MASTER OF SCIENCES (MS) IN FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY
In the U.S. forensic graduates obtain master's-level psychology jobs in agencies and institutions such as prisons, juvenile facilities, social service agencies, police departments, child care agencies, probation, parole, family court, addiction services, hospitals, and community mental health centers. Some students get jobs as forensic researchers doing studies and evaluations of at-risk populations. A few graduates will be accepted in federal law enforcement agencies after earning the Master's degree. You would expect to see forensic graduates working in the following areas: secure forensic units in state facilities, jails/prisons, probation services, court service units, community mental health centers, protective services, violence risk assessment, specialized agencies (i.e. child advocacy centers), law enforcement, and trial consulting. The M.S. degree in forensic psychology will also allow some students to advance to doctoral programs in forensic psychology, forensic science, and law school.
Students in the M.S. Forensic Psychology Program at UND are required to complete 44 credits. This includes 26 credits of required course work, 12 credits of elective courses, and a minimum of 6 credit-hours for thesis work. The Forensic Psychology Program does not have a comprehensive examination.
Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a behavioral or social science major allied with psychology, e.g., psychology, criminal justice, sociology, counseling, social work. Applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination, including the Advanced Examination in Psychology. Advanced students who have earned, or will earn, a graduate degree in psychology, counseling, social work, sociology, any related behavioral science can also apply. Applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or above, or a graduate GPA > 3.75; an analytic GRE writing test score > 2.5; and Verbal & Quantitative GRE scores must both equal or exceed the 30th percentile. Applicant must also submit three letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and an essay. Applicants not meeting these standards may be admitted on a provisional basis with continued enrollment contingent on successful performance in the program. A 250-300 words essay discussing reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in forensic psychology is required as part of the admissions material to be submitted. Three letters of recommendation from those who can comment on the applicant's academic abilities are also required. Consideration will be given for experience working in forensic areas or participating in research as an assistant prior to the program application.
The required application material must be received by the Graduate School by January 15.
The Admissions Committee will evaluate applicant's most recent GRE scores. GRE scores in excess of five years old will be rated, but applicants who are ultimately in a position to receive an offer of admission must first retake the exam and successfully meet the department's minimum requirements with the updated scores. Applicants will be given the minimum points for the GRE Subject test or letters of recommendation if they are not available once the application deadline has passed.
The top applicants will be invited to visit the UND Psychology Department in late February or early March of each year for our annual open house. The open house begins early on a Friday morning and ends around noon on Saturday. An orientation meeting will be provided by department administrators along with a brief presentation by each faculty member regarding his or her research interests. You will also be provided an opportunity to request individual meetings with faculty members of interest on Saturday morning. An interview with two or more members of the Admissions Committee will be completed.
Required Core Classes: Total = 32 credits
• Psy 520 – Foundations of Forensic Psychology (3cr)
• Psy 521 – Diversity Psychology (3cr)
• Psy 524 – Psychology & Law (3cr)
• Psy 541 – Advanced Univariate Statistics (3cr)
• Psy 542 – Multivariate Analysis (3cr)
• Psy 543 – Experimental Design (3cr)
• Psy 575 – Behavior Pathology (3cr)
• Psy 587 – Supervised Field Work (2cr)
• Psy 593 – Readings in Psychology (3cr)
• Psy 998 – Thesis (6-9cr)
Electives: Minimum Required = 12 credits
• Psy 501 – Psychological Foundations of Education (3cr)
• Psy 526 – Psychological Profiling & Criminal Behavior (3cr)
• Psy 539 – Cognitive Psychology (3cr)
• Psy 560 – Advanced Social Psychology (3cr)
• Psy 572 – Community Psychology (3cr)
• Psy 576 – Child Psychopathology & Treatment (3cr)
• Psy 594 – Special Topics: Conflict Management (3cr)
• Psy 594 – Special Topics: Neuropsychology (3cr)
• Psy 594 – Special Topics: Psychopharmocology (3cr)
• CJ 515 – Human Nature & Crime (3cr)
• CJ 535 – Seminar in Juvenile Justice (3cr)
• CJ 565 – Victimology (3cr)
Note: The student’s Advisory Committee will also consider other graduate classes as appropriate electives on a case-by-case basis. Students who have a strong psychology undergraduate background may, after review by the Committee, be permitted to substitute an appropriate forensic psychology elective for a required course.
Graduate Admissions. This takes you to the Graduate School admissions site. For admissions criteria specific to the forensic psychology program, see below.
Faculty. Contains information about the faculty in the psychology department.
Forensic Program Contact: Professor Douglas P. Peters
Phone: (701) 777-3648.
Facsimile: (701) 777-3454
Campus mail: Address to Professor Douglas P. Peters, Department of Psychology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202