Do you envision yourself partnering closely with investigative teams, law enforcement, and even crime victims themselves to help bring about social and legal justice? Or perhaps you’re fascinated by the mind of the criminal and want to be the expert called into court to testify as a witness?
Then a master’s degree in forensic psychology may be the next best step for you!
What kind of online Master’s in Forensic Psychology degree should you get?
While some of these programs are housed within elite research schools and others are offered through global, online universities, they will all prepare you for a career in forensic psychology.
For example, at the University of North Dakota, a flagship university, you will earn a highly specialized MA in Forensic Psychology. But at Grand Canyon University you will earn a broader MS in Psychology.
The most important thing is to find a program that reflects your career aspirations. Know that all of these programs here are offered fully online. That means you can earn an advanced degree (and thereby advance your career) in the most affordable, convenient way possible.
Want to make sure the online program you’re considering is reliable and well-regarded? Be sure to check out College Choice’s overall Most Affordable Online Colleges!
How much money do people make with a Master’s in Forensic Psychology?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychologists make on average $77,000 a year. However, that number doesn’t reflect advanced, specialized education in forensics. When considering the added experience, insight, and skills you’ll gain with this degree, that number jumps way up. Indeed, forensic psychologists can make upwards of $112,000 annually.
With a projected growth rate of 14 percent in the next few years, the need for forensic psychologists is way above the national average. So not only is the field lucrative, it’s stable – if not booming too.
What can you do with a Master’s in Forensic Psychology?
When most think about psychologists they envision expensive armchairs and quiet offices. But an advanced degree in forensic psych can mean more than just the clinical office setting.
Whether you want to work with children, adolescents, or adults, a master’s in forensic psychology will equip you for a diversity of populations. You can use the degree in social work settings. You can partner with legal teams to become a victim’s advocate. Or you can collaborate with investigative teams as court liaison.
The options are nearly endless. If you want to study and treat criminal behavior, then an MS in Forensic Psychology degree is the way to go.
What are the requirements for an online Master’s in Forensic Psychology?
Foremost, you should anticipate allocating the next two years to earning your degree. A graduate program in forensic psych will be neither fast or easy. You will take a number of foundational psychology courses in cognitive development, pathology, behavior and development, and more.
From there you’ll take specialized coursework that prepares you for a career in forensics. This could entail classes on psychopathology, law, rehabilitation, the criminal justice system, and criminal behavior.
Some programs will also require you to complete either a capstone project, fieldwork, or an internship. We’ve been sure to note which.
What are the most affordable online Master’s degrees in Forensic Psychology?
While some of these programs are broader psychology degrees and others concentrate solely on forensics, they all share one thing in common: they are the most affordable ways to enhance your career in psychology.
To determine the best bang for your buck, here at College Choice we examined every graduate forensic psych program in the nation. From there we looked for those offering the degree online. Then, to trim our findings down to an elite few, we compared tuition rates, financial support services, scholarship and grant opportunities, and more.
What we found are the nation’s most affordable MS in Forensic Psychology degrees.
See our rankings methodology page.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Average Net Price: $9,145
The Monroe campus within the wider University of Louisiana System is home to approximately 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The University is organized into a business school, the college of arts, and the health and pharmaceutical science school. Its psychology programs are among the most popular.
ULM offers an MS in Psychology degree with a focus on forensics. This program is best suited for students who want a broad immersion into psychology while also specializing in criminal justice and the sociology of law. In addition to completing your regular psych cores, you will also take classes such as:
- Advanced Theories of Crime and Delinquency
- Minorities, Crime, and Criminal Justice
- Sociology of Law
- Intelligence Testing
ULM is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for its excellent academic programming. Additionally, it is ranked among the top 100 schools in its region and for having some of the best online programs in the nation.
University of Houston-Victoria
Average Net Price: $10,995
The University of Houston in Victoria, Texas is a small school with under 5,000 combined undergraduate and graduate students. Likewise, the University is comprised of only three schools: education and human development, the arts and sciences, and business administration.
At UHV you can earn an MA in Forensic Psychology that will prepare you to work in the health and criminal justice fields. If you’re looking for a hands-on degree, this is the way to go. Students all complete practicums where they apply the theories and techniques they’ve learned in the classroom to real-life case studies. Classes include:
- Life-Span Developmental Psychology
- Assessment for Forensic Psychology
- Addictions Counseling
Though small, the University of Houston–Victoria is mighty. It is regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and its online programs, notably its online graduate degrees, are considered among some of the most affordable and best in the nation.
University of North Dakota
Average Net Price: $14,693
The oldest school in the state, the University of North Dakota is located in Grand Forks. What was started as a focused liberal arts school has grown exponentially into the research institution it is today. Nearly 15,000 students attend UND.
The MA in Forensic Psychology degree at UND takes two years to complete and requires one on-campus visit. The rest of the program can be completed fully online. Emphasizing how to apply psychological evaluations to criminal justice and social service systems, the UND program prepares students to work in everything from police departments to child care agencies. Classes include:
- Diversity Psychology
- Psychology and Law
- Behavior Pathology
- Child Psychopathology
A flagship university, UND receives one of the highest ratings from the Carnegie Foundation for its research activity. Furthermore, it is nationally ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly, among others. UND is also known for its quality, innovative distance programs.
Average Net Price: $16,538
Capella University is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a leader in online and distance education. Offering nearly 150 academic programs, plus another few dozen certifications, Capella provides a range of opportunities for its students. Indeed, more than 35,000 students are enrolled at Capella.
When you earn an MS in Clinical Psychology at Capella you can specialize in Forensic Psychology. This is a fantastic program for those who want to primarily study clinical applications but also want to gain skills in the areas of psychology and law. In addition to your core coursework, you will take classes such as:
- Introduction to Psychopathology
- Tests and Measurements
- Techniques of Forensic Practice
- Issues and Trends in Forensic Practice
Being that Capella is wholly devoted to distance education, it therefore offers a notably student-centric approach to education. Students have access to a wide array of resources and services. They can opt into a number of professional and academic opportunities too, like turning past jobs into course credit.
Grand Canyon University
Average Net Price: $21,168
Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Grand Canyon University is a Christian school. It offers a liberal arts education through its nine colleges and schools. Nearly 20,000 on-campus students attend GCU with another 60,000 enrolled in of its highly regarded online programs.
GCU offers a fully online MS in Psychology degree with an emphasis on Forensic Psychology. This program covers the full spectrum, allowing students to explore our legal system, rehabilitation practices, and the cognitive influences on criminal behavior. At GCU you will take a range of classes, including:
- Psychopathology of Crime
- Social and Cultural Psychology
- Offender Rehabilitation and Reintegration
- Theories of Criminal Behavior
With Fortune magazine placing GCU as among the top five best online schools in the nation, it’s hard to compete with them. Even more, its online programs are consistently well-ranked. Even Town & Country calls the GCU campus one of the “10 Best College Campuses Across America.”