Master of Science

Understand criminals. Understand their victims. Designed especially for those who are interested in examining the relationship between psychology and the criminal justice system, TU’s Forensic Psychology program is primarily researched based and will prepare students for careers in the criminal justice system and mental health service agencies. Our grads have gone on to work in state prison systems, community corrections agencies, federal, state and local law enforcement, victims’ services or have continued their education and obtained Ph.D. and Psy.D. degrees in Psychology and Forensic Psychology.

Graduate Program Tabs

Bringing The Real World Into The Classroom: Forensic Psychology

Tiffin University’s Master of Science (MS) Degree in Criminal Justice, with a concentration in Forensic Psychology, is an outstanding example of how the real world meets the classroom experience. Our faculty members have all been working professionals in the field, and our students are also working professionals, which provides for an exciting dialogue and a dynamic education filled with connections. This is as real as it gets!


What Is TU’s MS in CJ?

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice Degree, with a concentration in Forensic Psychology is a professional practical degree program that attracts skilled managers, agents, and clinicians from many components of the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems. Combined with the faculty who direct and facilitate the educational experiences in the MS program, the school's talented and multifaceted students complete the mixture and create an intellectual synergy that’s found in very few graduate programs.

Our faculty bring years of executive, operations-level, clinical, academic, and research experience in criminal justice to the graduate learning process in a way that sparks debate, fosters insight and elicits innovation. Joint student-faculty collaboration on learning projects is a common occurrence.


The Forensic Psychology Concentration

The Forensic Psychology Concentration is offered in a four semester format, with the addition of an intercession course or thesis option. This concentration is designed for students who are interested in examining the relationship between psychology and the criminal justice system. The focus of the program is on the many different aspects within psychology and law. The program is primarily research based and will prepare students for careers in the criminal justice system and/or mental health service agencies. Students will develop knowledge and expertise in substance abuse, psychopathology, personality assessment and research methods.

Students also study the application of psychological principles to the resolutions of problems in the administration of criminal justice, such as jury selection, police stress and employee counseling. Graduates can begin careers in either clinical settings where they work directly with offenders and victims or in a research setting where empirical answers are sought to crucial issues affecting the administration of criminal justice.


Note: The ability to practice as a professional psychologist or as a professional mental health counselor—is highly regulated in all states. TU programs (with the exception of the on-campus Addictions Counseling program) do not directly prepare one for practice as a counselor, psychotherapist, or psychologist

Forensic Psychology Concentration 30 hours

  • PSY511 Psychology and Law
  • PSY515 Research Design and Analysis in Forensic Psychology 
  • PSY520 Statistical Applications in Forensic Psychology
  • PSY525 Victimology
  • PSY530 Legal and Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychology
  • PSY547 Mental Health Law in Forensic Psychology
  • PSY551 Psychopathology and Criminal Behavior
  • PSY613 Professional Seminar in Advanced Clinical and 
  • Experimental Forensic Psychology 
  • PSY614 Substance Abuse
  • PSY620 Sex Crimes and Paraphilias 
  • PSY625 Applied Advanced Psychological Assessment
  • PSY637 Forensic Counseling

One of the following:

  • PSY630 Lifestyles and Career Development 


  • PSY635 Cultural Competence in Professional Practice 


  • PSY640 Thesis 
  • PSY640-1 Thesis Extension (if needed)

Total  MS 42-43 hours


This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.

On Campus - Offered in a 15-week semester format with start dates of January and August

Psychology and Law (PSY511) - This class examines the theoretical and empirical bases for the field of forensic psychology. Students will explore how psychologist interacts with offenders, victims and criminal justice agencies. 

Introduction to Forensic Psychology (PSY512) - The class is designed to present students with a broad overview of the field of Forensic Psychology. The course will explore the various applications of theories and research in psychology to aspects of the criminal justice system.

Victimology (PSY525) - This course will cover the broad views of the study of victims at the social, legal, individual and psychological level. The course is designed to broaden the understanding of victims. The student will be given the history of how victims have been treated over time, how the interface of victim-offender dynamics has changed in the criminal justice system, how society treats victims and the psychological processes, services and therapeutic remedies that are available for victims. Various types of victims/crimes will be covered. Legislative and social movements geared at advancing public awareness for victims will be discussed.

Legal and Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychology (PSY530) - Forensic Psychologists encounter ethical conflicts when called upon to function in the criminal justice system. This course will focus on various ethical, legal and professional controversies and dilemmas. Analysis and resolution of these controversies and dilemmas will be explored. Topics include the psychologist-examinee relationship, the retaining party-examiner relationship, legal limits on confidentiality, the psychologist as expert witness, forensic psychology records, etc

Sex Crimes and Paraphilias (PSY620) - This course explores the wide net that the term sex crime casts. In exploring the many different types of sex crimes that exist, detailed focus will be placed on the typology and etiology of the offenders who commit these various crimes and the effect that these crimes have on their victims. The legal system has put in place many policies governing sex offenders based upon an underlying assumption that sex offenders pose a greater risk to society than other types of criminals. We will discuss the various legal issues that surround sex offenders and explore empirical research to determine if this underlying assumption is valid. Topics of treatment effectiveness, therapeutic jurisprudence and the challenges of managing sex offenders in the community will also be discussed.


Steven Borawski
Steven Borawski Program Chair, Online Bachelor and Graduate Social Science Programs
Dr. Erin Dean
Dr. Erin Dean Associate Professor & Chair for Main Campus Social Science Programs
Dr. Steven Hurwitz
Dr. Steven Hurwitz Professor of Psychology & Criminal Justice / Washington Center Liaison
Dr. Jonathan Appel
Dr. Jonathan Appel Professor of Psychology, Counseling & Criminal Justice / Director of Institutional...
Dr. Elizabeth Athaide-Victor
Dr. Elizabeth Athaide-Victor Professor of Forensic Psychology and Psychology
Dr. Fang-Mei Law
Dr. Fang-Mei Law Professor of Psychology & Criminal Justice
Dr. Matthew Bereza
Dr. Matthew Bereza Associate Professor of Psychology, Counseling & Latin American Studies


  • "I chose TU because of its reputation for excellence, national recognition, many extracurricular opportunities and because it offers in a small, diverse college environment. I have learned the significance of academics, leadership, diversity, communication, and relationships. TU allowed me to get out of my comfort zone in order to lead and inspire. It has prepared me to make wise and imperative decisions that will benefit me in my career and my life.”

    – Ivan Santiago, Class of 2015

  • "Tiffin University was my top choice when searching for colleges. I knew with nationally recognized Criminal Justice Programs, I would receive the best education for my future career goals. Because my undergraduate experience was so positive and rewarding, I have pursued my Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice at TU working as a graduate assistant for First-Year Programs. As a GA, I have been able to give back to an institution that has given so much to me and my fellow classmates. Go Dragons!”

    – Sean M. Durocher, Class of 2015

  • "Tiffin University is the college that has helped me grow into the person that I am today. While at Tiffin, I have made unforgettable memories and friends. I continued my education at The University of Toledo College of Law. Although I am moving on, I will never forget everything I have gained from my time at Tiffin University."

    – Jessica Paule, Class of 2015

  • "The aspects of Tiffin University that I really like include low tuition cost and the fact that there are generous scholarships available for international students. Tiffin’s quiet atmosphere makes it easy to concentrate on your studies, but the surrounding cities have plenty to explore including a vibrant entertainment scene.”

    - Xin Guo, China

  • "I chose Tiffin because it is a university with people from all parts of the world, and the fact I could be here and meet all of them is simply amazing. Better yet, I came here for swimming and it was an honor for me to be a part of TU’s newest athletic program.”

    - Ygor Bortolato, Brazil

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