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 – Marymount University

Program Description

From the website: Marymount University has been a leader in preparing individuals to be part of one of the most sought-after career fields today – forensic psychology.

Marymount was the first Washington, DC, area university to offer the Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology. And you can capitalize on the University’s alliances and proximity to key agencies important to study in this field – organizations such as the FBI, NCIS, the Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. MU integrates the resources of such agencies through site visits, courtroom observations, field research, internships, and distinguished speakers.

The discipline of forensic psychology is concerned with the application of psychological knowledge to the juvenile, civil, and criminal justice systems. Marymount’s Forensic Psychology program is interdisciplinary and combines study in sociology, criminal justice, and public policy, in addition to the many subfields of psychology. It addresses questions of value, such as how best to achieve fairness and justice in the American adversarial legal system, as well as empirical issues such as the origins of criminal behavior, problems with eyewitness testimony, evaluation of threats against public figures, personalities of political leaders, the origins of terrorism, evaluation and treatment of offenders and their victims, and the effectiveness of trial consultation. Each course incorporates an ethics component to encourage you to grapple with the extremely complicated issues involved in a career in forensic psychology.

Specializations

No concentrations are available. All students take the same series of courses (2 of which are electives for the student to choose).

Credits

The program consists of 39 credits (13 courses, including an internship experience in forensic psychology).

Thesis

Not required. It does not appear that completing a thesis is an option in this program; however, it appears that there are research opportunities available for those students who desire this experience.

Externship/Practicum

Required. Students must complete a pass/fail internship experience in forensic psychology, which consists of 300 hours (270 hours on site and 30 hours in the classroom).

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and must submit their GRE scores.

Tuition & Fees

In-State Residents

$770/credit

Out-of-State Residents

$770/credit (additional fees may apply for International Students)

Coursework

Required Coursework (39 credits)

PS 500 Research and Evaluation
PS 501 Bases of Psychopathology
PS 507 Social Psychology of Aggression
PS 517 Neuropsychological Issues, Treatments, and Assessments
PS 580 Foundations of Forensic Psychology
PS 581 Psychology and the Law
PS 582 Advanced Issues in Forensic Psychology
PS 584 Psychology of Criminal Behavior or SOC 507 Juvenile Justice
PS 585 Forensic Assessment
PS 599F Internship: Forensic Psychology
SOC 510 Theories of Social Deviance

One of the following:

CE 508 Crisis Intervention
CE 509 Substance Abuse Assessment and Intervention

One of the following:

CE 524 Theories and Techniques of Family Counseling
CE 551 Multicultural Counseling
CJ 501 Victims of Interpersonal Violence
CJ 508 Principles of Forensic Science I
CJ 509 Principles of Forensic Science II: Advanced Criminalistics
LA 500 Introduction to the Legal System
LA 590 Supervising Legal Research and Writing
LA 591 Advanced Legal Research and Writing/Computerized Legal Research
PS 529 Psychopathology of Childhood and Adolescence
PS 583 Psychology and Treatment of the Juvenile Offender
PS 586 Field Experience in Criminal Court
PS 587 Psychology, Social Policy, and Law
PS 588 Police Psychology
PS 589 Behavioral Criminology
PS 590 Issues in Criminal Assessment and Investigation
PS 591 Child Victimization
PS 592 Foundations of Political Psychology
PS 598 Project
SOC 507 Juvenile Justice
PS 584 Psychology of Criminal Behavior

Concluding Comments

The website also indicates that students in this program have the opportunity to: study abroad, in collaboration with the Forensic Psychology program at London Metropolitan University (a course is offered during alternating summers for select Marymount students); participate in ongoing research through an agreement with the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit; earn a second degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and begin the supervised experience necessary for licensure as a licensed professional counselor (LPC); and land an internship or job with a regionally or nationally recognized agency or continue further study.

This masters program is intended to prepare students for work in forensic settings. While there does not appear to be a strong emphasis on research in this program, students who are interested in conducting research can take advantage of Marymount’s ties and connections with various agencies for this purpose. Those students who are interested in becoming licensed masters-level clinicians can do so through the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, but not the Forensic Psychology program. The program offers fieldwork to provide an opportunity for students to develop practical skills. Those students who desire to continue their education at the doctoral level are advised to either select a different masters program with an emphasis on research training (preferred) or to take advantage of every opportunity to conduct research and take research methods and statistics courses while in this masters program.