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Forensic psychology students in lecture Forensic Psychology

M.A. in Forensic Psychology

Professional Counselor Licensure Track, Generalist Concentration

  • Chicago, IL
  • Full-Time, Part-Time
  • 2 Years Full-Time, 4 Years Part-Time

Students pursuing a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology, Generalist Concentration will be broadly and generally trained to identify and address various issues commonly found in forensic counseling settings. This concentration allows Forensic Psychology students to choose between different groups of electives to tailor their educational experience to their unique interests and needs.  Course options include adult or […]

Students pursuing a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology, Generalist Concentration will be broadly and generally trained to identify and address various issues commonly found in forensic counseling settings. This concentration allows Forensic Psychology students to choose between different groups of electives to tailor their educational experience to their unique interests and needs.  Course options include adult or juvenile offenders; correctional, law enforcement, or terrorism; and mediation and dispute resolution, sex offenders, or hostage negotiation.

Clinical Forensic Psychology students at the Chicago Campus have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at various locations in the Chicagoland area, including, but not limited to, 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, students will cover a wide range of topics, including violence and risk assessment, theories of criminology, treatment of the adult offender, evaluation and treatment of sex offenders. Students pursuing a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology may tailor their coursework to meet particular educational and professional needs in order to find employment in such areas as:

  • Counseling and treatment centers
  • Correctional facilities
  • Education
  • Expert witness testimony

Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology: 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.

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Forensic Psychology in Correctional Settings

This course exposes students to the unique culture of working in a correctional environment (e.g., socialization, communication, gang activity). Students learn how to deal with ethical dilemmas, limits of confidentiality, safety concerns, and professional issues that may be encountered when working in this setting. Students are exposed to providing treatment with different types of offender populations (e.g., mentally ill, antisocial, adolescent offender) and culturally diverse groups (e.g., elderly offenders, female offenders, religious groups, ethnic groups, and transgender individuals).

Hostage Negotiations

Examines strategies for negotiating a critical incident, understanding and managing the critical incident, and communication techniques, as well as understanding perpetrators, stress and stress management, and the Stockholm syndrome within a hostage situation. In addition, students gain an understanding of crisis negotiation, debriefing, hostage-taker demands, and the effects of time on a situation.

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.

The MA Forensic Psychology, Professional Counselor Licensure Track program aligns with degree and coursework requirements to be eligible for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Illinois. Candidates for licensure must pass the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). All candidates are also required to complete the application process, which may include fees and/or a background check. For further information about licensure, please visit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Licensure and Certification FAQ

Licensure track students must accrue a minimum of 700 hours of clinical training over the course of a 9 to 12 month practicum/internship under the supervision of a master’s level licensed clinician or psychologist (e.g., LCSW, LCPC, LPCC, LMFT, or licensed psychologist). Students are expected to attend practicum between 16 to 24 hours per week and must participate in one hour of weekly, individual supervision. In addition, students should dedicate at least 40 to 60% of their time on site to direct client contact, which could include a variety of clinical activities such as diagnostic interviewing, individual, group, or family therapy, crisis intervention, intake interviews, and milieu therapy. Students are typically responsible for administrative and case management tasks as well including, but not limited to, victim advocacy, consultation, applied research, and/or court attendance.

Send materials to:

Admissions Operations
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
203 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60601

Students applying to the M.A. in 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).  Essay must specifically address the program/specialization for which you are applying.
    • Psychology is a vast discipline with many career options. In an essay format, please describe:
      • Why you chose this particular program/specialization making sure to cite specific experiences and examples.
      • Why it is important to you to study this discipline at a school that emphasizes cultural awareness, competence, and understanding of diversity (see our statement).
      • Your professional career goals as they relate to this specialization.
      • Why you believe this program will assist you in reaching these goals.
  • Official College/University Transcripts
    • Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. The Chicago School requires that all schools be regionally accredited higher education institutions. 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. If you are mailing in your letters, they should arrive in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal. You can also submit the letters online via the applicant portal.
  • Aside from general admission requirements, this track requires an applicant to have successfully completed (with a grade earned of ‘C’ or better) at least one (1) undergraduate course in either statistics or research methods. Applicants without one of these courses must complete them in accordance with the policies outlined in the Progression Requirements section of the Catalog.
  • Optional:  Official GRE scores may be used to enhance your application
    • 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 them at to register for an exam date.
    • Students who have taken the test within the last five years should contact them at, to have their scores forwarded directly to the school.

International Application Requirements

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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