2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    May 28, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Forensic Psychology, MA

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The Master of Arts degree in Forensic Psychology is designed to prepare graduates with the necessary skills and the knowledge base that will allow them to work in a variety of forensic settings including probation and parole, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, offender treatment programs, and victim and witness assistance programs.

This program provides the student with a comprehensive view of the critical relationship between the legal system and clinical psychology, specifically focusing on the practice of psychology within the legal system.

The course of study is also designed to provide the student with an overview of the practice of forensic psychology: to understand the important issues in the field, to explore the critical relationship between the legal system and clinical psychology, and to better understand the relationship and application of psychological theories and practice to the field of law enforcement.

Students will complete an external practicum placement in the local community which will serve to hone the skills of students and enhance their knowledge of occupational and career opportunities available in the private and public sectors.

An abbreviated, complementary version of this program can also be completed as an additional concentration within the Counseling Psychology program. The Forensic Psychology concentration will prepare graduates to function as effective clinicians in a variety of professional counseling and forensic settings. Graduates of the concentration will have developed the skills, knowledge and experience to provide ethical and effective evaluation and therapeutic services in a variety of forensic settings. The program establishes an excellent balance between traditional counseling and a specialized understanding of the legal and judicial systems.

Admission Requirements

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology Admission Requirements

Admission standards for graduate studies at California Baptist University can be found in the Admissions section of the University Catalog. Admission to the Forensic Psychology program at California Baptist University is at the discretion of the Graduate Faculty. Specific application requirements for the Forensic Psychology program are:

  1. Grade Point Average
    • A minimum 3.0 GPA for unconditional admission and a minimum 2.75 GPA for conditional admission
    • Applicants with a GPA below 2.75 may be considered for admission with the presentation of a minimum combined score of 300 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  2. Prerequisites (completed with a “C” or better)
    • General Psychology
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Methods of Research
    • Outstanding prerequisite coursework must be completed within the first two semesters of graduate enrollment
  3. Three Recommendations, completed on forms provided, from sources who can address your potential for success. It is preferred at least one recommendation be from a professor or instructor. Family members and friends may not complete recommendations
  4. Comprehensive Essay of at least 500 words that includes the following elements:
    • Purpose for entering the program
    • Religious background, present pattern of spiritual growth, fundamentals of personal faith and the relationship between your faith and professional goals
    • Reasons for choosing to study at California Baptist University
    • Influences that have shaped your present values and approach to life
    • Include in your essay a response to this question: “Have you ever received psychiatric treatment or counseling, yes or no?” If yes, please provide a brief explanation
  5. Successful interview(s) with the Director of the Forensic Psychology program

Program Requirements (57 units)

Thesis/Comprehensive Exam Requirement

The Thesis is a traditional academic research paper and should be completed concurrent with the student’s last semester of the program. Students should contact the program director for details regarding the selection of the committee and the procedure for approval. Students graduating from the non-thesis track will be required to successfully complete a seven (7) hour written comprehensive examination. Information regarding content and format of the examination may be obtained from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Forensic Practicum

Students will complete a nine month Practicum where they will receive practical experience and on-site supervision in a forensic setting related to their individual interests and career goals (e.g., rape crisis center, Department of Children and Family Services Counseling Center, juvenile court, metropolitan and county law enforcement agencies, probation departments, California Department of Prisons).

Practicum Admission

Students entering the two semester Practicum requirement occurring in the last year of the student’s program must complete the following requirements:

  1. Admission to Practicum will be a faculty decision based on grades, evaluation of the Practicum application, and placement approval.
  2. A written appeal process will be instituted in the event that a student is not considered ready for Practicum.

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