Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology Concentration (MA)
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.
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.
Along with the Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology Concentration degree, the department also offers the following options for graduate study: Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Child/Adolescent Psychology, a PhD in Clinical Psychology, and a certificate in School Psychology.
Please refer to our programs of study page for a comprehensive list of all of the graduate programs offered within the university.
A bachelor’s degree in psychology is preferred. For students with non-psychology undergraduate degrees, we require a minimum of 12 undergraduate credits in psychology or a closely related field, including a course in statistics and an experimental/research methodology course. If you do not have the required number of psychology credits, TGS will review your transcript and advise you on how to fulfill the undergraduate requirements. These courses can be taken at Montclair State or another university. You may also email the DCT or Program Director to review your transcript to determine what courses may be needed.
Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Applicants with a GPA between 2.7 and 3.0 will be considered for admission, though 3.0 and above is recommended. Applicants with a GPA below 2.7 will not be considered for admission. Prospective students must be evaluated positively by faculty on their potential for clinical placement and written communication. Applicants who do not meet our GPA and GRE criteria will be considered for admission if other aspects of their application indicate strong potential for success in the program.
The Graduate School requires the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to apply for a graduate program. Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants to review the U.S. degree equivalency information.
In order to make applying for graduate school as seamless as possible for you, we have
created an application checklist. This checklist can be a reference point for you during the
application process to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the steps
needed to apply, as well as all corresponding supplemental materials for your specific
program of interest.
- Application Deadline: Rolling Admission.
- Submit Online Application: Please create your online account and submit your application by following the general application instructions and pay (or waive) the non-refundable $60 application fee. Once this step has been completed, the online portal will allow you to upload your supplemental materials.
The following is a list of the supplemental materials that will accompany your application for the Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology Concentration (MA) program:
- Transcript: One from each college attended.
- Essays/Personal Statement – Please write one integrated essay providing a response to each of the following questions:
- What are your goals for graduate study and your future career?
- In what ways do your academic background and your professional experiences provide evidence of your potential for success in the program you selected and in your eventual career? Please give specific examples of relevant coursework and/or experience.
- Is there any further information we should consider in assessing your candidacy?
- Letters of Recommendation: Two (2) letters of recommendation, from persons qualified to evaluate the applicant’s promise of academic achievement and potential for professional growth.
- Standardized Test Scores: GRE (see test waiver policies). Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 applicants only – the GRE will be waived for all applicants.
- Students holding degrees from non-US institutions must request a course-by-course transcript evaluation from a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or by Educated Choices. TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or Duolingo English Test are required for applicants to any program who earned their degree in a country where English is not the official language. Please check our International Applicants page for more information and for our current TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Policy.
Graduation from the program requires successful completion of a 36-credit program of study. Applicants to the MA in Clinical Psychology program are required to select a concentration in either Child/Adolescent Psychology or Forensic Psychology. Regardless of which concentration is chosen, students must complete 36 credits of coursework. Students in both concentrations complete a set of core clinical courses (e.g., clinical assessment, ethics), as well as specialty courses specific to their concentrations. For more information, please visit the Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology Concentration (MA) program listing in the University Catalog.
If you have any general questions regarding the application process and requirements, please email or call us:
The Graduate School
If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact the Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology Concentration (MA) Program Coordinator:
*During the summer months, there will be a rotating department chair available to answer your inquiry. Click to find the updated summer chair for this program.*