Special Areas of Interest (Guided Electives): Law Enforcement


Within this special area of interest, students will select from a series of guided electives options to learn how forensic psychology can help officers handle the stressors from their jobs as well as with their responsibilities and duties.

Choose three of the following:

FO623 Psychology of Law Enforcement (2 credits)
The field of law enforcement has its own unique culture and organizational structure. This course addresses how the dynamics within law enforcement influence decision making and can lead to and/or sustain acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Students explore major areas of police psychology, such as pre-employment selection, fitness-for-duty evaluation, special unit testing, and psychometric tools utilized in this specialized area. Special attention is paid to critical incident stress debriefing techniques and models used with this population.

FO 624 Forensic Psychology in Correctional Settings (2 credits)
This course exposes students to the unique culture of working in a correctional environment (e.g., socialization, communication, gang activity). Students learn how to deal with ethical dilemmas, limits of confidentiality, safety concerns, and professional issues that may be encountered when working in this setting. Students are exposed to providing treatment with different types of offender populations (e.g., mentally ill, antisocial, adolescent offender) and culturally diverse groups (e.g., elderly offenders, female offenders, religious groups, ethnic groups, and transgender individuals).

FO658 Social Psychology and Cultural Aspects of Aggression (2 credits)
This course provides students with an in-depth examination of Social Psychological experiments and cultural studies related to the foundations of aggressive behavior. Some of the topics addressed include conformity and its relation to stereotyping, racism and aggression, bystander apathy, media impact on aggression, cultural norms as they relate to organized aggression, and prison psychology. Readings are drawn from the extensive literature of social psychological experiments as well as field studies related to the topic.

FO660 Psychology of Terrorism (2 credits)
This course is designed to introduce students to the motivations and beliefs behind those who engage in terrorism. Small-scale terror groups as well as larger and more contemporary terror movements such as the global Salafist jihad are discussed. Additional topics include law enforcement and the international response to global terrorism, psychological issues involving recruitment, the psychology of suicidal terrorism, and the impact of terrorism on children.

FO618 Violence and Risk Assessment (2 credits)
Prerequisite(s): FO 613. This course provides students with the fundamental aspects of conducting violence and risk assessment evaluations and the manner in which opinions are communicated. Students gain an understanding of empirically-based risk factors and assessment tools used to conduct violence and risk evaluations, as well as management strategies employed to ameliorate risk/risk conditions. Practical exercises drawn from actual cases are used to illustrate key concepts.

Note: The Special Areas of Interest are not concentrations and will not be included on the diploma.

Learn more about career opportunities in forensic psychology with The Chicago School’s Special Area of Interest in Law Enforcement. Call (866) 907-4209 to speak with an admissions counselor, or apply online today.