Forensic Psychology (FORP)

Explanation of Course Numbers

  • Courses in the 1000s are primarily introductory undergraduate courses
  • Those in the 2000–4000s are upper-division undergraduate courses that can also be taken for graduate credit with permission and additional work
  • Those in the 6000s and 8000s are for master’s, doctoral, and professional-level students
  • The 6000s are open to advanced undergraduate students with approval of the instructor and the dean or advising office

FORP 6101. Psychology and the Legal System I. 3 Credits.

Focuses on the paradigm differences in the mental health and legal systems and the challenges associated with integrating the two. Provides the students with an overview of the American legal system and the American mental health system. Discusses various areas of the intersection of the two systems in criminal, civil, juvenile, and family law settings. The role and ethics of the mental health professional in legal settings is addressed.

FORP 6102. Psychology and the Legal System II. 3 Credits.

Students will be introduced to basic legal research with an emphasis on developing an ability to read and understand primary legal materials. Legal concepts of criminal competence and legal insanity are discussed. Constitutional notions of due process and fair treatment as they pertain to the mentally ill, developmentally disabled and children are reviewed with an emphasis on their evolution and current trends. The concept of dangerousness as it applies in both criminal civil commitment and sex offender commitment proceedings is reviewed. Prerequisites: FORP 6101.

FORP 6103. Theories of Criminal Behavior. 3 Credits.

Theories of criminal behavior; psychodynamic, biological, genetic, social learning, behavioral, and cognition; developmental and cultural issues in criminal behavior; sociological theories; violence and aggression; sex offenses and the role of substance abuse in criminal behavior. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program.

FORP 6104. Psychopathology. 3 Credits.

The etiology and classification of mental disorders; manifestations, symptoms, and basic treatment issues within the framework of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual; disorders and categories that are a primary focus in forensic settings. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program.

FORP 6105. Basics of Psychological Assessment. 3 Credits.

Introduction to the field of psychological assessment; test design, methodology, psychometrics, and report design; survey of frequently used objective and projective measures in the areas of cognitive, personality, and emotional functioning and their forensic application. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program.

FORP 6106. Ethics in Forensic Psychology. 3 Credits.

Professional, ethical, and legal issues in forensic psychology practice; professional and ethical behavior as defined by applicable ethical codes; ethical dilemmas or conflicts between psychology and the law. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program.

FORP 6107. Research and Statistics. 3 Credits.

Research methods, techniques, and implementation; basic descriptive and inferential statistics in psychology; interpreting published studies and normative data in assessments. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program.

FORP 6108. Consultation and Testimony. 3 Credits.

The role of the forensic practitioner in providing services within the legal system and other related organizations; evidentiary issues with regard to expert testimony; techniques for successfully presenting psychological testimony; effective consultation with other disciplines, including attorneys, mental health providers, and criminal justice personnel. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program.

FORP 6109. Evaluation and Treatment of Offenders. 3 Credits.

Approaches to classification of offenders; dangerousness and psychopathy; treatment approaches in different settings within the criminal justice system; history of offender treatment and the relative merits of different treatment models. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program.

FORP 6110. Forensic Psychological Assessment. 3 Credits.

Forensic evaluations, including competency to stand trial, criminal insanity defenses, pre-sentencing, and risk of dangerousness evaluations; communicating assessment results to the courts or other referral sources; selecting and administering specialized forensic assessment instruments; legal and ethical responsibilities. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program. Prerequisites: FORP 6105.

FORP 6111. Evaluation and Treatment of Sex Offenders. 3 Credits.

Measures used in assessing sex offenders; predicting dangerousness and recidivism; theories concerning interpersonal and intrapsychic presentations in such areas as deviant arousal and cognitive distortions; treatment modalities; legal and ethical difficulties arising from mandatory treatment and long-term commitment. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program or with departmental permission.

FORP 6112. Substance Abuse Evaluation and Treatment. 3 Credits.

Underlying ideas of the pathology of addiction; psychodynamic, genetic and biological, and and environmentally-focused theories; current assessment and intervention techniques; current treatments including psychopharmacological, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program or with departmental permission.

FORP 6113. Victimology. 3 Credits.

The psychology of the victim within social and cultural contexts; violent, sexual, and psychological victimization; relationship between prior victimization as a precursor in criminal behavior; prevention, intervention, and policy issues. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program or with departmental permission.

FORP 6114. Issues in Family Law. 3 Credits.

Psycho-legal issues concerning divorce, child custody, guardianship, and intrafamily violence and sex offending; dispute resolution methods as an alternative to litigation with a particular emphasis on divorce mediation; child custody evaluation and the evaluation of the elderly; ethical and legal difficulties. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program or with departmental permission.

FORP 6115. Children and Adolescents in the Legal System. 3 Credits.

The differences between the treatment of juvenile and adults offenders in the legal system; history and role of the juvenile justice system from both legal and mental health perspectives; developmental aspects of the offending juvenile; the role of the psychologist in court proceedings. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program or with departmental permission.

FORP 6117. Interrogation and Interviewing. 3 Credits.

Techniques of interrogation and interviewing in both criminal- and terrorism-related investigations. Cultural aspects of interviewing, the problem of false confessions, and the use of the polygraph. Legal and ethical issues surrounding interrogations, including the use of coercive techniques. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program. Prerequisites: FORP 6101, FORP 6103 and FORP 6104.

FORP 6118. Psychological Profiling. 3 Credits.

The strengths and limitations of psychological profiling in criminal investigations. The main psychological principles upon which criminal profiling is based and crime scene analysis and its relationships to both the demographic and psychological characteristics of a pool of unknown offender suspects. Methods to identify potential serial offenses will be examined. Legal and ethical issues with regard to the use of profiling will be explored. Restricted to Forensic Psychology students. Prerequisites: FORP 6101, FORP 6103, and FORP 6104.

FORP 6119. Police Psychology. 3 Credits.

Psychological aspects of working within or for police agencies; personality assessment for suitability for police work, the stress involved in the work with attendant adverse psychological consequences, and continuing assessment of police officers after critical incidents; ethical and practical problems for the mental health professional when working within or for a police organization and services available for troubled officers. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program or with departmental permission.

FORP 6120. Counterintelligence. 3 Credits.

Counterintelligence considered from the perspectives of intelligence agencies, terrorist groups, and industry. The interconnection of psychological factors, motivations, strategic intent, and defense measures. Current and potential threats are assessed, including cybersecurity and cognition security. Restricted to students in the major; departmental permission may be substituted.

FORP 6128. Terrorism and Counterterrorism. 3 Credits.

Examination of the history and current status of terrorism and counterterrorism; psychological constructs motivating terrorist activity and countering the terror of terrorism; current scientific studies of the interplay between psychological factors, cultural norms, and religious ideations; and potential and future threats related to internet crime. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program.

FORP 6130. Practicum/Externship. 0-1 Credits.

Students undertake 250 hours of externship training tailored to their professional interests. The course may be completed over multiple semesters; students enroll for 1 credit in the semester in which they will complete the required training hours, and for 0 (zero) credits in all other semesters during which they work toward, but do not complete, requirements. Restricted to students in the forensic psychology program. Prerequisites: FORP 6101, FORP 6103 and FORP 6104.

FORP 6150. Advanced Topics in Forensic Psychology. 0-12 Credits.

Current topics ​in ​​forensic ​psychology​. Topics​ vary by semester. May be repeated ​for credit ​provided topic differs.​ ​Consul​t​ the Schedule of Classes for more details. Prerequisites: FORP 6101, FORP 6103, and FORP 6104.