An online master’s in forensic psychology is the perfect choice for students who are passionate about forensics and how it ties in with law and order. The graduate-level degree offers students the relevant skills they need to help others and can also prepare for further doctoral study. They learn to use the psychological perspective in their work within the justice system. Typically, a master’s in forensic psychology degree takes two years to complete, three if the student wants a more flexible schedule. During this time, students gain legal, clinical, and forensic analysis skills necessary to aid in litigation, consultation, or criminal investigations.
Forensic psychologists interact with a wide array of people and review the specific situations for each case that they handle. From interacting with the attorneys and law enforcement to work with witnesses, victims of crime, and even interacting with the offenders, they have a multi-layered approach to work. Students gain a better understanding of criminal behavior through advanced concepts in psychology and the legal system. They use this knowledge during case assessments, court evaluations while providing therapy, and in other aspects of the process.
The benefit of an online program is that students can continue with their day jobs as they pursue a master’s degree in their chosen field. The leading schools offering a forensic psychology degree boast of a world-class faculty who are actively working in the area as clinical or organizational professionals and bring their real-world expertise to the classroom. Students often go to work as a victim advocate, juvenile offenders counselors, expert witnesses, or a jury consultant. Along with prisons, jails, and rehabilitation centers, they also work in law firms, police departments, government agencies, or in private practice. Here we have shortlisted the top schools that offer online master’s in forensic psychology. They have been ranked primarily by their affordability along with some other considerations.
Interested in seeing what potential career opportunities can await those who hold a degree in psychology? Check out our article on the ten highest paying psychology jobs here.
- 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
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- 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”)
#35 Adler University
M.A. in Forensic Mental Health Leadership Online
Adler University in Chicago offers an online Master of Arts in Forensic Mental Health Leadership that prepares students to lead in forensic mental health and related public safety fields as change agents, consultants, and leaders. The 36-credit hour program teaches students to apply contemporary leadership models and practices with consulting skills, ethical practices, along with individual, organizational, and community-based assessments. The research and program development, and intervention skills, add to their personal and professional growth. With the new skills that they learn in this program, students are prepared to deal with the contemporary realities of mounting social problems, increased public scrutiny, shifting cultural landscapes, and the growing demand for increased accountability and transparency from their patients.
Average tuition per credit hour: $1,342
#34 The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Online Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois, offers an online MA program in Forensic Psychology. It consists of a total of 35 credit hours, which includes 7.5-week terms and six terms in every academic year. This non-licensure track program is designed for working professionals having a minimum of 3 years of post-baccalaureate work experience with organizations in a forensic setting. The students are needed to conduct a research project focusing on real-world situations. They gain a strong foundation in psychology that can be applied to juvenile, civil, and criminal justice systems. The applicants for this program must first complete a bachelor’s degree program from a well-known college or university with an undergraduate GPA score of 3.0.
Average tuition per credit hour: $1,198
#33 William James College
Online Master’s Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Forensic and Correctional Counseling
William James College offers an online Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Forensic and Correctional Counseling. The program is designed for students who wish to practice as counselors and treatment specialists within the criminal justice setting. Students can complete it in two years or opt for a part-time schedule and complete it in three years. The flexibility and 100% online format work well for students who are pursuing a master’s degree as they continue to work full time. The core curriculum of the 60-credit program includes lessons on clinical skills, professional ethics, and issues, lifespan development as well as theories of psychotherapy and counseling. Topics like criminal behavior, theory, and treatment relating to trauma as well as mental health counseling within the legal system are also covered in this program. Graduates go onto work in various settings like correctional facilities, substance abuse assessment, and treatment facilities, juvenile detention centers, court clinics, community settings, secure forensic units, and child advocacy centers. Average tuition per credit hour: $1,100
#32 University of California
Online Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology
The University of California offers an online Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology that is presented in collaboration with the University of California, Irvine’s Departments of Psychological Science and Criminology, Law and Society. The 2-year program involves six courses for each academic year. It offers courses on forensics, psychology, and law. Completing the course can enable students to find work as jury consultants, court liaisons, expert witnesses as well as advocates for law enforcement or victims. Forensic Assessment, Children and Law, Clinical Interviewing, and Treatment are some of the focus areas in this program. There is a mandatory one-week in-residence introductory course that online students have to complete. Graduates go on to work as jury consultants, expert witnesses, court liaisons, victims’ advocates, law enforcement advocates, and case managers.
Average tuition: $14,394
#31 University of New Haven
West Haven, Connecticut
Online Master of Science in Investigations-Digital Forensics
The University of New Haven offers an Online Master of Science in Investigations with a specialization in Digital Forensics. The flexible, online program is designed for students looking to build careers in the field of criminal investigation and forensic studies. It also offers concentrations in criminal investigations and financial crimes. The 10-course program can be completed within one year if one chooses an accelerated format. The 30-credit curriculum focuses on topics like criminal procedure, criminal investigations, supervising as well as the management of the investigative unit. It also offers detailed guidance on processes associated with forensic sciences. Students gain in-depth knowledge with the help of an expert faculty who come with extensive expertise in the areas of criminal justice and forensic science. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in forensic investigators and excel in both public and private organizations.
Average tuition per credit hour: $940
#30 Saint Joseph’s University
Online Master’s in Criminal Justice
The Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia presents a comprehensive online Master’s in Criminal Justice that is designed to create practitioners who understand the administrative strategies in the criminal justice system, follow and apply the latest research trends in their work. The main areas that are covered in this 30-credit program include federal law enforcement, behavior analysis, homeland security, intelligence, behavior management, and crime analysis. Students opting for the crime analysis concentration can develop skills that can enable them to help their law enforcement counterparts. They develop an enhanced knowledge of the contemporary functions of operational, strategic, and tactical intelligence. It takes about a year and a half to complete this program. Graduates of this program go on to work in varied settings that range from law enforcement, law firms, and social services.
Average tuition per credit hour: $887
#29 La Salle University
Online Master of Science in Economic Crime Forensics (ECF)
La Salle University offers an online Master of Science in Economic Crime Forensics (ECF) Program. The 36-credit program offers two tracks: Corporate Fraud and Network Security, which prepares students for the field of economic crime and digital forensics. Students participate in synchronous sessions by taking two courses per semester. Each course is 8-weeks in length. The theoretical core competencies gained in this program include Economic crime definition, analysis, and prevention; Economic risk analysis and mitigation; Legal and corporate compliance and ethical issues; and Investigative practices, principles, and prosecution. The curriculum incorporates the best of Computer Information Science, Information Technology Leadership, and Master of Business Administration along with criminal justice, litigation preparation, and corporate ethics. Graduates go on to work as internal and external fraud auditors, digital forensics specialists, and data and network security managers.
Average tuition per credit hour: $835
#28 Champlain College
Online Master’s in Digital Forensics
Champlain College offers an online Master’s program in Digital Forensics that helps students gain an in-depth understanding of forensic studies and related subjects. The cutting-edge curriculum is closely aligned with new trends and emerging technologies in the industry. Some of the areas that are covered in this 30-credit program include digital investigations for the purpose of civil litigation, digital forensic science, legal principles and aspects of digital investigation, incident response, and the role of network forensics and scripting carried out for digital forensics. The hands-on master’s degree program is taught by industry experts with years of experience in the field. Students learn the best and most effective investigative techniques, how to gather and utilize digital evidence, and apply them in real-world crime-solving scenarios in the digital forensics field. Students looking to enroll in the program must have a minimum of 2.5 GPA as well as an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. GRE or GMAT are not required for this program.
Average tuition per credit hour: $795
#27 Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology
Nova Southeastern University offers an online Master’s in forensic psychology, which can train students on the finer aspects of forensic studies and the role of psychology in solving crimes. The program consists of a total of 36 credits and is meant to provide the students with a thorough understanding of the relation between law and psychology. Students enrolling with this program have the opportunity to work in diverse fields of forensic psychology, like the legal system, as law enforcement officers, in social services agencies or child welfare agencies, national security offices, prisons and treatment facilities, and as mental health workers. The core courses of the program deal with forensic psychological science, the various tools and methods associated with violence risk assessment and psychological issues, as well as behavioral interventions and psychopathology in forensic settings. Many students go on to pursue doctoral studies in the field and contribute their own research.
Average tuition per credit hour: $790
#26 DeSales University
Center Valley, Pennsylvania
Online Master’s in Criminal Justice – Digital Forensics
DeSales University in Pennsylvania presents an online program of Master’s in Criminal Justice that focuses on Digital Forensics. The program provides students with a basic understanding of criminological theory and how such concepts are applied in practice. The 30-credit program teaches the basics of criminological theory and practice with enhanced studies in the sphere of digital forensics. The online master’s degree equips students with the knowledge and skills they need to investigate crimes with the latest digital technology like the latest forensic tools, web-based investigations, encryption techniques, and the examination of evidence. Students can opt for either part-time or full-time model of study for this program. Some of the concepts explored in this program include the examination of evidence, encryption techniques, the latest cutting-edge forensic tools as well as web-based investigations.
Average tuition per credit hour: $775
#25 Arizona State University
Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology
The Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology offered by Arizona State University is considered one of the most popular and affordable online forensic psychology programs out there. It consists of eleven courses that can provide students with a critical understanding of forensic studies and psychology. The 33-credit program teaches students how law and the criminal justice system intersects with mental health and human behavior. The major topics include forensic psychology, criminal justice, and research methods associated with forensic psychology. The specialized coursework covers the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, criminal law and criminal behavior, and their relation to legal decision making. Students looking to enroll in the program must have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in criminal justice, psychology, social science, or a related field.
Average tuition per credit hour: $709
#24 Stevenson University
Online Master’s in Forensic Studies
Stevenson University presents an online master’s program in forensic studies that can help students develop and grow in their careers in the fields of criminal justice and investigations. The convenient, online classes are delivered by an expert faculty with many years of extensive academic and real-world experience with flexible sessions for working adults. The various courses that are taught in this 51-credit program include forensic studies, forensic journal research, forensic journal review, investigative techniques, litigation theory, foundations of justice, litigation practice as well as special topics like white-collar crimes and election law. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a reputable institution along with a 3.0 GPA. Students get support and Personalized attention during this career-focused program that provides them with specialized skills for growing industries. They go on to work conduct investigations and examine the evidence as experts in forensic accounting or digital forensics.
Average tuition per credit hour: $695
#23 Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire
Online Master’s in Psychology-Forensic Psychology
Southern New Hampshire University offers an Online Master’s Psychology-Forensic Psychology that trains students to become an integral part of the criminal justice system. Students learn about all the complex aspects of forensic studies and psychology so that they can apply the same in their work. The forensic psychology concentration is designed to enhance a student’s psychology knowledge and professional skill set. The curriculum offers opportunities to practice and applies forensic psychological theories and methods, which deepens one’s insight into the role of a forensic psychology professional. The program equips students with knowledge and skills in research, assessment, analysis, human behavior, and social skills. The 36-credit program takes a total of 15 months to complete and does not require any GMAT or GRE for admission. Students must take two courses for every 10-week term, and they need to move through the program speedily meet the degree requirements. Core topics include forensic psychology, ethical practices in psychology, cognitive process, the intersection of psychology and law, psychological measurement and assessment, theories of personality as well as research methods in the field of psychology.
Average tuition per credit hour: $627
#22 Saint Leo University
Saint Leo, Florida
Online Criminal Justice, Master of Science – Forensic Science
Saint Leo University in Florida offers an online Criminal Justice MS in Forensic Science designed for students looking to specialize in the field of criminal justice. The 36-credit program helps students develop strong skills in various facets of crime scene investigation. They learn about advanced forensic science, crime scene management, introduction to the field of forensic science, ethical issues associated with criminal justice administration, legal issues related to criminal justice administration as well as research methods used for criminal justice. The curriculum includes five core courses, along with four forensic science courses and two elective courses. It combines hands-on learning with academics and is designed for both active and aspiring criminal justice professionals. Students must have a bachelor’s degree, along with a competitive undergraduate GPA.
Average tuition per credit hour: $610
#21 East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina
Online Master’s in Criminal Justice
East Carolina University offers a comprehensive online master’s program in criminal justice that is ideal for anyone looking to grow in a career of criminal investigations. The program also provides a range of additional certificates in criminal justice education and security studies. Students looking to attend forensic studies can opt for additional classes, electives, and special lessons relating to criminal investigations and forensics. The non-thesis degree program requires 36 credit hours for completion. It equips students with the academic competencies and knowledge they need to pursue a more advanced degree in the field or excel in criminal justice organizations. The core courses associated with the program include concepts relating to criminal justice administration, criminal justice principles, criminal justice management, and program evaluation. They are also several seminars focusing on criminal behavior, statistical interpretation, and research methods.
Average tuition per credit hour: $593.63
#20 University of Florida
Online Master’s in Forensic Science
The University of Florida offers a Master’s in Forensic Science online program which is designed for both aspiring and busy professionals. Tailored for professionals, the University of Florida provides multiple graduate options through a 100% online and asynchronous format, which can be completed anywhere, at one’s own pace. The 32-credit program offers four specialization options that focus on forensic science, forensic serology and DNA, forensic drug chemistry, and forensic toxicology. The core courses include topics like forensic toxicology, applied statistics for the purpose of data analysis, serology and biological evidence as well as special topics and lessons in forensic science. Graduates of this interdisciplinary program emerge with a wide range of skill sets to excel in this diverse field. They go on to work in varied settings like hospitals, clinical or hospital settings, clinical chemistry laboratories, medical examiners’ offices, and law enforcement agencies. It takes two to four years to complete, and students can also gain graduate certificates along the way.
Average tuition per credit hour: $575
#19 Trine University
Online Master’s in Criminal Justice
Trine University offers an online program on Master’s in Criminal Justice that can provide comprehensive guidance on criminal justice and proceedings. Students get an overview of the criminal justice system and its various aspects, including forensics. Anyone with a bachelor’s degree may enroll in the program; it is ideal for pre- as well as mid-career individuals. The 36-credit program offers guidance criminal justice, law, corrections as well as communities in court. Students are also introduced to applied statistics and aspects for criminal justice, program evaluation and planning, criminal justice policy analysis and formation, writing, and research for professional success as well as the system of justice in America. Along with Theory & Practice of Forensic Psychology, students also have to complete a Forensic Psychology Demonstration Project.
Average tuition per credit hour: $565
#18 Liberty University
Online Master’s in Criminal Justice – Forensic Psychology
The Liberty University in Lynchburg offers an Online Master’s program in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Forensic Psychology. It is a 36 credit hour program and takes about one and a half years to complete. It comprises of several in-depth courses that focus on criminal justice integration, organizations associated with the administration of justice, crisis intervention in the law enforcement department, psychology and its influence in the legal system, fundamental aspects of forensic psychology as well as reintegration and rehabilitation of offenders. The online program helps students understand the laws and legal practices of the criminal justice system as they learn directly from experts in the fields of criminal justice and forensic psychology. They learn to apply their knowledge of social-cognitive psychology with the fundamentals of forensic psychology to give back to their communities. Students looking to enroll in the program must have a bachelor’s degree from accredited institutions along with an undergraduate GPA score of 3.0.
Average tuition per credit hour: $565
#17 Grand Canyon University
Master of Science in Psychology in Forensic Psychology Online
Grand Canyon University offers an online program on Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Forensic Psychology via the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The 36-credit program introduces students to legal systems, ethical practices, and policies currently associated with forensic psychology. The program includes core courses on the psychopathology of crime, cultural and social psychology as well as psychology and its impact on the legal system. Students gain knowledge of the biological, neurochemical, genetic, cognitive, and sociological factors that underlie criminal behavior. The curriculum offers a framework of statistical analysis and psychology with research skills that can be applied to criminal behavior and investigations. All applicants must first complete an undergraduate degree and have a GPA score of 2.8 or more.
Average tuition per credit hour: $530
#16 California State University
Los Angeles, California
Master of Science in Forensic Psychology Online
California State University offers an online program on the Master of Science in Forensic Psychology that helps students understand how the criminal justice system and psychology are deeply interlinked. The faculty mentors offer efficient guidance to all students. Some of the areas that are covered in the course include psychology and law, legal issues, and courtroom elements in criminalistics, as well as studies on abnormal psychology. The elective programs include social psychology, developmental psychology, as well as cross-cultural and multicultural psychology studies. The 34-credit program emphasizes practical training in the areas of assessment and treatment, along with theory and research that leads to comprehensive knowledge in the field. The program prepares the graduate to get into the workforce as Masters level practitioners and also for doctoral study.
Average tuition per year: $8,198
#15 University of Louisiana
Online Master of Science in Psychology, Forensic Track
The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers an online program on Master of Science in Psychology with a Forensic Track. It includes 32 credit hours of study and covers subjects like Psychopathology, Criminal Justice Counseling, and Sociology of Law. Even though a thesis is not needed for the program, students usually complete one. Program applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA score of 3.0. It is also essential for undergraduate students to complete at least nine semester credit hours of study on psychology-based courses along with a 3-hour statistics course. Some of the courses covered include Psychological Assessment, Advanced Theories of Crime and Delinquency, Counseling in Criminal Justice, Sociology of Law, Minorities, Crime, and Criminal Justice, among others.
Average tuition per credit hour: $500
#14 Touro University Worldwide
Los Alamitos, California
Online Master’s Degree in Psychology-Forensic Psychology
Touro University Worldwide offers an online Master’s Degree in Psychology with a Concentration in Forensic Psychology. The 100% online program helps students gain useful skills relevant to the practical application of psychological research to real-world contexts. By combining psychological theories and methods, they prepare graduates to excel in a wide range of clinical and forensic settings. They are well-prepared for a career in business, health services, marketing, criminal justice, or doctoral studies. The 30-credit coursework covers topics like research methods, cognitive psychology, social psychology, personality, learning theory, and ethical practice in psychology. The MA in Psychology is a flexible and affordable curriculum that is offered 100% online. Students need to complete 12 courses, which includes nine required courses and three electives. Students have the option to tailor their degree to fit their career goals by choosing from concentrations like media psychology, educational, health, and of course, the forensic psychology option.
Average tuition per semester credit: $500
#13 Northcentral University
San Diego, California
Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology
The Northcentral University in California offers an Online Master’s program in Forensic Psychology that can be completed in 20 months. Students immersed in the psychology of criminality and learn to apply psychological principles in forensic settings. The highly affordable, 30-credit program includes topics like forensic psychology, ethical principles in academics and research as well as research methods into the area of forensic psychology. Students must hold a bachelor’s degree before enrolling in this program. However, they do not need to appear for the GMAT or GRE for the Online Master of Forensic Psychology. The online classes are quite flexible and can work well, even for busy students. Graduates are prepared to work with law enforcement, within the justice system, corrections, the courts, and departments of victim services. Students learn to think critically and apply their creative thinking and problem-solving skills in their work. Along with the practical application of forensic psychology, they are also trained to adhere to the ethical principles in research and academics through the ten courses they study.
Average tuition per course: $2,577
#12 Capella University
Master’s in Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology Online
Capella University offers an online Master’s in Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology, that helps students gain a better understanding of the criminal mind and become effective forensic investigators. The program provides deep insight into the subject by combining research and evidence-based practices spanning cultural and social diversities. The 55 total quarter credit program provides the knowledge and skills to understand the law and legal institutions and practice forensics at the intersection of human behavior and the criminal mind. Students get to analyze research and apply their findings along with theories related to the practice of clinical and forensic psychology. They also learn to apply ethical principles related to practice in research, academics, and practice. The coursework is also designed to help students practice or pursue graduate study at the doctoral level. By learning to communicate through scholarly writing and technologies using the professional standards of the discipline, they excel in both areas.
Average tuition per credit hour: $485
#11 Concordia University
St. Paul, Minnesota
Online Master of Arts in Human Services-Forensic Behavioral Health
Concordia University, St. Paul offers an online MA in Human Services with an emphasis in Forensic Behavioral Health. The 36-credit hour program is offered in partnership with the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS). The program explores the relationship between criminal justice, forensics, behavioral health, and legal systems. Students get a comprehensive overview of the field of forensic behavioral health and related systems of care. Graduates are prepared to deal with the disabilities and disorders associated with forensic behavioral health and criminal justice systems. The school is known for its industry-ready programs and this master’s degree is no different. Graduates of this program rank among the top 10 earners among all Minnesota colleges and universities.
Average tuition per credit hour: $475
#10 Florida International University
Online Professional Science Masters in Forensic Science
Florida International University offers an online Professional Science Masters in Forensic Science that is designed for students looking to pursue a career in forensic science in varied settings. The cutting edge, the innovative program offers advanced training along with excellent opportunities for practical hands-on learning. The program combines theory with hands-on workshops which take place at the state-of-the-art laboratory instrumentation and research facilities. Students also go through a “real-world” internship in a private- or public-sector forensic science enterprise as a part of their final project. The 32-credit program is taught by expert faculty and covers four semesters. The 16-month cohort-based course includes courses in forensic biology, forensic analysis, organizational behavior, forensic science leadership as well as organization information systems. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a reputable college, along with a 3.0 GPA in some upper-level coursework.
Average tuition per credit hour: $455.64
#9 University of Houston-Victoria
MA Forensic Psychology Online
The University of Houston-Victoria offers an online MA Forensic Psychology program that is designed for students looking to enhance their skills in the field of forensic studies and criminal investigation. Consisting of a total of 63 credit hours, it involves practicum focusing on treatment as well as case assessment. Completion of this program can help students develop skills that they need to work as counselors and associates of forensic and legal investigations. Most graduates go to work as licensed mental health workers in the field of forensics. Applicants need to complete undergraduate courses in abnormal psychology, statistics, and research methods. Students are also prepared to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) and Licensed Psychological Associates (LPA’s) in Texas.
Average tuition per year: $7,900
#8 University of Alabama
Online Master’s in Criminal Justice
The University of Alabama offers an online master’s program in criminal justice that provides in-depth knowledge and understanding of forensic concepts. It is designed to function as an in-person non-thesis plan degree. As a part of the 36-credit program, students are required to complete a Demonstration Project to show what they have learned. This includes a research paper that combines a discussion of theory and policy, and how they can apply their knowledge to their work. Students enrolling in this program must complete an online application along with the fee, three letters of recommendation, transcripts from all post-secondary institutions along with a personal statement. One should also have a bachelor’s degree from a reputable college or university. Students can graduate in four semesters or two years.
Average tuition per credit hour: $450
#7 National University
La Jolla, California
Online Master of Forensic Sciences
National University offers an online program on the Master of Forensic Sciences that is ideal for students looking to make their careers in the field of crime intervention and investigation. The 54-quarter units program offers in-depth courses on various aspects of death investigation, the basic human anatomy as well as analysis of trauma and disease. The two areas of specialization include Criminalistics and Investigation. The former includes courses in advanced forensic toxicology and DNA, among others, while the latter focuses on advanced forensic investigative techniques for the field. It also offers courses on crime scene investigation, trace evidence, advanced forensic toxicology, forensic anthropology and archeology, and forensic serology. Once students complete the program, they can find employment in law enforcement and related fields. They can also work as investigators and forensic lab personnel.
Average tuition per credit hour: $442
#6 University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Forensic Psychology MA Online
The University of North Dakota offers a comprehensive program on Forensic Psychology MA that includes 30 credit hours of study, which can be completed in two years. It enables students to apply what they learn about psychology principles to various civil and criminal justice cases. After completing the program, students often go on to assist lawyers in trial preparation and jury selection. For the online curriculum, students combine recorded lectures with online classes access. They also have access to remote-learning facilities like tutoring, tech support, and academic advising. Some of the core courses of this program include Psychology & Law, Advanced Social Psychology, Diversity Psychology, and Behavior Pathology. UND’s MS in Forensic Psychology has been ranked as the No. 1 Online Master’s program in the country.
Average tuition per credit hour: $438.90
#5 CUNY John Jay College
New York, New York
Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology
CUNY John Jay College in New York offers an online master’s in forensic psychology that gives students a strong foundation in forensic psychology so that they excel professionally and also pursue doctoral study in psychology. Students acquire an advanced understanding of personality assessment, psychotherapeutic techniques, psychological development and psychopathology, and research methods. They are prepared to apply what they have learned in the criminal and civil justice systems with their understanding and knowledge of both offenders and victims. The 42-credit program covers vast areas of study like the police and policing, jury research, eyewitness identification, corrections, parole, probation, victim services, addiction services, and family services. Graduates go onto work in prisons, social service agencies, juvenile facilities, police departments, family court, addiction services, hospitals, and community mental health centers, and even federal law enforcement agencies.
Average tuition per credit hour: $425
#4 University of Central Florida
Online Master’s in Forensic Science
The University of Central Florida offers an online master’s program in forensic studies, which is designed for students who wish to make a difference in the field. Graduates emerge to harness and combine the powers of emerging technologies and current forensic topics to lead forensic investigations. The 34-credit program is 100% online and flexible, making it a good fit for full-time students as well as working professionals who can earn their degree in forensic science in as little as two years. It comes with both thesis and non-thesis options and is taught by internationally recognized experts in the field. The diverse, innovative program comes with three concentrations, including forensic professional, forensic biochemistry, and forensic analysis. Students can choose a specific area of interest and tailor their degree with the additional courses to advance within this highly interdisciplinary science. The students must hold a bachelor’s degree from a reputable college or university before applying to this program.
Average tuition per credit hour: $327.32
#3 Aspen University
Online Master’s in Criminal Justice – Forensic Sciences
Aspen University in Denver, Colorado, offers a master’s in forensic studies program with a specialization in forensic science. Students must complete 36 credits of study that comprises of 12 online courses. The online master’s program provides students with a comprehensive criminal justice education that covers the fundamental issues of technology in law enforcement, criminal law, and criminology. Some of the courses included in the program are advanced criminal procedure, advanced criminal law, forensic science, expert testimonies and ethics, human relations management as well as the technologies used in law enforcement. The Forensic Sciences study track offers specialized training in drug enforcement, fingerprinting, and related skills. Graduates go on to work in varied settings like law enforcement, laboratories, law firms, and courtrooms.
Average tuition per credit hour: $325
#2 Emporia State University
Online Master’s in Forensic Science
Emporia State University offers a cutting-edge online master’s degree program in forensic science. The program provides students with the option to choose from three concentrations in chemistry, criminalistics, and biology that must be further supported with on-campus lab sessions. Some of the core courses include physical and biological evidence, forensic science, criminalistics as well as molecular techniques that are used for forensic scientists. The biology and chemistry concentrations provide students with knowledge of the latest analytical techniques in forensic biology, toxicology, forensic chemistry, and trace evidence. The criminalistics concentration prepares students for the workforce by offering one-on-one guidance and hands-on learning. All three concentrations have been developed with the input of crime lab directors across the Midwest. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a reputable college or university.
Average tuition per credit hour: $266.41
#1 Oklahoma State University
MS in Forensic Sciences, Forensic Psychology Online
Oklahoma State University offers an online program on MS in Forensic Sciences program with a focus on Forensic Psychology. It includes 39 credit hours and spans about two years. The first-year study courses can be completed online, whereas some of the second-year courses require on-campus laboratory studies. Once completed, students can find work in national, state, or local law enforcement agencies. Depending on the professional and academic goals of the student, there can be a thesis or capstone project involved. Completing this program will give students a solid background in forensic sciences and forensic psychology, law and expert analysis, and advanced criminalistics. Anyone looking to pursue this course should have a bachelor’s degree in sociology or psychology. Additionally, applicants also need to present their GRE test scores along with a statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation.
Average tuition per credit hour: $230.45
What is forensic psychology?
Forensic psychology combines the study of psychology and the legal system. A master’s degree in the field teaches students the application of psychological knowledge of fundamental legal principles. What they learn in this program, enables students to offer expert witness testimony, reformulating psychological findings into the legal language of the courtroom, consider relevant jurisdictional considerations, and communicate effectively so that the information they provide to legal personnel can be easily understood.
Forensic psychologists spend a lot of time in research on how psychology and the legal system connects. Forensic psychology applies the principles of psychology to assist with criminal proceedings. They study criminals, their patterns in behavior, and their crimes to assist law enforcement better. Along with criminal profiling, they play an essential role in advocating for the people from socio-economically backward segments of society. They use their research to help judges, lawyers, and juries better understand the motivations behind criminal behavior.
What will you learn?
A degree in forensic psychology is an advanced degree that includes various sub-disciplines. Some of the courses taken in forensic psychology master’s degree programs include Human Growth and Development, Cognitive Psychology, Psychology of Criminal Behavior, Social Psychology, Correctional Psychology, Psychology and the Law, Key Concepts of Psychotherapy, and Criminal Psychological Assessment among others. Some sub-specialties include crime prevention, correctional psychology, sex offenses, victim support, and children’s psychology.
Careers in forensic psychology
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychology careers are expected to grow by about 14 percent through 2028. Forensic psychologists are recognized for their knowledge, research skills, and in-depth training that allows them to examine, analyze, and explain aspects of a crime. They are highly in demand. According to the BLS, the median salary for psychologists was $79.010 in 2018. A forensic psychology degree can lead to a wide variety of careers. Here’s a quick overview of some.
Master’s degree holders in forensic psychology can leverage their understanding of crime and the legal system to offer effective treatment and counseling for inmates and ex-convicts. They help offenders understand the social and psychological ramifications of what they have done and aid developing programs that help reduce recidivism rates. They also provide mental health counseling and support to prison inmates.
Jail supervisors work in correctional facilities like state prisons, juvenile jails, and detention centers where they help keep inmates and staff members safe. They exercise strong communication and conflict resolution skills as they oversee daily activities, alleviate conflict, and ensure safety for all.
As a victim advocate, forensic degree holders work with victims of crimes and survivors of traumatic events like domestic violence, sexual assault, or other violent crimes. They use their knowledge of psychology and understanding of the law to help them understand his or her case and legal rights and the legal process.
Forensic psychologists work closely with law firms to help provide consultations, evaluate witness testimony, select juries, providing consultations. They provide insights on which jurors to select for a particular case based on their research of potential jurors, the case, and its social ramifications.
Federal Government Employee
Master’s degree holders in this field often go into work with federal government organizations like the FBI, CIA, or the DEA. Their knowledge comes in handy to solve crimes in both domestic and international scenarios. They excel in various state and local government institutions since they can combine interdisciplinary perspectives, think critically, and apply psychological perspectives to real-world situations.
Many forensic psychologists work with law enforcement agencies as police consultants. They help them understand the minds of criminals and to help them apprehend felons. They also educate police officers on how to best approach their communities in order to promote community policing strategies based on their research of each case.
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Most graduates go on to acquire a state license to practice. They offer their services in state and federal agencies and also counsel victims in addiction treatment facilities, mental health clinics, domestic violence shelters, hospitals, and private practices.
Forensic psychologists help lawyers and law enforcement personnel evaluate the likelihood of risky behavior and analyze evidence thoroughly. Master’s degree gets them into good positions, but a doctoral degree helps them grow in this highly competitive field. Most leading schools offer a master’s in forensic psychology or a related field that prepares students for doctoral work.
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