2022-2023 Catalog 
    Nov 27, 2022  
2022-2023 Catalog

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, Public Policy and Law

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School: California School of Forensic Studies

Modality(ies): Online (with two weekend residencies)

Calendar(s): 8-week term

CIP Code: 42.2812

Program Description/Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy, Psychology, Public Policy, and Law is designed for public and private health and safety professionals who have earned a Master’s degree and who want to enhance their skillset and advance their careers or consultancies. The doctorate provides opportunity to deep dive into the psychology of violence and of the laws related to it in a variety of sectors - such as criminal justice systems, social services, security, and media - in national and international contexts. Graduates serve in law enforcement, security, humanitarian organizations, government agencies, human resource and compliance departments, and in private consultancies.

Program Learning Outcomes/Goals

The PhD in Psychology, Public Policy and Law supports students to attain the following program learning outcomes:

  1. Psycho-Legal Knowledge:
    1. Describe major concepts in mental health law.
    2. Examine the intersections between psychology and the criminal and civil legal sectors.
    3. Critically assess psycho-legal constructs and their impact on forensic practices and public policy.
  2. Forensic Practice:
    1. Apply knowledge of psychology and law to a variety of forensic contexts.
    2. Evaluate the bio-psycho-social and cultural bases of conflict and violence.
    3. Demonstrate skills associated with competent forensic practice. 
  3. Applied Research:
    1. Conduct psycho-legal research that advances just solutions to national and international social challenges.
    2. Assess the impact of culture, diversity and worldview on the adoption and enforcement of laws and public policy related to conflict and violence.

Credit Units

Total Credit Units: 60

Total Core Credit Units: 42

Total Elective Credit Units: N/A

Total Concentration Credit Units: 18

Emphasis/Concentration/Track Requirements

Curriculum Plan

8-Week Calendar

Term 8 (7 units)

Term 9 (7 units)

Term 10 (7 units)


Students from all concentrations join in a residency lab where they present a project (case study, program evaluation, etc.) to demonstrate practice skills.

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