*These FAQ's were compiled and answered by current and former students of the program
Q: Are Intro to Psychology, Statistics, and Abnormal Psychology the only class specific requirements for applying to the program?
A: Yes, they are.
Q: If I was to enroll in the pre-requisite classes soon, would I be able to apply for the program?
A: Yes. You do need to have these classes completed before beginning the program, but not before you apply. You would just need to send an updated transcript to the department, with grades indicating that the required courses were completed, before beginning the program. Final acceptance is determined based in part on the final grades obtained in those courses.
Q: I’m still taking classes right now – Should I send in official or unofficial transcripts with my application?
A: Many of the students who apply to the program are currently undergraduate students, who do not yet have finalized transcripts. Please submit your official transcript with the rest of your documents. The official transcript is needed in order for your application to be considered complete, and ready for review/consideration. By the time you graduate, the admissions deadline will have passed. You can send an updated transcript once you have your final semester grades (which would be after the acceptance notifications are sent out).
Q: Is there anything I should know or be aware of for the admissions process?
A: Yes – Definitely make sure that you mark down the building code when you address mail to FDU. For applications, the code is T-KB1-01. The building code for the psychology department is T-WH1-01. If you don’t mark down the building code, your application will probably not get where it needs to go. I would check in and make sure that the school (any school) has received all of your materials, before the deadline has passed, particularly when the application is in paper form. Other information about admissions can be found here: http://view2.fdu.edu/academics/university-college/school-of-psychology/masters-level-programs/m-a-in-forensic-psychology/admission-requirements/
For FDU, you can confirm that your application materials have been received by contacting Mary Morningway, our administrative assistant. She can be reached at (201) 692-2315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How long does it take to complete the program?
A: The program is designed to take 18 months of full-time study. That includes the fall, summer, and spring semester during your first year, and a fall semester during your second year. If complete your externship hours and pass your comprehensive exams on schedule (by the end of the fall semester), your technical graduation date will be in February. However, the formal graduation ceremony only happens once a year at FDU, which is in May. So if you want to “walk,” you'll have to wait until May. Students who don’t finish their externship hours until the spring semester still graduate in May, with the rest of their class.
Q: Is the program organized and structured?
A: The program is very organized and structured. It's built on a cohort-model, which means that you will have all of your classes with the same group of students, along with some additional students. For that reason, courses are offered once per year, when a certain cohort is scheduled to take them. Other than the one elective that you and your cohort will vote on, all of the classes you will take are pre-determined. Your placement in all of the courses is guaranteed.
Q: Is it possible to attend the MA program on a part-time basis?
A: No, because the courses are offered only during specific semesters, part-time study is not an option.
Q: Are any of the masters courses offered online?
A: No - As the classes are heavily focused on discussion, it would not make sense to offer them online.
Q: Is it possible to study abroad during the MA program?
A: Yes, we offer one class each year at our Wroxton campus in Wroxton, England. This usually happens during the summer session, so that it does not interfere with the other classes. Here's a link to the virtual tour of that campus: http://www.fdu.edu/wroxton/virtualtour/
Q: What kind of work do you do in the program?
A: Graduate school work in general is different than undergraduate work, in that it involves more reading, and more in-class discussion, but fewer small assignments, and fewer exams.
Q: What types of internships are there with the program? Does someone help place you into the internships, or do you have to find them on your own?
A: At the master's level, there are only psychology externships (internships are what we call the capstone, usually paid doctoral experience). The program requires that you complete one 300 hour externship, usually in your last semester of the program. We do have a running list of sites that usually accept students from our program. Here is a list of recent externship placements for our students: http://view.fdu.edu/default.aspx?id=10284. As you can see, some of these are hospitals, jails, prisons, forensic psychiatric centers, psychiatric hospitals, police offices, etc. In addition to these sites, if you find a potential externship site on your own, you are encouraged to pursue that as an option. There's a wide range of externship opportunities that meet the criteria for the program. As far as procedure, the faculty can provide you with contact information for sites that you are interested in (based on the setting, type of client, or subspecialty you want more experience with), and are often willing reach out on your behalf if they already have a working relationship with someone at that site. However, if you are able to do these things on your own, you are encouraged to do so.
Q: How do most students pay for school?
A: Historically, by part-time work and taking on student loans. Luckily, there are now scholarships available to students in the MA program!
Q: Is it possible to work during the program?
A: Yes! Many students have at least one part-time job, where they work throughout the course of the program. The courses are usually offered at night (usually starting at 4pm), so that students can work during the day, but many students choose to work on weekends. The only time working becomes more difficult is during your final semester, when you have an externship that is generally 2-3 full days a week. Some externships, like jobs, are more flexible in scheduling than others. As far as balancing work and school, it depends on how much you're working and how busy that makes you, but it's definitely doable if you can manage your time properly.
Q: Would work experience count for any of the required coursework?
A: No, only graduate level coursework could count towards the course requirements.
Q: Are the professors supportive and involved individually with students?
A: Yes, the core faculty members in particular are extremely supportive of students, and are consistently there for personal, academic, and career-based support. They are great resources for both current students and graduates of the program.
Q: Are the students more supportive, or more competitive?
A: This varies by cohort, but the general atmosphere of the program is definitely more supportive. Students generally help each other with understanding assignments, form study groups, sometimes carpool, and check in with each other via text, email, and social media.
Q: What kind of research opportunities are available?
A: Yes, both Dr. Green and Dr. Prentky have students conducting research on various topics, based both on archival data and ongoing projects. They really go out of their way to try to make research opportunities available to students. If you look at the FDU website, their specific research interests/projects are listed with the faculty information: http://staging2.fdu.edu/academics/university-college/school-of-psychology/ph-d-program-in-clinical-psychology/core-and-associated-program-faculty/
Q: Can you share any tips you may have to succeed in the program?
A: I don't think that anything that can be said is anything that you don't already know! Study, get as involved as you want to be in research, and participate in class as much as you can to make sure that you're getting the most out of the program (plus, participation is a large part of your grade!).
Q: Is the MA program APA accredited?
A: The APA does not accredit masters programs, and so there is not such a thing as an APA accredited forensic psychology MA program. APA accreditation typically is reserved for doctoral programs in clinical, counseling, or school psychology. That being said, the doctoral program at FDU, which shares our faculty, is APA accredited.
Q: Does this program lead to, or make me eligible for, licensure?
A: To our knowledge, no masters programs in forensic psychology lead to a license. If you want to be licensed at the masters level, it may be helpful to consider a program leading to an LCSW.
Q: Where do students live?
A: Some people commute from their hometowns, some used real estate-type websites to find apartments near campus, and some live on campus in graduate housing. Students have suggested taking a day or two to visit the area to search for and walk through apartments, and you could always reach out to current/former students about specific housing recommendations.
Q: What is the campus like?
A: It's conveniently small, has a lot of student parking, and is generally safe (public safety are always driving around). The library is very nice, there is a decent bookstore/gift shop, and a small cafeteria that overlooks the river, which is really nice! All of your classes will take place in the psychology building (Williams Hall), which has a graduate student lounge (complete with microwave, coffee maker, and fridge!) so most of your time will be spent there.
Q: How is the surrounding area?
A: The area surrounding campus is a nice small town, but there are also a lot of highways. There are a number of chain restaurants, and a smaller number of local restaurants. It's NJ, so there are three malls that line the highway leading to the school (route 4), so shopping is always an option! Also, Teaneck is very close to NYC, if you feel like taking a trip out there…!
Q: Do I need a car?
A: No, you don't need a car on campus - there is a bus stop right at the edge of campus, so it's very accessible by public transportation form both NY and NJ. A lot of students commute to campus, so there's a good chance that you could catch a ride somewhere local if you needed to. To be honest, this area of the state is probably one of the most difficult to drive in, and can be difficult for out of state drivers in particular.