2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin

Forensic Mental Health Counseling, Master of Arts

Program Director: Professor Chitra Raghavan

This program, developed within the Department of Psychology, has been approved by New York State as a “license eligible” academic program. It satisfies the state’s educational requirements for 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 contains 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 are expected to complete the following courses before the completion of their first 30 credits:

  1. Introduction to Forensic Mental Health Counseling (PSY 755);
  2. Mental Health Professionals, Social Science and the Law (PSY 700);
  3. Psychopathology (PSY 745);
  4. Intermediate Statistics in the Social Sciences (PSY 769);
  5. Research Design and Methods (PSY 715).

Permission from the program director and completion of PSY 791 is required for those who hope to complete their degree with a thesis. In addition, enrollment in PSY 791 is open only to students who received an A or A- in PSY 715, PSY 737, PSY 738 and PSY 769. Students should take PSY 715 and PSY 769 in their first semester and the other two courses during their second semester. There is no qualifying exam for this degree.

* 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.

Required Courses

PSY 700Mental Health Professionals, Social Science and the Law

3

PSY 715Research Design and Methods

3

PSY 731Human Growth and Development

3

PSY 741Theories of Personality and Counseling

3

PSY 745Psychopathology

3

PSY 755Introduction to Forensic Mental Health Counseling

3

PSY 758Clinical Instruction

3

PSY 760Counseling and Psychotherapy Methods

3

PSY 761Clinical Interviewing and Assessment

3

PSY 765Group Dynamics and Group Treatment

3

PSY 769Intermediate Statistics in the Social Sciences

3

PSY 795Introduction to Assessment

3

Total Credit Hours:36

Required Supervised Internship

PSY 780Fieldwork in Counseling I

3

PSY 781Fieldwork in Counseling II

3

Total Credit Hours:6

Note: Students enrolling in PSY 780 and PSY 781 must have completed Clinical Instruction (PSY 758) as a prerequisite.

Forensic Mental Health Electives

Note: All departmental courses numbered 800-899 also satisfy forensic mental health counseling elective distribution requirements.

PSY 701Criminal Behavior

3

PSY 703Violence and Aggression

3

PSY 705Victimology

3

PSY 707Counseling and Rehabilitation of the Offender

3

PSY 708Crisis Intervention and Short-term Counseling

3

PSY 714Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

3

PSY 716Assessment and Counseling of the Juvenile Offender

3

PSY 718Social Science Evidence in Court

3

PSY 720Social Psychology and the Legal System

3

PSY 722Evaluation and Counseling of the Sex Offender

3

PSY 726Mental Health Issues in Policing

3

PSY 727Eyewitness Identification

3

PSY 729Terrorism

3

PSY 730Ethical Issues in Forensic Mental Health

3

PSY 730Ethical Issues in Forensic Mental Health

3

PSY 734Criminal Psychological Assessment

3

PSY 739Clinical Crime Scene Analysis

3

PSY 742Family Violence and Disputes

3

PSY 746Empirical Profiling Methods

3

PSY 748Empirical Crime Scene Analysis

3

PSY 751Intellectual and Cognitive Assessment

3

PSY 752Projective Personality Assessment

3

PSY 753Objective Personality Assessment

3

PSY 754Advanced Forensic Assessment

3

PSY 766Personality Profiles of the Homicidal Offender

3

PSY 779Brain and Behavior

3

PSY 790Psychology Seminar in Selected Topics

3

Total Credit Hours:9-18

Forensic Mental Health Thesis Track Electives

PSY 737Descriptive and Statistical Data Analysis in Psychology

3

PSY 738Advanced Research Methods

3

PSY 791Prospectus Seminar

3

Total Credit Hours:0-9

Note: 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- in PSY 715, PSY 737, PSY 738 and PSY 769 (or the permission of a thesis sponsor and the program director) before PSY 791 enrollment.

Cognate Courses

Students may enroll in up to two additional graduate courses offered at John Jay College, including those courses in the Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity, Public Administration or other master’s degree programs.

Total Credit Hours:0-6

Victim Counseling Specialization

All students who elect this specialization are required to take the following 6 courses in lieu of Forensic Mental Health Electives. Students in this concentration may not also write a thesis.
PSY 705Victimology

3

PSY 708Crisis Intervention and Short-term Counseling

3

PSY 730Ethical Issues in Forensic Mental Health

3

PSY 742Family Violence and Disputes

3

PSY 773Child Abuse and Neglect

3

PSY 774Advanced Issues in Victim Counseling and Psychotherapy

3

Total Credit Hours:18

CASAC Track Electives

The CASAC track fulfills many but not all of the NY State mandated requirements to become a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor. Details may be found at https://www.oasas.ny.gov/sqa/credentialing/casacreq.cfm and through the Psychology Department CASAC Advisor. 

CRJ 714Social Aspects of Alcohol and Drug Use

3

PSY 714Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

3

PSY 730Ethical Issues in Forensic Mental Health

3

Total Credit Hours:0-9

Note: Students pursuing the Credential in Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counseling (CASAC) must complete their fieldwork requirements (PSY 780 and PSY 781) in an 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.

Note: Additional undergraduate courses required for the credential include SOC 161 (Chemical Dependency and the Dysfunctional Family), PSY 268 (Therapeutic Interventions in Chemical Dependency), PSY 255 (Group Dynamics in Chemical Dependency Counseling), PSY 331 (Assessment and Clinical Evaluation in Chemical Dependency Counseling) and CSL 350 (Advanced Topics in Chemical Dependency Counseling).

Total Credit Hours: 60