Masters level programs in Criminal Justice, Psychology and Sociology all provide the opportunity to learn about Criminal Behavior. Students may select to make Criminal Behavior their area of specialty. This area of specialty will require additional training within the field of psychology.
A criminal behavior concentration in a Masters level program generally exposes students to evaluation of personality traits, crisis intervention, counseling and psychopathology. These programs will provide knowledge in these areas and most students will develop an expertise with these types of situations. Through real world examples, students will work with victims and families in crisis counseling.
Most Masters in Criminal Justice programs with a concentration in Criminal Behavior are presented and designed as a practical degree. By working closely with faculty and practicing clinicians student are able to gain an understanding of the relationship between psychology and the criminal justice system
In most cases, schools that offer a criminal behavior degree will encourage students to participate in a number of hands on or in depth projects. Through taking part in practical projects with faculty advisors, students will gain the skills to work with both victims and offenders. Depending on the program, some students will have the opportunity to work in a research setting dealing with the development of answers addressing problems that exist in group homes, or in agencies that deal with domestic violence, immigration and naturalization services, and or in city police stations.
Criminal behavior degree programs are designed to help students apply the work experience they bring with them to principles of effective treatment or research into treatment options for offenders so that repeat offenses don’t become commonplace.
While obtaining a degree, students learn to analyze criminal behavior patterns and their interaction with criminal laws. Students may also be presented with opportunities to provide theoretical explanation for the criminal behavior.
Student’s obtaining a criminal behavior degree may also focus on a specific or narrow facet of criminals or criminal behavior. For example, children are almost as likely to commit criminal actions as adults are. This may result from the fact that children are forced into situations they have not been prepared to handle. Some of the research projects and independent studies that students become involved with are centered on environmental factors that affect children and their tendency to exhibit criminal behavior.
Regardless of whether the student becomes involved in research investigations with children or adults, these research projects emphasis situations that can’t be changed without changes on a deeper, societal level. The research that students complete in obtaining their criminal behavior degree are thus designed to help students simply know which factors make the individual exhibit criminal behavior.
Why a Degree in Criminal Behavior
It is important to pursue the understanding of the factors that affect criminal behavior. Without that understanding, it becomes difficult to head off criminal behavior. The application of psychology, sociology and criminal justice principles and theories to the criminal behavior may provide new answers to age-old problems. The pursuit of a criminal behavior degree can add new investigators to this important field and perhaps new approaches to the battle for understanding.
While the degree programs are mainly geared towards graduate studies, there are Bachelor degree programs that provide the opportunity for undergraduates to take part in the investigations. The ability of your program to incorporate research-based projects into your particular program may be a deciding factor in your school selection. Gaining the real world experience that this opportunity will provide can be invaluable.
Criminal behavior is still a mystery in so many areas, but as people continue to dig deeper into the human mind, understanding grows.