Forensic psychology professionals work in a range of fields: courts, correctional facilities, law offices, police departments, higher education institutions, protective services, juvenile facilities, and even the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The programs listed here can be taken fully online and they offer Masters degrees with a range of focuses and specializations. One thing to note, the tuition rates listed below are for the entire program, from start to finish. Our data comes from the university and colleges’ websites as well as nationally recognized U.S. News and World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
The Chicago School
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology—often referred to as just The Chicago School—is a member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology, an organization that serves to enhance graduate training in professional psychology. It has recognized The Chicago School for the quality of its program and its ongoing service to cultural diversity. Offering an online Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology, the program at Chicago takes as little as twenty months to complete and is perfect for those eager to learn more about the legal and criminal components to psychology.
Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Science in Psychology features a Forensic Psychology track for students looking to gain training in research methodology, analysis, human behavior assessment, and effective interpersonal communication. Accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit university. Their program can be completed in as little as fifteen months, making it one of the most efficient programs on our list.
Argosy University is part of the Education Management Corporation, a system of twenty-eight for-profit institutions located throughout the United States. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and it’s important to note that only some of the programs are APA (American Psychological Association) accredited. Argosy offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology that seeks to prepare its students to provide consultation, assessment, and intervention within the criminal justice and civil legal system.
Capella University, a for-profit institution of higher learning, delivers most of its education online, including its Master of Science in Clinical Psychology. With a Forensic Psychology Specialization, students at Capella learn how to apply criminal behavioral research to evidence-based practices. Their curriculum spans a breadth of topics that consider concept, theory, and technique. There are a number of grants, scholarships, military discounts, and more made available through Capella.
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University is a private nonprofit university with a number of online degree programs, including the Master of Science in Forensic Psychology with two concentration track options: Forensic Psychology in the Legal System and Forensic Psychology for Mental Health Workers, First Responders and Disaster Teams. While the former is marked by a curriculum that focuses on family, therapy, and law, the latter is comprised of classes focused on trauma, suicide prevention, and school violence. Nova Southeastern has created an online platform that promotes student-to-faculty communication and interactive classroom engagement.
Walden University is a private institution that provides a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology through their e-campus platform. Students at Walden learn about mental health issues related to criminal behavior, how to evaluate psychological approaches to offenders, and how to enact change in the justice system. Though Walden doesn’t offer licensure, meaning students do not graduate fully licensed, they are prepared for a wide range of vocational opportunities, namely because Walden’s program includes four areas of concentration: Forensic Psychology in the Community, Mental Health Applications, Program Planning and Evaluation in Forensic Settings, and Psychology and Legal Systems.
Accredited by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Post University was established in 1890. They offer a fully online, accelerated Master of Science in Human Services with a concentration in Forensic Mental Health Counseling. Though students do not graduate with full licensure they do have the opportunity, through Post’s program, to take additional courses that work toward license eligibility. The curriculum at Post stresses theoretical, analytic, and clinical approaches to counseling juveniles and adults tangled in the justice system.
Trine University has several campuses across Indiana and several satellite campuses as well. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Trine’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice includes a concentration in Forensic Psychology. Their program is for those interested in an array of applications and opportunities in the psychology workforce: correctional counseling, investigative psychology, crises intervention, police psychology, child protection serves, victim psychology, sex offender psychology, and juvenile delinquency counseling.
Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University is a private, non-profit, Roman Catholic liberal arts university regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Their Master of Science in Criminal Justice includes a Forensic Psychology specialization. As part of The School of Education and Social Services, this program is specifically designed for those interested in the psychological aspects of world events and disasters. Graduates of Saint Leo typically go on to become criminal justice administrators, first responders, or government officials.
Concordia University, St. Paul
Concordia University at St. Paul is an affiliate of the ten-member Concordia University System, which is operated by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. In partnership with the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS), Concordia offers a Master of Arts in Human Services with an emphasis on Forensic Mental Health. This is not a clinical or counseling program, but one that trains students to understand the complicated relationship between law and mental health. Ninety-two percent of graduates from this program receive jobs after graduation.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Part of the University of Louisiana System, the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) offers a Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology, the only program offered entirely online. Graduates from ULM are not eligible to become licensed counselors, but are trained instead to work in the criminal justice system. The curriculum includes classes on psychological assessment, theories of crime, sociology of law, and more. The U.S. News & World Report ranked ULM as one of the Top Public Schools in the South Regional Universities division.
University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota is a public research institution located in Grand Forks, North Dakota but hosts a number of online programs as well. They offer a Master of Arts Degree in Forensic Psychology that can be taken almost fully online; this program requires a couple on-campus visits, including the two-week on-campus capstone experience. The University of North Dakota also stands out from the other programs on our list in that they offer in-state tuition (noted below) regardless of a student’s residency. They were ranked as the Top Online Master’s in Psychology in 2015 by Gograd.org and were included among the top 100 public universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report.