Forensic Mental Health at the School of Health Sciences

The School of Health Sciences at Sage offers a Master of Science (39 credits), a Master of Science with enhanced curriculum (45 credits), which includes a concentration in Health Services Administration, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Forensic Mental Health.

Each program prepares students to be effective professionals in their area of specialization by providing an exciting cross-disciplinary program with clinical and non-clinical coursework in social science research, law, psychology, criminal justice, substance abuse, and victimology.

Students learn about the many issues facing agencies, individuals, and families who are affected by the forensic mental health system; and evidence-based solutions to these complex issues. The development of cultural competency and critical thinking skills are also woven throughout the curriculum.

Students who choose the optional Health Services Administration concentration will gain broader disciplinary knowledge and enhanced skills to work more effectively in public and private sector agencies related to behavioral health homes, substance abuse management/treatment, pre-release planning for correctional clients, and Medicaid Redesign Teams (MRT).

After completion of program prerequisites and at least 30 credit hours of study, all students will complete a minimum 240-hour externship in a forensic mental health setting.

Note: While students do 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 of the jurisdiction in which they intend to practice.

Mission Statement

Sage’s M.S. and C.A.S. in Forensic Mental Health educate professionals to develop exemplary career competencies by integrating knowledge of law, psychology, and criminal justice. As boundary spanners, students utilize evidence-based practice within and across disciplines to effectively identify and meet the needs of affected populations.

Program Goals

Forensic Mental Health at Sage has been designed to:

  • Shape student attitudes (“to be”)
    • Cultural competence in the delivery of service
    • Ethical and professional development and application of policy and interventions
  • Enhance student knowledge (“to know”)
    • Mental health diagnoses
    • Abnormal psychology
    • Addictions
    • Risk management of offending behaviors
    • Victimization
    • Legal analysis
    • Therapeutic jurisprudence
    • Stigma
    • Physical, emotional, social, and neurobiological effects of trauma
  • Develop student skills (“to do”)
    • Research methodology
    • Statistical applications
    • Effective oral and written communication
    • Technological competence
    • Application of evidence-based practice
    • Critical thinking
    • Development, administration, and interpretation of risk assessment instrumentation
    • Teamwork
    • Appropriate source usage and citation

Student Learning Outcomes

The Forensic Mental Health program goals have been translated into six Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), which can be approached from several directions. Examples of measures for achieving the SLOs are listed below the statement of each desired outcome.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Apply appropriate legal analysis to the discipline of Forensic Mental Health
  1. Exhibit mastery of the history and development of systems and policies integral to the discipline of Forensic Mental Health
  1. Ethically apply key concepts, policies, and interventions to persons in community and institutional settings
  1. Demonstrate cultural competence in interactions
  1. Illustrate the role of evidence and research methods in the development of evidence-based practices
  1. Develop exemplary core competencies in communication, ethics, critical thinking, and teamwork for professional practice

Mapping SLOs to Core Courses

Table 1: Forensic Mental Health SLOs Mapped to Core Coursework

  • SLO 1: Apply appropriate legal analysis
  • SLO 2: Exhibit mastery of systems and policies
  • SLO 3: Ethically apply concepts, policies, interventions
  • SLO 4: Demonstrate cultural competence
  • SLO 5: Develop and apply evidence-based practice
  • SLO 6: Develop core competencies
SLO 1SLO 2SLO 3SLO 4SLO 5SLO 6
SOC 550 Research   xx
FMH 505 Intro FMH xxxxx
FMH 510 Victims xxxxx
FMH 515 Eval/Tx Adults    xx
FMH 520 Eval/Tx Youth xx xx
FMH 525 Intro US Law for FMHx    x
FMH 527 Family / Juv Lawx    x
FMH 535 MH Lawx    x
FMH 540 Externship xxxxx
FMH 592 Addictions xx xx
PSY 575 Abnormal  xxxx