Build Expertise that Spans Boundaries

Learn about the many issues facing agencies, individuals and families who are affected by the forensic mental health system. Forensic Mental Health professionals may work with individuals or at the policy-level to support effective and collaborative criminal justice, mental health, addiction treatment and social service systems.

Introduction

Russell Sage College offers one of a select few master’s programs in Forensic Mental Health. As a student in our Forensic Mental Health graduate program, you’ll complete clinical and non-clinical coursework in social science research, law, psychology, criminal justice, substance abuse and victimology and participate in a professional externship in a forensic mental health setting. You may opt to pursue an enhanced master’s degree with a concentration in Health Services Administration.

You will learn from professors with law degrees and academic and clinical doctorates — and from professionals in leadership roles in state and community agencies.

Most classes are offered in the evenings on Russell Sage College’s Albany campus. Some weekend, online or reduced-seat time classes are available.

While you will complete some clinical coursework, this is a non-clinical degree program. Graduates who remain in New York will not be eligible to sit for state licensure. Students intending to relocate should review the licensure requirements where they intend to practice.

Master of Science in Forensic Mental Health, Generalist Curriculum

Our 39-credit master’s program in Forensic Mental Health curriculum includes clinical and non-clinical coursework in social science research, law, psychology, criminal justice, substance abuse and victimology and a 240-hour professional externship.

Most students on the Forensic Mental Health generalist track complete the program in two years by taking three classes a semester and one in the summer.

Master of Science in Forensic Mental Health with Health Services Administration Concentration

Our 45-credit master’s program in Forensic Mental Health with a Health Services Administration concentration includes the generalist curriculum, plus four additional courses in policy, law, finance and program planning and evaluation at Russell Sage College’s School of Management.

The master’s program in Forensic Mental Health with a Health Services Administration concentration is ideal for students aspiring to roles that require a thorough understanding of Medicaid redesign and health-care reform.

Certificate of Advanced Study in Forensic Mental Health

Our 18-credit Certificate of Advanced Study in Forensic Mental Health is for anyone with a bachelor’s or graduate degree in a related discipline or working in the field, who would like to complement their knowledge and experience with a specialized focus in Forensic Mental Health.

This certificate may be pursued on its own or combined with the 60-credit master’s degree in Counseling and Community Psychology at Russell Sage College.

Spotlights Pattern

Your Future

Whether you want to work with individuals or at the policy level, Russell Sage College’s graduate programs in Forensic Mental Health will prepare you to meet the growing demand for collaborative professionals in the criminal justice, mental health, addiction treatment, social services and legal services fields.

Careers

Recent graduates of Russell Sage College’s Forensic Mental Health programs have been accepted to positions such as the highly selective New York State Excelsior Service Fellowship program and hired as a homicide detective at the New Orleans Police Department; director of community services at Community, Work & Independence, Inc. in Glens Falls, New York; investigator at the Polk County (Florida) Department of Children and Families; and probation officer in Schenectady County (New York).

Further Graduate Studies

Russell Sage College’s Forensic Mental Health program alumni have completed law degrees at Albany Law School and the University of Massachusetts School of Law and doctorates in clinical psychology at Walden University and William James College.

Learning Experience

The graduate programs in Forensic Mental Health at Russell Sage College provides you with relevant coursework, externships and research experiences.

Externships and Special Research Opportunities

As a Forensic Mental Health master’s degree candidate, you will participate in a 240-hour externship within the forensic mental health system. Recent employers that have hosted Forensic Mental Health externs include the Rensselaer County Probation Department, the New York State Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, New York State Office of Mental Health, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Services and New Paradigm Psychological Services.

Our students also regularly conduct research and may apply for the Broughton Graduate Fellowship or the Jody Ann Zabel Memorial Travel Award to assist with expenses related to research or travel to conferences. Students have recently participated in conferences hosted by the Criminal Justice Educators Association of New York State and the New York State Alliance for Sex Offender Treatment Providers and have published in the Journal of American College Health.

Program Objectives

Russell Sage College’s graduate programs in Forensic Mental Health include clinical and non-clinical coursework in social science research, law, psychology, criminal justice, substance abuse and victimology and a 240-hour professional externship in a forensic mental health setting. Graduates are prepared to provide expertise that is trauma-informed, culturally competent and grounded in evidence-based best practices as they work across criminal justice, mental health, substance abuse and social service systems.

 

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