Forensic & Legal Psychology MA Course Descriptions

FLP 501 Bases of Psychopathology

Examines various contemporary views of abnormal behavior, such as the medical, behavioristic, and humanistic models, and theories of personality. Disorders are examined in terms of individual, biological, and socially causative factors. (Also listed as CE 501.) (3)

FLP 502 Research Methods

This course will provide students with a detailed understanding of how to conduct research in the social sciences. Students will gain knowledge of how to operationally define a research question, apply various types of research design, address ethical issues that arise in research, and effectively critique published research. Additionally, students will gain an understanding of the relation between various research designs and statistical analysis to improve their ability to understand and apply published research. (3)

FLP 503 Statistics

This course will provide students with a detailed understanding of univariate statistics as well as an introduction to common multivariate statistics. Students will gain knowledge of how to effectively utilizes SPSS to create databases, conduct analysis, and interpret output for the various analyses covered in class. Additionally, students will gain an understanding of the concepts that underlie the various analyses discussed to further their knowledge regarding why particular analyses are utilized and under which conditions a particular analysis would be appropriate. Finally, students will apply this knowledge to assigned readings to further their ability to critically analyze research. (3)

FLP 511 Legal and Investigative Psychology

Examines the role of psychological research and knowledge as it pertains to contemporary issues within the legal and law enforcement systems. Particular focus will be on the application of experimental areas of psychology (e.g., social, cognitive, physiological) to topics such as witness memory and identification, investigative interviewing, deception detection, false confessions, and juries. (3)

FLP 512 Issues in the American Legal System

Designed to introduce the logic of legal reasoning and to analyze the interaction between legal and psychological thinking. Students will study the U.S. Constitution and selected major court opinions. They will examine the structure of the American adversary system, debate its strengths, and propose solutions to its problems. Prerequisite: 9 program credits (FLP 511 is highly recommended). (3)

FLP 515 Death Penalty and Mitigation

Students will learn about death penalty cases in the American legal system. The course will emphasize identification of the humanity within capital defendants and the presentation of mitigation evidence. Trial procedures, effective representation, mental health issues, cultural competence, victim concerns, and problems of vicarious trauma will be addressed. (3)

FLP 520 Wrongful Convictions: Case Analysis

Provides students with the opportunity to examine an actual current case of possible wrongful conviction for homicide using state-of-the-art research and investigative techniques. With the help of law enforcement experts, students examine the crime scene, the prosecution and defense arguments, witness testimony, police conduct, and the psychological status of the convicted individual. At the end of the class, students provide a written analysis of the case, which is provided to the client’s attorney(s). (3)

FLP 526 Field Experience in Criminal Court

Offers the student an opportunity to spend a significant amount of time observing in criminal court under the mentorship of a judge. Students will study trial advocacy (the parts of the trial; effective advocacy; and the role of the lawyers, judges, parties, and witnesses) and critically evaluate the court system. Students will have the opportunity to talk with judges and attorneys on a regular basis. Prerequisite: 15 credits in FLP. (3)

FLP 527 Psychology, Public Policy, and Law

Introduces the student to issues in the development and implementation of public policy in the legal system, with special emphasis on the role of psychological knowledge. The course will acquaint the student with theoretical issues of policy development and the basics of the legislative process as well as provide an opportunity to work on a selected policy issue. (3)

FLP 531 Psychology of Criminal Behavior

Provides a foundational understanding of the origins and consequences of criminal behavior, including biological, cognitive, behavioral, psychosocial, and developmental perspectives. Also explores theories of social deviance, cultural biases, and the underpinnings of aggression. (3)

FLP 533 Psychology of Sexual Violence and Exploitation

Provides a foundational understanding of the origins and consequences of sexual abuse, sexual violence, prostitution, trafficking, and sexual exploitation from psychological, social, and legal perspectives. (3)

FLP 534 Substance Use and Abuse: Treatment and Legal Responses

This course addresses substance use and abuse from a supply and demand perspective. The course reviews major classes of abused substances and their psychoactive and addictive properties. Information on illicit production and distribution of abused substances is examined, and current laws regulating substance use are reviewed. Connections between substance use and crime are explored, and evidence-based responses to substance abuse from both the legal and mental health systems are highlighted.

FLP 536 Victims of Interpersonal Violence

An examination of contemporary victimology as it relates to physical violence in personal relationships. The course’s emphasis on current theory and practice with respect to violent behavior and governmental and organizational treatment of victims will assist students in becoming aware of victims’ unique plight in American society. This course examines physical violence in American families, including spouse, child, and elder abuse and other forms of interpersonal harm. (3)

FLP 540 Forensic Assessment

This course will develop students’ capacity and competence to analyze and understand the psychological assessments most frequently required in forensic settings. Students will become familiar with test administration and interpretation as well as test design, methodology, and standardization data on a variety of assessment tools. Prerequisite OR Co-requisite: FLP 501 (or CE 501 if originally a CMHC student). (3)

FLP 552 Psychology of Law Enforcement

Provides students with a foundational understanding of how psychology is applied to law enforcement, specifically the role of the psychologist and the use of psychological principles and knowledge in law enforcement agencies. Traditional roles of the psychologist, as well as contemporary functions, will be addressed. (3)

FLP 555 Individual Profiling: International and Political

This course is designed to provide an overview of theory, research, and application in the core areas of forensic individual psychology as it pertains to the interdisciplinary behavioral science of psychological profiling and assessments of individuals and political leaders in a variety of situations. In addition, it covers aspects of the field of psychological operations and the role of culture and religion in personality profiling. The course offers a broad and general foundation in the terms and concepts of individual and political psychological assessments used by major government intelligence and law enforcement agencies. It is intended to familiarize the student with real-world operations. Finally, the course will provide students with the skills associated with the critical thinking and analysis needed when conducting individual profiles and/or assessments. (3)

FLP 556 Group and Country Profiling: International and Political

This course is designed to provide an overview of theory, research, and application in the core areas of forensic group psychology as it pertains to the interdisciplinary behavioral science of group psychological profiling and assessments. In addition, it covers aspects of the field of psychological operations and the role of religion and culture in group personality profiling. The course offers a broad and general foundation in the terms and concepts of group, population, and political psychological assessments used by major government intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The course will familiarize the student with key areas of research in the field and provide students with the critical thinking and analysis skills to use that research when conducting group and population profiles and/or assessments. (3)

FLP 559 Behavioral Criminology

This elective is an introduction to behavioral criminology, the analysis of criminal behavior and its underlying motivations from an investigative as well as psychological perspective. The techniques involved in this field can be used to solve crimes and identify offenders. (3)

FLP 560 Psychopathology of Childhood and Adolescence

A systemic study of behavioral and emotional disorders in children and adolescents, including identification of factors impacting on deviance: genetic, biological, cognitive, familial, and social. (3)

FLP 563 Psychology and Treatment of the Juvenile Offender

Examines psychological factors involved in juvenile delinquency and common developmental trajectories among juvenile offenders. Students will also explore contemporary issues in the juvenile justice system from a psychological perspective and evidence-based treatment options for offenders and their families. (3)

FLP 566 Child Victimization

Students will examine research, theory, and clinical practice involving a variety of issues in the field, such as child abuse, neglect, traumatic grief, child witnesses, international human trafficking, child victims as offenders, bullying, and internet crimes against children. Prevention, intervention, policy, and legal system concerns will be addressed. (3)

FLP 567 Juvenile Justice

An advanced examination of the history and purpose of the juvenile justice system that includes the role of the U.S. Supreme Court. The course also evaluates the extent and nature of juvenile delinquency in contemporary America; examines theoretical explanations of juvenile delinquency; and addresses the physical, emotional, and societal problems faced by juveniles today. Students will also study the treatment and punishment of juvenile offenders using cutting-edge research. (3)

FLP 570 The Intelligence Community: Theory, Process, and Challenges

Provides a comprehensive overview of the U.S intelligence community (IC) and its vital role in the formulation of U.S. foreign and national security policy. This course will explore how information is collected and transformed from raw intelligence to a finished analytical product used to inform policy maker decisions. The IC’s response to terrorism, the use of covert action as a tool of U.S. foreign policy, and the ethical dilemmas that arise in the conduct of intelligence operations will also be examined. A minimum grade of B is required to advance in the intelligence studies concentration. (3)

FLP 571 Intelligence Analysis I

This course introduces students to the basic skill sets that would enable them to work as entry-level analysts in the intelligence community (IC). Students will acquire a detailed understanding of the critical-thinking process that is essential to creating intelligence products based on sound analytic reasoning and will become aware of psychological factors that influence analyses, including the types of biases that may unconsciously distort analyses and degrade analytic judgments. Students will also acquire an arsenal of structured analytic techniques (SATs) that will be applied to generate assessments and analyses in accordance with IC standards. (3)

FLP 572 Intelligence Analysis II

The primary orientation of this course is a ‘learn by doing’ approach. Students will take the critical-thinking skills and structured techniques that they acquired in Intelligence Analysis I and apply them in the creation of the types of intelligence products used in the intelligence community (IC). Emphasis will be placed on acquiring analytic writing skills to create analytic products and briefing skills to enhance the ability to prepare and present high-impact briefings to IC consumers and policy makers. Prerequisite: FLP 571. (3)

FLP 573 Counterintelligence

Provides students with a comprehensive overview of counterintelligence (CI) and how CI serves as an instrument to protect U.S. strategic advantage and support U.S. policy. Through analysis of case studies and a ‘lessons learned’ approach, students will explore how foreign intelligence services and non-state actors have sought to use various forms of espionage to acquire protected information from U.S. entities and how the U.S. has responded to that challenge. (3)

FLP 574 Contemporary Terrorism and the U.S. Response

Provides an introductory overview of contemporary terrorism and governmental responses to terrorist threats at the national and global levels. Students will gain knowledge of the various types of terrorist organizations and their ideologies, plans, goals, strategies, and tactics. Students will be exposed to various theories of radicalization and the diverse cultural environments that nurture extremist behavior. The course will conclude by looking at the various responses governments have made to combat terrorism, their ability to work jointly with other nations against the terrorist target, and their success in reducing the terrorist threat. The ethical and legal challenges faced by liberal democracies in addressing terrorist threats will be explored and assessed. (3)

FLP 575 Intelligence-Led Policing: Application and Methods

This course will focus on a modern policing strategy, the practice of intelligence-led policing in the United States. The course will present the history of intelligence-led policing, its methodology, and its application to current issues facing law enforcement. It will inform and challenge learners to understand and apply intelligence-led policing concepts as well as build analytic skills. (3)

FLP 576 Foundations of Insider Threat

The risks posed by trusted insiders to organizations in both the public and private sector are well documented. Past compromises of national security information have provided sensitive information to US adversaries; theft or compromise of proprietary data and intellectual property has impacted businesses large and small; and, incidents of workplace violence perpetrated by insiders are on the rise. This course provides context for the counter insider threat mission and explores multi-disciplinary insider risk management concepts. The course addresses matters of policy, political and socio-economic impacts, psychological factors, and gives special consideration to issues of cyber insider threat, privacy and civil liberties, kinetic violence, and related social and behavioral science research. (3)

FLP 598 Project: Forensic and Legal Psychology

Individually arranged seminar to explore in greater depth an area of interest to the student. May only be taken after 75% of the program requirements are fulfilled. Prerequisite: permission of the chair of the Forensic and Legal Psychology Department. (3)

FLP 599 Internship: Forensic and Legal Psychology

Designed to give the student supervised experience working in a psychological setting. The internship requires a total of 300 hours, including attending a seminar at Marymount. Interns must have prior approval of the internship coordinator. In order to be admitted to the internship, the student must have completed the internship application process, which includes a review of the student’s academic progress, submission of appropriate paperwork, documentation of student professional liability insurance, and permission of the faculty. Prerequisites: 18 credits in FLP. (Intelligence studies concentration students must complete six (6) of these credits in intelligence studies concentration courses.) (3)