The field of forensic psychology examines the intersection between human behavior and the law. In partnership with SDSU’s Department of Psychology, and the Homeland Security Graduate Program, SDSU’s College of Extended Studies offers this comprehensive online program specifically designed for professionals at the forefront of dealing with all aspects of criminal behavior. A key focus is on the populations being served by state and federal court and correctional systems, law enforcement agencies, mental health facilities, and juvenile facilities. The criminal justice system increasingly relies on professionals skilled in forensic psychology to help solve crimes and prevent future criminal behavior, and this certificate provides students with the knowledge and skills being sought by employers.
Estimated Total Cost
$3,495
Min. Completion Time
8 Months
Course Format
Online

Authorized by SDSU’s College of Sciences. Students earn 3 Professional Development Units per course.

About This Certificate
This certificate gives professionals who work in fields related to criminal behavior, a look at the community-oriented goals of law enforcement, and the tools to help build trust and social capital on both sides, with the goal of generating real solutions. It also offers proven tools to boost resilience in the wake of natural disasters and other community traumas. Students will gain critical insights into legal issues and policies relating to criminality; the biological, genetic, and chemical factors involved in criminal behavior; and society’s role in fostering and preventing criminal behavior.

Program Highlights

  • Fully online
  • $699
  • Eight-week courses
  • Earn 3 Professional Development Units per course
  • Instructors are all content specialists with real-world experience
  • Complete in as few as six months or take up to two years

Who Will Benefit
This certificate program is designed for professionals at the forefront of dealing with all aspects of criminal behavior. This includes social workers, intelligence officers, first responders, correctional officers, community organizers, and those working in the fields of nursing, public health, paralegal, and psychology. Those interested in forensic psychology, homeland security, public safety, and disaster-response humanitarian assistance will also benefit.

Certificate Requirements
To earn the Professional Certificate in Forensic Psychology, you must successfully complete two (2) core courses and three (3) electives. If your background is unrelated to forensic psychology, we highly recommend you begin with the core courses.

Core Courses*

  • Fundamentals of Forensic Psychology | May 6—June 30 | Instructor: Katherine Turner, Ph.D.
  • Mental Health and Criminal Justice

* If you’ve completed relevant coursework and/or have three years of related professional experience, one of the core courses can be waived.

Elective Courses (choose three)

  • Challenges and Psychological Components for Active Shooter Identification
  • Correctional and Police Psychology | July 8—August 1 | Instructors: Anthony J. Ewing, M.S. and Melissa Kastner-Treisman, Psy.D.
  • Cyber Psychology
  • Expert Witness Courtroom and Deposition Testimony
  • Forensic Psychological Assessment and Report Writing

For more information, email forensic.certificate@sdsu.edu or call (619) 594-3946.

Courses

2018 Fall2019 Spring2019 Summer
2019 Summer
PSY 0050 Fundamentals of Forensic Psychology
The course is intended to introduce students to the wide-range field of forensic psychology and is designed to consider the relationship between psychology and law by showing how psychological research and theory can inform the legal process. This course will examine the position and responsibilities of forensic psychologists in police work, criminal investigation, investigate behavioral analysis, threat assessment, eyewitness identification, school bullying, mental defenses and competency issues, sexual abuse issues, juvenile forensics and death penalty cases, and jury selection.
Course Date(s)
May 6 - June 30
PSY 0051 Mental Health and Criminal Justice
This course provides and overview of the psychological disorders of across the lifespan, including their diagnosis, etiology, and treatment. Emphasis is on empirical research methods and findings, although case examples and general theoretical perspectives are covered as background. A combination of lecture, class discussion, and video will be used. The purpose of the mini-lectures is to highlight selected topics from required readings and to supplement this material with related, but more recent developments in the field. Students are responsible for all assigned readings. Class discussions are intended to clarify concepts and apply the topics to real life concerns. Selected videos are intended to bring the student closer to the persons behind the theories and research in a way that lectures alone do not permit.
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2019 Summer
PSY 0052 Police and Correctional Psychology
In this course you will be learn about the intersection of mental health, the practice of psychology and two major forensic fields. By the end of the course students will have learned about many topics in both forensic fields including: Police Interviews, Domestic Violence, Use of Force, Suicide and Law Enforcement, Cops in Trouble, Restorative Justice, Peer Support, Complex Trauma and Grief, Critical Incidents, Psychological Disorders Involved in Crime, Type of Forensic Evaluations Inmates in Jail Undergo, Family Crimes, Malingering, Sex Crimes, Stalking and Harassment, Death Penalty, Crime Victims and Gangs.
Course Date(s)
July 8 - August 1