Forensic Psychology Track

MS in Psychology Admissions Deadlines Apply by August 5, 2022 Learn More

MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology Track

Students in the forensic psychology track take two speciality courses that serve as an introduction to the field of forensic psychology.

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


Graduates of the program may choose to work in a law enforcement, correctional or legal setting. 

Amanda Fanniff
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. Her research interests historically have centered on how typical and atypical development impact juvenile offenders' involvement in the justice system, including two main populations of interest: juveniles who may be incompetent to proceed to adjudication and juveniles who have committed sexually abusive behaviors. Her interests have expanded over time to include research with emerging adults and research focused on culturally competent forensic research and clinical practice.

Developmentally Informed Policy & Practice Research Lab

Forensic Psychology Track 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.