Accredited Forensic Psychology Schools and Programs in Massachusetts [2024]

One of the fastest-growing areas of study and practice in psychology is in forensics. Interest in this field has greatly expanded as popular TV shows and movies have romanticized the role of forensic psychologists in catching criminals. Though reality is much different from TV, the fact remains that forensic psychology is a very exciting field.

Aside from that, forensic psychology offers many different opportunities to get a degree. This is true in all states, including Massachusetts. There are programs in the Bay State at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. What’s more, several in-state schools offer on-campus programs.

Additionally, you can get a forensic psychology degree online from out-of-state schools, making it easy to get the education you need to become a forensic psychologist.

Forensic Psychology Graduate Programs in Massachusetts

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering forensic psychology programs in Massachusetts:

  • William James College
  • Capella University
  • Westfield State University
  • University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Purdue Global

William James College

William James College was founded in 1974 as a specialist psychology school. The mission to prepare students to provide effective, culturally-competent services is the same today, though the school offers more programs than ever to accomplish that goal.

For example, you can pursue degrees in Applied Behavioral Analysis, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, or School Psychology. Other options include Organizational Psychology, Leadership Psychology, and Forensic Psychology.

You can pursue different degree levels at William James College as well. The school offers multiple undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral options. Your course of study at each of these levels includes on-campus classes as well as ample opportunities to learn off-campus.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at William James College offers a Forensic and Correctional Counseling area of emphasis that prepares you for work with clients in the criminal justice system. As part of your training, you will learn how to consult with other professionals, assess clients, and develop treatment plans that address your clients’ mental health needs.

This 60-credit program includes a core clinical curriculum that introduces you to advanced topics of clinical practice. You will take courses like:

  • Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Psychological Assessment for Counselors
  • Diversity, Difference and Inclusion
  • Group Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Research and Program Evaluation

This program additionally requires you to take forensic-specific psychology courses, such as Criminal Behavior, Sex Offender Evaluation and Treatment, and Counseling in the Legal System.

Furthermore, you must complete several practicum and internship experiences. These experiences give you structured, mentored practice in working with clients of varying ages and mental health needs in various clinical settings.

You can apply for the fall cohort or spring cohort online. To do so, you must already have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. As part of your application, you must submit the following:

  • A $60 application fee
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you’ve attended
  • An application essay
  • Three letters of recommendation

Westfield State University

Westfield State University was founded in 1856 by Horace Mann. The school has the distinction of being the first in the United States to offer an education to students without regard for gender, economic status, or race. Building on that tradition of inclusivity, Westfield State has grown into a diverse four-year public university with a large population of minority students.

One of the benefits of studying at Westfield State is the intimate learning environment. There are only about 4,000 students on campus, meaning classes are small. Despite its small size, though, Westfield State offers an array of degrees and programs for undergraduate and graduate students.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Westfield State includes a specialization in Forensic Mental Health Counseling. This 60-credit program requires about three years of studies to complete. Upon graduation, you will have the knowledge and skills needed to provide mental health services to varying offender and victim populations.

The curriculum is divided into 48 credits of coursework and 12 credits of field experiences. Some of the courses you are required to take include:

  • Psychopathology: Diagnosis & Treatment of Adults
  • Principles and Practices of Psychological Testing
  • Psychological Theories of Criminal Behavior
  • Forensic Counseling: Assessment
  • Evidence-Based Therapies in Mental Health Counseling

The 12 credits of internship work focus on the applied aspects of forensic counseling. You will work with a supervisor in a field placement location of your choice with the goal of honing your counseling skills with forensic clients.

You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university prior to applying to this program. You must also provide the following documentation:

  • Official transcripts showing a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA or higher
  • Three letters of reference
  • A personal statement
  • A resume

Select applicants will be selected to participate in an on-campus interview.

University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School

The University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School ranks among the top 10 percent of medical schools in the nation year in and year out. Along with UMass Memorial Health – the university’s teaching hospital, UMass Chan Medical School offers a rich, challenging learning environment in which you can develop the skills needed to be a top professional.

UMass Chan Medical School has three divisions: the T.H. Chan School of Medicine, the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing. There are only about 1,300 students at the school, yet there are more than 3,500 faculty members.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

The Post-doctoral Forensic Psychology Residency Program at UMass Chan Medical School is a unique opportunity to continue your education after the completion of your doctoral degree program. The program offers concentrations in forensic psychology and forensic psychology.

Regardless of your area of emphasis, you will take part in training that focuses on the following areas:

  • Mental health law
  • Forensic evaluations
  • The legal system
  • Applied psychological principles
  • Forensic clinical assessment

Additionally, you will have the unique opportunity to provide criminal responsibility evaluations. These evaluations, including assessing a defendant’s cognitive capacity, are part of real-world training for practice in forensic psychology. You will likely also have opportunities to testify in court on various topics ranging from civil commitment to criminal responsibility.

Eligible applicants must have a doctorate in clinical or counseling psychology or a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from a program accredited by the American Psychological Association. You must also provide the following:

  • A curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A letter of interest
  • A synopsis of your relevant education and experience

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University was founded in 1932 as an accounting and secretarial school. The university’s physical campus is still small – there are only about 3,000 students. However, SNHU has transformed into an online learning juggernaut with more than 170,000 online students. There are now more than 200 online degrees and programs available in areas ranging from education to business to psychology.

SNHU is consistently ranked among the most innovative universities – a nod to its outstanding online learning platform. The school has received other awards for distance learning and recognition for being an excellent place to work.

Whether you are a traditional student, an older online learner, or something in between, SNHU has the programs, support systems, and experienced faculty to help you achieve your goals.

Forensic Psychology Program Information

Southern New Hampshire University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Psychology that can serve as the first stepping stone to a career in forensic psychology. The 120-credit program can be completed in four years or less if you take a full load of classes each semester.

In addition to introductory courses in forensic psychology and criminal psychology, you will also take classes in:

  • Social Psychology
  • Counseling Process and Techniques
  • Sociology of Crime and Violence
  • Sociology of Deviant Behavior
  • Psychopathology

You must also complete a capstone course that blends your classroom learning with current issues in forensic and criminal psychology. This course is research and writing intensive and serves as a final component of the program prior to graduation.

You can apply to SNHU online for free. The only documentation you have to submit with your application is a copy of transcripts from each college or university you’ve attended.

Forensic Psychology Work Opportunities in Massachusetts

With a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology, you can pursue any number of entry-level careers. For example, you might become a police officer, a victim advocate, or a crime analyst. In some cases, bachelor’s-level workers can also work as jury consultants for law firms.

Many other career possibilities are available if you have a master’s degree or a doctorate. For example, if you choose to stay in Massachusetts, you might provide forensic consultations to law firms, public defender offices, or prosecuting attorney offices. Some forensic psychologists in Massachusetts commonly provide expert testimony in criminal and civil cases.

It’s not uncommon for forensic psychologists in Massachusetts to work for government agencies. You might work for the Massachusetts State Police or the Department of Children and Families. Your role in these organizations might include providing assessments of perpetrators, counseling for victims, or even training law enforcement officers on how to approach suspects with mental health issues.

Fortunately, forensic psychology is an in-demand area, too. With the appropriate education and experience, you might be able to find a lucrative position that’s professionally rewarding, pays well, and allows you to provide critical services to the public.

Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Program outcomes can vary according to each institution's curriculum and job opportunities are not guaranteed. This site is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional help.