Masters in Human Services - Forensic Mental Health

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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.

Master of Arts in Human Services - Forensic Mental Health

Course length: 7 weeks
Total credit hours: 36
Cost per credit hour: $475


Concordia University, St. Paul offers the Master of Arts in Human Services with an emphasis in Forensic Mental Health in partnership with the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS). The 36-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 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.

To learn more about our partnership with Touro University Worldwide and the opportunities to advance your psychology education, click here.

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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.


Spec. Populations Frn Mntl Hlt

This course explores underserved and disadvantaged individuals who are involved in the criminal justice and legal system.


Substance Use & Co-Oc Disordrs

This course provides students with an overview of the most commonly abused substances in forensic mental health populations.  Students will learn how to identify commonly abused drugs, recognize patterns and warning signs associated with drug use, and identify evidence-based intervention and treatment approaches.


Sexual Offending

This course provides students with a better understanding regarding why some individuals engage in inappropriate sexual behaviors.  Students will learn about the various types of sex offenders, risk factors and statistics associated with sex offending, sex offender-specific policies (i.e., registries, civil commitment of SVP


Forensic Risk Assessment

This course provides more extensive training to students on forensic mental health assessment for adults and adolescents.  It will cover topics including risk-needs assessment tools that are commonly used by forensic mental health professionals to assess for risk of violence, danger, and harm to self and others, as well as determining what criminogenic needs should be addressed.


Cultural Aspects Frn Mntl Hlth

This course explores what corrections, law enforcement, legal, and related forensics-based professionals need to know about culture.  Students can expect to understand the complex definition of culture and gain insight into how culture may impact one


Forensic Mental Health Law

This course examines the relationship between mental illness and the legal system.  It will discuss the various professional roles involved in the forensic mental health law arena, issues involving competency to proceed, expert witness testimony, courtroom testimony protocols, and the insanity defense.


Research and Capstone

This course is the culminating final project in this program of study.  Students are required to complete a 30-40 page integrative paper on a scholarly topic relevant to the study of forensic mental health.

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

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