Forensic Psychology Concentration
PsyD in Clinical Psychology

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.

Forensic Psychology Concentration 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.

Forensic Psychology Concentration Curriculum Map

Required Concentration Courses (9 credits)
CLI MH520 - Law and Mental Health (credits: 2)
CLI MH512 - Children, Families and the Law (credits: 2) 
CLI MH513 - Adult Forensic Psychology (credits: 2) 
CLI MH625 - Forensic Assessment (credits: 3) 

Optional Electives
CLI MH515 - Advanced Topics in Forensic Psychology (credits: 2) 
CLI MH630 - Police Psychology (credits: 2) 
CLI FS601 - Sex Offender Evaluation and Treatment (credits: 3) 
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 or 4th 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 though this is generally not recommended.

Doctoral Project Requirements (10 credits)
Students accepted into the Forensic Psychology concentration are required to complete a Doctoral Project. The Doctoral Project need not be germane to the specialty field of Forensic Psychology.

Forensic Psychology Concentration Faculty

Terrie Burda, PsyD
Lindsey Davis, PhD
Tracy L. Fass, JD, PhD
Shannon Kelley, PhD
Robert Kinscherff, PhD, JD
Kimberly Larson, JD, PhD
Jessica Greenwald O'Brien, PhD
Joseph A. Toomey, PhD

Joseph Toomey and Tracy Fass are program co-directors. Please contact Tracy Fass if you have any questions about the program.

For More Information on Our Clinical Psychology Program

Would you like to learn more about our clinical psychology program or the admissions process? Request information here and select the track that most interests you.

Want to hear more and have the opportunity for a live Q&A with faculty and staff? Sign up for the next webinar.

Prefer to talk to someone who's been there, done that? Contact one of our Student Ambassadors for the clinical psychology program to get a student's views.

Our Clinical Psychology Department faculty and staff are available to answer your questions. Prospective students are welcome to contact directly the Concentration Director or the Department Chair with questions about the program or to discuss your career and academic goals.

Learn more about Forensic Psychology Degree Programs at William James College.

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