Master of Arts in Forensic & Counseling Psychology (MA)
Graduates of the MA Forensic Psychology program will have fulfilled all the educational requirements to qualify for LMHC licensure in Massachusetts.
There is great need for professionals trained specifically to provide mental health and substance abuse assessment and treatment services to individuals involved with the criminal justice system.
In 2000*, an estimated 57% of Federal inmates and 21% of State inmates were serving a sentence for a drug offense; about 10% of Federal inmates and 49% of State inmates were in prison for a violent offense. More than 50% of the women in jail said they had been physically or sexually abused in the past, compared to more than 10% of the men. In 2002*, over 1 in 3 State prisoners, 1 in 4 Federal prisoners, and 1 in 6 jail inmates who had a mental health problem had received treatment since admission. Nearly a quarter of both State prisoners and jail inmates who had a mental health problem, compared to a fifth of those without, had served 3 or more prior incarcerations. In 2007*, over 7.3 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at year end -- 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 31 adults.
*Data from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics
This program examines the relationship between psychology and the legal system, and trains students at this intersection as it relates to applying psychological principles to legal issues in judicial, correctional, clinical, administrative, and education systems. The full-time two-year course of study combines intensive on-site weekends and online learning over a two-year period. Although the primary goal is to prepare master’s level clinicians, this program will also provide students with some of the necessary foundations for pursuing further graduate study. Graduates of this program will have fulfilled all educational requirements to qualify for licensure in the state of Massachusetts as Mental Health Counselors (LMHC).
“Students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Forensic & Counseling Psychology are trained to work as master’s level practitioners with individuals, families and systems that interface with the legal and criminal justice arena. Our aim is to prepare clinicians who will be able to assess, treat, consult and apply counseling psychology in forensic settings. When so many individuals involved with the criminal justice system have great need for trained professionals in this area, we are providing clinicians that are thoroughly trained and sensitive to their particular challenges.”
—Nilda M. Laboy, Psy.D.
Head, Counseling Psychology Department
MSPP integrates rigorous academic instruction with extensive field education and professional development assistance. We believe that the best learning comes from integrating classroom knowledge with hands-on experience. The curriculum provides for an understanding of theory, training, and practice of forensic counseling psychology. We emphasize the development of professionals who are committed to the ethical provisions of quality services to culturally diverse clients, agencies, and organizations.
“I chose MSPP because of the small class size and the individual attention from faculty. The blended-learning format adds flexibility to the classroom. It allows me to work on my own time towards the due date at the end of the week and gives me more time for my internship without feeling overwhelmed.”
—Hayley Nemiroff, Forensic Psychology Program
The Master of Arts in Forensic & Counseling Psychology enables graduates to work in fields that utilize the study and practice of forensic counseling psychology, including court clinics, secured forensic units, correctional facilities, child advocacy centers, forensic assessment, and treatment facilities, in addition to being prepared to work in general counseling settings.