MS in Juvenile Forensic Psychology

Juvenile Forensic Psychology is the application of psychological insights, concepts, and skills to the understanding of adolescents in the juvenile justice system.  Students in the Master of Science in Juvenile Forensic Psychology Program (MSJFP) at Prairie View A & M University will study psychological theories, methods of assessment, and different treatment modalities related to child and adolescent psychopathology. Additionally, students will gain insight into the developmental stages of children and adolescents and possible factors that may contribute to delinquent behaviors at each stage. The student will gain knowledge of varied counseling techniques, assisting children in various settings, and dealing with “at-risk” children at home, school, and in the community.

The overall objectives of the Master of Science in Juvenile Forensic Psychology program are to:

  • Enhance students’ knowledge of how psychology interacts with the law and the legal system
  • Increase students’ knowledge of theoretical explanations of juvenile delinquency, juvenile crime, and juvenile aggression, especially from the viewpoint of psychological theories
  • Provide students with skills in research methodology and statistics
  • Provide students with knowledge and skills pertaining to the assessment, classification, and treatment of juvenile offenders
  • Provide students with training to conduct psychological tests including cognitive, achievement, and personality tests.

Requirements For The Completion Of The MSJFP Program

Completion of the following core courses: (9 credit hours)

  • JPSY 5113                       Psychology and the Juvenile Law
  • JPSY 5123                       Psychology of Crime and Delinquency
  • JPSY 5763                       Developmental Psychology

Completion of 18 credit hours in the following elective courses for thesis and externship students:

  •  JPSY 5233                 Violence and Aggression
  • JPSY 5263                  Psychology and Treatment of the Juvenile Offender  
  • JPSY 5413                  Behavior Modification and Learning Theory
  • JPSY 5443                  Group Dynamics and Group Treatment 
  • JPSY 5453                  Treatment and Prevention of Childhood Psychopathology
  • JPSY 5523                 Introduction to Neuropsychology
  • JPSY 5533                  Social Psychology and the Legal System
  • JPSY 5783                  Psychology Seminar in Selected Topics 
  • JPSY 5863                  Clinical Interviewing
  • JPSY 5223                  Substance Abuse
  • JPSY 5253                  Domestic and Family Violence 
  • JPSY 5423                  Conflict Mediation/Resolution
  • JPSY 5433                  Counseling
  • JPSY 5783                  Ethics
  • JJUS 5123                   Foundations of Juvenile Justice
  • JJUS 5763                   Theories of Delinquency
  • JJUS 5923                   Special Topics

Thesis Track: (9 Credit Hours)

Completions of the following courses are required for those on the thesis track:

  • JPSY 5943                    Research Methods
  • JPSY 5963                    Applied Statistical Analysis
  • JPSY 5983                      Thesis

Externship Track: (9 Credit Hours)

Completions of the following courses are required for the externship track:

  • JPSY 5843                  Psychological Assessment I
  • JPSY 5853                  Psychological Assessment II
  • JPSY 5973                  Field Work in Psychology

Experienced and licensed psychologists in externship settings will supervise students. Students will assist in the assessment, management, and treatment of clients. Training will include clinical interviewing and conducting psychological tests. A minimum of 450 hours of field work training is required, supplemented by weekly supervision with a faculty advisor.

Transfer Of Graduate Coursework From Other Universities

A maximum of six (6) credits of psychology-related graduate coursework may be transferred from other accredited universities. A minimum of “B” is required in any such courses. The transferred class must be equivalent to a course not previously taken, from the list of courses offered in the MSJFP degree program.

Application Criteria And Procedures

The minimum requirements for an applicant to be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Juvenile Forensic Psychology program are as follows:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree in psychology or a related social behavioral science conferred by a regionally accredited institution.
    NOTE: For students who are not psychology majors, Introduction to Psychology, Personality Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Statistics in Behavioral Sciences are required prerequisite courses.
  2. Have a minimum 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) on a four-point scale on all completed undergraduate course work.
  3. Produce original transcripts for all academic work taken at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  4.  Submit three letters of recommendation (preferably from faculty sufficiently acquainted with the student to comment on the potential to successfully complete the master’s program.
  5.  Submit an original essay describing why the student wishes to obtain a graduate degree in Juvenile Forensic Psychology. Specifically respond to the following question:
    1. Please provide an autobiographical statement. How do you envision our program meeting your educational/training goal and interests? Please note that there is no “correct” format for this question. Answer this question as if someone had asked you, “tell me something about yourself.” It is an opportunity for you to provide the graduate program with some information about yourself. It is entirely up to you to decide what information you wish to provide along with the format in which to present it.
  6. Submit official scores on the general component of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). (minimum total score of 800 if taken before August 2011 and minimum total score of 380 if taken after August 2011 )
  7.  International students must submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

All application materials must be present by the application deadline in order to be considered for admission, including the GRE. All applicants are held to the evaluation standards. Thus, admissions will be competitive; the applicant’s total record will be taken into consideration.

When the application package for the MSJFP program is complete, the Graduate Committee will meet to consider admission. The committee submits recommendations for admission to the program to the Psychology Department Head, Dean of the College of Juvenile Justice & Psychology, and the Graduate School. The applicant will be notified of the final decision by the Graduate Coordinator.

MSJFP Program Application Form

Application Deadlines

Fall Admission : June 1st

Please mail or fax a copy of ALL application material to:

Master Program Coordinator
Department of Psychology
College of Juvenile Justice & Psychology
Don K. Clark Building
P.O Box 519; MS 2600
Prairie View, TX 77446

(936) 261-5251 – fax
(936) 261-5263 – phone

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