Overview

Fostering social justice through 
the criminal justice system.

Fostering social justice through
the criminal justice system.

M.A. in Counseling: Specialization in Forensic Psychology

  • Train in a fast-growing field to address mental health issues for forensic populations.
  • Earn your degree in two years of full-time study.
  • Create a schedule that works for you with weekend, evening, and blended formats.
  • Learn in small classes and gain real-world experience focused on socially responsible practice.

Our MA in Counseling: Specialization in Forensic Psychology program prepares graduates to provide clinical counseling and advocacy services for individuals involved in the criminal justice system, correctional system, court systems, and behavioral health systems. We train socially responsible practitioners who embrace diversity and seek to empower forensic populations.

Our innovative program meets the standards of the Higher Learning Commission. With a rigorous  theoretical curriculum and supervised clinical field experiences, we excel at preparing future clinicians for the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) and our students recently achieved an impressive 100 percent pass rate.

We offer an immersive learning experience that blends the wellness-model approach of counseling practice with a specialized focus on the influence of psychopathology and broader social factors. Graduates are well prepared in the fundamentals of criminal psychology, police psychology, legal psychology, and correctional psychology. Adler University is a nationally recognized pioneer in graduate education, training clinicians to create a more just society.  

Careers

Our distinctive program is designed to prepare mental health professionals with specialized training in forensic psychology to serve as counselors in a range of settings, including:

  • Community mental health agencies
  • Behavioral mental health units
  • Correctional mental health in prisons
  • Adolescent mental health facilities
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Private law firms
  • Child advocacy centers
  • Sexual trauma centers
  • Employee assistance programs for first responders
  • Substance abuse treatment centers

Students of the program complete all the requirements for license eligibility as a professional counselor through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. 

Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for the following licensures:

  • The Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential in the state of Illinois
  • The Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) credential in Illinois, upon completing all necessary post-graduate training. Students interested in applying for licensure elsewhere should work with their faculty advisors to plan their curriculum accordingly.
  • The National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential, as well as sit for the National Counselor Examination (NCE) before graduation.

Professional Development &Training

Gain the knowledge and hands-on skills to create real change with individualized mentorship and exceptional training opportunities. You’ll learn in small, collaborative classes with leading practitioners in the field and get experience in specialized settings such as law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, court systems, and community mental health agencies.

Unique to our institution is the Social Justice Practicum, a nonclinical experiential practicum completed by all Adler students to cultivate the skills for becoming agents of social change. Working with our vast network of hundreds of community partners, students develop practical knowledge and understanding of what it means to engage with communities and be a socially responsible practitioner.

At the core of your clinical training is the supervised practicum and internship, which consists of a 100-hour practicum and 600-hour internship. Tailored to your professional goals, this immersive experience equips students with a strong, practical foundation in forensic counseling, honing their ability to improve communication between the clinician and individuals in the criminal justice system.

Cohort Learning, Format & Support

Our program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study. Classes are available in traditional classroom, weekend, evening, and blended (partially online) settings.

When you enroll, you join a cohort or group of students who take classes together throughout the course of the program. This model embraces camaraderie, diversity, and advocacy within your individual cohort and the university. Students and faculty form a collaborative community that promotes engagement in lifelong learning, critical thinking, strong clinical counseling skills, and self-care.

Upon graduation, you will become a member of the University’s Alumni Association, which along with our Office of Alumni Affairs, provides extensive ongoing networking and professional development opportunities.