Psychology/Forensic Psychology (BA)

Alumna; On Campus
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Patricia Mackie '04
BA_Psych_ForensicPsych_Campus

Forensic psychologists work at the intersection between psychology and law. SNHU's bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology concentration challenges students to apply their research skills, psychological knowledge and critical thinking abilities to a variety of issues facing the legal system.

Students study subjects such as:

  • how psychologists serve as expert witnesses and advisors in courts.
  • motives and patterns of criminal behavior.
  • definitions for insanity.
  • treatment, rehabilitation and assessments used in corrections and in private practice.
  • eyewitness memory.
  • criminal profiling.

Required Core Courses

General Education Program

School of Arts and Sciences Required Courses

BIO-210: Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
Discussion/comparison of the principles of mammalian form and function. Includes molecular and cellular mechanisms of major processes (such as muscle contraction, neural transmission, and signal transduction) and examines the structure and function of the 11 organ systems of the human body. Laboratory exercises (BIO-210L) to follow lecture topics.

Choose two of the following:

JUS-101: Introduction to Criminal Justice
This course covers the nature, scope and impact of crime in the United States, independent and interdependent operations and procedures of police, courts and corrections, and introductory theories of crime and delinquency. The course introduces the justice model in a systematic way whereby students delve into the numerous components of the justice system including law enforcement, legal and judicial process and correctional operations. Career opportunities will be fully covered throughout the course.
JUS-325: Law, Justice and Family
A full-fledged review of the justice system's response to the establishment and maintenance of family in the American culture. How the family is defined, its heritage of rights and protections and the differentiated roles of parent and child are central considerations. Further review includes a look at family dissolution, divorce, custody and support disputes and the ongoing problems of visitation. The emerging problems of spousal and child abuse will be keenly analyzed and how the legal systems provide protection from these abuses will be closely scrutinized.
JUS-468: Crimes Against Children
This is a course that examines criminal activity targeted against children. The course will focus on the physical and sexual abuse, neglect, kidnapping, and sexual exploitation of children. Students will explore methods of identifying victims, investigating offenders, and court presentation of criminal cases. Special attention is focused on the dynamics of the relationship between victims and offenders and how that is a factor in the investigation and prosecution of criminal acts.
JUS-485: Forensic Law
An interdisciplinary course covering law, criminal justice, science, and technological issues in the evidentiary arena. Coverage in the course provides a broad-based assessment of expert witnesses, microanalysis, pathological evidence, admissibility and investigatory practice, ballistics, fingerprints, vascar/radar, and photographic techniques. Contrasted with criminalistics, subject matter of this course is primarily evidentiary. More particularly, the course will delve into the rules of evidence, which guide the admissibility of forensic evidence in a court of law. Examination includes threshold tests for reliability and admissibility, qualification of witnesses competent to testify, scientific rigor required for admission and case law determinations on the use and abuse of scientific evidence.
POL-210: American Politics
This course offers a broad introduction to the structure and function of the American political system at the national level, including the roles played by the president, Congress, the courts, the bureaucracy, political parties, interest groups and the mass media in the policy- making and electoral processes. This course places special emphasis on how the efforts of the framers of the Constitution to solve what they saw as the political problems of their day continue to shape American national politics in ours.
POL-306: The American Legal Tradition
This course offers a broad introduction to the American legal tradition, including the structure and function of the courts, the legal profession, legal education, and the politics of judicial selection. As an introduction to what it means to "think like a lawyer" in the United States, students learn how to write parts of a predictive legal memorandum of the type that first-year law students learn how to write, in which they analyze a legal issue of concern to hypothetical clients by applying the reasoning and conclusions in selected judicial opinions to the facts of the clients' case.
Prerequisites:
GOV-110 or POL-210
SCI-215: Contemporary Health
This course exposes students to the three major dimensions of health -- physical, emotional and social. Health, nutrition, substance abuse, infectious diseases and stress management are among the issues that will be discussed. Students will learn to intelligently relate health knowledge to the social issues of our day. For students on program plans/catalogs prior to 2012-13; this course does not satisfy the university core science requirement.
SOC-213: Sociology of Social Problems
Students in this course analyze contemporary social problems in America and other societies. Issues include economic limitations, class and poverty, race and ethnic relations, sexism, ageism, and environmental and population concerns. Offered every year.
Prerequisites:
SOC-112
SOC-317: Sociology of the Family
This course is a sociological examination of the family institution in America and other societies. Traditional and nontraditional family patterns are studied to provide students with a structure for understanding sex, marriage, family and kinship systems.
Prerequisites:
SOC-112
SOC-320: Sociology of Gender
The examination of gender in society. Students will explore the social construction of gender, gender identity development, sexuality and power, and other aspects concerning the meanings and implications of being 'male', 'female', or 'transgendered'.
Prerequisites:
SOC-112
SOC-326: Sociology of Deviant Behavior
This course is a sociological analysis of the nature, cause, and societal reactions to deviant behavior, including mental illness, suicide, drug and alcohol addiction and sexual deviation. Offered every other year.
Prerequisites:
SOC-112
SOC-328: Sociology of Aging
Students in this course examine the basic social processes and problems of aging. Social and psychological issues and issues involved with death and dying are discussed. Offered every other year.
Prerequisites:
SOC-112

Psychology Degree Major Courses

PSY-108: Introduction to Psychology
This course provides students an introduction to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Students prepare for more advanced concepts in upper-level Psychology courses by learning the basics of how to evaluate research and exploring various areas of specialization within the discipline. Offered every semester.
PSY-223: Research I: Statistics for Psychology
How do psychologists organize, summarize, and interpret information? Students in this course study applications of statistical methods in psychological research and practice. The emphasis of the course is on the conceptual understanding of statistics so that students can read and conduct psychological research; those skills will be applied to students' original projects in Research Methods II: Methodology & Design. Computation of tests will be conducted on the computer. Students will build upon statistical knowledge and develop an in-depth conceptual and practical understanding of hypothesis testing, tests of significance, standardization, correlation, and analysis of variance in a wide variety of psychological uses. Students will learn the theory of statistical decisions, practical application of statistical software, and how to analyze journal articles. This course typically should be completed during the first semester of the sophomore year.
Prerequisites:
MAT-240
PSY-224: Research II: Scientific Investigations
Students in this course will develop an understanding a variety of research methods, including experimental, survey, correlation and case-history techniques. They will become aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each method and understand when each method is best used. Offered every year. Writing intensive course.
Prerequisites:
PSY-108 or PSY-108H and MAT-240 or MAT-245
PSY-444: Senior Seminar in Psychology
This capstone course integrates previous classroom and practical experience with a focus on current issues in psychology. This course likely will include cross-cultural aspects of psychology, ethics, recent career trends in psychology and other topics dictated by current events in psychology. Coverage may change over time, but the basic focus on integrating the past and anticipating the future for psychology seniors will be the major concern. Offered every year. Writing Intensive Course.
Prerequisites:
PSY-224 and three from: PSY-211, 215, 216, 257, 300 or 305

PSY ELE - Students may select four Psychology electives

Content Areas (Select 4)

PSY-211: Lifespan Development
The purpose of this course is to engage students in meaningful exploration of theories, basic concepts, and research methodologies in psychological development. Students will gain an understanding of patterns of human development from conception through death, including the biological, cognitive, and social-emotional development and the interplay between these areas. This course will also explore the roles of environmental and genetic factors, culture and history, continuity and change in development. Offered every semester.
Prerequisites:
PSY-108 or PSY-108H
PSY-215: Abnormal Psychology
This course offers students an opportunity to better understand human behavior. It also studies the similarities and differences between normal and abnormal reactions to environmental stimuli. Offered every year.
Prerequisites:
PSY-108 or PSY-108H
PSY-216: Psychology of Personality
Personality is studied using theories, applications, and individual and group patterns of behavior formation. Offered every year.
Prerequisites:
PSY-108 or PSY-108H
PSY-257: Social Psychology
Social psychology is an interesting, dynamic study of how people's thoughts, feelings and actions are affected by others. Issues discussed include prejudice, conformity, interpersonal attraction and violence. The scientific methods of studying such phenomena are emphasized. Offered as needed.
Prerequisites:
PSY-108 or PSY-108H
PSY-300: Biopsychology
This course explores how the brain influences our behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Topics include: evolution, genetics, anatomy and function of the nervous system, psychopharmacology, brain dysfunction, neuropsychological testing, sleep and circadian rhythms, neuroplasticity, emotions, and mental illness.
Prerequisites:
PSY-108 or PSY-108H
PSY-305: Cognitive Psychology
Cognitive psychology focuses on mental processes; we explore research and theory relating to memory, thinking, problem-solving, and language. Applied topics will include learning skills to help improve memory, accommodating memory/language disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and dyslexia, and understanding how brain scanning techniques can be used to understand memory.
Prerequisites:
PSY-108 or PSY-108H

Psychology Electives

Choose four (4) 200/300 level PSY electives
or
Choose one (1) concentration

Forensic Psychology Concentration Courses

The following two courses should be taken in place of the psychology electives:

PSY-205: Forensic Psychology
Students will learn how psychology, as a science and a practice, applies to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. Emphasis will be placed on witness testimony and the social psychology of the courtroom. Topics will include recovered memories, adolescent violence and murder, strategies for interviewing witnesses, expert testimony, and factors influencing the credibility of witnesses, victims and offenders.
Prerequisites:
PSY-108 or PSY-108H
PSY-310: Criminal Psychology
This course will provide the student with insights about crime from a psychological perspective. Specifically, the course will focus on how a criminal offender is influenced by multiple systems within the psychosocial environment. This course examines and evaluates the role of psychological factors in understanding the motives behind antisocial acts. Throughout the course, students will acquire knowledge and practice in the application of psychological methods to understanding criminal behavior.
Prerequisites:
PSY-108

Select Two of the Following:

PSY-257: Social Psychology
Social psychology is an interesting, dynamic study of how people's thoughts, feelings and actions are affected by others. Issues discussed include prejudice, conformity, interpersonal attraction and violence. The scientific methods of studying such phenomena are emphasized. Offered as needed.
Prerequisites:
PSY-108 or PSY-108H
PSY-315: Counseling Process and Techniques
This course examines the history and philosophy of specific helping professions in the fields of psychology, sociology and human services. Several broad theoretical perspectives will be studied and applied in role-play situations. Offered as needed.
Prerequisites:
PSY-108 or PSY-108H, and PSY-216
SOC-324: Sociology of Crime and Violence
The course examines the nature, causes, and consequences of crime and violence to a society. Applying a legal and sociological perspective, the course examines: 1) the structure of the law and the criminal justice system; 2) the nature and causation of criminal behavior; and 3) the various types of crime and criminality.
Prerequisites:
SOC-112

Free Elective Credits: 30

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Phone: 603.645.9611
Fax: 603.645.9693
Email: admission@snhu.edu