Forensic Mental Health Certificate

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Online, In-Class
or Blended?
Online, In-Class or Blended?

Offered Online?
Classes meet entirely online.

Offered In-Class?
Classes meet face-to-face at our St. Paul campus or other off-campus location.

Offered Blended?
Course work is completed through a combination of in-class and online class meetings.

Forensic Mental Health Certificate

Course length: 7 weeks
Total credit hours: 15
Cost per credit hour: $475


Concordia University, St. Paul offers the Forensic Mental Health Certificate in partnership with the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS). The 15-credit hour program is offered entirely online and focuses on the direct relationship between mental health and the law. The program provides students with a comprehensive overview of the field of forensic mental health and related systems of care. The program is not a clinical/counseling program.

Concordia partnered with the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS) to offer this certificate program. The program targets professionals who have an interest in the field of forensic mental health and related care systems. The partnership enhances curriculum and professional training by using a comprehensive educational approach that focuses on forensic disciplines and current criminal justice issues.

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Forensic Mental Health

This course provides students with a comprehensive overview of the forensic mental health field.  The course explores in detail why some people with mental-health related problems engage in criminal related behavior.


Family Violence, PTSD & Trauma

This course provides an in-depth look at the relationship between family violence, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), preventing suicide, substance abuse, and trauma, as these topics relate to the family structure.  This course will help students understand the dynamics of family violence and trauma on other family members, including children.


Research Methods in FMH

This course provides students with the skills to critically evaluate research on issues related to forensic mental health.  Students will learn how to apply empirical research to inform their decision-making in matters of forensic assessment and treatment planning.


Ethical & Legal Considerations

This course focuses on the ethical and legal considerations that forensic professionals encounter in their daily job duties.  Students will learn about ethical guidelines for forensic practice, as they relate to an ethical decision-making framework.


Fornsc Mentl Hlth Psychopathol

This course examines the most common mental health conditions observed in a forensic mental health-based population, including those conditions common among homeless individuals with undiagnosed mental health issues.  Students can expect to learn how substance use, co-occurring disorders, traumatic brain injuries, and pre-natal substance exposure can contribute to increased mental health symptoms.

Program Outcomes

- Students will learn evidence-based practices as well as therapeutic strategies that have been deemed successful with treating and improving the lives of those in the criminal justice and legal systems.
- Students will discuss the rationale behind why individuals commit crimes and the impact it has on victims and families.
- Students will be exposed to the factors, limitations and considerations facing individuals involved in law enforcement, probation and corrections systems.
- Students will learn about forensic risk assessment tools, testifying in court, and ethical and legal practices that professionals need to follow when working within the forensic mental health system.
- Additional courses include cultural, theoretical, ethical, practical, and research considerations.


1. Apply Online

2. Submit official transcripts from the regionally accredited institution stating the conferral of a Bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 based on a 4.0 system.

3. Submit a typed personal statement that answers the questions listed below. Completed statements should be labeled with your name, academic program, and your contact information and submitted via mail, email or fax. Each question should be answered in a minimum of 300 words (1 page).

Why are you choosing to pursue a graduate program at this time in your career, and what are you hoping to accomplish by doing so?
What strengths do you feel make you a strong candidate for the program?
Describe a past or present personal/professional experience that you believe positively influenced your potential to succeed in a graduate program.

4. Submit a current, professional resume.

Technology Requirements
Students enrolling in a graduate program must have access to a computer that meets Concordia University's technology requirements. Contact Concordia's Help Desk at or 651-641-8866 with any questions regarding these requirements.

Concordia University Technology Requirements (PDF)

Start Dates

Fall 2014 Term

Start Date: Thursday, September 11, 2014
Delivery: Online
Class Day: Thursday
Chat Time: 6:30-7:15 p.m. CST

Spring 2015 Term

Start Date: Thursday, January 15, 2015
Delivery: Online
Class Day: Thursday
Chat Time: 6:30-7:15 p.m. CST

Summer 2015 Term

Start Date: Thursday, May 14, 2015
Delivery: Online
Class Day: Thursday
Chat Time: 6:30-7:15 p.m. CST