Clinical Psychology (MA), Clinical Forensic Psychology Concentration at Montclair State University

Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology Concentration (MA)

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Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology Concentration (MA) – STEM Designated Degree Program

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.

Admission Requirements
The Office of Graduate Admissions requires the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to apply for a graduate program. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology OR a minimum of 12 undergraduate credits in psychology, including a course in statistics and an experimental/research methodology course. Please note: an introductory course in psychology does not count toward the minimum credit requirement, though it might be needed as a pre-requisite to other psychology courses.

Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the U.S. degree equivalency information.

Application Checklist

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: For Fall semester admission only. Priority Deadline: March 15th.  Applications to the Master of Arts program in Clinical Psychology that are completed by March 15th, including all required supplemental materials, will receive priority review. All priority candidates will receive an admission decision by April 20th. Applications completed after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the program is full.
  • 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
    • Articulate clearly, concisely, and in specific terms your relevant academic, research, and psychology-related experiences and interests.
    • Please describe how you anticipate the forensic psychology concentration will aid your future educational and career goals.
    • Finally, you may also highlight any additional strengths that will make you an excellent candidate for our program, as well as explain any areas of relative weakness in your application (e.g., if your GPA is below the recommended minimum or your performance in a course was suboptimal).
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty familiar with your work.
  • Sample of written work related to the field(s) of psychology, particularly in your desired area of concentration. This might be a paper written for a previous course, an original research project summary, or some other original writing that was prepared and completed prior to this application process.
  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • 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. 
    • *Applicants who do not meet our GPA requirement will be considered for admission if other aspects of their application indicate strong potential for success in the program.  
  • GRE General Test scores (optional if your overall undergraduate GPA is at least a 3.3 or have completed a master’s level degree)
  • Interview: All applicants who are selected to proceed to the next stage of the admissions process following review of their applications, must complete an admissions interview with program faculty. The Psychology Department will hold pre-selected interview days for the MA in Clinical Psychology and School Psychology Certification programs.

    At this time, interviews are conducted virtually via Zoom with two faculty members and/or the Director of the Clinical MA Program.

    After signing up for an interview date, candidates will receive a follow-up email on behalf of the Psychology Department from confirming the interview date and providing additional information. Admissions interviews provide the admissions committee with the opportunity to learn about each candidate’s background,  interests, and goals, as well as assess each candidate’s readiness for graduate study. Overall, prospective students must be evaluated positively by faculty on their potential for clinical placement and written communication. Of note, prior to the virtual interview, candidates will be provided with written material about the program.

  • Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the US degree equivalency information.

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:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Telephone: 973-655-5147
Fax: 973-655-7869

If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact the Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology Concentration (MA) Program Coordinator:

Program Coordinator: Jessica Spat-Lemus