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Forensic Psychology, Certificate

35 Credits
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Queens Campus


The program seeks to train psychologists in court-related techniques including how to be an effective expert witness. These skills include topics such as how to prepare an efficient and proper forensic evaluation for various situations, preparing the most appropriate forensic reports, and specific techniques for effective court testimony.  The program should be of interest to psychologists who are looking to expand their practice by becoming a trained forensic expert. Apply now, if you are interested in 

  • Acquiring new skills in forensic psychology geared to make you more marketable and provide you with additional sources of income.
  • Acquiring more up-to-date knowledge and specific skills taught by a dynamic, experienced, and nationally renowned interdisciplinary team of forensic professionals with a proven expertise in law, psychology, and forensic sciences.
  • Being trained in court-related techniques that are likely to make you a more effective expert witness, including forensic report writing and specific techniques for effective court testimony.
  • Looking for a flexible program with the option to complete a postdoctoral certificate program in basic and advance training in forensic psychology.
  • Acquiring most of the didactic requirements for the diplomate examination in forensic psychology, as established by the American Board of Forensic Psychology.


The field of forensic psychology has significantly grown over the last few years as more and more attention is paid to the role of professionals in forensic investigations and forensic testimony. It is now more likely that a professional may be called upon to testify about their clients/patients or asked to render expert testimonies about a range of subjects related to that professional’s practice/expertise. Most of these professionals are usually ill-prepared to negotiate adequately in a court environment that follows different rules of evidence in making decision, with the negative consequences for their clients.

Thus, St. John’s University’s Office of Postgraduate Development Programs, working closely with the Psychology Department and The Center for Psychological Services, and with collaboration from our Law School, sought to develop a unique interdisciplinary program to train psychologists in court-related skills and techniques, including how to be an effective expert witness. These skills include how to prepare an efficient and proper forensic evaluation for various situations, preparing the most appropriate forensic reports, and specific techniques for effective court testimony.  The acquisition of these new skills is likely to augment the professional expertise in the courtroom for those enrolled in the program, with a substantial increase in their earning capacity. Training in forensic psychology should be extremely appealing to any psychologist interested in becoming better prepared to represent the needs of their clients in the legal environment and in becoming more competitive in their professional careers.  Because of the likelihood that the professionals will have to deal with clients coming from a diverse population, the program offers a strong emphasis on training in cultural competence regarding forensic issues. It is a unique interdisciplinary program with a nationally recognized faculty with proven expertise in the forensic field.

Department Faculty

Please see a list of our Psychology faculty.


Rafael Art. Javier, Ph.D., ABPP Director 
8000 Utopia Parkway
Marillac Hall Room 402B
Queens, NY 11439
718-990-5460 or 718-990-1972


Applicants are expected to have completed a doctoral degree in psychology and be licensed or license eligible. To be considered the candidate should submit the following documents:        

  • Complete application with $55 nonrefundable application fee        
  • Verification of degree (E.g. official copy of graduate degree transcript)
  • Those seeking the Advanced Certificate should submit detailed proof that verifies satisfaction of contents for the basic certificate program.    
  • Copy of psychology license and registration or application
  • Three letters of recommendation

Download the application.


Additional Information

The course contents of the Certificate and Advanced Certificate programs are designed to fulfill didactic requirements for the diplomate examination of the American Board of Forensic Psychology in the areas of basic foundations and civil forensic contents. Those interested in pursuing full board certification by the American Board of Forensic Psychology are encouraged to become familiar with the other requirements, particularly practicum hour requirements, listed at its website.

The programs are organized to offer the candidates progressively more challenging material in forensic psychology that will make their practices more competitive by providing them with an ability to analyze and clearly articulate forensic issues affecting their patients in an ethical, ethnically, and culturally sensitive manner: 

  • The Postdoctoral Certificate in Forensic Psychologyis the basic forensic program and consists of series of modules covering a range of basic aspects of forensic psychology and its practice. It focuses on an introduction of forensic behavioral science and the development of expertise in specific techniques for forensic report writing, dealing with subpoena, communications with the courts, and expert witness testimony. Successful completion of 35 hours of instructions qualifies the candidate for this certificate. Knowledge of the content covered by this certificate is a prerequisite for the Advanced Certificate Program, which is a more specialized part of the program.
  • The Advanced Postdoctoral Certificate in Forensic Psychology consists of a series of modules covering more advance exposure to issues related to civil proceedings, with more emphasis on hands on experience beyond those required for the Basic Certificate. It is a more intense program with additional emphasis on selection of appropriate forensic assessment tools, effective expert testimony, issues of competency, and rules of evidence for the different courts (noncriminal process, such as civil, workers’ comp, family, child custody, conflict resolutions, etc.).Successful completion of 50 hours of instructions qualifies the candidate for this certificate.


Course NumberCourse TitleCourse HoursInstructor2015-2016 Fee
PDFP 900The Forensic Ethic and Mindset 7Randy Otto, Ph.D., ABPP$490
PDFP 901Forensic Ethic and Other  Sources of Authority7             Randy Otto, Ph.D., ABPP$490
PDFP 902Evidence and How It Shapes Process and Presentation of Work, Data, and
7             Timothy M. Tippins, Esq.$490
PDFP 903Assessing of Response Style7Rick Frederick, Ph.D., ABPP$490
PDFP 904Presenting Opinions via Report Writing and Testimony (includes moot court experience)11Randy Otto, Ph.D., ABPP$770

For more information about accommodations, please e-mail


View the faculty list.

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