Forensic psychologists bring their combined expertise of the judicial process and human behavior to courtrooms, correctional facilities, private practices, law offices and more. Just some of the ways forensic psychologists impact our criminal justice system:
- Offering expertise in determining fair punishment for criminals on trial
- Determining if criminals are competent to stand trial
- Analyzing criminal trends to offer solutions on preventing future crimes
- Aiding in the rehabilitation of inmates
Perhaps the most prominent forensic psychologist in New Hampshire is Eric Mart, Ph.D. Mart, who has been practicing since 1987, is the author of several well-known books on forensic psychology such as Getting Started in Forensic Psychology Practice: How to Create a Forensic Specialty in Your Mental Health Practice and Issue Focused Forensic Child Custody Assessment (Practitioner’s Resource Series). He specializes in various areas of forensic psychology such as:
- Personal injury
- Criminal and civil competencies
- Parent evaluations and child custody
Steps to Becoming a Forensic Psychologist in New Hampshire
If you aspire to become a forensic psychologist in New Hampshire, you will need to meet licensing requirements set by the New Hampshire Board of Psychologists. To do so, you must complete the following steps:
Step 1. Earn your Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology or Forensic Psychology
The first step on your path to a career in forensic psychology is to develop foundational knowledge in the field through a bachelor’s degree program.
While it is possible to be admitted into a master’s- or doctoral-level program with a general psychology degree, you may pursue a bachelor’s degree related directly to forensic psychology such as:
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice — Forensic Psychology
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in Investigative Forensics
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in Forensic Psychology
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Forensic Psychology
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Applied Psychology — Forensic Psychology
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Forensic Studies
Your bachelor’s degree program will allow you to learn the basics of psychology in various areas of the field, including, but not limited to:
- Psychological disorders
- Psychological inquiry
- Sociological impacts on criminality
- Cultural psychology
As you progress further into your program, you will have the option to take courses specifically related to forensic psychology such as:
- Learning and Motivation
- Social Psychology
- Drugs and Society
- Abnormal Behavior
- Psychology of Sex Crimes
- Criminal Psychology
- Sociology of Violence and Crime
- Introduction to Counseling
- Forensic Law
Step 2. Earn your Master’s and Doctoral Degree in Forensic Psychology
The New Hampshire Board of Psychologists requires all licensed psychologists to obtain a Ph.D. or Phys.D. before practicing in the state. To obtain one of these degrees, you may either:
- Complete a master’s degree program related to forensic psychology, then apply to a separate doctoral-level program.
- Enroll in a program that offers both master’s and doctoral-level courses, conferring both degrees in a single program.
You may pursue one of the following master’s degree options related to forensic psychology online or through schools with campus locations in New Hampshire:
- Master of Arts (MA) in Forensic Mental Health Counseling
- Master of Arts (MA) in Forensic Psychology
- Master of Arts in Psychology – Forensics (MA)
- Master of Science (MS) in Forensic Psychology
- Master of Science (MS) in Criminal and Investigative Psychology
- Master of Legal Studies (MLS)
Courses within doctoral-level programs will provide you with directly applicable knowledge to advanced areas of forensic psychology. You may take courses within these programs such as:
- Forensic Report Writing
- Lifespan Development and the Cultural Context
- Forensic Mediation and Dispute Resolution
- Intersection of Law and Psychology
- Criminal Evaluations
- Substance Abuse
- Theories of Personality
- Evaluation and Treatment of the Juvenile Defender
- Psychology in the Courtroom
With a master’s degree in forensic psychology, you will have added credibility as you apply to doctoral programs, which are very selective during the application process. Just some of the criteria schools are likely to assess when you apply include:
- Your past research experience
- Your educational background in math, psychology, and sciences
- Your application essay and your general career goals
- Your letters of recommendation
- Your undergraduate and graduate GPA
- Your writing, including prior thesis work or past publications
- Your GRE and GPA scores
Examples of courses you may find in your program include, but are not limited to:
- Theories of Criminal Behavior
- Child Protection Psychology
- Personality, Theory and Research
- Assessment in Forensic Psychology Settings
- Psychology in the Courts
- Sex Offender Psychology
- Criminal Behavior
- Advanced Psychopathology
- Evaluation and Treatment of Offenders
- Psychology and the Legal System
- Forensic Assessment in Civil Court
- Neuropsychological Assessment
- Children and Adolescents in the Legal System
- Psychological Profiling
- Treatment of Forensic Populations
Completion of your coursework and internship will allow you to obtain a Phd, PsyD or dual doctorate/JD:
- D./Ph.D. or Ph.D. with a concentration in Forensic Psychology
- D. in Forensic Psychology
- D. with a concentration in Forensic Psychology
- D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology
- D. in Forensic Psychology
- Law and Psychology J.D./Ph.D. program
Step 3. Verify your Supervised Practice Supervisor with the State
A recent amendment to New Hampshire State Law will require you to find a supervisor willing to meet new requirements set forth by the State before you begin your two years of supervised practice, which are detailed in Step 4. Under this new law, your supervisor must either:
- Obtain a clinical supervision certificate approved by NASW, AMHCA, AAPC, or AAMFT.
- Complete a graduate level course in clinical supervision.
- Complete 12 Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) in a clinical setting.
You can find complete information on this new amendment on the New Hampshire Board of Mental Practice website.
Step 4. Complete your Supervised Practice
While you are enrolled in your doctoral program, you must complete an internship that totals a minimum of 1,500 hours over the course of no more than two years. Your internship must also include a minimum of 375 hours of direct patient contact. Full details on your internship requirement can be found on the State of New Hampshire website.
The American Psychological Association (APA) approves the following internships in New Hampshire:
- Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth’s Department of Psychiatry
- University of New Hampshire’s Counseling Center
- Riverbend Community Mental Health Inc.
After your first 1,500 hours of supervised practice, you must complete a minimum of 1,500 additional hours of supervised employment. During your second year, you will provide direct health service related to psychology. Your employment must consist of a minimum of 50 hours of face-to-face clinical supervision, including one hour per week.
In New Hampshire, you do not have to complete your degree before undergoing your supervised practice.
Step 5. Pass your EPPP and State Exams to Finalize Your License
New Hampshire uses both the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and an exam given by the Board of Psychologists to determine competency for psychologists wishing to practice in the state.
The EPPP is a 225-question exam that requires a passing score of 500. Not all tests are graded on the same scale, as some tests are more difficult than others.
After passing your EPPP exam, you must complete an extensive form to apply for a psychology license. Along with your application, you must submit a $300 fee as well as other documentation as detailed on the form.
The Board gives the state exam once per year. The exam may be written, oral, or a combination of both. More information on the exam can be found on the Board website.
Step 6. Begin your Career as a Forensic Psychologist
With your license in hand, you may begin your career in the vast field of forensic psychology. Just some of the jobs you may pursue include:
- Assessment psychologist
- Case manager
- Substance abuse counselor
- Consulting forensic examiner
- Research specialist
- Police psychologist
- Forensic psychologist
- Service coordinator
- Forensic clinician
- Correctional psychologist
As a forensic psychologist, you can establish an independent practice of your own, offering your services to law offices, correctional facilities and law enforcement agencies on a contract basis.
Examples of organizations in New Hampshire that may employ forensic psychologists on a contract basis or salaried employee include, but are not limited to:
- New Hampshire State Prison for Men
- New Hampshire State Prison for Women
- Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility
- Manchester Police Department
- Nashua Police Department
- New Hampshire Circuit Court Family Division
Step 7. Maintain your License
To maintain your license as a psychologist in New Hampshire, you must complete 40 approved Continuing Education Units (CEUs) every two years. CEU requirements in New Hampshire are very detailed. You may find a complete list of requirements in the New Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules.