Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology, Child and Family Concentration in Chicago

Program Description

Students in the Child and Family concentration within the Clinical Forensic Psychology Psy.D. program receive specialized training needed to address the unique needs of children and families who have entered the legal system. Coursework covers such topics as treating juvenile offenders; family law; partners and couples therapy; and substance abuse evaluation and treatment.

Students at the Chicago Campus have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at The Chicago School Forensic Center, which provides high-quality forensic psychological services and programming to improve the health and well-being of individuals within diverse communities. 

Through a range of community partnerships, the center provides students opportunities to put classroom learning into practice in real-world settings—including psycho-educational training workshops for parents who have abused or neglected their children, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy to help reduce the risk of future incidents of abuse and neglect. Students also benefit from a range of applied learning experiences rarely available at other schools—such as providing expert witness testimony in front of practicing judges and attorneys during a realistic mock trial experience.

Graduates are prepared to sit for the national licensure exam for professional practice in psychology and become lead practitioners and senior administrators in both educational and forensic settings. This doctoral program in clinical forensic psychology also provides students with opportunities to do empirical and applied research within a range of forensic settings and populations to tailor their coursework to meet particular educational and professional goals. 

Graduates are equipped with the requisite academic foundation to conduct forensic child interviews, risk assessments, and clinical interventions for a broad range of disorders and populations.


Forensic Psychology



Prepares students to sit for the national licensure exam in clinical psychology

Total Credits


Fieldwork Requirements

Program Time to Completion

4 -5 Years
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • 18 semester hours of psychology credit with grades earned of C or better including two specific courses;
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Statistics
  • N/A
Admission Requirements

GRE Requirements

Sample Courses

Child and Family Issues in the Family Court

Examines family dysfunction and psychological concerns that are dealt with in Family Court. Evaluation techniques are addressed in connection with issues related to interpersonal violence, child maltreatment, separation/divorce, custody disputes, foster care and adoption, and status offenses. Family Court systems and procedures are explored.

Partners and Couples Therapy

Explores theories, concepts, and techniques of major models associated with couples therapy (e.g., problem/solution focused, sound marital house, emotionally focused, cognitive-behavioral). Ethical and culturally sensitive applications of these theories with diverse couples are examined.

Evaluation and Treatment of the Juvenile Offender

Addresses the classification, assessment, and treatment of the juvenile offender. Various factors contributing to juvenile delinquency and empirically-based treatment approaches are discussed. Legal and institutional responses to juvenile crime are analyzed, and the role of the forensic clinician in the juvenile justice system is discussed utilizing case material. Case lectures and discussions, case examples, and video presentations are used to illustrate key concepts.

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