Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology in Southern California

Program Description

Forensic psychology is one of the fastest growing areas of psychology and practitioners find work in a rapidly expanding range of settings—including child welfare agencies, forensic units in state mental health facilities, jails and prisons, community mental health centers, juvenile correctional facilities, government agencies, family courts, and private practice.

The Clinical Forensic Psychology Psy.D. program offered at the Los Angeles and Irvine campuses of The Chicago School provides students with a broad range of applied and real-world learning experiences within the diverse L.A. and Orange County communities. 

Students benefit from a broad range of applied and real-world learning experiences through the department’s Forensic Training Institute and may participate in projects such as providing forensic assessment, clinical treatment, and program measurement services; and conducting staff training for defense and prosecuting attorneys, as well as police officers. 

Through the preparation and presentation of training materials at the Forensic Training Institute, students develop an in-depth understanding of topics covered in the classroom and establish essential contacts within the forensic community, including the Los Angeles Police Department, Sheriff's Department, Coroner's Office, and City Attorney's office. Forensic students have also served as lead presenters at national and regional conferences.

Forensic psychology doctoral students at our Los Angeles campus also benefit from opportunities to bolster their knowledge and expertise by participating in educational seminars on topics such as hostage negotiation and police de-escalation techniques.

Graduates of the Psy.D. program are qualified to provide a broad range of assessment and treatment services within the community and for the criminal, civil, and family court systems. 

The program integrates the eight core competencies informed by the educational model of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP), helping prepare students to sit for the national and state licensure exams in clinical psychology. 

Students may tailor their coursework to meet particular educational and professional goals.


Forensic Psychology



Prepares students to sit for the national licensure exam in clinical psychology and for the California Board of Psychology exam.

Total Credits


Fieldwork Requirements

Program Time to Completion

4-5 years full time
  • 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

Family Systems and Family Treatment

Introduces students to treatment within the major models of family therapy. Primary theorists, assumptions, and techniques of each family systems model are discussed and students have the opportunity to learn through video examples of various theoretical approaches. This course focuses attention on working with multi-stressed and diverse families.

Group Processes of Therapy

Explores the key concepts of the theory and practice of group counseling with particular emphasis on group therapy in forensic settings. Various theoretical approaches are discussed along with issues such as group development, group process, group leadership, and the use of group counseling with diverse client populations.

Diversity in Forensic Psychology

Engage students in a level of self-awareness through self-reflection to identify their personal value systems, culture, and biases. In addition, students gain knowledge with regard to the worldview of others in the context of psychological, socio-political, historical, privilege/power, and economic factors that form social identity. This course specifically addresses individual and group differences across racial, ethnic, gender, age, disability, social class, sexual orientation, and religious boundaries. Attention is given to diversity-related issues within the forensic context.

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