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Forensic psychology students in lecture Forensic Psychology

M.A. in Forensic Psychology

Professional Counselor Licensure Track

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Full-Time, Part-Time
  • 2 Years Full-Time, 4 Years Part-Time

The Chicago School’s M.A. in Forensic Psychology: Professional Counselor Licensure Track program provides students with a strong foundation in the art and science of counseling theory and techniques within the legal system and related fields. Many graduates conduct assessments and provide psychotherapy to at-risk or victimized populations or individuals. The program prepares students for the […]

The Chicago School’s M.A. in Forensic Psychology: Professional Counselor Licensure Track program provides students with a strong foundation in the art and science of counseling theory and techniques within the legal system and related fields.

Many graduates conduct assessments and provide psychotherapy to at-risk or victimized populations or individuals. The program prepares students for the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) and state licensure in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (LPC and LCPC).

Guided by practitioner faculty, M.A. in Forensic Psychology, Professional Counselor Licensure Track students will cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Understanding the criminal personality
  • Terrorism/counter-terrorism
  • Crime prevention through risk assessment
  • Mental health law
  • Trial consultation
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Trauma and crisis intervention
  • Community liaison work with legal, law enforcement, and social service agencies

Graduates will be prepared to apply their skills to a variety of professions, including:

  • Government
  • Public policy
  • Corrections
  • Law enforcement
  • Military
  • Victim’s assistance programs
  • Treatment facilities
  • Social service agencies


M.A. in Forensic Psychology, Professional Counselor Licensure Track: Washington, D.C. Student Experience

Surrounded by much of the nation’s historical and cultural riches, students will have the opportunity to benefit from a location essential to much of the United States’ political, governmental, and multi-national affairs.

Expanding on the success of the Chicago, Los Angeles, and Orange County, Calif. campuses, the Washington, D.C. campus reflects The Chicago School’s commitment to diversity and effort to expand 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, coursework, and supervised experience requirements for eligibility to be a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Washington D.C. and Virginia, and to be a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Maryland. Candidates for licensure must pass the required national examination (National Counselor’s Exam or National Clinical Mental Health Counselor’s Exam) and any required state-specific counseling examination. Additional post-master’s supervised experience is required in order to qualify for licensure in each of the above jurisdictions. All candidates are also required to complete the application process, which may include fees and/or a background check.

For further information about licensure in Washington D.C., please visit the Department of Health.

For further information about licensure in Virginia, please visit the Virginia Board of Counseling.

For further information about license in Maryland, please visit the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

It is the student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements for any jurisdiction not listed above.

Licensure and Certification FAQ

In the Professional Counselor Licensure Track, Forensic Psychology students complete a field placement experience (practicum) of 700 hours over the course of nine to twelve months and complete additional courses required for professional counselor licensure.

Students in the Professional Counselor Licensure Track must express their intent to apply for practicum/internship (see the Office of Applied Professional Practice Forensic Training Manual). Faculty reviews each student’s progress in the program to inform decisions regarding student’s readiness to apply to practicum/internship.

Send application 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.
      • 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.

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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