Forensic Mental Health Counseling

You can gain the skills needed to be an effective practitioner, leader, or educator within the legal and criminal justice systems with a specialization in Forensic Mental Health Counseling. You’ll explore the variety of assessment tools and techniques used in forensic psychology and learn how to apply research findings to forensic clinical settings. Coursework examines the history, theories, and approaches of program evaluation and how to choose the most appropriate research models to perform evaluations. This specialization can prepare you to work in family courts, drug courts, group homes, and agencies that offer dispute resolution.

Minimum Completion Requirements

  • 15 credits
    • Fulfill the PhD Counselor Education and Supervision, including field experience*
    • Complete three additional courses:

Walden students have 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.

Specialization Courses

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code COUN 8116 Course Understanding Forensic Psychology Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code COUN 8126 Course Assessment in Forensic Psychology Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code PSYC 8113 Course Ethical Issues and Professional Responsibilities in Forensic Psychology Credits (5 cr.)

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code DRWA 8000 Course Doctoral Writing Assessment Credits (0 cr.)

*Learn more about completion requirements for students who are not licensed professional counselors with a master’s degree in counseling or who have not graduated from a CACREP-accredited master’s program.

Due to the practicum requirements of this program, applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or a US territory at time of admission and currently reside in the United States or a US territory at time of admission to be eligible for this program. United States military personnel stationed abroad should contact an enrollment advisor to determine eligibility.

Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.
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