Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
The Forensic Psychology program at Bay Path is designed for students to apply the principles and insights of psychology within the mental health, criminal justice, and legal systems. Students may become involved in working with gang members, adolescent and adult offenders, victims and perpetrators of crime, families, court advocacy, substance abuse, individuals with chronic mental illness, and more.
Bay Path is one of the few women’s colleges in the United States to offer forensic psychology as a major!
The demand for expertise in this field is rapidly increasing, with multiple career opportunities. As part of the program, guest speakers are scheduled in various classes and external components of coursework help students learn about the different opportunities in the field of forensic psychology. Forensic Psychology majors are prepared to work in these types of settings: domestic violence programs, male and female correctional facilities, re-entry programs, the court system, probation, Department of Youth Services, working with gangs, law enforcement, and substance abuse agencies to name a few.
Getting Out of the Classroom:
The hallmark of the forensic psychology program is the service learning opportunities embedded in the coursework. Students don’t just read books - they participate! Bay Path has a unique program that allows students to gain experience, network, and explore career opportunities throughout their academic career.
- The RISE-UP Program (Hampden County Sheriff’s Department) - This is a unique integrated learning experience that combines female residents in the Western MA Wellness and Recovery Center with undergraduate students from Bay Path University in a positive, collaborative learning environment. The program focuses on students and offenders working together on issues related to self-esteem, relationships, and addiction.
- Book Club with Incarcerated Youth (DYS/Center for Human Development) - Students participate in a book club with adjudicated incarcerate male youth at the Community Adolescent Treatment Program, a DYS funded juvenile justice program.
- Community Accountability Board (Hampden County Sheriff’s Department) - Students actively participate in the Community Accountability Board meetings, a restorative justice program that helps offenders gain insight into the consequences and effects of their actions as the first steps towards making amends with the community prior to release.
- Neighborhood Watch (Hampden County Sheriff’s Department) - Students attend community meetings that include law enforcement, task forces, community members, and the Sheriff’s Department as they combine efforts to combat crime through the sharing of information and community involvement.
- Addiction Services (Hampden County Sheriff’s Department) - Students will have an opportunity to participate in activities geared towards addiction and recovery. Students may participate in the Western MA Parent Support Group, Phoenix House groups (drug and alcohol treatment for adults), or attend monthly Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery meetings.
A sampling of what students will learn:
- What motivates criminal behavior?
- How are the issues of female offenders different from the needs of male offenders?
- What role does mental illness play in relation to crime, and how do the criminal justice and legal systems address the issues?
- Are psychopaths driven by biological deficits or societal influences?
- How are families affected by incarceration?
- What contributes to offender rehabilitation and effective re-entry back into the community?
- What ethical considerations must be considered when the legal system, criminal justice system, and the mental health system are all involved with a case?
- What is the psychological impact on both perpetrators and victims of a crime, and how are they different?
- What is meant by the school to prison pipeline?
Internships & Co-Operative Program:
- Co-Operative Education - Earn 3 credits and $1,100 for 100 hours of training at one of our community partner sites (see below).
- Internships - Sophomore level: 120 hours, 3 credits (optional) and/or Senior level: 240 hours, 6 credits (required)
Accelerated Degree Options:
- 3-Year Bachelor's Degree. Students with a record of strong academic achievement and a desire to fast track their education are encouraged to apply to the accelerated degree program. The program allows students to earn their degree in three years of year-round study, enabling them to save on tuition costs and enter the workforce sooner. Click here to learn more.
- 3+1 Bachelor's to Master's Degree. Bay Path offers a fantastic opportunity to continue on to one of our many graduate degree programs. Known as our 3 +1 program, you can earn your bachelor's and master's degree in four years. Click here to learn more.
- 3+2 Bachelor's to Master's Degree. Bay Path also offers an opportunity to continue on to our Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Applied Behavior Analysis programs. Known as our 3 +2 program, you can earn your bachelor's and master's degree in five years.
At Bay Path the class sizes are small and my professors know my name, which helps keep me on track. I always feel that I can approach them with any questions. I choose to minor in Advanced Paralegal Studies because it will provide me with a Certificate of Advanced Paralegal Studies, enabling me to initially find a job as a paralegal when I graduate." - Samantha, Forensic Psychology Major
Community Partners with the Psychology Program for 2018: