Clinical Psychology/Criminal Justice Program

The clinical psychology/criminal justice program is based on the premise that integrating education and training in the field of clinical psychology with the criminal justice curriculum will broaden career opportunities for clinical psychologists. Dual degree graduates may gain access to a richer variety of career opportunities based on their capacity to deal with psycholegal issues, policy issues related to legal institutions, and administrative demands unique to courts and other criminal justice systems.

This program provides formal education and practica in areas of treatment and assessment in prison and court systems, along with interventions relevant to such law enforcement institutions as local police departments, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and administration and management within local, state, and federal prison systems. Because of concentrated and specialized training in various areas of criminal justice, clinical psychologists will be better prepared to apply their psychological training in these situations and to take managerial and leadership roles in criminal justice–related institutions.


Students spend five years in full-time residence at the Institute of Graduate Clinical Psychology leading to the PsyD Within the same time frame, through the addition of summer courses, field practice experience, and electives during the academic year, the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice can also be completed. However, some students may be required to take courses beyond the five years, depending on other aspects of their psychology curriculum. In addition to fulfilling the essential requirements of the separate degrees, students are required to participate in a number of noncredit learning experiences that are specifically designed to help them integrate their training and develop unique skills. Examples of such experiences may be content-relevant workshops or mini courses. Students are expected to earn their Doctor of Psychology/Master of Arts in Criminal Justice degrees within the five years of study.


The applicant must possess a BA or BS degree from an accredited institution. A major in psychology is desirable but not essential. Evaluation of the student's ability to do graduate work will be based on academic performance and scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Personal character and attributes of emotional maturity, stability, and capacity for relating to and working with other people are major factors evaluated in reviewing applicants. Evidence for these attributes is sought from records of past performance, letters of reference, work history, and a personal interview.

Applicants to the joint program must be accepted by both the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology and the Master of Criminal Justice program. Acceptance into the Criminal Justice program need not coincide with acceptance in the PsyD program, although clearance from the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology must be obtained before submitting an application to the criminal justice program. In any semester, students must be in good standing in the clinical psychology program to take criminal justice courses.


Students pay a total of five years of full-time tuition at the rate of the Institute of Graduate Clinical Psychology. Joint degree candidates who complete the Master of Criminal Justice courses within the 18 credits allowable per semester (except during the first two years, during which students are allowed to take only 15 credits per semester) will do so without added tuition.

All criminal justice courses above the 18 credits, those taken during summer sessions, and those taken after five years in the PsyD program will be subject to additional tuition charges at the College of Arts and Sciences semester-hour rate. Tuition per semester is calculated on a per-credit-rate basis and therefore varies as a function of the total number of credits taken. A fee will be charged each semester (fall or spring) in which the student is enrolled in the joint degree program.


The PsyD program and its exclusively affiliated internship program are accredited by the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242; phone: (202) 336-5979). The criminal justice program is accredited under the auspices of Widener University's accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools