Master of Arts in Forensic Mental Health Counseling

Master of Arts in Forensic Mental Health Counseling


This Program, developed within the Psychology Department, has been approved by New York State as a "license eligible" academic program. It satisfies the state's educational requirements leading toward professional licensure as a Mental Health Counselor, with a specialization in forensics. It develops skills in interviewing, counseling, and assessment, based upon established principles and research regarding human development, personality, psychopathology, and counseling. Students will be uniquely prepared to work towards licensure as counselors in prisons, juvenile detention centers, probation and parole agencies, and social service agencies that counsel and assess adolescents and adults at risk for criminal behavior. The program offers research opportunities for those students interested in pursuing doctoral education; as well as related courses leading to a certificate as a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC).

Degree Requirements
The degree requires 60 credits. The program will contain a group of twelve required courses (36 credits); three to six forensic mental health electives (9-18- credits); two permitted cognate courses (0-6 credits) for particularized student interests; plus a 600 hour (6 credits) supervised fieldwork internship. Beginning students will be expected to complete courses in Introduction to Forensic Mental Health Counseling; Mental Health Professionals, Social Science and the Law; Psychopathology; Intermediate Statistics; and Research Methods, before the completion of their first 30 credits.

* PSY 790 is required of those students who transferred credits or graduated from the MA program in Forensic Psychology before the FMHC Program was registered in September 2008.

Please see the Graduate Bulletin for course descriptions.

Required Courses                                        Subtotal: 36 credits

PSY 700 – Mental Health Professionals, Social Science, and the Law
PSY 715 – Research Methods and Design
PSY 731 – Human Growth and Development
PSY 741 – Theories of Personality and Counseling
PSY 745 – Psychopathology
PSY 755 – Introduction to Forensic Mental Health Counseling
PSY 758 - Clinical Instruction
PSY 760 – Counseling and Psychotherapy Methods
PSY 761 – Clinical Interviewing and Assessment
PSY 765 – Group Dynamics and Treatment
PSY 769 – Intermediate Statistics in the Social Sciences
PSY 795 - Introduction to Assessment


Required Supervised Internship                   Subtotal: 6 credits

PSY 780 – Fieldwork in Counseling I
PSY 781 – Fieldwork in Counseling II

Psychology 780 and 781 must have completed Clinical Instruction (PSY 758) as a prerequisite.


Forensic Mental Health Electives                   Subtotal: 9-18 credits

All Departmental courses numbered 800-899 also satisfy forensic mental health counseling elective distribution requirements

PSY 701 – Criminal Behavior
PSY 703 – Violence and Aggression
PSY 705 – Victimology
PSY 707 – Counseling and Rehabilitation of the Offender
PSY 708 – Crisis Intervention and Short-term Counseling
PSY 714 – Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
PSY 716 – Assessment and Counseling of the Juvenile Offender
PSY 718 – Social Science Evidence in Court
PSY 720 – Social Psychology and the Legal System
PSY 722 – Evaluation and Counseling of the Sex Offender
PSY 726 – Mental Health Issues in Policing
PSY 727 – Eyewitness Identification
PSY 729 – Terrorism
PSY 730 – Ethical Issues in Forensic Mental Health

PSY 733 – Dissociation and Trauma
PSY 734 – Criminal Psychological Assessment
PSY 739 – Clinical Crime Scene Analysis
PSY 742 – Family Violence and Disputes
PSY 746 – Empirical Profiling Methods
PSY 748 – Empirical Crime Scene Analysis
PSY 751 – Intellectual and Cognitive Assessment
PSY 752 – Projective Personality Assessment
PSY 753 – Objective Personality Assessment
PSY 754 – Advanced Forensic Assessment
PSY 766 – Personality Profiles of the Homicidal Offender
PSY 779 – Brain and Behavior


Forensic Mental Health Thesis Track Electives           Subtotal: 0-9 credits

PSY 737 – Descriptive and Statistical Data Analysis in Psychology
PSY 738 – Advanced Research Methods
PSY 791 – Prospectus Seminar

Students interested in the thesis track must obtain approval from a full-time faculty mentor serving as a thesis sponsor before enrolling in PSY 791. They must also achieve a grade of A or A- (or the permission of a thesis sponsor and the Program Director) in Psychology 715, 737, 738, and 769 before PSY 791 enrollment.

CASAC Track Electives                        Subtotal: 0-9 credits

PSY 714 – Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
CRJ 714 – Social Aspects of Alcoholism and Drug Use
PSY 730 – Ethical Issues in Forensic Mental Health

Students pursuing the Credential in Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counseling (CASAC) must complete their fieldwork requirements (PSY 780 and 781) in a OASAS-licensed facility. They must also complete five undergraduate courses in the John Jay CASAC program, in addition to the 60 credits required for the MA in Forensic Mental Health Counseling.1

Cognate Courses                                   Subtotal: 0-6 credits

Students may enroll in up to two additional graduate courses offered at John Jay College, including those courses in the MA Programs in Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Forensic Computing, or Public Administration.

1. Additional undergraduate courses required for the credential include Sociology 161, Chemical Dependency and the Dysfunctional Family; Psychology 268, Therapeutic Interventions in Chemical Dependency; Psychology 255, Group Dynamics in chemical Dependency counseling; Psychology 331, Assessment and Clinical Evaluation in Chemical Dependency Counseling; and Counseling 350, Advanced Topics in chemical Dependency Counseling.