Forensic Concentration

Overview

The Department of Psychology offers a forensic psychology concentration within the MA program in Clinical Psychology. The Forensic Psychology concentration is designed to prepare students to offer master’s level clinical services to legal system-involved populations in settings that do not require licensure. Such settings include, but are not limited to, mental health and drug court settings, offender rehabilitation programs, child and family advocacy settings, and bona fide public service agencies exempted by state boards of psychological examiners for non-doctoral providers. Students also receive opportunities for clinical and research experiences to prepare them for doctoral study should they choose that path.

In keeping with our Clinical Psychology MA program’s overall child/adolescent focus, the forensic concentration places an emphasis on child, adolescent, and family issues, such as domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and juvenile offender assessment, treatment and rehabilitation.

Courts often rely on psychologists and other mental health practitioners to provide information they need to make legal decisions that impact the safety, security, and well-being of justice–system involved individuals and the community. There are relatively few specialized programs that train students in the ethical practice of forensic psychology, especially ones that offer an emphasis on child and family issues. The MA program delivers academic and applied experiential learning necessary to succeed in this challenging career through a faculty of experienced forensic psychologists and researchers and legal practitioners.

Competencies

Students in the Forensic Psychology concentration can expect to leave the program with strong clinical skills in assessment and psychotherapeutic interventions, an understanding of professional ethics, and a sound theoretical foundation in developmental psychology and psychopathology. Students will learn the unique ethical constraints on the practice of psychology within the legal system, gain practical experience in forensic assessment, report writing and the provision of treatment to offender and victim populations, and be exposed to current theories on family and interpersonal violence.  

Curriculum

Students must complete 36 credits, to be earned by satisfying the following requirements:

a. Clinical Core Coursework

Complete the following 4 courses for 12 credits:

PSYC 565       Developmental Psychopathology
PSYC 574       Cognitive Assessment
PSYC 575       Clinical Assessment
PSYC 678       Ethics and Professional Issues in Psychology

b. General Core Coursework

Complete the following 2 courses for 6 credits:

PSYC 561       Developmental Psychology
PSYC 578       Psychometrics

c. Forensic Coursework

Complete the following 2 courses for 6 credits:

PSYC 650       Theories of Interpersonal and Familial Violence
PSYC 670       Treatment and Rehabilitation in Forensic Settings

Complete 1 of the following courses for 3 credits:

PSYC 620       Forensic Psychology in Criminal Proceedings
PSYC 621       Forensic Psychology in Family Proceedings

Complete 1 of the following courses for 3 credits: 

PSYC 664       Criminal Forensic Assessment
PSYC 665       Child/Family Forensic Assessment

d. Externship

Complete the following course 2 times for 6 credits (fall and spring)

PSYC 680       Externship in Clinical Psychology

You may find descriptions of all courses here. Please note that the above curriculum reflects minor revisions pending MSU approval.

If you have any questions about this program, please email gradclinical@montclair.edu.