2022-2023 Catalog 
    Mar 22, 2023  
2022-2023 Catalog

Master of Science in Forensic Behavioral Science

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School: California School of Forensic Studies

Modality(ies): Online with two weekend residencies

Calendar(s): 8-week term

CIP Code: 45.0401

Program Description/Overview

This program combines theory, the latest research and innovation, and knowledge of scientifically supported best practices to provide advanced knowledge and skills that supports the assessment and management of risk. The curriculum draws on numerous disciplines, with a heavy emphasis on forensic psychology and criminal law. The study of Forensic Behavioral Science has broad applications and is designed to assist those working within law enforcement, security, human resources, college administration and other fields in which forensic behavioral science generally, and risk assessment and management specifically, are integral to job performance and competency.


This program offers six (6) concentrations as follows:

  1. Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies: Designed for students interested in gaining a greater understanding of conflict dynamics and in obtaining evidence-based knowledge and skills to support conflict resolution in multiple contexts.
  2. Criminal Behavior: Designed for students interested in understanding offenders from a motivational, psychological and social perspective. Designed to enhance the knowledge base for students aspiring to law enforcement, correctional, investigative or consulting careers.
  3. Forensic Linguistics: Designed for students is interested in gaining a foundational understanding of the application of science to language in the context of criminal and civil law. Course particularly targets linguists, educators, investigators, forensic mental health professionals, and lawyers.
  4. Forensic Victimology: Designed to support those who want a deeper understanding of victim-offender dynamics to aid in safety planning and civil and criminal investigations.
  5. Professional Protection & Security Management: Designed for those seeking to enhance their ability to lead in a variety of security and critical incident contexts.
  6. Trial Consulting: Designed for students interested in working alongside attorneys in criminal or civil actions and applying behavioral science to legal proceedings, or in applied research designed to enhance the pursuit of justice.

Program Learning Outcomes/Goals

Upon completion of the program students will be able to:

  1. Outline civil and criminal justice processes and relevant law.
  2. Explain behavioral science concepts as they apply to forensic contexts.
  3. Evaluate scientific findings related to forensic behavioral science approaches.
  4. Conceptualize and evaluate programs designed to address forensically relevant problems.
  5. Evaluate best practices in applying behavioral science approaches in forensic contexts.
  6. Apply behavioral science approaches to real-world problems in forensic contexts.
  7. Approach forensic issues in a manner that reflects an understanding of the separate and combined roles of ethics, demographic characteristics, values and culture.

Professional Behavior Expectations/Ethical Guidelines

Respectful Speech and Actions: As an institution of higher education, the University has the obligation to combat racism, sexism, and other forms of bias and to provide an equal educational opportunity. Professional codes of ethics and the academic code shall be the guiding principles in dealing with speech or actions that, when considered objectively, are abusive and insulting.

Professional Behavior: This program is a graduate-level professional program, and each member of the program, both students and faculty, are expected to engage in professional behavior and conduct. Students should always display empathy, self-control, friendliness, generosity, cooperation, helpfulness, and respect in all of their interactions with other students, staff, and faculty. Students will strive to exemplify professional behavior in all aspects of their participation in this program, to be on time in all engagements, to thoughtfully and diligently complete activities and assignments, and to treat all other program members with respect and dignity.

Credit Units

Total Credit Units: 36

Total Core Credit Units: 21

Total Elective Credit Units: N/A

Total Concentration Credit Units: 15

Emphasis/Concentration/Track Requirements

Students choose five courses from one of the concentration options.

Curriculum Plan

The following curriculum plan is a sample and serves only as a general guide. Curriculum plans and course sequence are subject to variation depending on a student’s start term. Students must complete all coursework required for their program as set forth in their individual master plan of study. A part-time option may be available.

8-Week Calendar

Term 1 (5 units)

Term 2 (6 units)

Term 3 (6 units)

Term 4 (6 units)

Term 7 (3.5 units)

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