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30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology for 2020

A master’s degree in forensic psychology provides students with the advanced education and training they need for nonclinical career opportunities in the justice system. A master’s degree typically takes two years to complete. However, some schools offer accelerated formats as well as self-paced formats for working adults. The interdisciplinary field provides a blend of practices, concepts, and theories of law and psychology. While some states require licensure to practice, many allow graduates to work in nonclinical areas with a professional certification. For many, this degree is a stepping stone to a doctoral program.

Forensic psychology combines the concepts of criminal justice and psychology. Core courses in graduate-level programs span areas like:

  • developmental psychology
  • behavioral psychology
  • multicultural psychology
  • various facets of the legal system.

Students gain a deep understanding of issues that plague our society like:

  • domestic violence
  • sexual abuse
  • substance abuse
  • a variety of mental health conditions

Graduates who earn a master’s degree in forensic psychology go on to work in diverse social, judicial, and law and order settings. They are often called upon to give expert testimonials during a high-profile court case, prepare witnesses, interview criminals, and aid in profiling.

In this article, we explore the most affordable and comprehensive master’s degree programs in forensic psychology and related fields. They have primarily been ranked on affordability. Points have also been awarded on curriculum delivery and school recognition.

Interested in seeing what potential career opportunities can await those who hold a degree in psychology? Check out our article on the 10 highest paying psychology jobs here

Methodology:

Tuition

  • Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Net Price Below $20,000: 2 points
  • Net Price Below $25,000: 1 point

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • Less than 20:1: 1 point
  • Less than 15: 1: 2 points
  • Less than 10: 1: 3 points

Return on Investment (ROI) According to Payscale.com

  • Top 500: 1 point
  • Top 300: 2 points
  • Top 150: 3 points

Student Support Network (faculty mentors/advisors, writing/technology support, etc.)— 1 point per item

Concentrations/Specializations – 1 point per item

Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item

Campus Diversity Support Network – 1 point per item

“Wow” Factor – 1 point (anything that would mark a program as unique. Special qualities that make a program “stand out from the crowd”)

#30 University of Denver

Denver, Colorado

MA Forensic Psychology

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Points: 6

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

The University of Denver offers an MA in Forensic Psychology. It teaches students the various ways of leveraging forensic science theory and technology to solve crimes. The curriculum combines master’s level training in clinical psychology that combines practical experience with theories of law and psychology. Students learn about the application of in-depth psychological theory, skills, knowledge. They also gain competencies that can be used for the civil as well as the criminal justice systems. Graduates go on to pursue careers as mental health professionals and work in areas like:

  • police consultation
  • victim assistance
  • domestic violence
  • correctional institutions
  • child abuse programs
  • trial consulting.


Average tuition per quarter credit hour: $1372

#29 Adler University

Chicago, Illinois

M.A. in Forensic Mental Health Leadership

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Points: 7

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Adler University’s Chicago campus offers an M.A. in Forensic Mental Health Leadership through its Department of Counseling and Integrated Programs. The 28-credit hour program covers areas like:

  • Forensic Mental Health Responses to Maladaptive Behavior
  • Forensic Mental Health Systems and Multicultural Communities
  • Roles, Responsibilities, and Leadership in Forensic Mental Health and Public Safety
  • Adlerian Principles in Community and Organizational Leadership
  • Counseling in Forensic Populations
  • Forensic Mental Health Evaluation and Practice

Graduates are prepared to work as leaders and agents for change in forensic mental health and related public safety fields.
Average tuition per credit hour: $1,342

#28 Pace University

New York City, New York

Master of Science (MS) in Forensic Science

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Points: 7

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Pace University offers a Master of Science in Forensic Science. It prepares students for diverse roles in one of the fastest-growing fields. The 40-credit curriculum blends theoretical knowledge with professional experience that students need to succeed in the dynamic criminal justice system. Graduates go on to work in forensic labs in various law enforcement agencies like:

  • the New York Police Department
  • the FBI
  • the Drug Enforcement Administration
  • the New York City medical examiner’s office, among others

Students gain advanced knowledge in forensic chemistry and biology. They practice in state-of-the-art DNA sequencing labs. They also work in specialized laboratories with virtual crime scene reconstruction software. Forensic microscopy helps prepare them well for the real world.
Average tuition per credit hour: $1,305

#27 William James College

Newton, Massachusetts

MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling-Forensic and Correctional Counseling

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Points: 7

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

William James College offers an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Forensic and Correctional Counseling. The 60-credit program can be completed in two years if attending the full-time or in three years if done part-time. The comprehensive curriculum enables students to develop skills that will help them to counsel people in:

  • court
  • juvenile facilities
  • correctional facilities
  • community agencies
  • forensic hospital units
  • other forensic settings

Students also have the option to pursue concentrated electives. These electives will prepare them to work in particular settings or with specific populations.
Average tuition per credit hour: $1,100

#26 Marymount University

Arlington, Virginia

Forensic & Legal Psychology (M.A.)

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Points: 8

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Marymount University offers a Master of Arts in Forensic and Legal Psychology, one of the first to do so in the field. The interdisciplinary program combines:

  • criminal justice
  • public policy
  • law
  • subfields of psychology

Students learn how to apply psychological knowledge to the legal system. The 39-credit program covers areas like:

  • origins of criminal behavior
  • origins of terrorism
  • evaluation and treatment of offenders
  • problems with eyewitness testimony
  • the effectiveness of trial consultation.

The University’s proximity to key agencies offers a rich and
in-depth practicum experience for students.
Average tuition per credit hour: $1,050

#25 Loyola University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

MA in Criminal Justice

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Points: 8

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Loyola University Chicago offers an MA in Criminal Justice. The program is a great fit for students looking to embark on a criminal justice career or gain advanced knowledge in criminology. The 30-hour program offers insight and understanding in such areas as:

  • Theories of Criminal Behavior
  • Politics and Policy Analysis in the Criminal Justice System
  • Professional Ethics
  • Applied Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • Program Evaluation and Research Methods.

Students learn skills that will help them become competent professionals areas of the criminal justice system that relate to psychology, criminal behavior, and forensics.
Average tuition per credit hour: $1,033

#24 Russell Sage College

Albany, New York

MS in Forensic Mental Health

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Points: 8

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Russell Sage College offers a Master of Science in Forensic Mental Health through the School of Health Sciences. The 45-credit program has a concentration in Health Services Administration. It includes both clinical and non-clinical coursework. These courses span areas like:

  • law
  • social science research
  • psychology
  • substance abuse
  • criminal justice
  • victimology.

Students will be equipped to work in:

  • substance abuse management/treatment centers
  • behavioral health homes
  • correctional facilities
  • social service agencies.


Average tuition per year: $30,383

#23 Holy Names University

Oakland, California

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

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Points: 8

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Holy Names University offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology. It’s an excellent fit for students who wish to develop advanced knowledge in forensic psychology and counseling techniques. The 39-unit degree offers a balance of theory and evidence-based practices. It’s based on the philosophy of therapeutic and restorative justice. Graduates are well-prepared to act as change agents in a variety of forensic settings like:

  • community advocacy contexts
  • correctional settings
  • court-accountable programs.

Future forensic experts, analysts, and therapists can benefit immensely from this program. It helps give them a deep understanding of the changing complexities and dynamics of human experience.
Average tuition per unit: $1,003

#22 Barry University

Miami Shores, Florida

MS Clinical Psychology -Forensic Psychology Specialization

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Points: 9

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Barry University offers an MS Clinical Psychology with a specialization option in Forensic Psychology. The 60-credit program focuses on providing master-level training in the law and research related to clinical forensic psychology. Courses span areas like:

  • Advanced Forensic Psychology: Assessment and Treatment
  • Law and Forensic Psychology: Research & Practice and Principles
  • Applications of Forensic Psychology.

Students also have to complete:

  • a forensic practicum
  • a forensic focused master’s thesis
  • internship experiences

Students gain the necessary skills to provide clinical services within the legal system. They are also well-prepared to pursue or doctoral study in forensic and clinical psychology.
Average tuition per credit hour: $990

#21 American International College

Springfield, Massachusetts

Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

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Points: 9

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

American International College offers a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology. It prepares students for one of the fastest-growing fields in America. Students who have an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, psychology, or a closely related field can apply for this program. The 36-credit program focuses on applying psychological principles and skills to understand how the legal and criminal justice systems function. The program blends the concepts of psychology and law to offer students a comprehensive knowledge of forensic psychology. They will also gain knowledge in:

  • psychology of policing
  • probation
  • corrections
  • parole.

Students go on to work in victim services, juvenile justice systems, and family services.
Average tuition per credit hour: $920

#20 Carlow University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Master of Arts in Psychology-Forensic Psychology

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Points: 9

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Carlow University offers a Master of Arts in Psychology with a Forensic Psychology Concentration. The 36-credit graduate program has four distinct coursework concentrations that focus on the development of research skills. The Forensic Psychology Concentration examines the concepts and legal issues in the American legal system, along with the application of psychological knowledge in these areas. Other topics span areas like:

  • criminal and civil forensic psychology
  • custody
  • juvenile delinquency
  • the unique ethics inherent in these settings
  • competence to stand trial
  • mental state at the time of the offense
  • mediating factors in sentencing


Average tuition per credit hour: $876

#19 Fairleigh Dickinson University

Teaneck, New Jersey

M.A in Forensic Psychology

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Points: 9

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Fairleigh Dickinson University offers an M.A in Forensic Psychology. It provides students with the essential knowledge and skills they need to work in the sphere of forensic science and the criminal justice system. In this 36-credit program, students learn about criminal psychology and how it interacts with the legal system. Courses include:

  • Psychopathology
  • Psychological Basis of Criminal Behavior
  • Evaluating Criminal Responsibility and Competency to Stand Trial
  • Forensic Interviewing Techniques
  • Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychology

Students also participate in hands-on training during their project.
Average tuition per credit hour: $853

#18 University of Louisiana at Monroe

Monroe, Louisiana

Psychology, M.S.-Forensic Concentration

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Points: 9

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers an M.S. in Psychology with a concentration option is Forensics. The 36-credit coursework includes core courses like:

  • Quantitative Methods in the Behavioral Sciences
  • Research Methods
  • Neuropsychology.

The forensic concentration includes courses like:

  • Psychopathology
  • Individual Tests
  • Advanced Forensic Psychology
  • Advanced Theories of Crime and Delinquency
  • Counseling in Criminal Justice
  • Sociology of Law
  • Minorities, Crime, and Criminal Justice,

There are also six hours of electives. Students need to have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher to be admitted to the Graduate School at ULM. There are other conditional clauses that they need to explore by visiting the school website.
Average tuition per credit hour: $802.76

#17 University of Houston-Victoria

Victoria, Texas

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

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Points: 10

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

The University of Houston-Victoria offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology through its School of Arts & Sciences. It’s a 63-semester hour program. It prepares students to become professionally licensed mental health experts in the field of forensics. At the end of the program, students go on to take Licensed Psychological Associates (LPA’s) and Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) exams in Texas. Students interested in signing up for this program must have an undergraduate background in:

  • Research Methods
  • Statistics
  • Abnormal Psychology.

The program blends real-world experience in the practicum with the essential theories and techniques to offer a comprehensive education in forensic psychology.
Average tuition per year: $7,900

#16 Montclair State University

Montclair, New Jersey

Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology Concentration (MA)

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Points: 10

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Montclair State University offers an MA in Clinical Psychology with a forensic psychology concentration. The 36-credit program emphasizes child, adolescent, and family issues with related treatment and rehabilitation. The forensic psychology concentration is designed to help students develop essential skills that will allow them to provide advanced clinical services in environments where licensure is not required. Some of these settings include:

  • drug court
  • mental health facilities
  • family and child advocacy settings
  • offender rehabilitation programs

Settings also include reputable public service agencies that are exempted by the state boards of primary psychological examiners for all non-doctoral providers. Additionally, the program also offers students the opportunity to research their doctoral study.
Average tuition per credit hour: $700.50

#15 University of New Haven

West Haven, Connecticut

Criminal Justice, M.S., Forensic Psychology Concentration

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Points: 10

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

The University of New Haven offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a forensic psychology concentration. The 36-credit program is jointly administered by the Department of Psychology and the Department of Criminal Justice. It’s a perfect fit for persons currently associated with the judicial system or individuals planning to go into a related career. Students develop a learn how law and psychology interact with each other to improve the functioning and administration of justice. Students learn about:

  • theories of criminal behavior
  • the interrelation of law
  • mental health
  • criminal justice
  • quantitative applications in the criminal justice sphere
  • research methods in criminal justice.


Average tuition per credit hour: $700

#14 Tiffin University

Tiffin, Ohio

MS in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensic Psychology

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Points: 10

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Tiffin University offers an MS in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensic Psychology. It helps students develop the essential and in-demand skills in the field of law and order. The 30-hour coursework blends theory and practice to help students understand criminal and victim psychology. The researched-based program helps students explore the relationship between psychology and the criminal justice system. Students are prepared for careers in various mental health services and criminal justice settings like:

  • community corrections agencies
  • social services
  • state prison systems
  • state, federal and local law enforcement
  • victims’ services.

Students also go on to pursue Psy.D. and Ph.D. degrees in Forensic Psychology.
Average tuition per credit hour: $700

#13 Florida National University

Hialeah, Florida

Master of Forensic Psychology

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Points: 10

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Florida National University offers a Master of Forensic Psychology that provides students with the professional and theoretical knowledge they need to practice in various forensic settings. The 36-credit program covers topics like:

  • Criminal Psychology
  • Substance Abuse, and the Offender
  • Victimology
  • Courts and Society
  • Psychopathology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Psychology of Counseling
  • Stress and Mental Health

There is also a Capstone project. Graduates go on to work in:

  • courts
  • criminal justice
  • law enforcement
  • national security offices
  • prisons
  • child welfare agencies
  • social services agencies
  • treatment facilities.

courts, criminal justice, law enforcement, national security offices, prisons, child welfare agencies, social services agencies, and treatment facilities.
Average tuition per credit hour: $675

#12 California Baptist University

Riverside, California

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

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Points: 11

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

California Baptist University offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology. It prepares students and professionals to deliver analytical and evaluative psychological services for the smooth functioning of the criminal justice system. The 57-unit program helps students cultivate a comprehensive knowledge of:

  • psychology
  • human development
  • psychopathology
  • biological nature of illegal activities
  • psychology and law
  • criminal profiling

Students also benefit from working in the field with the FBI and experienced U.S. Marshals during their internships. Graduates go on to work in:

  • trial advocacy
  • trial consultant firms
  • victim advocacy
  • rape crisis centers
  • conflict resolution and mediation
  • probation
  • parole


Average tuition: $41,325

#11 Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology

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Points: 11

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Grand Canyon University offers a Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Forensic Psychology. It’s available through evening classes. The 36-credit program combines law, psychology, and criminal justice topics. Students are well-prepared to handle the diverse criminal investigation and legal projects. Students are prepared as skilled forensic psychologists. They also learn how to affect criminal justice processes positively as well as assist in human rehabilitation. Students have an in-depth study of the methods that can help reduce crime rates, rehabilitate criminals successfully. They also learn how to assist them in becoming productive members of society.
Average tuition per credit hour: $530

#10 Northcentral University

Scottsdale, Arizona

Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

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Points: 11

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Northcentral University offers a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology. It prepares graduates to work in diverse law and order settings like:

  • law enforcement,
  • social services
  • the courts
  • correctional facilities
  • departments of victim services.

The 30-credit program teaches students to apply psychological principles in forensic settings. The core and elective courses immerse them in the psychology of criminality. Students learn to think critically and apply their problem-solving and creative thinking skills to the practical application of forensic psychology.
Average tuition: $27,320

#9 Kean University

Union, New Jersey

Master of Psychology, Option: Forensic Psychology

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Points: 11

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Kean University offers a Master of Psychology, Option: Forensic Psychology. It’s designed for students interested in pursuing masters-level forensic jobs or doctoral training in psychology and law. The 27-credit coursework includes topics like:

  • advanced abnormal psychology
  • introduction to forensic psychology
  • aggression, violent risk, and threat assessment

Professionals who work in various law enforcement agencies or plan to do so would benefit from this program. Graduates go on to work in diverse settings like:

  • juvenile/adult court clinics
  • law enforcement research departments
  • correctional settings
  • forensic psychiatric settings


Average tuition per year: $12,595

#8 John Jay College of Criminal Justice

New York, New York

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

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Points: 12

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology. It’s for students who want to work in the fields of criminal and civil justice systems. Students gain a strong understanding of criminal psychology as well. They’re equipped to understand, evaluate, and treat offenders as well as victims in an effective manner. Graduates often go on to enroll in a doctoral program in psychology. The 42-credit curriculum helps students develop an advanced understanding of:

  • psychopathology
  • psychological development
  • personality assessment.

It is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission. The program enhances their knowledge of psychotherapeutic techniques and associated research methods. Students also learn about social differences that can influence criminal behavior. These differences include:

  • gender
  • race
  • sexual orientation
  • class
  • religion.


Average tuition per credit hour: $470

#7 University of California, Irvine

Irvine, California

Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology

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Points: 12

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

The University of California, Irvine, offers a Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology (MLFP) program. It emphasizes the convergence of psychology and legal issues. The Department of Psychological Science and the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society jointly offer this program. It prepares students for the real-world challenges in the legal system. The 52-credit program covers psychological principles, essential theories, and research for understanding the legal systems and processes. The interdisciplinary learning prepares students for diverse careers in:

  • research
  • academics
  • government agencies
  • policy institutes
  • private and public sector agencies and organizations.


Average tuition per quarter: $4,798

#6 Roger Williams University

Bristol, Rhode Island

Master of Arts in Forensic & Legal Psychology

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Points: 13

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Roger Williams University offers a Master of Arts in Forensic and Legal Psychology. The two-year, full-time program prepares students for doctorate programs that are focused on:

  • analysis
  • investigation
  • testing
  • exploration in the field of legal and forensic science

The comprehensive curriculum offers thorough guidance on:

  • research design
  • clinical assessment
  • statistical analysis
  • psychological testing

Students learn to address different types of empirical questions in clinical, legal, and forensic psychology. The 33-credit program offers an in-depth training in:

  • research design
  • clinical assessment
  • statistical analysis
  • psychological testing.


Average tuition per credit hour: $450

#5 National University

San Diego, California

Master of Forensic Sciences

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Points: 13

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

National University offers a Master of Forensic Sciences. The 54 quarter units coursework provides in-depth knowledge of:

  • death investigation
  • basic human anatomy
  • identification of unknown dead persons
  • analysis of trauma and disease

It’s a great fit for students looking to improve career prospects in forensic sciences. It’s also good for students who want to improve their skills in:

  • lab work
  • law enforcement
  • investigation
  • law
  • other related professions

The program offers a good blend of theory and practice. These prepare students for real-world experience. Students have the option to interact directly with investigators and forensic pathologists during their practicum.
Average tuition per credit hour: $442

#4 California State University LA

Los Angeles, California

Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

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Points:13

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

California State University LA offers a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology. It prepares students for diverse careers within the criminal justice system. The 34-unit program helps students develop a strong knowledge and understanding of psychology that applies to criminals as well as victims. The program combines theory, research, and practical training in assessment and treatment. This prepares students for real-world settings. The 9-month practicum offers them the choice of working with:

  • the Department of Children and Family Services Counseling Center
  • Rape Crisis Center
  • the Sheriff’s Department
  • the Dependency Courts
  • Prisons and Probation centers

Students are closely mentored by a faculty member who
oversees their progress through the course.
Average tuition per year: $14,394
.

#3 IUPUI

Indianapolis, Indiana

M.S. Program in Forensic Science

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Points:14

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

IUPUI is a partnership between Indiana and Purdue universities. It offers an M.S. Program in Forensic Science, and students are awarded a Purdue University degree. The 30-credit, one-year accelerated program is designed for those who wish to become professional forensic scientists. The program is available both part-time or full-time. It helps students gain employment in the criminal justice field or a related area in a relatively shorter time. Course topics include:

  • Forensic Science & the Law
  • Population Genetics
  • Forensic Microscopy
  • Current Issues in FS

Students go on to work in a variety of law and order settings.
Average tuition per credit hour: $345.30

#2 Prairie View A&M University

Prairie View, Texas

Master of Science in Juvenile Forensic Psychology

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Points: 14

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Prairie View A&M University offers a Master of Science in Juvenile Forensic Psychology. It teaches students how psychology interacts with the justice system. The 36-credit program covers:

  • psychological theories in juvenile crime
  • theoretical explanations of juvenile delinquency
  • juvenile aggression

Students who are interested in research and a Ph.D. can opt for a thesis. Those wishing to pursue work in the field of forensic psychology can choose an externship. Students gain a broad understanding of the cognitive and personality development of youth aggression. They learn about the psychological dynamics of family violence. They also learn about assessment, classification, and treatment of juvenile offenders.
Average tuition per credit hour: $317.19

#1 Oklahoma State University

Tulsa, Oklahoma

M.S. in Forensic Sciences-Forensic Psychology

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Points: 15

30 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Psychology for 2020

Oklahoma State University offers an M.S. in Forensic Sciences with a concentration in forensic psychology. It’s for students looking to pursue a career in forensic sciences and related fields. Students need to complete 39 graduate credit hours. They will gain a deep understanding of the crime scene and forensic techniques to help document and solve crimes. The hands-on training helps them build strong professional skills. These skills can help them be successful laboratory analysts and crime scene investigators. Students gain a solid background in forensic sciences through:

  • advanced criminalistics
  • specialized courses
  • forensic psychology,
  • law and expert analysis.

Graduates go on to work with the FBI, law enforcement agencies, and related local agencies.
Average tuition per credit hour: $230.45

Overview of Master’s Degrees in Forensic Psychology

A master’s degree in forensic psychology prepares students to work in diverse law and order settings. They apply the clinical, legal, and forensic analysis skills that they have learned in the graduate-level program along with a psychological perspective to aid in litigation, criminal investigations, or consult with law firms. Students wishing to pursue a career in law enforcement or get a doctorate in the field would benefit from such programs. While students don’t need to hold an undergraduate degree in the same discipline, they are often required to have a bachelor’s degree in general psychology, human services, criminal justice, and other related fields.

Degree Type

One can get a Master of Arts (MA) and a Master of Science (MS) in Forensic Psychology, depending on the school they apply to. While each degree type covers the core concepts comprehensively, student outcomes may differ slightly between them. An MA degree may equip one for careers in counseling and developing psychological profiles while an MS may emphasize the more scientific aspects of forensic psychology like research and analysis, which prepares graduates to work as analysts or consultants.

Courses

Typical courses include topics like Psychology and the Legal System, Research Methodology, Psychopathology of Crime, Theories of Criminal Behavior, Treatment, and Rehabilitation, among others. Concentrations can range from Crisis response and Mental health to Legal issues and Victimology. Along with the core and elective courses, students also have to complete a practicum and internships.

Formats

Students have the option of attending a full-time program on campus or opt for evening or weekend classes. Working adults wishing to pursue a master’s degree in forensic psychology may also enroll in a 100% online program. The latter will allow them to get an advanced degree as they continue to work full-time. Some schools also offer a hybrid option that provides a combination of on-campus and online classes.

Forensic Psychology Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment of psychologists will see a 14% growth through 2028. Master’s and doctoral degree holders will see faster growth.
Median salary – $79,010 per year
Source:BLS

According to the American Psychology-Law Society, forensic psychology and related fields have grown steadily in the last 30 years. While demand will remain steady in the years to come, there is a shift towards specialization to ensure enhanced delivery of services to the law and order system.
https://www.apadivisions.org/division-41/education/students/careers
The median salary for all other psychology professions – $95,610 per year
Source:BLS

Top jobs for forensic psychology Master’s Degree Holders

Forensic Psychologist – Forensic psychologists work for various government agencies like the FBI and police departments. They evaluate offenders, profile criminals, and also work directly with the offenders to help them deal with underlying mental health issues.

Expert Witness – Forensic psychologists often act as expert witnesses in criminal trials where they help answer speculative questions about the accused’s state of mind. They work with attorneys to offer the jury a better picture of the crime and the people involved.

Psychology Professor – Academia is the chosen field for many who get their master’s degree and then go on to pursue a doctoral degree. They maintain a research practice and also teach undergraduate or graduate-level courses.

Psychology Researcher – Some students wish to learn more about the field and explore new ways to understand the criminal mind. They, too, go on to complete a doctoral program after their master’s.

Jury Consultant – Forensic psychologists often act as jury consultants for law firms where they evaluate the potential jurors using their knowledge of human behavior. They are often called upon for jury selection so that attorneys can hope the desired outcome.

Juvenile Offenders Counselor – Master’s degree holders who have received the necessary state-based certifications may practice as juvenile offenders counselors. They work with their clients to help them overcome the effects of physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and the aftermath of a crime committed.

Law Enforcement Officer – Some master’s degree holders go on to pursue a career as a law enforcement officer. Forensic psychology knowledge may serve them in good stead while solving crimes and growing in their careers.

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