How to Become a Forensic Psychologist in Maryland

One of Maryland’s renowned forensic psychologists—Dr. Kathryn Seifert—has been featured on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, the Huffington Post Live, Fox News, and more.

Her 30 years of experience in the field gives her the knowledge to be a leading voice in forensic psychology, specializing in various areas that include:

  • Individuals at risk for violence
  • The emotionally disturbed
  • The behaviorally disordered
  • Victims
  • Delinquents
  • Gang members
  • Sex offenders
  • Mass murderers

Her two books, How Children Become Violent: Keeping your Kids out of Gangs, Terrorist Organizations, Cults and Youth Violence; and Failure to Attach: The Why Behind Terrorists and Mass Murderers, have stemmed, in part, from her education, which included:

  • Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland – College Park
  • Master of Science form Washington College in Psychology
  • PhD from the University of Maryland – Baltimore in Psychology

Steps to Becoming a Forensic Psychologist in Maryland

If you’re ready to embark on your own career in forensic psychology, you must start by becoming licensed as a clinical psychologist through the Maryland Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

For step-by-step guidance on how to become a licensed forensic psychologist in Maryland, follow this guide:

Earn an Undergraduate Degree in Forensic Psychology
Earn a Doctoral Degree in Forensic Psychology
Accumulate 3,250 Hours of Supervised Experience
Submit Practice Oriented Programs Application Packet
Pass National Examination and Maryland Jurisprudence Examination
Begin Your Career as a Forensic Psychologist in Maryland
Complete Continuing Education to Renew Your Maryland License


 

Step 1. Earn a Doctoral Degree in Forensic Psychology

Earning a degree in forensic psychology will prepare you to analyze criminal behavior, interpret criminal intent, determine mental stability, provide therapy to criminals and victims, and more.

To begin your education in forensic psychology, you will enroll in an American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited forensic psychology undergraduate degree program, such as:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Forensic Psychology
  • BA or BS in Psychology – Forensics
  • BA or BS in Psychology

Maryland schools that offer degrees in forensic psychology have designed specialized programs to include:

  • General education courses
  • Core forensic psychology courses
  • Forensic psychology elective courses
  • Free elective courses
  • Internship credits
  • Final project credits

For example, your forensic psychology courses may include course titles such as:

  • Psychology and the Legal System
  • Theories of Criminal Behavior
  • Psychopathology
  • Basics of Psychological Assessment
  • Ethics in Forensic Psychology
  • Research and Statistics

Once you’ve completed your degree, you will be ready to start applying to graduate schools in order to continue studying forensic psychology.

Although you may choose to enroll in a terminal master’s degree, many students move straight into a doctoral program in forensic psychology—allowing them to complete their license requirements sooner.


 

Step 2. Earn a Doctoral Degree in Forensic Psychology

To be licensed as a psychologist in Maryland, you will need to earn your doctoral degree from an APA-accredited university. Maryland is home to four APA-accredited doctoral programs in clinical psychology.

Doctoral degree programs that focus on forensic psychology include, but are not limited to:

  • PhD or PsyD in Human Services Psychology – Clinical Psychology
  • PhD or PsyD in Clinical Psychology – Forensics
  • PhD or PsyD in Forensic Psychology

Many of these programs have high standards for enrollment criteria, such as:

  • High undergraduate grade point average
  • High scores on the Graduate Record Examination
  • Strong letters of recommendation
  • Previous research experience
  • Previous work experience

Although a background in psychology is helpful, having a background in another field will not automatically disqualify you for admission.

Once you’re enrolled in a graduate program, you will take psychology department core courses, such as:

  • Quantitative Methods
  • History and Systems of Psychology
  • Individual Differences
  • Biological, Social, and Developmental Bases of Behavior

Then, you will move on to clinical core courses, such as:

  • Psychopathology
  • Empirically-Supported Intervention Strategies
  • Research Methodologies
  • Ethical and Professional Standards

Then you will be able to take your forensic psychology core courses, which may include courses in varying specialties, such as:

  • Trauma Therapy
  • Victimology
  • Sex Offense Therapy
  • Child Abuse Therapy
  • Corrections Therapy
  • Police Therapy
  • Applied Forensics

Specific courses may include, but are not limited to:

  • Consultation and Testimony
  • Evaluation and Treatment of Offenders
  • Forensic Psychological Assessment
  • Issues in Family Law
  • Correctional Psychology
  • Children in the Legal System

Finally, in doctoral programs that admit students with just a bachelor’s degree, you will complete:

  • Master’s Thesis
  • Comprehensive Examinations
  • Pre-Doctoral Internship Hours
  • Doctoral Dissertation

Once you’ve defended your doctoral dissertation, you will receive your doctorate and be ready to begin your post-doctoral supervised experience hours.


 

Step 3. Accumulate 3,250 Hours of Supervised Experience

As of September 2010, the Board has made significant changes to the supervised experience requirements.

With these changes, you will be able to accumulate all 3,250 hours (or two years) of supervised experience while still in your doctoral program, as part of your doctoral internship requirement.

You will earn at least 1,750 hours from your internship; however, the remaining 1,500 hours can be earned through any combination of experience, including:

  • Pre-Internship
  • Post-Internship
  • Pre-Doctoral
  • Post-Doctoral

As an aspiring forensic psychologist, you will want to strive to earn your internship hours in forensic settings, such as:

  • Corrections facilities
  • Trauma therapy centers
  • Child and family therapy centers
  • Sexual assault therapy
  • Juvenile delinquent centers
  • State and local police stations

APA-accredited internship providers in Maryland who may offer positions for supervised hours include, but are not limited to:

  • Walter Reed National Military Medical Center – Bethesda
  • University of Maryland – College Park
  • John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents – Rockville
  • John Hopkins University – Baltimore
  • Towson University Counseling Center – Towson


 

Step 4. Submit Practice Oriented Programs Application Packet

The practice oriented application packet will serve both as your application to take the national and state licensing exams and as your application for a Maryland license.

Before you submit your application, make sure you read the general instructions for the Maryland application for licensure.

Once you’ve read and understand the general instructions, you will apply by submitting the following documents:

You can send all documents to the Board’s address:

Maryland Board of Examiners of Psychologists
4201 Patterson Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21215

Once the Board receives and approves your application, you will be approved to take the national and state licensing examinations.


 

Step 5. Pass National Examination and Maryland Jurisprudence Examination

Now that you’re approved to take the licensing examinations, you will need to pass both the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the Maryland Jurisprudence Examination.

When you pass both exams successfully, the Maryland Board will officially issue you your psychologist license.

Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)

To prepare for the EPPP, make sure to read the appropriate Candidate Handbook, which outlines information on registration, taking the exam, receiving results, and retaking the exam if necessary.

Once you’re approved and you’ve read the handbook, you can register for the exam directly with the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards by:

Once you’re registered, you will receive instructions on scheduling an exam date and time with Pearson VUE.

Pearson VUE test centers are located in Maryland cities, including:

  • Columbia
  • Baltimore
  • Bethesda

To pass this exam, you should receive a 73%, or 500, on the exam. You will send a score transfer report of your results directly to the Maryland Board.

Maryland Jurisprudence Examination

Finally, once you’ve passed the EPPP, you’ll be ready to take the Maryland Jurisprudence Examination.

This exam is generally offered by the Board once a month. To take it, you will submit a $250 jurisprudence exam fee to the Board and schedule a date and time.

This exam will cover Maryland Psychology Board’s Laws and Regulations, and to pass, you will achieve a minimum of 75%.

Once you pass this exam, you will be issued your Maryland psychologist license.


 

Step 6. Begin Your Career as a Forensic Psychologist in Maryland

Forensic psychologists may work in law enforcement, homeland security, correctional systems, social services (both for victims and offenders), and more.

For instance, forensic psychologists generally enter jobs such as:

  • Criminal Profiler
  • Competency Expert
  • Forensic Consultant
  • Psychological Evaluator
  • Psychological Counselor
  • Speaker & Guest Lecturer
  • Expert Witness
  • Forensic Clinician
  • Forensic Psychiatric Director

Maryland organizations that may hire forensic psychologists include, but are not limited to:

  • Forensic Psychiatric Associates Medical Corporation
  • Eastern Shore Psychological Services
  • Maryland Penitentiary
  • Jessup Correctional Institution
  • Montgomery County Correctional
  • Maryland State Police
  • Annapolis Police Department
  • Baltimore Police Department
  • District Court of Maryland

Finally, many forensic psychologists decide to open their own private practice, where they can proved forensic consulting services to any of these organizations.


 

Step 7. Complete Continuing Education to Renew Your Maryland License

Finally, to stay licensed, you will renew your license by submitting a renewal application and a $386 renewal fee by March 31st of odd-numbered years.

Your renewal application will include questions on your continuing education. In this, you must indicate that you have earned all 40 credit hours of continuing education, which must include:

  • Three credits in laws, ethics, and risk management
  • Three credits in cultural diversity

You can earn continuing education credits through taking approved courses, such as APA-accredited courses, or through home study.

APA-approved sponsors of continuing education in Maryland include, but are not limited to:

  • Alvord, Baker, & Associates, LLC – Rockville
  • American College Health Association (ACHA) – Hanover
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine Mental Health Professional Group – Rockville
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America – Silver Spring
  • Baltimore Washington Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, Inc. – Laurel
  • Maryland Psychological Association – Columbia

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