Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology in Chicago
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Learn more about the Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology offered at our Chicago Campus at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Forensic Psychology

Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology

  • Chicago, IL
  • Full-Time
  • 4 Years

The Chicago School’s Clinical Forensic Psychology Psy.D. program prepares students to apply the science and profession of psychology to issues related to law and the legal system. Practitioners find work in a rapidly expanding range of settings. Clinical Forensic Psychology students at the Chicago Campus have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at The Chicago School’s […]

The Chicago School’s Clinical Forensic Psychology Psy.D. program prepares students to apply the science and profession of psychology to issues related to law and the legal system. Practitioners find work in a rapidly expanding range of settings.

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

Guided by practitioner faculty, Clinical-Forensic Psychology students at the Chicago campus will cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of juvenile and adult offenders
  • Diversity
  • Risk assessment
  • Mental health law
  • Substance abuse evaluation and treatment
  • Trauma and crisis intervention
  • Research methods and statistics
  • Community liaison work with legal, law enforcement and social service agencies

Graduates will be prepared to work in a rapidly expanding range of settings, including forensic units in state mental health facilities, corrections, community mental health centers, child welfare agencies, government agencies, family courts, and private practice.

They will be prepared to apply their skills to a wide-range of professional activities, including:

  • Forensic mental health assessment (e.g. fitness to stand trial and criminal responsibility evaluations)
  • Treatment
  • Public policy
  • Government and social service agencies
  • Scholarship and research

Psy.D. Clinical Forensic Psychology: The Chicago Student Experience

The Chicago Campus provides students an opportunity to immerse themselves into a culturally diverse city with nearly unlimited academic resources as well as excellent networking opportunities. Chicago is also home to some of the nation’s finest dining, entertainment, museums, and other activities.

At our flagship campus, The Chicago School has demonstrated a continued commitment to a diverse student population and expanding mental health services to multicultural and underserved communities. Strategically located in the downtown area, students will experience real-world training in diverse facilities with experienced practitioners.

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This course provides an in-depth survey and understanding of the range of mental disorders. The overall objective of the course is to enable students to appropriately diagnose psychopathology for purposes of efficacious treatment and the facilitation of clear clinical dialogue and agreement with fellow professionals. The course emphasizes research as it pertains to empirically-based treatments for a variety of mental health disorders. Additionally, issues of culture and gender as it relates to mental health diagnoses are discussed. Diagnostic criteria are drawn primarily from the DSM-V-TR with some contribution from other sources considered as appropriate.

Forensic Assessment

This course introduces students to basic concepts of forensic mental health assessment. Emphasis is placed on the administration, scoring, and interpretation of the major forensic assessment instruments, including the Hare PCL-R, ECST-R, MacCAT-CA, MAYSI-2, VIP, PSI, TSI.

Violence and Risk Assessment

This course provides students with the fundamental aspects of conducting violence and risk assessment evaluations and the manner in which opinions are communicated. Students gain an understanding of empirically-based risk factors and assessment tools used to conduct violence and risk evaluations, as well as management strategies employed to ameliorate risk/risk conditions. Practical exercises drawn from actual cases are used to illustrate key concepts.

This program is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Graduates will be qualified to sit for the national licensure exam in clinical psychology (EPPP) and meet licensure requirements as a Clinical Psychologist in the State of Illinois. Students interested in professional practice is other states should consult their state’s psychology licensure board for more information.

All students are required to complete an internship following the completion of all course work, practicum, and dissertation requirements. In internship, students integrate academic knowledge with clinical skills and demonstrate the effective and ethical use of these skills in clinical practice. Through intensive supervised training, students gain direct experience in applying their knowledge with a clinical or clinical forensic population.

The dissertation is an essential aspect of a student’s academic experience and clinical training. The purpose of the dissertation is two-fold: 1) to provide evidence of a student’s mastery of the program’s required research and content competencies; and 2) to provide faculty with a measurement of program effectiveness. The student uses the dissertation to demonstrate mastery of four critical research objectives: 1) professionalism, 2) methodological rigor, 3) conceptual rigor, and 4) contribution to the field of clinical forensic psychology. These objectives form a rubric for dissertation evaluation. The student’s dissertation committee is responsible for assessing the student’s abilities and giving final approval to the dissertation.

The practicum is an integral component of clinical training. It provides a closely supervised clinical experience in which students use the knowledge obtained in the classroom to understand their clients and to develop skills in assessment, psychotherapy, and other discipline related areas. As such, the practicum serves to integrate the theoretical and practical aspects of the education of the professional psychologist. It allows students to become familiar with professional collaboration and consultation in a clinical setting. All students are required to take six semester hours each of the Assessment and Therapy practicums.


Students applying to the Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology program must submit the following:

  • Application
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Essay – Please answer the following question within three double-spaced, typed pages (approximately 500-750 words).
    • The field of Forensic Psychology focuses on psychology as it relates to the law and the legal system. In forensic settings you will likely assist individuals with diverse backgrounds in a variety of different contexts. Please tell us reasons why you want to become a Forensic Psychologist. Include your career aspirations and some of the challenges you might encounter when working with diverse individuals.
  • Official College/University Transcripts
    • Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official, sealed, and signed across the envelope flap when they arrive.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • Appropriate recommendations are from professors and/or supervisors from significant work or volunteer experiences, who can appraise your academic or professional performance. Letters should arrive in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal.
  • Official GRE Scores
    • You must arrange for your official GRE scores to be sent to the school – our school code is 1119.
    • Students who have yet to take the GRE examination should contact GRE at to register for an exam date.
    • Students who have taken the test within the last five years should contact GRE at or 1-888-GRE SCORE, to have their scores forwarded directly to the school.
  • Previous Coursework
    • 18 semester hours of psychology (or related field) credit at the undergraduate or graduate level, including a course in Abnormal Psychology with a grade earned of “C: or better in the course.  The course in Abnormal Psychology must be completed in accordance with the policies outlined in the Preparatory Coursework section below. The remaining 15 semester hours of psychology (or related field) credit must be completed in accordance with the policies outlined in the Progression Requirements section of the catalog.
    • Applicants who otherwise meet the admissions requirements of the program, but who have not previously successfully completed at least one (1) course in abnormal psychology, will be required to fulfill this requirement prior to enrolling in this program through the completion of Preparatory Coursework.

  • 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

The Chicago School is dedicated to keeping our professional degree programs accessible to anyone regardless of financial status. In addition to the scholarships that may be available, our Financial Aid Department will help provide you with information to determine what financial arrangements are right for you.

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