Forensic & Legal Psychology

A two-year, full-time program, the Master of Arts in Forensic & Legal Psychology is designed to prepare students for Ph.D. programs focused on research. Students work with faculty to design and implement studies addressing empirical questions in clinical/forensic or legal psychology. Students are trained in research design, statistical analysis, as well as clinical assessment and psychological testing. Research practicums or directed research are required as well as a comprehensive thesis.

Overview

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A two-year, full-time program, the Master of Arts in Forensic & Legal Psychology is designed to prepare students for doctoral training focused on forensic or legal psychology. Students will be trained in clinical assessment and psychological testing, the diagnosis of psychopathology, treatment planning, individual and group interventions, research design, and statistical analysis and program evaluation. Research practicums or directed research are required as well as a comprehensive thesis.

The M.A. in Forensic & Legal Psychology seeks to:

  • Prepare graduate students for further academic training at the doctoral level in applied, clinical, experimental, or legal psychology
  • Provide students with training in research design, statistical analysis, and forensic assessment
  • Provide students with directed research and research practicum experiences that will promote and develop professional skills in forensic and legal psychology
  • Provide students with the requisite skills to design and analyze quality research projects.

Looking for the 60-credit M.A. Forensic Mental Health Counseling program?

Curriculum

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The eleven-course core sequence provides students with the breadth and depth of knowledge and competencies needed to be an effective forensically/legally-informed researcher.

Requirements for the Master of Arts in Forensic & Legal Psychology Program

(All courses are three credits unless otherwise indicated)


A. Required core courses: 33 credits

PSYCH501Research Design
PSYCH502Quantitative Methods I
PSYCH503Forensic Psychology
PSYCH504Psychology and Law
PSYCH505Introduction to Clinical Assessment
PSYCH509Methods of Psychotherapy I *
PSYCH532Multicultural Competence in Psychological Practice
PSYCH534Advanced Developmental Psychology
PSYCH550Professional Ethics in Psychology

An additional assessment course: 3 credits (Choose from the following) *

PSYCH506Assessment in Criminal Law
PSYCH512Child Assessment

A psychopathology course: 3 credits (Choose from the following)

PSYCH520Developmental Psychopathology
PSYCH521Adult Psychopathology

* Students may request a substitution course from the catalog at the discretion of the program director.

B. Directed Research or Research Practicum: 6 credits

PSYCH595Research Practicum
PSYCH596Directed Research

Note each respective course is taken twice to fulfill the six credit requirement.

C. Thesis: 6 credits

PSYCH597Thesis
PSYCH597Thesis

(Minimum of 45 credits)

Upcoming Events

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Open Houses

Meet us on campus in Bristol, RI, and hear about admission and financial aid, meet the faculty, tour the campus, and more.

Saturday, January 5, 2018
10:00am - 1:00pm
Register

Virtual Information Sessions

Short on time or just want to learn more about us from the comfort of your home, school, or office? Join us for a Virtual Information Session.

Pathways to Forensic and Legal Psychology
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
7:00 - 8:00pm ET
Considering a career in forensic or legal psychology? Join this session to learn about the field, job opportunities, education, and the graduate application process. 
Register

Thursday, November 15, 2018
5:00pm - 6:00pm ET
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Tuesday, December 4, 2018
5:00pm - 6:00pm ET
Register

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
5:00pm - 6:00pm ET
Register

Monday, November 12, 2018
All full-time RWU graduate programs will be covered at this event.
7:00pm - 8:00pm ET
Register

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
All full-time RWU graduate programs will be covered at this event.
5:00pm - 6:00pm ET
Register

Thursday, January 10, 2019
All full-time RWU graduate programs will be covered at this event.
5:30pm - 6:30pm ET
Register

2017-2018 Student Research Projects

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American Psychology-Law Society – Memphis, TN – March 2018

Marissa Donahue (Class of 2017) and Judith Platania
Perceptions of procedural justice: The role of police officer rank and level of aggression.

Paper accepted for presentation

Marissa Donahue (Class of 2017) and Judith Platania
Perceptions of procedural justice: The role of police officer rank and level of aggression.

Paper selected for invited Psycho-Legal Data-Blitz session

Kyle Gamache (Class of 2009), Judith Platania, and Matt Zaitchik
Mad v. bad: The influence of defendant and victim race on perceptions of dangerousness in the context of commitment.

Paper accepted for presentation

Jacqueline Garcia (Class of 2017) and Judith Platania
Perceptions of victim credibility: The role of victim age and disability type.

Paper accepted for presentation

Kristina Todorovic, Danielle Rumschik, Garrett Berman, Michael Toglia, and C. A. Glober
Check the list! Breaking the code: Recommended procedures for mistaken identification cases. 

Poster accepted for presentation

Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers – Kansas City, MO – October 2017

Paige Beliveau and Alejandro Leguizamo 
Are Ethnic-Racial Biases Present in Sex Offender Sentencing? 

Paper presentation

Alejandro Leguizamo and Paige Beliveau
Applying Multicultural Competence Concepts to Sex Offender Assessment and Treatment

Workshop presentation

Eastern Psychological Association – Philadelphia, PA – March 2018

Judith Platania, Cassandra Flick, Danielle Rieger, Cassandra Beinemann, Rachel Serafinski, and Nicholas Zike
How Jurors Think About the Death Penalty: A Cognitive and Affective Paradigm
Invited symposium

Nicholas Zike, Matthew Conrad, Sarah Burnham, Erin Tooley, and Alejandro Leguizamo
Ethnic Differences in Psychological Well-Being.

Paper accepted for presentation

New England Psychological Association – Newton, MA – October 2017

Julia Uber, Alejandro Leguizamo, and Sean Varano
An Exploration of Risk Factors Associated with Multiple, and Fatal, Opioid Overdoses. 

Poster presentation 

Psychonomic Society – Vancouver, BC – November 2017

Michael Toglia, Danielle Rumschik, Kristina Todorovic, Garrett Berman, and C.A. Glober
Breaking the code: Analysis of mistaken identification cases in the Innocent Project. 
Poster presentation

Student Outcomes

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Graduates of the program typically pursue study at the doctoral level, most commonly in Ph.D. programs. While many choose to apply to clinical programs, many have also pursued study in applied, developmental, legal, or social psychology, among others. Students who wish to further their studies in forensic or legal psychology select programs with defined research opportunities in these areas. 

Here are some of the institutions where our graduates have pursued Ph.D. study:

Carleton University (Canada)University of Middlesex (U.K.)
Florida International UniversityUniversity of Nevada - Reno
Fordham UniversityUniversity of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
McGill UniversityUniversity of Ontario Institute of Technology
Michigan State UniversityUniversity of Rhode Island
New York Law School (J.D.)University of Toledo
Palo Alto UniversityUniversity of Vermont
Sam Houston State UniversityWidener University

 

Application Requirements

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Criminal Justice, or related field, and must have satisfactorily completed undergraduate courses in Statistics and Research Methods. To apply, students must submit the following items to the Office of Graduate Admission:

  1. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  2. Letter of Intent (two double-spaced pages maximum) describing your interest in Forensic & Legal Psychology, career goals and how you can positively contribute to the graduate program at Roger Williams University
  3. Official report of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores sent directly by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the Office of Graduate Admission. The ETS School Code for Roger Williams University is 3729
  4. Three letters of recommendation attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school. All three letters should come from academic sources (professors) who can speak to your performance in the classroom and research (if applicable). You should select recommenders who know you well, can speak about your character and work ethic, and can attest to your ability to handle graduate level coursework. Recommendation letters should not be submitted from personal friends or family members. 
  5. Research Writing Sample, generally of 10 or more pages in length, demonstrating your ability to prepare, execute, and present your research. A junior research proposal is acceptable to satisfy this requirement.
  6. If your first language is not English, an official report of TOEFL or IELTS results
  7. Completed application form accompanied by the $50 application fee
Application Deadlines: 

February 1st - Priority Scholarship Consideration Deadline
February 15th - General Application Deadline

International applicants should also read through this page for additional requirements.

All documents to be mailed should be sent directly to:

Office of Graduate Admission
1 Old Ferry Rd.
Bristol, RI 02809

Have questions about the application process? Visit the How to Apply page from the Office of Graduate Admission.

A headshot of Kristina Todorovic

Gaining Opportunity Through Research

Kristina Todorovic, RWU Class of 2018 Forensic & Legal Psychology

Kristina Todorovic’s graduate school experience was all about research opportunities. After speaking with students in her program during the admission process, Kristina made the easy choice to enroll at RWU.

Read full story

Graduates in Forensic & Legal Psychology are able to:

  • Conduct psychological testing and therapy in specialized treatment settings
  • Direct treatment groups or psycho- educational groups with special populations such as adult or juvenile sex offenders
  • Act as trial consultants
  • Perform psychological testing with prison populations or for disability claims agencies
  • Investigate prosecutorial misconduct in capital trials and witness tampering

Facts

  • Delivery Method: In-class
  • Start Term: Fall only
  • Course Load: Full-time only
  • Tuition: $907/credit (45 credits)
  • Admission Deadline: February 1st for priority scholarship consideration; February 15th general deadline