Best Forensic Psychology Degrees

Take the first steps in your journey to becoming a forensic psychologist with the best available forensic psychology bachelor's programs.

Updated September 20, 2022

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Best Forensic Psychology Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

Best Colleges for Forensic Psychology

Students interested in earning a forensic psychology degree need a high school or GED diploma. Some schools accept other high school equivalency exams. Degree-seekers complete major and general education courses. Some programs allow learners to double major or minor.

Bachelor's degree holders can apply to master's programs. They can also pursue careers as caseworkers, claims supervisors, or psychological stress evaluators. This page highlights the best forensic psychology degrees, including common courses and licensure requirements.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Forensic Psychology Degrees

What's the difference between forensic psychology and forensic science?

Forensic psychologists work with criminals and survivors to understand why crime occurs. Forensic scientists collect and analyze physical crime scene evidence.

How many years does it take to become a forensic psychologist?

A licensed forensic psychologist may need up to 10 years of higher education. This figure includes four years in an undergraduate program, two years in a master's program, and four years in a doctoral program. Students must also gain professional experience to qualify for licensure. Required hours vary by state.

What can I do with a bachelor's degree in forensic psychology?

Graduates can work as disability case managers, financial aid counselors, or human resource advisors. Some positions require additional education or training.

Featured Online Forensic Psychology Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Why Get a Degree in Forensic Psychology?

Bachelor's degree holders can explore many forensic psychology degree jobs. They can also pursue a master's or doctorate in forensic psychology. States require the latter for licensure.

Online forensic psychology courses offer many benefits. Students attending an accredited school receive the same education as on-campus learners. Many online forensic psychology programs also run asynchronously. Learners can complete coursework around job and family responsibilities.

How Much Does a Forensic Psychology Degree Cost?

The cost of a forensic psychology degree varies by school. In-state, public schools charge the most affordable tuition. Students pursuing bachelor's degrees at in-state, public colleges spent an average of $26,820 in 2020-21. Learners at private colleges spent an average of $54,880. Students can lower their out-of-pocket costs by applying for financial aid such as scholarships and grants.

Online learning may require extra expenses, such as a new computer and commuting to internship or practicum sites. Some courses may include lab fees. Prospective students can check school websites for information on extra costs.

How Much Do Forensic Psychology Majors Make?

Salary depends on forensic psychologists' degree level, employer, and geographic location. Bachelor's graduates working as market research analysts or training and development specialists earn median annual salaries above $60,000. These salaries exceed what the typical U.S. worker earns by more than $20,000.

Professionals can increase their salary by earning an advanced degree. Licensed forensic psychologists earn a median annual salary of $82,180. All workers with a psychology background can boost their earning potential through continuing education (CE).

Courses in Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology programs include general education and forensic psychology courses. Coursework helps learners hone communication, analytical, and research skills. Students can apply these skills in their graduate education and career. Enrollees can customize their education through electives to prepare for graduate school or a specific career path.

See below for three undergraduate forensic psychology courses. Course topics and requirements vary by program. Prospective students can learn more by visiting a school's online student handbook or contacting an admissions representative.

  • Psychological Disorders

    Forensic psychologists must understand why people commit crimes. The answer may involve a psychological disorder. Coursework covers different conditions, symptoms, and the latest treatment methods. This course helps students reinforce the skills they developed in introductory psychology courses. Assessments require learners to analyze case studies.
  • Forensic Evaluation

    Licensed forensic psychologists interview criminals and survivors. These professionals must follow basic procedures and the law. Coursework covers different interview strategies and best practices. Master's and doctoral programs build upon these topics and prepare learners for licensure. Students take this course after completing prerequisites.
  • Courts and Judicial Process

    Enrollees study how forensic psychologists work within the criminal justice system. The course emphasizes the justice system's structure and functions. Degree-seekers analyze how psychologists, lawyers, and other officials work together to prosecute criminals. Learners also research the latest trends impacting the legal system.

How to Become a Forensic Psychologist

After earning a bachelor's degree, aspiring forensic psychologists should enroll in career-aligned master's and doctoral programs. Enrollees complete extended projects and lengthy internships. Many top universities offer online graduate psychology degrees. Licensure candidates must meet other experience and exam requirements.

Forensic psychologists may testify in court, give tests, and maintain records. Other tasks vary depending on specialization and years of experience. Some forensic psychologists work exclusively with children, families, or criminals. Most psychologists work for themselves or a government agency.

Featured Online Psychology Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Licensure for Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychologists need a license to practice. Licensure requirements vary by state. Candidates in New York need a doctorate in psychology from a state-approved program. This program should include coursework in child abuse identification reporting. The state board of licensure reviews out-of-state degrees on a case-by-case basis.

New York forensic psychologists must also meet a 1,750-hour experience requirement. Candidates may begin work on this requirement while completing their doctoral program. The state uses strict guidelines on what qualifies as relevant experience. Candidates spend most of their time working directly with patients. Those meeting the education and experience requirement take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology exam.

New York requires forensic psychologists to renew their license every three years. Psychologists earn 36 CE credits for license renewal. The state maintains a list of approved CE providers. Typical CE activities include presenting at a conference, publishing a research paper, and taking a course.

Best Forensic Psychology Degrees 2022

The following ranking highlights the best forensic psychology bachelor's programs. These programs offer rigorous curricula, helpful support services, and institutional financial aid opportunities. Prospective students should research each school to learn about curriculum and admission requirements. Information may have changed since this article's publication.

#1 Best Forensic Psychology Degrees

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott

  • Prescott, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The forensic psychology degree at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott, a private institution, ranks among the best programs of its kind. Degree-seekers can choose from in-person classes offered on the Prescott campus and online classes. The school's flexible course options and comprehensive support services appeal to many undergraduates.

The bachelor's in forensic psychology program includes general education and major courses that emphasize key skills and knowledge. Students take humanities, math, and communication classes as part of the general education curriculum. Within the major, learners take upper-division courses that provide an advanced understanding of forensic psychology, preparing graduates for the job market.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 66%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 22

Undergrad Tuition In State: $35,424

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $35,424

Graduation Rate: 69%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $51,400

Average Tuition
In-state
$35,424
Out-of-state
$35,424
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
2,946
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
4% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Forensic Psychology Degrees

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The bachelor's in forensic psychology program at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice ranks highly among programs of its type. This forensic psychology program encourages the knowledge and skills required for diverse career paths. A bachelor's degree also leads to higher education opportunities, including master's and doctoral programs.

The bachelor's curriculum covers the major principles and methods in forensic psychology. Undergraduates strengthen writing, communication, and critical thinking skills through general education classes. Minors and second majors let students explore their other interests.

Student services help incoming degree candidates transition into the school's community. For example, financial aid counselors recommend scholarships while academic advisors suggest course options.

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice at a Glance:

Location: New York, New York

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 41%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,930

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,880

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,930
Out-of-state
$14,880
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
41%
Students Enrolled
15,880
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 Best Forensic Psychology Degrees

Maryville University of Saint Louis

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The bachelor's in forensic psychology/criminal justice program at Maryville University of Saint Louis, a private institution, prepares graduates for the workforce. From its Missouri campus, the school runs in-person and online programs. Undergraduates benefit form flexible course options and rigorous academic standards.

Majors earn a bachelor's degree after taking forensic psychology and general education courses. Classes in math, the humanities, and the natural sciences meet general education requirements. Graduates prepare for the workforce or a further degree by taking advanced forensic psychology courses that cover theoretical and practical topics.

Maryville University of Saint Louis at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 83%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 51

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 23

Undergrad Tuition In State: $26,070

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $26,070

Graduation Rate: 71%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $44,100

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,070
Out-of-state
$26,070
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
10,013
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Forensic Psychology Degrees

Florida Institute of Technology

  • Melbourne, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Florida Institute of Technology offers a bachelor's in forensic psychology as one of its 58 bachelor's programs. This degree incorporates knowledge and skills that prepare students for many career paths. After completing a bachelor's degree, graduates can also pursue higher degrees to specialize their training.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces major principles and practices in forensic psychology. Undergraduates also take general education courses, which strengthen communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Minors and second majors let students explore their other interests.

Incoming degree candidates benefit from student services, which provide support for first-year learners. For example, financial aid counselors meet with students to identify their financial need and suggest funding sources.

Florida Institute of Technology at a Glance:

Location: Melbourne, Florida

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 66%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $41,720

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $41,720

Average Tuition
In-state
$41,720
Out-of-state
$41,720
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
6,022
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Featured Online Forensic Psychology Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

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