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 are discussed from the standpoint of psychodynamic theories, theories of cognition, biological and genetic theories, social learning and behavioral theories. Developmental and cultural issues in criminal behavior are reviewed. The interrelationship between these and other more sociological theories is discussed. Specific attention is given to particular areas of concern surrounding violence and aggression, sex offenses and the role of substance abuse in criminal behavior.

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.

An examination of forensic evaluations, including competency to stand trial, criminal insanity defenses, pre-sentencing and risk of dangerousness evaluations. Communication of assessment results to the courts or other referral sources will be addressed. Students will also develop a theoretical understanding and practical experience selecting and administering specialized forensic assessment instruments. Issues related to the forensic evaluator’s role and their legal and ethical responsibilities are included. Prerequisites: FORP 6105.

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

The focus of this course will be on measures utilized in assessing sex offenders with a focus on predicting dangerousness and recidivism. Theories about the interpersonal and intrapsychic presentations of this type of offender will be examined in such areas as deviant arousal and cognitive distortions. Treatment modalities will be discussed. Legal and ethical difficulties arising from mandatory treatment and long term commitment for dangerous sex offenders will be discussed.

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

This course will examine some underlying ideas of the pathology of addiction including psychodynamic theories, genetic and biological theories and those involving more environmental focus. Current assessment and intervention techniques will be reviewed along with current trends in treatment including psychopharmacological, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches.

FORP 6113. Victimology. 3 Credits.

The goal is to familiarize the student with an understanding of the psychology of the victim within social and cultural contexts. Violent, sexual, and psychological victimization will be explored as well as the relationship between prior victimization as a precursor in criminal behavior. Prevention, intervention, and policy issues will also be addressed.

FORP 6114. Issues in Family Law. 3 Credits.

The 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 in this area will be discussed.

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

The focus of this course will be on the differences in the treatment of underage offenders from adults in the legal system. The history and role of the juvenile justice system from both legal and mental health perspectives will be reviewed. Developmental aspects of the minor’s offending, including status offenses will be discussed as well as the role of the psychologist in court proceedings involving juvenile offenders. Recent trends dealing with ideas of the increasing criminalization of juvenile conduct and the waivers of juveniles to the adult system will be explored.

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.

The focus of this course is on the psychological aspects of working within or for police agencies. Areas to be covered include personality assessment as to suitable candidates for police work, the stress involved in the work with attendant adverse psychological consequences (including aspects of legal liability) 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 will be discussed as will services available for troubled officers.

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.

This one-credit course is comprised of 250 hours of externship training tailored to a student's professional interest and can be completed over multiple semesters. Students should enroll in the one (1) credit option in the semester in which they will complete the required 250 training hours. Students should enroll for zero (0) credits for all other semesters in which they will participate in the externship but not complete all of the required training hours. Prerequisites: FORP 6101, FORP 6103, 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.