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Criminology and Forensic Psychology/Criminology v Forensic Psychology


Dear Jeffrey,

I am considering doing a masters in either criminology or forensic psychology, and was hoping you could assist me in deciding.  I am currently doing the final component of my B Law/BA Communications (Writing and Cultural Studies) double degree - a placement at a law firm.  

I have an interest in criminal law and law enforcement, and understand that criminologists often become police officers.  Unfortunately that is not an option for me due to medical reasons.  I am not attracted to purely theoretical or research roles either.  I am concerned that a masters in criminology will thus be useless to me, no matter how interesting.

However as I understand it, forensic psychologists typically must have a psychology degree.  I am also unsure of whether they may play a role in law enforcement or are just expert witnesses in court.  I would prefer to assist in law enforcement.  Is there much of a difference between criminal psychology and forensic psychology?  I have been getting conflicting information on what each entails.

What do you think would be the best option, considering my situation?  Are there any avenues that would allow me to work in law enforcement and assist in apprehending criminals without being a police officer?

Thank you very much for your time, and I hope to hear back from you soon.



Easy.  Considering all of the background information you provided I would purse the forensic psychology course of action.  There is not much difference between criminal and forensic psychology save for the fact that forensic psychology prepares you to identify behavioral markers and then predict and/or reconstruct criminal behavior.  That way you can stay active in law enforcement through profiling and counseling and contribute to publishing relevant articles, papers, books, etc. on what makes criminals act the way they do.  

Criminology and Forensic Psychology

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Jeffrey Hauck


I would welcome the opportunity to answer questions relating to or related to the fields of criminology and forensic psychology.


Criminologist. Professor of Criminal Justice. Licensed Private Detective with expansive clientele base encompassing hundreds of cases. Donates resources and time to the Children's Rescue Network in Orlando, FL.

Associate of Science; Bachelor of Arts; Master of Science, Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree.

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