Forensic Psychology Concentration

William James College (WJC) provides an opportunity for students in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program to pursue a concentration in Forensic Psychology. The American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS; Division 41 of the American Psychological Association) defines forensic psychology as “all professional practice by any psychologist working within any subdiscipline of psychology...when the intended purpose of the service is to apply the scientific, technical, or specialized knowledge of psychology to the law and to use that knowledge to assist in solving legal, contractual, and administrative problems.” 

The forensic psychology concentration seeks to expand upon the general clinical knowledge and training that students receive at William James College, by further providing specialized knowledge and training in areas such as civil matters (e.g., divorce child custody evaluations; lawsuits involving employment, personal injury, discrimination, professional malpractice, and other matters; child protection cases; involuntary civil commitment, etc.) and criminal matters (e.g., capacity to waive Miranda rights, competence to stand trial, criminal responsibility, aid in sentencing, transfer of juveniles to adult criminal court, etc.). Forensic psychologists may also be engaged in providing “real time” threat assessments, risk assessment and management evaluations for violent and/or sexual offenders. Finally, opportunities are provided for education in the areas of correctional and police psychology.

Enrollment Process

The doctoral Forensic Psychology (FP) Concentration is open to Clinical Psychology Students. There is a yearly internal info-session scheduled before the Thanksgiving Break that provides students with an overview of the FP concentration and the declaration process.

Qualified applicants will have resolved any incomplete grades and are in good academic standing. Applications begin in the fall of year 2 (or year 1 for advanced standing students) with the understanding that the student will be seeking forensically-related field education training in their third year.

To enroll, students must download the Concentration Declaration Form from the Registrar's Office webpage on MyCampus. The declaration form must be signed by the student's advisor first. The student will then schedule a meeting with the Concentration Director to review Concentration expectations and develop an individualized sequencing for Concentration completion.

Curriculum Map
Required Concentration Courses (8 credits)
CLI MH520 - Law and Mental Health (credits: 2)
CLI MH512 - Forensic Psychology I: Children and Families (credits: 2) 
CLI MH513 - Forensic Psychology II: Adults (credits: 2) 
CLI MH601 - Adult Forensic Assessment (credits: 2) 

Concentration Co-requisites
CLI SB522 - Addictive Disorders: Theory and Treatment (credits: 2) 

Additional Electives
CLI MH515 - Advanced Topics in Forensic Psychology (credits: 2) 
CLI MH550 - Consultation and Testimony for the Professional Psychologist (credits: 2) 
CLI MH630 - Police Psychology (credits: 2) 
COU FS501 - Sex Offender Evaluation and Treatment (credits: 3) (offered in the Master of Arts in Forensic and Counseling Psychology program)
Other courses may be approved by the Concentration Director for concentration credit.

Click here for a Sample Curriculum Map

Field Education Requirements (10 credits)
In their 3rd year, students must spend one year at a site related to forensic work. Pre-doctoral internship sites include outpatient treatment clinics, child, adolescent or adult treatment facilities, court clinics, forensic hospital units or hospital units with forensic beds, correctional facilities, legal advocacy agencies, forensic residential treatment facilities, among others. Students will gain experience in assessment, evaluation, testing and treatment methods that will prepare students to work with a diverse forensic populations. Through consultation with the concentration director, students may also choose to complete a second forensic placement in year four.

Doctoral Project Requirements (10 credits)
Students accepted into the Forensic Psychology concentration are required to complete a Doctoral Project germane to the specialty field of Forensic Psychology.
Additional Requirements

Students in the Forensic Psychology concentration are strongly encouraged to present research or theoretical contributions at a forensic psychology professional conference.

Upon completion of all clinical doctoral program and forensic psychology concentration requirements, the student will be acknowledged and receive a Certificate of completion in Forensic Psychology at graduation.

Christina Harms, BA, JD
Gerald Sweet, PhD
Joseph A. Toomey, PhD
Robert Kinscherff, PhD, Esq.
Robin Deutsch, PhD, ABPP

Click here to read about the Program Director, Joseph Toomey. Please click here to connect with him if you have any questions about the program.

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