Forensic Psychology MA

forensic psych team photo

The Forensic Psychology MA program at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is designed to offer students maximum exposure to the broad field of clinical forensic psychology through the integration of science and practice. The primary objectives of the degree are to provide a functional terminal degree for students who wish to prepare for master’s-level forensic jobs (e.g., in juvenile /adult courts, correctional settings, law enforcement, research departments, forensic psychiatric settings), and provide a springboard for students interested in pursuing advanced graduate training in forensic psychology.

The program is sequential, cumulative, and streamlined to allow students to obtain their MA degree in 1.5 years. Students complete coursework covering various areas of clinical and forensic psychology. Students gain invaluable clinical experience through the completion of a 300-hour externship placement and have the option to participate in forensic research. Students must pass comprehensive examinations in the final semester of the program.

Program Highlights

  • Typical class sizes are small (~10-15 students) in order to create a dynamic and interactive learning experience. Our student-to-faculty ratio is typically 10:1.
  • All applicants accepted to the program will pay a reduced tuition rate to ensure accessible education. Tuition for the 2023-2024 year is currently $647 per credit for a total program cost of $23,292. Please note, that the costs are subject to change; please contact the Financial Aid department for more information regarding financial costs and assistance.
  • Students have the option to participate in a week-long study abroad trip to FDU’s campus in Wroxton, England.
  • The GRE exam is not required when applying to this program, and there is no application fee for domestic applicants.
  • Students may be interested in applying for the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program, which has an optional Forensic Track. Students who attend the Forensic Psychology M.A. Program are guaranteed an interview for the Ph.D. program.

Admission Requirements

Admissions requirements for the Forensic Psychology M.A. Program are the following:

  1. Online graduate school application.
  2. Curriculum vitae.
  3. A personal statement clearly explaining your fit for the program, your interests in forensic psychology, and your career goals.
  4. Unofficial transcript(s) from all institutions attended. Applicants must have completed coursework in: Introductory Psychology, Statistics, and Psychopathology. Although there is no minimum GPA required, competitive applicants typically have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Official transcripts should be submitted at a later date upon acceptance to the program.
  5. Two letters of recommendation (preferably from professors, although one may be submitted from a supervisor from a practicum, internship, or research experience).

Application Process:

  • The deadline for submitting your online application is March 1st.
  • Official transcripts can be sent after acceptance to the program but must be submitted before July 15th.
  • Letters of recommendation should be submitted via the online application; alternatively, they can also be sent via email to or mailed to the Graduate Admissions Office.
  • There is no application fee for applying to the program for domestic applicants.
  • International applicants should contact International Admissions for information on the International Admissions process, fees, etc.

To apply, please visit:

Degree Plan

Our program utilizes a cumulative and sequential model, by which all students enter the program in the Fall semester and follow a standardized order of coursework and program requirements. The curriculum consists of 36 credits offered over 1.5 years (including one summer session). A grade of B- or higher is required for passing each of the above classes at the graduate level.

Students are required to take two comprehensive examinations (Psychopathology and Forensic Psychology) during the final semester of the program. Students must pass both examinations in order to graduate from the program.

Students must successfully complete a 300-hour externship (practicum) placement. The externship is typically completed during the 3rd (last) semester while students are completing their final 3-credit course in the program (PSYC724 Ethical Issues in Forensic Practice). Although students are only required to pay the equivalent of one 3-credit course for their externship, this field placement typically occupies the time equivalent of four courses (e.g., a minimum of 20 hours per week).

1st Semester (Fall)

  • PSYC6114 Psychopathology 
  • PSYC6230 Introduction to Forensic Psychology 
  • PSYC6231 Psychological Bases of Criminal Behavior
  • PSYC6121 Statistics and Research Methods 

2nd Semester (Spring)

  • PSYC7220 Individual and Cultural Diversity
  • PSYC7230 Forensic Assessment and Prediction
  • PSYC6130 Interviewing Techniques 
  • PSYC6227 Clinical Practice in Forensic Contexts

Summer Session

  • PSYC7244 Advanced Seminar in Forensic Psychology
  • PSYC7243 Special Topics in Forensic Psychology*

3rd Semester (Fall)

  • PSYC7234 Ethical Issues in Forensic Practice
  • PSYC7240 Externship in Forensic Psychology (3-credit course with a required minimum of 300 hours at an external site)

*Students are strongly encouraged, though not required, to enroll in the section of this course that includes a week-long trip to study in England.

Course is held fully online.

Clinical Placements

Students are required to complete a 300-hour clinical placement. Students have completed externships at a range of forensic and clinical sites, including prisons/jails, law enforcement settings, courts, psychiatric or forensic hospitals, outpatient treatment programs, private practices, and more. Students must complete and pass a background check and obtain liability insurance prior to any externship placement; the cost associated with the background check and liability insurance must be covered by the student.

Wroxton study abroad experience

Special Topics in Forensic Psychology (PSYC7243) includes an optional week-long trip to FDU’s Wroxton, England campus. Students have the opportunity to study abroad, while also partaking in a number of forensic-related and leisure activities across England.


Students have opportunities to participate in research, dependent on research assistant openings within faculty research labs. A select sample of faculty research is described below. Students may also have opportunities to become involved with research with other faculty in the School of Psychology and Counseling.

Paraphilic Interests and Disorders in the General Population

Project supported by the New Jersey Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Data was collected from over 2,500 U.S. citizens regarding self-reported paraphilic (deviant sexual) interests and disorders. Principle Investigator: Georgia Winters

Sexual Grooming Scale: Victim Version

Project supported by Fairleigh Dickinson University. Data was collected from over 1000 adult victims of child sexual abuse regarding their experiences of sexual grooming behaviors. Principle Investigator: Georgia Winters

Digital Intervention for Women with Substance Use Disorders and Unmet Need for Contraception involved in Criminal Justice Systems

Project supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Qualitative interview data being collected to inform the adaptation, and randomized controlled trial of a digital group-based intervention for women involved in criminal justice systems with substance use disorders and unmet need for contraception. Principle Investigator: Melissa Slavin

Risk Assessments and Treatment of Forensic Psychiatric Patients

Data was collected from a sample of forensic psychiatric patients, including patients’ treatment progress and risk assessments (HCR-20). Principle Investigators: Jennifer Romei

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the program have obtained employment in a range of settings, including hospital/medical centers, community mental health facilities, independent practice, correctional facilities, health maintenance organizations, academic teaching, and more. Many of our graduates have decided to pursue further education after the program (e.g., PhD or PsyD programs). Please note, that the Forensic Psychology MA program is not a licensure program; states differ in their licensure requirements at the master’s level.

Policies and Procedures

Please contact the program’s administrative assistant for a copy of the program’s student handbook. This contains information regarding student performance evaluation, termination decisions, due process, grievance procedures, and other policies and procedures. Students must also abide by the FDU’s policies and procedures.

Nondiscrimination: FDU is committed to maintaining a fair and respectful environment for living, working, and learning. To that end, and in accordance with federal and state law, the University prohibits any student, employee or third party from harassing and/or discriminating against any other member of the University community because of that person’s sex, race, creed, color, religion, handicap/disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, age, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, pregnancy status, ancestry or national origin (collectively referred to as “Protected Status”). More information on the University’s policy against discrimination can be found on the website.


Administrative Assistants

  • Robert Mezzano, Administrative Assistant (
  • Caitlin Krause, Graduate Administrative Assistant (
  • Matthew Sefcik, Graduate Administrative Assistant (


Wroxton Experience

Special Topics in Forensic Psychology includes an optional week-long trip to FDU’s Wroxton, England campus. Students have the opportunity to study abroad, while also partaking in a number of forensic-related and leisure activities across England.