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Forensic Psychology Concentration

Launch Your Career in Forensic Psychology with an MS in Psychology Degree

The Forensic Psychology concentration, within the PAU Master of Psychology degree, introduces students to the variety of ways in which mental health professionals may be involved in the legal system. Students in the forensic psychology track take two specialty courses that provide exposure to several sub-disciplines within psychology and the law, as well as to assessing and managing risk.

Students are encouraged to supplement their curriculum with the extensive catalog of Forensic courses from PAU's Continuing and Professional Studies Division. These on-demand courses are free to students!

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  • Forensic psychology is a well-established area of expertise at PAU, and a field with a high demand for culturally-competent practitioners.
  • Students will be introduced to the various ways mental health professionals can work within law enforcement, core concepts of forensic psychology, and risk assessment and mitigation. 
  • Courses are delivered live in a Zoom-based classroom.

When Police Respond to the Mentally Ill Graphic
Careers in Forensic Psychology

PAU's master's level Forensic Psychology Concentration prepares students for employment in the fields of:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Corrections
  • Legal Settings
  • Education and Research
  • Healthcare
  • Non-Profits and Government Agencies
  • Mental Health Start-up Companies

Students who graduate with this concentration become experts in the application of technology, such as smart phone apps, virtual reality, and video games, to enhance mental health in various industries. 

Amanda Fannif Palo Alto University Faculty
Dr. Amanda Fanniff

Dr. Fanniff is an Associate Professor at Palo Alto University. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona, where she specialized in Psychology, Policy, and Law. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and her post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the University of South Florida.

Forensic Psychology Concentration Elective Courses

Forensic I

This course is the first of two courses offered in the forensic emphasis area and provides a broad introduction to the field of forensic psychology. Students will learn about the variety of ways in which mental health professionals may be involved in the legal system, definitions of forensic psychology, and ethical considerations specific to the field of forensic psychology. Students will be exposed to several sub-disciplines within psychology and the law, including criminal (e.g., sentencing) and civil (e.g., scientific jury selection) contexts.

Assessing and Managing Risk

This course is the second one offered in the forensic emphasis area. Students will learn about the main categories of risk assessment approaches, risk triaging, key theories of risk formulation, and key components of a risk management plan.

Recommended Course Sequence


MTHD509 Research Methods and Statistics I


PSYS501 Child & Adolescent Development


PSYS507 Adult Development & Aging


ASMT500 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis I


STAT510 Research Methods and Statistics II


STAT511 Research Methods and Statistics III 


ASMT501 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis II


PSYS511 Social & Personality Psychology


CLIN500 Ethics in Clinical Psychology


PSYS 520 Introduction to Forensic Psychology


PSYS502 Cognitive Bases of Behavior


PSYS504 Affective Bases of Behavior


PSYS 525 Assessing and Managing Risk