The clinical psychology-criminal justice program is based on the premise that integrating education and training in the field of clinical psychology with the criminal justice curriculum will broaden career opportunities for clinical psychologists. Dual degree graduates may gain access to a richer variety of career opportunities based on their capacity to deal with psycholegal issues, policy issues related to legal institutions, and administrative demands unique to courts and other criminal justice systems.
This program provides formal education and practica in areas of treatment and assessment in prison and court systems, along with interventions relevant to such law enforcement institutions as local police departments, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and administration and management within local, state, and federal prison systems. Because of concentrated and specialized training in various areas of criminal justice, clinical psychologists will be better prepared to apply their psychological training in these situations and to take managerial and leadership roles in criminal justice-related institutions.
Students spend five years in full-time residence at the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology leading to the PsyD. Within the same time frame, through the addition of summer courses, field practice experience, and electives during the academic year, the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice can also be completed. However, some students may be required to take courses beyond the five years, depending on other aspects of their psychology curriculum. In addition to fulfilling the essential requirements of the separate degrees, students are required to participate in a number of noncredit learning experiences that are specifically designed to help them integrate their training and develop unique skills. Examples of such experiences may be content-relevant workshops or minicourses. Students are expected to earn their PsyD/MACJ degrees within the five years of study.
Applicants to the joint program must be accepted by both the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology and the Master of Criminal Justice program. Acceptance into the criminal justice program need not coincide with acceptance in the PsyD program, although clearance from the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology must be obtained before submitting an application to the criminal justice program. In any semester, students must be in good standing in the clinical psychology program to take criminal justice courses. ‘Good standing’ status requires a cumulative and current (prior semester) GPA of 3.0 and successful completion of major program requirements for the student’s year of training.
Students pay a total of five years of full-time tuition at the rate of the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. Joint degree candidates who complete the Master of Criminal Justice courses within the 18 credits allowable per semester (except during the first two years, during which students are allowed to take only 15 credits per semester) will do so without added tuition. All criminal justice courses above the 18 credits, and those taken after five years in the PsyD program will be subject to additional tuition charges at the College of Arts and Sciences semester-hour rate. A fee will be charged each semester (fall or spring) in which the student is enrolled in the joint degree program.
The PsyD program and its exclusively affiliated internship program are accredited by the American Psychological Association. The criminal justice program is accredited under the auspices of Widener University’s accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.