Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Clinical Specialization: Forensic

The Forensic specialization is designed to provide an opportunity for clinical students to develop a more intensive academic focus and clinical experience in Forensic psychology without sacrificing the integrity of a general clinical training. Although fulfilling the requirements of the Forensic specialization does not in itself correspond to "expertise" in forensic psychology, the curriculum is sufficient to provide a student with exposure to a range of topics within forensic psychology and forms an excellent background for further work (research and clinical) in this area.

Students concentrating in Forensic Psychology are encouraged to join the academic organizations most relevant to their interests (see below), attend national and international conferences (to present their research findings, learn about current developments in the field, and network with graduate students from other forensic psychology programs), and participate in forensic psychology internet list-serves.

Unlike some "forensic psychology" graduate programs, the Forensic specialization does not sacrifice any of the requirements of the general clinical training program. Instead, the specialization enables students to focus their elective coursework, externship placements, and research projects in order to develop competency in forensic psychology. Students completing this specialization will be able to compete for highly selective forensic internships and post-doctoral fellowships, as well as entry-level forensic clinical positions.

The Forensic specialization is co-directed by Barry Rosenfeld and Keith Cruise.


The requirements of the Forensic specialization are the following:

(at least 3 out of 5):
  • Psychology and Criminal Law (Rosenfeld/Cohen) *
  • Psychology and Civil Law (Rosenfeld/Cohen) *
  • Trauma and Family Violence (Rasmussen)
  • Forensic Assessment (Rosenfeld/Cruise)
  • Juvenile Justice (Cruise)
* courses jointly coordinated with Fordham Law School


At least one year of clinical externship in a forensic facility (including, but not limited to the following sites):
  • Bellevue Hospital Center (Impatient Forensic Unit or Court Clinic)
  • Federal Correctional Center, Danberry, CT (Federal Prison)
  • Elmhurst Hospital Center (Women's Forensic Unit)
  • King's County Psychiatric Center (Inpatient Forensic Unit)
  • Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center (Maximum Security Forensic Hospital)
  • Lincoln Square Legal Services Criminal Law Clinic
  • Metropolitan Correctional Center (Federal Prison and Evaluation Center)
  • Riker’s Island Correctional Health Services (City Jail)
Research Project
  • 2nd year project or dissertation on a topic within Forensic psychology, under the guidance of any of the Specialization Faculty (Drs. Rosenfeld, Bernstein, and Fisher)
Note that the Forensic specialization, like the other specializations within the Clinical Psychology program (Neuropsychology/Health and Child/Family) does not accept applications per se. These specializations are available to ANY interested doctoral student within the Clinical Psychology program. Interested applicants must apply to the Clinical Psychology Doctoral program. Those students seeking additional information are encouraged to contact one of the faculty members directly (preferably via email).

Program Faculty

Dr. Barry Rosenfeld is a board certified (by the American Board of Professional Psychology), forensic psychologist with extensive experience evaluating criminal defendants and civil litigants. Before joining the Fordham faculty, Dr. Rosenfeld was a Senior Psychologist and Director of Education and Training for the New York City Forensic Psychology Clinic, a division of Bellevue Hospital. He has published numerous articles on topics within Forensic psychology, including empirical studies on the clinical assessment of competence to stand trial and criminal responsibility, risk assessment and treatment of stalkers, malingering, competence to make treatment decisions, physician-assisted suicide, and the effects of violence on psychological functioning. He currently maintains a private practice, specializing in forensic assessment and providing expert testimony.

Dr. Keith Cruise is a licensed clinical psychologist and specializes in the clinical evaluation and treatment of youth involved in the juvenile justice system.  Dr. Cruise is an active member of the American Psychology Law Society and the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services.  He has published articles and co-authored book chapters in the area of forensic psychology with a specific emphasis on clinical-forensic evaluations of juvenile offenders with topics including mental health screening of juvenile offenders, psychosocial maturity and legal decision-making, juvenile psychopathy, juvenile risk assessment, and specialized risk assessment of juvenile sexual offenders.  Prior to joining the Department of Psychology, Dr. Cruise was working within the Louisiana juvenile secure custody system providing a combination of clinical service delivery and program evaluation/research of mental health programs implemented within secure institutions.  He maintains an active clinical practice that includesconducting clinical assessments of juvenile offenders, providing expert testimony, and delivering consultation and training services to juvenile justice programs.

Dr. Celia B. Fisher, Director of the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education and Professor of Psychology, is current Chair ofthe American Psychological Association's (APA) Ethics Code Revisions Task Force, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees for the APA Insurance Trust specializing in professional liability insurance, and a member of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Data Safety and Monitoring Board. She has written commissioned papers on ethics involving research with children, ethnic minority groups, persons with cognitive impairments, and individuals at suicidal risk for the President's National Bioethics Advisory Commission [NBAC] and the National Institutes of Health (NIMH) and coordinated the recent Ethics Center, APA, and NIMH co-sponsored conference on "Research Ethics for Mental Health Science Involving Ethnic Minority Children and Youth." Dr. Fisher has served as Chair of the New York State Board for Licensure in Psychology, Chair of the Society for Research in Child Development Committee for Ethical Conduct in Child Development Research, and member of the APA Ethics Committee. She has served as an expert witness in national and international cases involving child sexual abuse and sexual harassment in the schools. Her current research and scholarship include studies on racial discrimination, the consent of children and adults with impaired cognitive capacity to provide informed consent for research and treatment, the validity of child abuse assessment techniques, community perspectives on socially sensitive research, and ethical issues in randomized clinical trials involving suicidality.


Forensic Psychology Journals

Aggression and Violent Behavior
Behavioral Sciences and the Law
Child Abuse and Neglect
Criminal Justice and Behavior
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Law and Human Behavior
Legal and Criminological Psychology
Psychology, Crime, and Law
Psychology, Public Policy, and Law

Forensic Psychology Organizations
American Academy of Forensic Psychology
American Academy of Forensic Sciences
American Academy of Psychiatry and Law
American Psychology-Law Society (APA Division 41)
European Association of Psychology and Law
International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services
Law and Society Association
Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (APA Division 9)

Forensic Information/Literature Sources
Anti-stalking website
Child Abuse Prevention Network
FBI Uniform Crime Reports (national crime statistics resource)
Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy, University of Virginia (free search engine for legal information)
Legal Information Institute (Cornell Law School resource for Supreme Court and Circuit Court decisions
MacArthur Research Network on Mental Health and the Law
Mental Health, Law and Policy Institute (Simon Fraser University)
National Center for Victims of Crime
National Child Protection Clearinghouse (database on child abuse statistics)
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Physician-Assisted Suicide web resources
Psylaw-l (internet list-serve for forensic psychology)
State Government and Court links

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