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 – The College of Saint Elizabeth

Program Description

From the website: The M.A. in Forensic Psychology and Counseling program is a 48-credit, cohort-based program offered over a 2-1⁄2 year time frame. By offering a solid curriculum that focuses on counseling, evaluation and treatment, the program prepares graduates for a career in providing counseling services to those involved in the criminal justice system.

The mission of the program is to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge they need to provide effective, high quality mental health counseling and evaluation services in a variety of forensic settings. By building on the strong curriculum and success established in the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology the program will balance traditional knowledge of counseling with the understanding, evaluation, and treatment of adult and juvenile offenders, as well as the victims of crime and domestic violence. The curriculum would prepare graduates to work in a number of settings such as juvenile detention centers, secure forensic units in state facilities, community mental health centers, jails/prison, probation services, court service units, protective services, violence risk assessment, and specialized agencies such as child advocacy centers.

Specializations

No concentrations are available. The program is a Masters in Forensic Psychology and Counseling.

Credits

The program consists of 48 credit hours, which the student takes over the course of 2 ½ years. The curriculum consists of 24 credit hours that are shared with the Masters in Counseling Psychology program as well as 21 credits of Forensic Psychology courses and a 3-credit course in Justice Studies.

Thesis

Not required.

Externship/Practicum

Required. Students complete both a practicum and field experience in counseling psychology.

Admission Requirements

From the website: Graduate programs in Psychology are coeducational. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree, with a minimum of 12 credits in psychology, which includes:

  • General Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology (Child Development, Adolescent Development, Adult Development or Life Span Development course)
  • Theories of Personality and Psychopathology (Abnormal Psychology)
  • Elementary Statistics and Experimental Psychology are prerequisite courses for PSY 63: Research Methods and Advanced Statistics

The baccalaureate degree must be from an accredited undergraduate institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).

Students will be invited for an interview based on their academic achievement, letters of reference, personal statement and relevant experiences. The interview will include a case review and a standardized personality assessment. Transfer of credit into the graduate program will be subject to evaluation and approval by the program director.

All graduate transfer credits must carry a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). A maximum of 10 transfer credits will be accepted for the master’s in counseling psychology program.

The GRE is not required.

Tuition & Fees

In-State Residents

$899/credit hour

Out-of-State Residents

$899/credit hour

Coursework

Core Coursework shared with Counseling Psychology (24 credits)

PSY 620 The Helping Relationship in Counseling

PSY 631 Research Methods and Advanced Statistics

PSY 633 Counseling Theories and Methods I

PSY 637 Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Communication

PSY 641 Psychopathology and Diagnosis

PSY 651 Substance Abuse Counseling

PSY 671 Counseling Theories III: Practicum

PSY 691 Counseling Theories IV: Field Experience

PSY 699 Culminating Project

Core Coursework in Forensic Psychology (21 credits)

PSY 621 Introduction to Forensic Psychology

PSY 622 Violence and risk assessment

PSY 623 Trauma and Crisis Intervention

PSY 624 Psychological Assessment for Forensic Psychology I:

PSY 625 Psychological Assessment for Forensic

PSY 626 Evaluation and treatment of Juvenile Offenders

PSY 627 Evaluation and treatment of Adult Offenders

PSY 628 The Social Psychology of Crime and Criminal Behavior

Core Coursework in Justice Studies (3 credits)

JUS 620 Law and Legal Systems

Concluding Comments

The College of Saint Elizabeth offers a Masters in Forensic Psychology and Counseling program that prepares students to work in various forensic and criminal justice settings, providing a variety of psychological services. The website does not provide any information regarding whether this program is licensure-eligible; however, a review of the curriculum suggests that students who complete this program may be eligible to apply for masters-level licensure in counseling psychology in those states that offer this level of licensure. The program is practice-oriented, as opposed to having a strong emphasis on research, so those students thinking about completing a masters program as an entree into doctoral-level study are advised to consider other programs with a stronger emphasis on research and that require a thesis.