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Forensic Psychology Option (M.S. in Psychology)

The M.S. in Forensic Psychology option is designed for students whose primary interest is in working or studying in areas of psychology that intersect with the criminal justice system. A key feature of the program is a close mentoring relationship with a faculty member who oversees the student's progress toward his or her individual career goals. All students begin their program in the fall quarter and take several core courses together.

The program offers an M.S. degree and consists of 52 units of course work, which includes a 9 month practicum where students receive hands on training and on site supervision in a forensic setting related to their individual interests and career goals (e.g., rape crisis center, Department of Children and Family Services counseling center, the Dependency Courts, the Sheriff's Department, prisons, probation).


Program Mission and Description

The program emphasizes theory and research, while providing practical training in the areas of assessment and treatment that will prepare them for their entree to the marketplace after graduation. The course of study is designed to accommodate both students who plan to progress on to doctoral study as well as students who wish to enter the field as Masters level practitioners.


Admission to the Program and Deadlines

Acceptance into Forensic Psychology program involves a two-step application process:

1. Applicants must submit an online application to the University by going to For questions, deadlines, and other information regarding this application, you can visit The University Admissions Office website or call (323) 343-3901. You should also submit one copy of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended to the University Admissions Office. Please note that the University has it's own deadlines and requirements independent of the Psychology Department that also must be met to be considered for Fall admission.


2. Applicants must also submit a separate application directly to the Department of Psychology. Refer to pdf file located on the right, under Prospective Students. In addition to the department application, all of the following materials must also be submitted to the department:

(a) A one to three page statement of career goals and objectives (double spaced, 12 point font).

(b) Three (3) letters of recommendation.

(c) One copy of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.

(d) Applicants may also submit GRE scores (general and/or subject tests) to support their application, although the GRE is not required for admission to the program.

Department applications can be mailed or dropped-off in person to the following address:

            California State University, Los Angeles

            Department of Psychology

            Attn: Michael Sizemore

            5151 State University Drive, KH C3104

            Los Angeles, CA 90032-8227


Please note: if you are mailing your application, we recommend you write the mailing address exactly as it appears above and that you contact the department office at (323) 343-2272 to confirm receipt of your materials.



Review of applications will begin February 1, with an absolute deadline of April 1st of any given year for consideration for the following September. Applicants are responsible for providing all materials to accompany their application and only complete applications will be processed. Applicants will be notified of their status by July 1st following their submission.

Applicants are required to have a Baccalaureate degree with a major in Psychology and a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 to be eligible for the Forensic Option. Non-majors in Psychology should see below. Applicants with a GPA of 2.75 to 3.0 must present evidence that they are committed to and qualified for graduate work. This evidence could include (but is not limited to) relevant experience, or GRE scores with an Advanced Psychology Score of 550 or higher. Applicants with a GPA below 2.75 will not be considered.



Interested applicants should review our FAQ's. For other questions or if you need clarification on any aspect of the application process for the Forensic Option, you can contact the Department of Psychology at (323) 343-2272 or contact the program Director, Dr. Mithcel Eisen at (323) 343-2257. Dr. Eisen can also be reached via e-mail at


Prerequisite Program for Non-Psychology Majors

Students who do not have a bachelor's degree in Psychology are also encouraged to submit the University and Department applications and materials. In such instances, admission may be granted on a conditional basis. Students admitted conditionally will be required to complete 31-36 units of Psychology coursework with a GPA of 3.0 or higher before beginning the Masters program. Whenever possible, credit will be given for equivalent coursework taken elsewhere. Click here for a list of Prerequisite Coursework.

Please note: coursework taken at a community college does not apply to upper division psychology requirements.

Requirements for the Degree (52 - 53 units)


Prerequisites (17 units)


PSY 150 - Introductory Psychology (4)

PSY 302 - Inferential Statistics in Psychology (5)

PSY 310 - Abnormal Psychology (4)

PSY 318 - Psychology of Personality (4)


Departmental Core Requirements (4 - 5 units)

PSY 411 - Advanced Research Methods in Psychology (4)

PSY 414 - Analysis of Variance (4)

PSY 417 - Single Case Research Design (4)

PSY 491 - Multivariate Statistics (5)

PSY 504 - Advanced Experimental Methods (4)

PSY 515 - Advanced Statistical Methods in Psychology (4)



Required Courses (36 units)


PSY 464 - Psychology and the Law (4)

PSY 531A - Individual Testing and Case Study Techniques (4)

PSY 531B - Individual Testing and Case Study Techniques (4)

PSY 595 - Field Experience in Psychology (12)

CRIM 501 - Seminar: Administration of Justice (4)

CRIM 511 - Principles of Research (4)

CRIM 530 - Theories and Perspectives in Criminal Justice (4)



Electives in Psychology/Criminal Justice (8 units)


Select 8 units from the following:

PSY 490 - Human Memory (4)

PSY 512 - Behavior Disorders in Children (4)

CRIM 411 - Interpretation of Evidence in the Courtroom (4)

PSY 510 - Seminar: Abnormal Psychology (4)

CRIM 512 - Quantitative Applications (4)

PSY 522 - Seminar: Social Psychology (4)



Thesis (4 units)


PSY 599 - Thesis (4)


Prospective Students

Current Students

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