Special Opportunity for Training in Sex Offender Risk Assessment

Risk for Sexual Violence Protocol

Risk for Sexual Violence ProtocolA new online training program offers a unique opportunity for forensic psychologists and other mental health professionals to receive complete training in the administration of the RSVP (Risk for Sexual Violence Protocol) as well as the opportunity to complete 6 test cases to achieve maximal inter-rater reliability in scoring this protocol.

Dr. Stephen D. Hart, an internationally renowned expert in violence risk, has developed the online training program in conjunction with CONCEPT (Consolidated Continuing Education and Professional Training).

The RSVP is a set of structured professional judgment guidelines published by the Mental Health, Law, and Policy Institute at Simon Fraser University and designed to facilitate comprehensive, treatment-oriented sexual risk assessments.

Online Training

The online training has two components. The first component is didactic. It involves a review of fundamental issues in the structured professional judgment approach to risk assessment and the administration of the RSVP. Dr. Hart presents information in a series of 4 videos and through a review of the RSVP Manual. The second component is practical and involves administration of the RSVP for 6 cases. Individualized feedback is provided for each completed case.

Continuing Education Credits Available

The training requires about 25 hours to complete: 5-7 hours for the first component (Part 1 on CONCEPT website), and approximately 18 hours (~ 3 hours per case) for the second component (Part 2 on CONCEPT website). Those who complete the training receive a certificate of competence as well as 25 hours of Continuing Education credits. CONCEPT is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists, and approved by the Canadian Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (CATAP) to sponsor Continuing education for its members. Continuing Education credits granted by CONCEPT may also be recognized by other organizations.

Prerequisites

Those who wish to complete the training should have some specialized training or experience in either sex offender risk assessment or in the use of structured professional judgment guidelines for violence risk assessment (and preferably in both).* The training is available only in English.

The cost of the training is USD $500. For further details about this special training opportunity, please visit the CONCEPT website.

 

Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology @ Maastricht University

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pg” alt=”” width=”204″ height=”158″ />After having reviewed the five fully online masters programs in forensic psychology, numerous requests were received for more information on the campus-based masters programs in forensic psychology that are available. Thus, this series of articles will review each of the masters programs in forensic psychology and provide information on each program in a similar format so as to assist in comparisons between the various options.

The goal of this series of articles is simply to provide information in a consistent format to assist those individuals who are considering an education in forensic psychology and not to convince anyone to attend a particular program. Having been a professor in this field for the last 13 years I am familiar at some level with almost every forensic psychology program available in North America and a few on other continents as well. Many undergraduate students are not familiar with all the possible options and so this series will lay them out in a consistent format for ease of comparison.

Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology – Maastricht University

Program Description

From the website: Forensic Psychology is the application of scientific and professional aspects of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. The two-year Master of Science in Forensic Psychology (MSc) at Maastricht University, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, educates its students to become scientist-practitioners in the forensic mental health field.

This selective programme provides students with a mix of theoretical and empirical knowledge in forensic psychology through the educational concept of Problem Based Learning (PBL). Students study the literature in relation to real-life problems and work in small tutorial groups to meet their learning goals. Furthermore, the programme includes hands-on training in forensic assessment and therapy skills. This combination makes this master’s programme unique.

Forensic psychologists always operate with two goals in mind: the safety of society and the well-being of the offender-patient. Forensic psychologists need specialised knowledge in areas such as offender typologies, criminal and juvenile law, psychopathy, malingering, sexual offending, trauma and victimisation, risk assessment and offender treatment.

Work in forensic settings is challenging. First of all, the patient group that is admitted to forensic settings is diverse and demanding, including persons with severe antisocial behaviour problems and co-morbid mental disorders (such as schizophrenia combined with substance use disorders). Secondly, assessment and research questions in forensic settings are highly complex (for example questions concerning criminal responsibility, future violence risk and parenting capacity). Last but not least, to be able to work effectively in the forensic field, specialised skills and knowledge in the field of material law and legal procedure are required, for example to serve as an expert witness in court.

Apart from the above-mentioned knowledge and skills, a successful career in the forensic mental health field requires strong motivation and communication skills.

The Master in Forensic Psychology is a two-year, internationally oriented programme, taught in English.

Specializations

The two-year master’s programme in Forensic Psychology will deliver scientist-practitioner forensic psychologists with both knowledge of mental disorders and their evidence-based assessment and treatment, specific to forensic settings. The first year of the two-year programme prepares the students for their clinical and research internship, and their master’s thesis during the second year.

Credits

The two-year program of study has a total of 120 European credits (60 credits each academic year), with each credit equaling 28 hours of study.

Thesis

Completion of a masters thesis is a required component of this program.

Externship/Practicum

The internship is a key component of the education as a forensic psychologist. During the second year, students will spend at least 32 weeks on internships, applying the theoretical knowledge and professional skills and attitudes obtained during the first year.

There are two internships. The research internship entails addressing a carefully formulated research question, working out a research proposal, conducting the actual study, and writing a master’s thesis in a form suitable for submission to an English-language scientific journal.

The clinical internship is aimed at conducting evidence-based practice in forensic assessment and forensic therapy. Furthermore, students will conduct a small-scale clinical research project, which forms the basis for the minor thesis. During the clinical internship period, students who are located close enough to the UM, will have regular in-person meetings with fellow students and an instructor, to discuss their experiences at the internship site and to learn to relate these experiences to relevant knowledge and skills. Dutch-speaking students are offered the opportunity to fulfill entrance requirements for professional postmaster training programmes in The Netherlands.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission in this master’s programme, students must meet the following criteria:

  • A bachelor’s degree in Psychology or Mental Health Science from a Dutch university, or a foreign university bachelor’s degree from a programme that meets similar achievement levels;
  • The bachelor’s programme must include the following subjects relevant to this master’s programme:
  • Basic training in clinical interviewing skills;
  • Basic training in psychological assessment;
  • Basic training in research methodology and statistical analysis;
  • Basic training in psychopathology
  • A Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or more (= 7.0 or more in the Dutch grading system) for the subjects (courses, thesis, practicums, etc.) of the bachelor’s degree.

Tuition & Fees

In-State Residents

Individuals who are citizens of The Netherlands or one of the other EU/EER countries, Suriname, or Switzerland pay approximately the following tuition:

1,771 per year

Out-of-State Residents

Individuals who are not citizens of The Netherlands or one of the other EU/EER countries, Suriname, or Switzerland pay the following tuition:

12,000 per year

Coursework

Core Courses

Introduction to Forensic Psychology (4 credits)

Eyewitnesses and Victims (4 credits)

Psychotic Disorders (4 credits)

Perpetrators and Defendants (4 credits)

Personality Disorders (6 credits)

Criminal Law (6 credits)

Professional Ethics in Forensic Psychology (2 credits)

Forensic Neuropsychology (2 credits)

Sex Offenders (2 credits)

Psychopharmacology of Reward and Drugs of Abuse (2 credits)

Deception and Malingering (2 credits)

What works with young offenders? (2 credits)

Master class with international experts I (3 credits)

Master class with international experts II (3 credits)

Workshop

Writing a research proposal (1 credit)

Skills Labs

Assessment skills lab I (4 credits)

Assessment skills lab II (4 credits)

Therapy skills lab I & II (6 credits)

Expert witness skills lab (2 credits)

Clinical and Research

Research proposal (2 credits)

Research Internship (25 credits)

Masters thesis (10 credits)

Clinical research proposal (1 credit)

Clinical Internship (15 credits)

Minor’s Thesis (4 credits)

Concluding Comments

This is a well known and high quality program of study in The Netherlands and the faculty consists of internationally respected researchers on forensic issues. The program is akin to a clinical psychology program in the United States (as opposed to experimental) but has a strong emphasis on research as well as clinical work. Students who are interested in more information about this program should check out the program’s website, which includes an informative 12-minute video with Professor Corine de Ruiter, an international expert in forensic psychology and member of the faculty.

Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology @ University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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t=”” width=”200″ height=”150″ />After having reviewed the five fully online masters programs in forensic psychology, numerous requests were received for more information on the campus-based masters programs in forensic psychology that are available. Thus, this series of articles will review each of the masters programs in forensic psychology and provide information on each program in a similar format so as to assist in comparisons between the various options.

The goal of this series of articles is simply to provide information in a consistent format to assist those individuals who are considering an education in forensic psychology and not to convince anyone to attend a particular program. Having been a professor in this field for the last 13 years I am familiar at some level with almost every forensic psychology program available in North America. Many undergraduate students are not familiar with all the possible options and so this series will lay them out in a consistent format for ease of comparison.

Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology –University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Program Description

From the website: The Law-Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is one of the leading centers for education and research in the interdisciplinary study of law and psychology. In existence since 1974, our program trains scholars who are engaged in basic and applied research and writing on psychosocial issues and problems related to the law. The Department of Psychology and the College of Law jointly sponsor the program, which is the world’s oldest ongoing integrated program in psycholegal studies. It remains unusual in the breadth of training with students specializing in virtually any area of psycholegal studies. Law-psychology faculty and students focus their studies in traditionally important psycholegal areas such as jury decision-making, eyewitness memory, children’s decision-making, distributive and procedural justice, domestic violence, criminal responsibility, juvenile justice, the admissibility of scientific evidence in litigation, and so on. They also work on less-studied topics, such as tax compliance, altruistic behavior, child support, death penalty issues, sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, mental health, financial literacy, bankruptcy, alternative dispute resolution, health care policy issues, and elder law.

The Law-Psychology Program offers interdisciplinary training in psychology and law. The Program specializes in training scholars who will be able to apply psychology and other social and behavioral sciences to analyses of empirical questions in law and policy. Students in the program study and apply theory and research from social, cognitive, clinical, and developmental psychology to problems of law and policy. The Law-Psychology program trains researchers and professionals to identify and evaluate the psychological assumptions underlying laws and court decisions and to apply their psycholegal expertise to improve understanding of the operation of law in our society.

Graduates of the program work in universities, research or public interest organizations, or in local, state or federal government. Graduates go on to take positions in a variety of settings specializing in diverse tasks and problems. For example, recent graduates work in universities (i.e. John Jay College, Florida International University, University of Nevada, and Carelton University), research or public interest organizations, law firms, jury consulting organizations, and the courts. Faculty and graduate students regularly consult with government and private agencies applying psycholegal scholarship to problems of law in everyday life.

The JD/MA Track

The J.D./M.A. track is for students who wish to be legal practitioners but who also desire to obtain a strong background in psychology or social science methods. It provides sufficient background in interdisciplinary studies, social science methods, and psychological knowledge to permit thorough evaluation of psychological research and practice and interdisciplinary collaboration in policy formation or implementation. In addition to interdisciplinary courses, J.D./M.A. students take courses designed to provide an overview of psychological research, theory and methods. In the first year, students take the same Law College curriculum as the rest of the first year law students. During subsequent years, students take courses from both the Law College and the Psychology Department tailored for their individual programs. Most students will complete the program in about four years and the M.A. degree is presumed to be terminal.

Credits

The program is a 4-year program, with the first year being completed at the Law School. The website does not easily delineate the number of credit hours required form this joint MA/JD program.

Thesis

Students are required to complete a thesis in this program.

Externship/Practicum

The focus of the MA/JD joint degree is on research; therefore a clinical externship is not part of the program requirements. It does appear, however, that supervised fieldwork in law and psychology is available; this fieldwork would emphasize the integration of legal analysis and psychological research in the formulation or implementation of public policy.

Admission Requirements

From the website: Applicants are required to have the following:

  • B.A. or B.S. degree with a major in psychology (see below if you are a non-psychology major)
  • Laboratory course in experimental psychology
  • Undergraduate course in statistics
  • Typically a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale (see below if your GPA is below 3.5)
  • GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative, Written)
  • GRE Subject Test is recommended if not a psychology major
  • LSAT, if applying for a JD

Applicants to the Law and Psychology program must also submit a law school application to the UNL College of Law.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees at UNL vary by College, which means that the tuition is most likely different for the law school classes and the psychology classes. Interested students should call the program for more detailed information.

In-State Residents

$236-$380 per credit hour

Out-of-State Residents

$275 – $978 per credit hour

Coursework

The coursework for the joint MA/JD degree is not easily set out on the program website. The first year is taken in the Law School along with the rest of the incoming law class. The subsequent 3 years are a mix of law and psychology courses. Students who are interested in this joint MA/JD program are advised to contact the program directly for more specific information.

Law and Psychology Courses

  • 985. Law and Behavioral Science (LAW 762G) (1-4 cr)
  • 988. Mental Health Law (LAW 763G) (1-4 cr)
  • 989. Topics in Law and Psychology I (LAW 764G) (1-4 cr per sem)
  • 989. Topics in Law and Psychology II (LAW 765G) (1-4 cr per sem)
  • 995. Psycholegal Research Other than Thesis I (LAW 757G) (3-6 cr)
  • 995. Psycholegal Research Other than Thesis II (LAW 758G) (3-6 cr)
  • 998. Practicum in Law and Psychology (3 cr per sem, max 6) Prereq: Full graduate standing in Law/Psychology Graduate Training Program or permission of the director of the Law/Psychology Program.

Concluding Comments

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has one of the longest standing and well-recognized Law and Psychology graduate programs. The majority of the students admitted to UNL are admitted to the doctoral degree programs. They do offer a joint MA/JD program for those students not interested in doctoral-level education. This program has a strong emphasis on research and prepares students to be legal practitioners with specific knowledge in psychology and social science methods. The Masters program is terminal, meaning that students do not typically do on to doctoral-level training within the same program. Students who desire a doctoral-level degree are encouraged to consider the doctoral programs at UNL.

Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology @ University of North Dakota

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” width=”234″ height=”216″ />After having reviewed the five fully online masters programs in forensic psychology, numerous requests were received for more information on the campus-based masters programs in forensic psychology that are available. Thus, this series of articles will review each of the masters programs in forensic psychology and provide information on each program in a similar format so as to assist in comparisons between the various options.

The goal of this series of articles is simply to provide information in a consistent format to assist those individuals who are considering an education in forensic psychology and not to convince anyone to attend a particular program. Having been a professor in this field for the last 13 years I am familiar at some level with almost every forensic psychology program available in North America. Many undergraduate students are not familiar with all the possible options and so this series will lay them out in a consistent format for ease of comparison.

Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology –University of North Dakota

Program Description

There are two masters degree programs in forensic psychology offered by the University of North Dakota, a Science-based program (M.S.) and an Arts-based program (M.A.) From the website: 1) Master’s of Science (M.S.). In the U.S. forensic graduates obtain master’s-level psychology jobs in agencies and institutions such as prisons, juvenile facilities, social service agencies, police departments, child care agencies, probation, parole, family court, addiction services, hospitals, and community mental health centers. Some students get jobs as forensic researchers doing studies and evaluations of at-risk populations. A few graduates will be accepted in federal law enforcement agencies after earning the Master’s degree. You would expect to see forensic graduates working in the following areas: secure forensic units in state facilities, jails/prisons, probation services, court service units, community mental health centers, protective services, violence risk assessment, specialized agencies (i.e. child advocacy centers), law enforcement, and trial consulting. The M.S. degree in forensic psychology will also allow some students to advance to doctoral programs in forensic psychology, forensic science, and law school. Students in the M.S. Forensic Psychology Program at UND are required to attend classes on campus and complete 44 credits of study. This includes 26 credits of required course work, 12 credits of elective courses, and a minimum of 6 credit hours for thesis work.

2) Master’s of Arts (M.A.). The Department of Psychology, in conjunction with the Division of Continuing Education, has designed an online forensic psychology program targeted for working professionals. The M.A. Forensic Psychology program is the first to be offered online by a nationally recognized, fully accredited university. Through the 34-credit M.A. program, students will learn how to provide the psychological expertise and knowledge needed by the legal community and agencies having a strong forensic focus. Students in the program will likely be in-service professionals, such as law enforcement personnel, who want to further their career as well as those with a behavioral or social science background, such as counselors or social workers, who are interested in applying psychology to their work involving forensic issues.

The online Master’s degree is described elsewhere. The M.S. in Forensic Psychology is described below.

Specializations

The Masters in Forensic Psychology does not appear to have formal specializations, but allows for an individualized program of study by allowing students to choose from a number of electives (minimum of 12 credits/4 courses).

Credits

The program consists of 44 credits, which include 26 credits of required coursework, 12 credits of elective coursework, and 6 credits of thesis work.

Thesis

Students are required to complete a thesis in this program. The thesis is worth 6 credits of the 44 required credits for this program.

Externship/Practicum

Although the required coursework includes a 2-credit course in Supervised Field Work, it does not appear that this would be a clinical placement, but rather, would include placement at various settings where research would be the primary focus of the fieldwork.

Admission Requirements

From the website: Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a behavioral or social science major allied with psychology, e.g., psychology, criminal justice, sociology, counseling, social work. Applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination, including the Advanced Examination in Psychology. Advanced students who have earned, or will earn, a graduate degree in psychology, counseling, social work, sociology, any related behavioral science can also apply. Applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or above, or a graduate GPA > 3.75; an analytic GRE writing test score > 2.5; and Verbal & Quantitative GRE scores must both equal or exceed the 30th percentile. Applicant must also submit three letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and an essay. Applicants not meeting these standards may be admitted on a provisional basis with continued enrollment contingent on successful performance in the program. A 250-300 words essay discussing reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in forensic psychology is required as part of the admissions material to be submitted. Three letters of recommendation from those who can comment on the applicant’s academic abilities are also required. Consideration will be given for experience working in forensic areas or participating in research as an assistant prior to the program application.

Tuition & Fees

The University of North Dakota’s website presents tuition averages for a full year of study (Fall & Spring semesters). Discounted tuition rates are given to Western Exchange States, which include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

In-State Residents

$7,531 per year (the Masters degree appears to be a 2-year program)

Out-of-State Residents

$17,938 for the first year (the Masters degree is a 2-year program; it appears that the ongoing tuition after the first year is at the rate of $10,647/year).

Coursework

Required Core Classes (32 credits)

• Psy 520 – Foundations of Forensic Psychology (3cr)
• Psy 521 – Diversity Psychology (3cr)
• Psy 524 – Psychology & Law (3cr)
• Psy 541 – Advanced Univariate Statistics (3cr)
• Psy 542 – Multivariate Analysis (3cr)
• Psy 543 – Experimental Design (3cr)
• Psy 575 – Behavior Pathology (3cr)
• Psy 587 – Supervised Field Work (2cr)
• Psy 593 – Readings in Psychology (3cr)
• Psy 998 – Thesis (6-9cr)

Elective Courses (12 credits)

Choose four of the following:

• Psy 501 – Psychological Foundations of Education (3cr)
• Psy 526 – Psychological Profiling & Criminal Behavior (3cr)
• Psy 539 – Cognitive Psychology (3cr)
• Psy 560 – Advanced Social Psychology (3cr)
• Psy 572 – Community Psychology (3cr)
• Psy 576 – Child Psychopathology & Treatment (3cr)
• Psy 594 – Special Topics: Conflict Management (3cr)
• Psy 594 – Special Topics: Neuropsychology (3cr)
• Psy 594 – Special Topics: Psychopharmocology (3cr)
• CJ 515 – Human Nature & Crime (3cr)
• CJ 535 – Seminar in Juvenile Justice (3cr)
• CJ 565 – Victimology (3cr)

Concluding Comments

This program is a research-based program that provides the necessary foundation for those students interested in research careers or in further study in psychology at the doctoral level. There are a good number of electives from which to choose so that students may personalize the coursework to fit their interests. The coursework does not appear to be intended to prepare master’s level clinicians and so students interested in becoming master’s level clinicians should consider either the online M.A. in Forensic Psychology offered by the University of North Dakota or another master program. This is one of the few master’s program that prepares students for research careers or further study at the doctoral level.

 

Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology @ University of Denver

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width=”259″ height=”195″ />After having reviewed the five fully online masters programs in forensic psychology, numerous requests were received for more information on the campus-based masters programs in forensic psychology that are available. Thus, this series of articles will review each of the masters programs in forensic psychology and provide information on each program in a similar format so as to assist in comparisons between the various options

The goal of this series of articles is simply to provide information in a consistent format to assist those individuals who are considering an education in forensic psychology and not to convince anyone to attend a particular program. Having been a professor in this field for the last 13 years I am familiar at some level with almost every forensic psychology program available in North America. Many undergraduate students are not familiar with all the possible options and so this series will lay them out in a consistent format for ease of comparison.

Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology –University of Denver

Program Description

From the website: Our mission is to provide comprehensive education and training relevant to the application of psychological theory, knowledge, skills, and competencies to the civil and criminal justice systems.

The Master of Arts in forensic psychology was first offered at the GSPP in 1999 in response to the growing interest in the rapidly developing field of forensic psychology. The degree supplements fundamental master’s level clinical psychology training with course work and practicum experiences in the area of psychology and law. The Masters Degree in forensic psychology concerns the application of psychological theory, knowledge, skills and competencies to the civil and criminal justice systems. It is designed to train students to become mental health professionals, able to work in a variety of clinical settings within the criminal and civil legal system, including but not limited to: adult, juvenile and child populations; victim assistance; police consultation; correctional institutions; domestic violence and child abuse programs; and trial consulting.

Specializations

The Masters in Forensic Psychology is a clinically-oriented degree and students are expected to engage in practical application of their learned skills through field placements in a variety of forensic settings. No specializations, per se, exist in this program and all students are expected to take the same general sequence of coursework.

Credits

The program website does not appear to specify how many credits are required for this Masters program. It states that the degree is completed over a 2-year period.

Thesis

It does not appear that completing a thesis is an option in this program. The program was designed to prepare masters-level clinicians for work in a variety of forensic settings.

Externship/Practicum

Students are required to complete field placements as part of their clinical training. At least two field placements appear to be required.

Admission Requirements

A Bachelor’s degree is required for admission to the Masters program. If the student did not major in psychology as an undergraduate, 4 psychology courses are required (these are recommended: abnormal psychology, child psychology, experimental psychology, personality theory) as is a statistics course. This requirement can also be met by obtaining a score of 660 or higher on the Psychology Subject GRE.

All applicants must submit GRE scores. “The school expects an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.5 and a graduate GPA of 3.0. Higher scores may make an application more competitive.”

Tuition & Fees

The University of Denver has one of the most difficult websites to navigate and it is difficult to find straightforward answers to simple questions such as “How much is this degree going to cost me?” I was unable to find how many credit hours the Masters degree is comprised of but could ascertain that students were expected to attend the program for 2 full-time years, which appears to be 3 “quarters” a year. I was unable to find different rates for in-state and out-of-state residents so assume that the cost of a graduate education is the same for both (as it is at most other institutions).

In-State Residents

$12,312 per quarter (students attend three quarters in a calendar year) = $36, 936/year (the Masters degree is a 2-year program)

Out-of-State Residents

$12,312 per quarter (students attend three quarters in a calendar year) = $36, 936/year (the Masters degree is a 2-year program)

Coursework

Again, this was a difficult site to navigate and did not include a lot of specific information. The site includes a list of courses but does not contain any course numbers or credit hours. The courses are described and listed by year in the program.

Typical First-Year Courses

Professionalism and Practice I (First-Year Case Conference)

Introduction to Clinical Interviewing and Psychotherapy

Forensic Mental Health: The Basics (Forensic Psychology I)

Forensic Mental Health: The Front LinesLaw Enforcement and Correctional Psychology (Forensic Psychology II)

Forensic Mental Health: Risky Business (Forensic Psychology III)

Group Interventions

Statistics

Research Methods

Issues in Measurement

Adult Psychopathology and Diagnosis

Trauma and Crisis Intervention

Profiles in Crime: The Psychology of Criminal Behavior

Conflict Resolution in Forensic Practice and Real Life

Typical Second-Year Courses

Professionalism and Practice II (Second-Year Case Conference)

Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychology

Cognitive Assessment

Self Report Assessment

Projective Assessment

Sociocultural Issues in Forensic Psychology

Family Law

Mental Health Law

Evaluation and Treatment of the Juvenile Offender

Evaluation and Treatment of the Adult Offenders

Cognitive Behavioral Interventions

Substance Abuse: Theory and Treatment

Criminal Evaluations

Concluding Comments

The website for this program is perhaps one of the most difficult to navigate and therefore one of the least informative that I have seen. No specific answers to simple and important questions, such as “How much is this going to cost?” “How many courses am I required to take?” “What is the sequence of coursework?” or “How many credits do I need to earn?” were provided. Given that almost every other program in this area provides at least this information to prospective students, I wonder why this is not a priority for this particular program. If anyone from the University of Denver happens to read this post, please fill out the comments section below if you can provide me with some of the answers to these questions. If you are a student considering this program, I strongly advise you to contact the program director to find out the answers to these and other relevant questions.

What is clear is that this is a clinically oriented program that is intended to prepare students for work as masters-level clinicians and not necessarily for further study at the doctoral level. Students considering this program will want to inquire about whether the state in which they intend to reside licenses master’s level clinicians in psychology. Although the website indicates that 29% of their graduates go on to doctoral programs, I suspect that those individuals have sought out other opportunities for research while in the program. As the program is described, there does not appear to be a required research component.

Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology @ Roger Williams University

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illiams.jpg” alt=”” width=”224″ height=”164″ />After having reviewed the five fully online masters programs in forensic psychology, numerous requests were received for more information on the campus-based masters programs in forensic psychology that are available. Thus, this series of articles will review each of the masters programs in forensic psychology and provide information on each program in a similar format so as to assist in comparisons between the various options.

The goal of this series of articles is simply to provide information in a consistent format to assist those individuals who are considering an education in forensic psychology and not to convince anyone to attend a particular program. Having been a professor in this field for the last 13 years I am familiar at some level with almost every forensic psychology program available in North America. Many undergraduate students are not familiar with all the possible options and so this series will lay them out in a consistent format for ease of comparison.

Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology – Roger Williams University

Program Description

From the website: A two-year, full-time program, the Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology is designed to prepare students to provide assessment and treatment services in a forensic setting or for further training at the doctoral level. Students will be trained in psychological testing, treatment, research methodology and psychopathology.

Internships and practica are available at a variety of forensic sites. Experiences include the areas of group psychotherapy, sex offender treatment, individual psychotherapy, psychological testing and specialized assessment techniques. Research-based internships are also available.

Specializations

The Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology curriculum is arranged in two tracks: (1) Non-Thesis/Practitioner (for students seeking specialized training in psychology prior to entering the work force as master’s level forensic practitioners), and (2) Thesis (for students seeking master’s level training in psychology as preparation for future study toward a doctoral degree in psychology). The nine-course core sequence provides students with the breadth and depth needed for the theoretical foundation as well as the research and skills necessary to become forensic psychologists. Students then select four electives from various areas within Forensic Psychology. Finally, students take six credits of Thesis or Practicum according to their track, for a minimum of 45 credits.

Credits

The program consists of 45 credits (13 courses (including 4 electives) and 6 credits of either thesis or practicum work, depending on the track chosen by the student).

Thesis

Students can select either a thesis track or a practicum track. Six credits of thesis work are required of those students choosing the thesis track.

Externship/Practicum

Students can select either a thesis track or a practicum track. Six credits of practicum work are required of those students choosing thepracticum track.

Admission Requirements

From the website: Applicants to the Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology program must hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Criminal Justice, or related field from an accredited college or university and have achieved an overall GPA of 3.0 or greater in undergraduate work. Applicants must have scored a minimum of 1000 on the original version of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or a minimum of 300 on the revised Graduate Record Exam (GRE) to be considered for admission. Applicants must have also satisfactorily completed undergraduate courses in both Statistics and Research Methods.

Tuition & Fees

In-State Residents

$724/credit

Out-of-State Residents

$724/credit

Coursework

Required Core Courses (27 credits)

PSYCH 501 Research Design

PSYCH 502 Quantitative Methods I

PSYCH 503 Forensic Psychology

PSYCH 504 Psychology and the Law

PSYCH 505 Introduction to Clinical Assessment: Objective Tests

PSYCH 532 Cross Cultural Psychology

PSYCH 550 Ethics in Professional Psychology

One of the following:

PSYCH 506 Assessment in Criminal Law

PSYCH 507 Assessment Issues in Civil Law

One of the following:

PSYCH 520 Developmental Psychopathology

PSYCH 521 Adult Psychopathology

PSYCH 525 Psychology of Criminal Behavior

Advanced Electives (12 credits)

Choose four from the following:

PSYCH 508 Forensic Report Writing

PSYCH 509 Methods of Psychotherapy I

PSYCH 510 Quantitative Methods II

PSYCH 511 Children, Adolescents and the Law

PSYCH 512 Child Assessment

PSYCH 513 Vocational Training

PSYCH 515 Introduction to Group Counseling

PSYCH 519 Methods of Psychotherapy II

PSYCH 530 Special Topics in Psychology

PSYCH 531 Family Violence

PSYCH 533 Law and Mental Health

PSYCH 534 Advanced Developmental Psychology

PSYCH 535 Group Dynamics: Methods and Design

PSYCH 540 Advanced Personality Psychology

PSYCH 550 Professional Ethics in Psychology

Thesis or Practicum Work (6 credits)

PSYCH 597 Thesis

PSYCH 598: Practicum

Concluding Comments

This masters program is intended to prepare students for work in forensic settings or for further study at the doctoral level in psychology. The coursework provides foundational information in both research design and statistics, which is important for preparing students to take on clinical roles or for further study at the doctoral level. This program appears to be a solid option for students who are interested in clinical forensic psychology, whether they desire a master’s degree as a terminal degree or further education at the doctoral level. Those desiring to continue their education at the doctoral level are advised to complete the thesis track in this program.

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