Self-Designed Track I (MS entry)

Gain a broad understanding of the forensic psychology field and how its principles are applied in a range of settings, from correctional institutions to court systems to community-based programs. The Self-Designed specialization allows you to create a unique learning program to deepen your understanding of forensic psychology. You will select electives that will build your knowledge of how forensic psychology professionals work within the legal system and in community-based programs, with an emphasis on preventing and reducing criminal behavior as well as understanding victimization.

Track I is a program of study for students who have a master’s degree in forensic psychology. If you have a master's degree in an unrelated discipline, see Track II.

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Foundation course (3 cr.)
  • Core courses (25 cr.)
  • Research courses (10 cr.)
  • Elective courses (15 cr.)
  • Completion of Doctoral Dissertation
    • Dissertation Support Courses (7 cr.)
    • Dissertation Writing Courses (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
  • PhD residencies (4 four-day sessions)

Walden students have up to 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.

Walden offers a Fast-Track Option. Students can complete their doctorate in less time by taking advantage of this path. With the Fast-Track Option, students take additional courses and begin their dissertation early to expedite their path through the program.

Please refer to Walden’s catalog for more information about degree requirements.

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 844-675-1718.


Doctoral Writing Assessment

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code DRWA 8880G Course Doctoral Writing Assessment Credits (0 cr.)

Foundation Course

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code FPSY 8002 Course Foundations of Graduate Study in Psychology Credits (3 cr.)

Core Courses

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code FPSY 8102 Course Intersection of Crime, Psychology, and the Law Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8126 Course Understanding Violence, Risk, and Threat Assessment Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8400 Course Advanced Issues in Forensic Psychology Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8412 Course Research Foundations Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8910 Course Legal Issues and Social Change in Forensic Psychology Credits (5 cr.)

Elective Courses

Select 3 courses from the following list:
Course Code Course Credits
Course Code FPSY 8520 Course Psychology in the Courts Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8521 Course Police Psychology Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8810 Course Community Psychology Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8785 Course Prevention: Research and Practice Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8314 Course Program Evaluation Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8310 Course Research Design Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8912 Course Mental Health Law Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8511 Course Treatment of Forensic Populations Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8530 Course Forensic Applications in Community Settings Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8512 Course Advanced Issues in Forensic Psychology Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8915 Course Field Experience Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8201 Course Psychological Aspects of Violent Crime Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8206 Course Family Violence Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8202 Course Criminal Investigative Analysis and Profiling Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8204 Course Sex Offender Behavior and Treatment Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8205 Course Psychological Aspect of Cyber Crimes Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8400 Course Advanced Issues in Forensic Psychology Credits (5 cr.)

Research Courses

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code RSCH 8260 Course Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8360 Course Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)

Completion of the Doctoral Capstone

Dissertation Preparation Courses

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code FPSY 8700 Course Dissertation Literature Review Lab Credits (2 cr.)
Course Code FPSY 8185 Course Writing a Quality Prospectus in Psychology Credits (5 cr.)

Dissertation Writing Courses

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code FPSY 9000* Course Doctoral Dissertation Credits (5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)

*Students are continuously enrolled in FPSY 9000 for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion of their dissertation with final Chief Academic Officer (CAO) approval.

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.

8-Year Maximum Timeframe
Students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements. See the policy in the Walden University Student Handbook. Students may petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe, but an extension is not guaranteed.

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, health issues, leaves of absence, or other personal circumstances.

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Questions about our PhD in Forensic Psychology?
Questions about our PhD in Forensic Psychology?
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