John Jay College of Criminal Justice Offers MA in Forensic Psychology
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice, located in midtown Manhattan, is a college of the City University of New York (CUNY). Founded in 1964 as the College of Police Science (COPS) of CUNY, it was renamed the following year in honor of the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court. The college houses numerous world-renowned research centers and institutes focused on crime and justice. Graduate admission is competitive, attracting law enforcement professionals worldwide. "US News and World Report" ranks the John Jay CUNY graduate program in criminology among the top 10 nationally and the John Jay CUNY graduate program in public affairs among the top 20% nationally. Faculty at John Jay CUNY includes two Pulitzer Prize winners, seven Distinguished Professors, and three Presidential Scholars. Notable alumni include forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee, who consulted on the O.J. Simpson, Laci Peterson, and Jon-Benet Ramsay murder investigations; Pauly Perrette, actor best known for her role on the TV series "NCIS;" and Jennings Michael Burch, author of the 1984 best-selling memoir, "They Cage the Animals at Night."
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology (MA) Overview
The Master of Arts (MA) in Forensic Psychology degree program at John Jay CUNY trains practitioners to provide psychology services to and within the criminal and civil justice systems and also prepares students for doctoral studies in forensic psychology. The curriculum focuses on understanding, evaluating, and treating both offenders and victims. Students gain an advanced understanding of psychological development and psychopathology, personality assessment, psychotherapeutic techniques, and associated research methods. Students in the program come from diverse backgrounds. Most are recent college graduates with psychology degrees who have had no prior training in forensic psychology and want to pursue careers in that field. Some pursue graduate study in forensic psychology as an academic stepping-stone to highly selective doctoral or law degree programs. Others are in-service professionals from municipal, state, and federal agencies seeking career advancement within their particular agency. Graduates of the program obtain master's level psychology jobs in prisons, juvenile facilities, social service agencies, police departments, childcare agencies, probation, parole, family court, addiction services, hospitals, and community mental health centers. Some are accepted into federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, Naval Intelligence Service, US Customs, and the US Secret Service.
MA Degree Program Requirements
Students in the MA in Forensic Psychology degree program satisfy the degree requirements with 42 credits of coursework and either a three-credit thesis or a 300-hour externship in an approved psychological setting under the supervision of a licensed psychologist or other approved mental health professional. Required coursework comprises 24 credits and includes Mental Health Professionals, Social Science and Law; Psychopathology; Brain and Behavior; Theories of Personality and Counseling; and Clinical Interviewing and Assessment. Students complete nine to 15 credits of forensic psychology electives that include Counseling and Rehabilitation of the Offender; Victimology; Eyewitness Identification; and Personality Profiles of the Homicidal Offender. Up to six credits are required in general psychology courses and cognate courses. Among these are Social Psychopathology; Ethical Issues in Forensic Mental Health; Family Violence and Disputes; and Behavior Modification and Learning Theory. Students may substitute any additional required course or forensic psychology elective for cognates. They may also substitute appropriate courses offered in any John Jay CUNY graduate program.
Thesis, Externship, or Combination
Students who select the thesis track must complete the Forensic Prospectus Seminar, which requires prior approval by a fulltime faculty member serving as thesis sponsor, and permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies. Students who elect to complete their degree with an externship must complete the three-credit, 300-hour Fieldwork in Counseling. Students may elect to satisfy degree requirements with a thesis/externship combination by satisfying all the requirements of the thesis and completing the fieldwork.
The Department of Psychology faculty at John Jay CUNY comprises experts in research, scholarship, and teaching. Most are certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology as clinical or forensic psychologists and bring extensive experience working in the forensic psychology field as clinicians in hospitals, family court, and as consultants to police departments. A number of faculty members hold both a doctoral degree in psychology and a law degree. Many regularly publish scholarly research, articles, and books on a wide variety of topics and issues impacting psychological practice in law enforcement, the legal justice system, and civic and social systems. Distinguished faculty include Dr. Diana M. Falkenbach, who is currently working on several research projects considering psychopathic traits in police, the FBI, and corporate samples; Dr. Gwendolyn L. Gerber, an expert in gender issues in forensic psychology, police psychology, gender stereotyping, and sexual assault; and Dr. Matthew Barry Johnson, a scholar and researcher in the areas of interrogation and confession, wrongful conviction, mental status defenses, and parental rights termination in family court.
John Jay CUNY awards financial aid to eligible students in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, and student employment.
Degrees & Awards
Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Thesis Alternate accepted
|Master's Degree Exam||GRE General Test|
|Master's Degree Requirements||Minimum B average in major|
TOEFL Paper score: 500
Tuition & Fees
|Financial award applicants must submit:||FAFSA|
|Types of financial support available||
Scholarship and/or loans
|Black or African American||11.37%|
|White or Caucasian||63%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||0%|
|Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander||Not Reported|
|Two or more races||Not Reported|