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Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Master's Degree | On-Campus

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Make a real difference

Understand the intersection of psychology, law, and social justice

Prepare to work as a change agent within your community. This psychology degree program is based on a philosophy of restorative justice and designed to prepare students to make an impact in the criminal justice system. Students learn about engaging individuals through the lens of the principles of forensic psychology, co-occurring mental health and substance use behaviors, and post-traumatic disorders. The program also engages in the critical analysis of our criminal justice institutions, especially in thinking about how various groups informed by race, gender, gender orientation, class, etc., are impacted by our current system of justice.

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Learn more!

Our admissions staff can walk you through forensic psychology degrees and program requirements at HNU. We'll let you know about upcoming information sessions and events on campus.

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Meaningful work awaits

Where a forensic psychology degree can take you

A graduate degree in Forensic Psychology is versatile. It provides an array of opportunities for students who complete the program. Law enforcement positions like crime analysts, probation officers, and police consultants fit well. Still, you'll have more options as you leave HNU. Our graduates have taken their forensic learning into diverse arenas, including correctional facilities, community -based advocacy contexts, and court-accountable programs.

  • Probation or Parole Officer

    Corrections Agency

  • Restorative Justice Advocate

    Community Resource Center

  • Victim Advocate

    Social Service Office

  • Jury Consultant

    Court System

  • Federal Government Employee

    Government Institution

  • Crime Analyst

    Law Enforcement

  • Investigative Journalist


  • Correctional Counselor

    Corrections Facility

Why Should You Choose HNU for a Degree in Forensic Psychology?

When you pursue your Forensic Mental Health master’s degree at Holy Names University, you have access to the resources that make our school and community so special — including individualized attention, small class sizes, and access to a network of mission-driven, Bay Area-based internship and employment sites.

HNU is a student-centered institution. We’re committed to our social justice mission inside and outside the classroom and our graduates make a positive impact in the Oakland community and beyond.


At Holy Names University, we have a highly diverse community of students. That inclusivity is just one thing that makes life at HNU so special. We’re dedicated to our students’ success. That’s why we offer our students the resources they need to meet their goals. How can we support you?

HNU promotes student security. Our campus is a beautiful, safe place where students learn and flourish. At HNU, we know we can learn from you, too. Holy Names University is excited to welcome you as you work toward your master of arts in Forensic Mental Health Counseling. We can’t wait to grow with you!

Our students enjoy pursuing their Forensic Mental Health master’s degree in Oakland.  Students who earn this degree can complete doctoral training to earn their licenses as forensic psychologists. Some students and alumni choose to work toward other goals. Your future is in your hands.

Our Criminal Psychology Master’s Program in the Bay Area

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology HNU Student
Student reading
Students talking
Holy Names University psychology professor talking to a student in class
Student Experience

Program Highlights

• Real-world experience: students apply their forensic knowledge in a field placement experience.
• Flexible course schedule: courses are offered in late afternoons, evenings, and weekends, and/or a hybrid format.
• Learn from working professionals: our faculty members are experienced clinicians and researchers.
• Regular campus workshops and lectures with local partners and professionals.
• This degree is not license eligible.

A flexible course schedule and a field placement experience in Oakland has immense value for your future in forensic psychology. That first-hand experience in our community prepares students for future work in other areas. We couple that experience with instruction from exceptional faculty members.

Facts & Figures

Why HNU?


Over 75 affiliated organizations and partners in the greater Bay Area.


US News and World Report Best Colleges Guide 2021 ranks HNU 6th Most Diverse University in their Regional Universities West category


Student to Faculty Ratio

Holy Names University student at graduation
Forensic Program

Mission Statement

The mission of our master's program is to train counselors and forensic practitioners to engage with the changing complexity of human experience, to deliver services informed by evidence-based practices and ongoing self-reflection, and to practice with empathy and cultural humility.

Contact Us for More Information About Our Forensic Psychology Master’s Program

If you’re interested in earning your graduate degree from an accredited Forensic Psychology master’s program in California, look into Holy Names University in Oakland. We’re committed to supporting each of our students. That’s why we provide an education that prepares you for the future, no matter where your degree takes you.

Do you want to learn more about our Forensic Mental Health master’s degree? If so, request more information from Holy Names University today! Our admissions counselors are ready to help you make your decision.

A program sneak preview

Sample courses

Here are just a few of the courses you may take.

Substance Abuse Assessment and Treatment

Introduce students to current theories of dependence, methods and protocols for detoxification, relapse prevention, and evidence-based treatment models.

Forensic Psychology and the Law

Learn about the legal statutes and case law that determine how psychology has entered into the justice system, the requirements for becoming an expert witness, and the uses of psychological assessment.

Psychology of Criminal Behavior

Explore the psychology of criminal behavior from various perspectives, including biological and social factors, and development risk factors, especially the impact of traumatic experience.