According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics, the field of Psychology which includes Forensic Psychology is expected to grow 11% between 2012 and 2022. This growth can be attributed to increased interest and awareness to the importance of the connections between the legal system and the principles of psychology. For those interested in working in this exciting field, an online masters in forensic psychology can open doors to a career as an expert witness, consultant, victim advocate, or law enforcement officer. Payscale.com reports the median annual salary for an individual with a masters degree in forensic psychology is $61,167.00 per year as of September 2014. Online forensic psychology programs provide flexibility allowing the working professional to earn their degree while still meeting personal obligations.
We developed a ranking of the best forensic psychology programs online. To develop our list, we used College Navigator to find accredited schools offering master’s degrees in forensic psychology. We narrowed our list down to those offering online programs and developed the following ranking system. Information included in this ranking came from College Navigator, school websites, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and US News and World Report. Where there are ties, the school with the lower in state graduate tuition rate has a better ranking.
Average Graduate Tuition Rate per Year
Under $10,000/year- 3 points
$10,001-$15,000/year- 2 points
Over $15,000/year- 1 point
Undergraduate Graduation Rate
Greater than 45%- 3 points
26% to 45%- 2 points
25% or unavailable- 1 point
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate
Less than 60%- 3 points
61% to 90%- 2 points
Greater than 90% or unavailable- 1 point
15:1 and under- 3 points
16:1 to 19:1- 2 points
20:1 and greater- 1 point
10. Capella University-Minneapolis, Minnesota
Master of Science in Clinical Psychology-Forensic Psychology Specialization
Average Graduate Tuition: $14,175
Capella University offers a forensic psychology program online with multiple start dates and flexible, ten week courses. This 55 credit hour program can be completed in just 18 months by taking two courses each quarter. Students benefit from professors who are highly educated in the field of forensic psychology with many of them working as active practitioners. Coursework includes Psychology and the Law, Current Issues and Trends in Forensic Psychology, and Techniques of Forensic Practice. This program offers relevant and current coursework for those working in the field of law enforcement. Graduates have gone on to work as forensic consultants, forensic interviewers, and forensic analysts.
9. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles-Los Angeles, California
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Average Graduate Tuition: $23,580
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers an online forensic psychology program available to students on a full time or part time basis. Students electing to attend part time can complete the program in four years of study while full time students can complete in just two years. Topics cover a broad spectrum of areas including mental health law, crime prevention through risk assessment, and trauma and crisis intervention. Coursework includes Trauma and Crisis Intervention, Socio-Cultural Issues in Forensic Psychology, and Ethics and Professional Issues in Forensic Psychology. Graduates of this program have gone on to work as corrections officers, military leaders, treatment facilitators, and social service professionals.
8. Southern New Hampshire University-Manchester, New Hampshire
Master’s in Forensic Psychology Online
Average Graduate Tuition: $18,810
Southern New Hampshire University offers a masters in forensic psychology online that can be completed in just 15 months of study. Students complete two courses during each ten week term. Graduates are part of an extensive nationwide alumni network and have gone on to work in police departments, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and in correctional facilities. Coursework includes Intersection of Law and Psychology, Psychology in the Courtroom, and Assessment for Forensic Psychology. Students are required to complete a capstone project in their final semester of study.
7. Walden University-Minneapolis, Minnesota
Master of Science in Forensic Psychology
Average Graduate Tuition: $11,895
Walden University offers an online forensic psychology program with four different specialization options. Students can elect to specialize in Forensic Psychology in the Community, Mental Health Applications, Program Planning and Evaluation in Forensic Settings, or Psychology and Legal Systems. This 47 credit hour program includes two credit hours covering foundational material, 30 credit hours covering core material, ten credits covering the specialization, and a five credit hour capstone project. The program is tailored to students interested in advancing their career and gaining more knowledge in their field. Courses cover criminal behavior, assessment, and research in the area of forensic psychology.
6. Argosy University-Phoenix, Arizona
Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Average Graduate Tuition: $13,158
Argosy University offers an online masters in forensic psychology that can be completed in 36 credit hours of coursework. Students can select from three different concentrations including Assessment and Treatment, Homeland Security, and Law Enforcement. Students must pass a comprehensive exam as part of this program. This program covers areas such as mental and behavioral disorders, profiling and patterning, psychological testing, intervention skills, and ethics. Students interested in pursuing a field placement to gain additional experience may participate as part of their concentration requirements.
5. Nova Southeastern University-Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Master of Science in Forensic Psychology
Average Graduate Tuition: $16,760
The online masters in forensic psychology from Nova Southeastern University is a 36 credit hour program offering two distinct specialization opportunities. Students can select from a specialization in either Forensic Psychology in the Legal System or Forensic Psychology for Mental Health Workers, First Responders, and Disaster Teams. Students can elect to complete either a thesis or a field experience depending on their future professional goals. Courses include Behavioral Criminology, Best Practices for the Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System, and Communication Skills, Tools, and Expert Witness Testimony. This program is ideal for the working professional without access to a more traditional graduate program including those in the military.
4. Grand Canyon University-Phoenix, Arizona
Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology
Average Graduate Tuition: $9,284
Grand Canyon University offers a 36 credit hour online masters in forensic psychology covering ethics, criminal behavior, the legal system, and research methods. Students participate in online discussions, collaboration, research, and projects to develop their skills and understand the connection between psychology and the justice system. Students complete a capstone project as part of this program. Graduates have gone on to work in corrections, law enforcement, security, and investigations. Coursework includes Social and Cultural Psychology, Offender Rehabilitation and Reintegration, and Theories of Criminal Behavior.
3. Saint Leo University-Saint Leo, Florida
Master of Science in Criminal Justice-Forensic Psychology Specialization
Average Graduate Tuition: $8,370
Saint Leo University offers an online masters forensic psychology program that is designed for those working in administration, as first responders, or for those working in government. This program includes 18 credit hours in criminal justice and another 12 specifically related to forensic psychology. Students are able to complete six credit hours of electives. Coursework includes Forensic Interviews and Interrogations, Psychopathology of Criminal Behavior, and Courtroom Psychology. Faculty who are a part of this program have worked in many different areas of law enforcement and provide a wealth of expertise in the field.
2. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota
Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology
Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $7,044 in state to $18,807 out of state
The University of North Dakota forensic psychology program online can be completed in two years of study and offers two different start times each year (spring or fall). This 35 credit hour program requires one-two week visit during the summer to complete a capstone experience. Students are taught how to apply the principles of psychology to the legal system and work closely with faculty throughout the duration of the program. Students benefit from online tutoring and tech support. This program is designed for the working professional with flexible scheduling and coursework which directly applies to current work situations.
1. Concordia University-Saint Paul, Minnesota
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Leadership
Average Graduate Tuition: $8,550
The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Leadership from Concordia University is a 36 credit hour program designed for those interested in a career as a forensic psychology, forensic examiner, criminologist, and those looking to work in the are of criminal justice. The program is designed for those with a background in social service or law enforcement. Concordia reports that over 90% of graduates find employment after graduation. Students are required to complete a capstone project in their final semester of study.