Forensic Psychology Concentration

Catalog Year: 2022-2023

Banner Code: LA-BS-PSYC-FPSY

Students study behavior as it relates to health and well-being, child and adolescent development, education, social situations, the workplace, and the use of technology. Due to Mason’s close proximity to Washington, D.C. the department is especially active in research that informs public policy and national defense. Students who graduate from this program go on to work in a wide range of fields and positions, including human resources, data analysis, user interface design, and social media and marketing.

The BS in Psychology focuses on math and science within the psychology field.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Honors in the Major

Highly-qualified students may apply to graduate with honors in the major. To be eligible for admission, psychology majors must have completed at least 50 credits and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a minimum GPA of 3.40 in psychology courses.

If accepted, students must take a sequence of three courses, which culminates in the successful completion and presentation of an independent honors thesis.

PSYC 490 Psychology Honors I 3
PSYC 491 Psychology Honors II 3
PSYC 492 RS: Psychology Honors III 3
Total Credits 9

To graduate with honors, students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.50 in their honors courses and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a minimum GPA of 3.40 in psychology courses.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students may choose to complete a concentration in clinical psychology, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, developmental psychology, educational psychology, forensic psychology, health psychology, human factors and applied cognition, or work and organizational psychology. Courses required for a concentration may simultaneously satisfy other degree requirements. The concentrations in forensic psychology, human factors and applied cognition, and work and organizational psychology meet the applied psychology requirement.

Students who have limited technology skills are encouraged to take IT 104 Introduction to Computing (Mason Core).

Core Courses in the Major

Basic Courses in Psychology

Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.00 in these courses with a minimum grade of 1.67 (C-) in each one. Courses taken to fulfill these requirements may simultaneously satisfy a concentration.

Introductory Course  
PSYC 100 Basic Concepts in Psychology (Mason Core) 3
Foundational Courses  
PSYC 231 Social Psychology (Mason Core) 3
PSYC 317 Cognitive Psychology 3
Select one option from the following: 3-6
Option 1:
 
Developmental Psychology (Mason Core)  
Option 2:
 
Select two from the following:
 
Child Development  
Adolescent Development  
Psychological Factors in Aging  
Research Methods Courses 1  
PSYC 300 Statistics in Psychology 4
PSYC 301 Research Methods in Psychology 4
Psychology Lab Course  
Select one course from the following: 2 1-4
Principles of Learning  
Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing  
Psychological Tests and Measurements  
Biopsychology Laboratory  
Biopsychology  
Select one from the following: 3 3-6
Biopsychology  
PSYC 375& PSYC 376
Brain and Sensory Processes
and Brain and Behavior
 
Professional Development  
Select one course from the following: 3
Psychology: College to Career  
Psychology in the Community  
Community Engagement for Social Change (Mason Core) 4  
Clinical Practicum in Psychology 4  
Psychology Honors II  
RS: Psychology Honors III  
Special Topics (with Undergraduate Associate Chair approval)  
Total Credits 27-36

Applied Psychology Courses or Optional Concentration

Alternatively, students may earn a concentration in forensic psychology to satisfy this requirement.

Applied Psychology
Students pursuing the BS without concentration complete two courses from the following with a minimum grade of C- in each: 6-7
Psychological Tests and Measurements 1  
Abnormal Psychology  
Industrial and Organizational Psychology  
Human Factors Psychology  
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)  
Mental Illness and Criminal Justice  
Community Engagement for Social Change (Mason Core) 2  
Clinical Practicum in Psychology 2  
Total Credits 6-7
Concentration Meeting Applied Psychology Requirement
Concentration in Forensic Psychology (FPSY)

Students pursuing the BS with concentration in forensic psychology take 15 credits. Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all coursework applied to the concentration.

Students who successfully complete the Psychology Department Honors Program (PSYC 490 Psychology Honors I, PSYC 491 Psychology Honors II, and PSYC 492 RS: Psychology Honors III) with an honors thesis/project focused on forensic psychology may, with approval of their thesis committees and the associate chair for undergraduate studies, substitute their honors work for one course in the concentration.

PSYC 100 Basic Concepts in Psychology (Mason Core) 3
PSYC 380 Introduction to Forensic Psychology 3
PSYC 381 Mental Illness and Criminal Justice 3
Select two courses from the following: 6
Psychology of Crime Victims  
Forensic Psychology: Science and Pseudoscience  
Criminal Behavior: Psychological and Neurological Aspects  
Introduction to Criminal Justice (Mason Core)  
Special Topics 1  
Selected Topics in Forensic Psychology 1  
Total Credits 15

Electives in the Major

Students complete the 39 required credits with electives in psychology (PSYC) with the following restrictions.

  • A maximum of 6 credits of PSYC 327 Psychology in the Community and PSYC 328 Psychology in the Community Laboratory may be applied to required psychology credits.
  • A maximum of 6 credits of PSYC 260 Basic Research Methods in Psychology, PSYC 350 Directed Reading and Research in Psychology, and PSYC 460 Independent Study in Psychology may be applied to required psychology credits.
  • No more than 9 credits of PSYC 327 Psychology in the Community, PSYC 328 Psychology in the Community Laboratory, PSYC 260 Basic Research Methods in Psychology, PSYC 350 Directed Reading and Research in Psychology, and PSYC 460 Independent Study in Psychology can be taken without written permission of the department chair.
  • No more than 6 credits of D may be applied toward this requirement.

PSYC 465 Pioneering Ideas in Psychology is strongly recommended for all students who plan to attend graduate school in psychology.

If an approved psychology course is used to meet the technical writing requirement, it may also be applied as a psychology elective.

Supporting Courses

These courses broaden the requirements to include humanities and strengthen the science, quantitative and writing components of the degree. Students who successfully complete the Honors College curriculum are required to complete only the quantitative reasoning and natural science support requirements described below. All other supporting requirements are considered met by successful completion of the Honors College curriculum.

Technical Writing  
Select one of the following: 1 3-4
Professional and Technical Writing  
Principles of Learning  
Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing  
Psychological Tests and Measurements  
Successful completion of the psychology honors program: 2
 
Natural Science  
Choose one of the following sequences: 8
BIOL 102& BIOL 103& BIOL 105
Introductory Biology I-Survey of Biodiversity and Ecology (Mason Core)
and Introductory Biology II-Survey of Cell and Molecular Biology (Mason Core)
and Introductory Biology II Laboratory (Mason Core)
 
BIOL 103& BIOL 213
Introductory Biology II-Survey of Cell and Molecular Biology (Mason Core)
and Cell Structure and Function
 
Two elective courses in the natural sciences. 3 6-8
Quantitative Reasoning  
Select two courses from the following: 6-8
Introduction to Social Network Analysis (Mason Core)  
Quantitative Reasoning (Mason Core)  
Introductory Calculus with Business Applications (Mason Core)  
Introductory Probability (Mason Core)  
Linear Mathematical Modeling (Mason Core)  
Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)  
Analytic Geometry and Calculus II  
Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Honors) (Mason Core)  
Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part A  
Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part B (Mason Core)  
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)  
STAT 105T
Intro Statistics - Transfer (Mason Core)  
Introductory Statistics II  
Humanities  
Select one course from the following: 3
PHIL  
RELI  
ARTH  
AVT  
MUSI  
DANC  
THR  
Social and Behavioral Science  
Select two courses from the following: 4 6
ANTH  
CRIM  
ECON  
GOVT  
HIST  
SOCI  
Any non-psychology course that has been approved to meet the Mason Core requirement in social and behavioral science  
One Additional Course in Humanities or Social and Behavioral Science 5 3

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in psychology may fulfill this requirement by successfully completing PSYC 301 Research Methods in Psychology, PSYC 304 Principles of Learning, or PSYC 309 Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing. Students who receive transfer credit for a research methods course must take PSYC 304 Principles of Learning, or PSYC 309 Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing unless the transfer course has been approved as writing intensive.

Upper Level Requirement

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

Additional Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with elective courses to bring the degree total to 120.

 Mason Core

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements  
Written Communication (ENGH 101) 3
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology and Computing 3
Exploration Requirements  
Arts 3
Global Understanding 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Western Civilization/World History 3
Integration Requirements  
Written Communications (ENGH 302) 3
Writing-Intensive 1 3
Synthesis/Capstone 2 3
Total Credits 40