around the country on a cushy private jet, spit balling random facts with your own personal Dr. Spencer Reid (whom I find adorable). Don’t change your mind just yet though, you will (when necessary) help police by creating profiles of unknown offenders. You’ll also be teaching law enforcement the fine art of interrogation, doing some (hopefully) ground breaking psychological studies, or testifying in court as an expert witness. Bottom line guys, do some research before deciding if this is the right path for you. Check out All about Forensic Psychology, the website about FBI Investigations & Operations Support, the website for the FBI Behavioral Science Unit, the NCAVC FAQ website I listed above and do some Googling!
Dr. Reid and I wish you the best of luck!!
Hello, my name is Joanna and I’m a sophomore majoring in forensic psychology. When I first heard about forensic psychology I had absolutely no idea what it was, like most people. Before you commit yourself to this major, it’s important to read up on it, use your old friend Google to discover a little more on the wonderful world of forensic psychology! For one, it has nothing to do with forensic science like most people think. Remember when your parents said don’t believe what you see on television? Well, they were right! forensic psychology is nothing what it appears on television. Shows like CSI, Law and Order and Criminal Minds often dramatize things radically for the ratings. Rather than working the frightfully exciting crime scene, forensic psychologists study the mind in relation to the law. The job requirements for forensic psychologists vary from evaluating one’s competency to stand trail, to serving as an expert witness in certain cases to determine one’s mental state.
Although television should not be your “go to” for answers on what your career choice should be, it did help me find out what my passion was. Law and Order Special Victims Unit is my all time favorite show, this is what primarily got me to realize psychology was for me. I chose forensic psychology as my major because I love law but I love psychology more, and instead of choosing between the two I found a major that combined the two in a unique way. After researching the basics and requirements of the major the choice was simple. Forensic psychology was for me.
Hi! My name is Anna and I am a sophomore in Forensic Psychology Major. When I was in High School I was in the Law Institute. Our school had divisions such as Bio-Mad House, Law Institute, Math Academy, Technology, Humanities, and Music & Art to help students get a lilttle bit more understanding of what they would like to do in college. Each semester i would get one additional law-related class. By the time I graduated from High School, I realized that law was not for me. However, I still knew that I want to do something related to law, yet learning a new aspect of it. I also knew that I am interested in psychology but did not know how to connect two together. When I came to John Jay I spoke to one of the advisors, who helped me out with picking a major I would be interested in. Forensic Psychology is fascinating because it combines psychology and criminal justice system and approaches it in a different way. Potentially, graduated students can attain jobs in prisons, working with adolescent offenders, and working within court system. I would suggest that people who are considering Forensic Psychology Major should be willing to go beoynd BA degree because it is very competitive especially if you considering doing PHd.
I am thrilled to finally have a venue where students can share their views and concerns about their academic advising experience at the college. Most of the information you will find in this blog will come from fellow students who have been successful in navigating the college’s requirements, and making meaningful connections with other students, faculty and staff. I hope you find the posts here useful and inspiring.
Sumaya Villanueva, Ph.D.
Director of Academic Advisement