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 – Arizona State University

Program Description

From the website: The New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Psychology. The program is research oriented and is most appropriate for students who plan to continue on to a doctoral program, and students who wish to pursue a research-based or applied career in psychology or related fields, such as marketing research, education research analysis, public policy analysis, research project management, and program evaluation.

The two-year program consists of 31 credit hours, including electives. During the second year of the program either a thesis or a capstone project is required (a thesis is recommended for students wishing to seek admission to a doctoral program). Upon admission, students are matched individually with a faculty advisor who assists in designing the student’s program of study, and facilitates optimal completion of all requirements. Our students receive training in advanced research methods and statistics, and can take elective seminar courses in several areas including abnormal psychology, affective science, behavior analysis, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, legal psychology, psychophysiology, and social psychology.

It is expected that all students participate in faculty-guided research. Our students receive hands-on experience on experimental design, laboratory instrumentation, data collection and analysis, manuscript development, and grant proposal writing. Students are prepared for and encouraged to attend regional and national psychological conventions to present their findings. It is expected that over the two-year program, students will participate as coauthors in published research reports and monographs.

Specializations

The information on the website appears to indicate that students can select an area of emphasis through the use of the elective courses. The required courses consist of research methods and statistics, supervised research, and a 1-credit professional issues course.

Credits

A total of 31 credits are required to complete this masters degree (10 3-credit courses and a 1-credit professional issues course)

Thesis

A thesis or a capstone project is required to complete this masters degree. The thesis is recommended for those students wishing to go on to doctoral studies.

Externship/Practicum

None.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Psychology or a related field
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Completion of the GRE, with a recommended Verbal + Quantitative score of 1100 (or equivalent on the new exam)
  • Successful completion of undergraduate statistics and research methods courses
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty
  • A personal statement no longer than 3 pages double-spaced describing how you would be a good fit for our program, including your research interests and career plans. Your statement should specify the faculty member(s) with whom you are interested in working.

Tuition & Fees

Approximately $730/credit for a full-time in-state student

Approximately $1015/credit for a full-time out-of-state student

Coursework

Required Coursework (10 credit hours)

PSY 502 Professional Issues in Psychology (1 credit)

PSY 515 Quantitative Research Methodology & Statistics I (3 credits)

PSY 516 Quantitative Research Methodology & Statistics II (3 credits)

PSY 592 Supervised Research (3 credits)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours; Select one of the following)

PSY 593 Applied Project (6 credits)

PSY 599 Thesis (6 credits)

Elective courses (15 credit hours; Select 5 of the following in consultation with advisor)

PSY 517 Advanced Behavior Analysis (3 credits)

PSY 519 Principles of Social Psychology (3 credits)

PSY 522 Ethnicity & Cultural Psychology (3 credits)

PSY 523 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (3 credits)

PSY 529 Psychophysiological Research Methods (3 credits)

PSY 543 Brain Mind, and Behavior (3 credits)

PSY 544 Psychotherapy Research, Theory, and Practice (3 credits)

PSY 545 Dynamics of Stress, Coping, and Adaptation (3 credits)

PSY 546 Biology, Behavior, and Social Context (3 credits)

PSY 547 Advanced Legal Psychology (3 credits)

PSY 548 Behavioral Pharmacology (3 credits)

PSY 518 Psychology of Choice and Decision Making (3 credits)

PSY 520 Health and Social Relationships (3 credits)

PSY 521 Principles of Life Span Psychology (3 credits)

PSY 525 Behavior Change Intervention Techniques (3 credits)

PSY 527 Eyewitness Identification (3 credits)

Concluding Comments

The website and program brochure make clear that this is a research-based masters program that is designed to prepare students for doctoral study in psychology. The curriculum of required courses and the requirement for a thesis or capstone project assist in ensuring that students who complete this program of study will be appropriately trained to move into doctoral study in psychology. Students are able to select 5 elective courses to round out their curriculum within their desired area of emphasis. The course listings indicate that the program offers at least 2 courses in the forensic psychology area, which appears slightly lean for a forensic psychology masters program. This appears to be a strong program in terms of its research emphasis and so would likely prepare a student well for doctoral study in psychology. Those students wishing for a more applied program of study wherein externship or practicum experiences are a part of the program should probably look to other masters programs.