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Crime-related TV shows such as mindhunter and criminal mind Forensic psychologists are often portrayed as brilliant masterminds who penetrate deep into the minds of serial killers and help solve crimes. These shows are funny, but the reality is much less dramatic. However, forensic psychology remains an exciting field.

Forensic psychology applies psychological research and experimentation to the legal field. In practice, forensic psychologists are involved in investigations, research, clinical evaluations, consultations, the design and implementation of treatment programs, and expert witness courtroom testimony.

After completing the Master’s in Forensic Psychology program, you can continue to earn a Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology and eventually practice as a licensed psychologist. Alternatively, you can earn a master’s degree in forensic psychology and pursue an advanced career in behavioral science or law.

Our guide features two online forensic psychology master’s programs and includes tips on how to choose the right forensic psychology master’s program.

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Online Forensic Psychology Master’s Degree Options

  • Arizona State University Digital Immersion
  • University of North Dakota

Arizona State University Digital Immersion

A master’s degree in forensic psychology from Arizona State University can prepare you for doctoral studies in forensic psychology or support career development in areas such as behavior management, law enforcement, criminal investigation, and mental health. Masu.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, criminal justice, social science, or a related field, as well as prior courses in research methods in psychology, social science, or criminology . The master’s program culminates in a capstone course. In this course, students examine and combine research elements to develop policy recommendations through a written examination.

In-state tuition for this degree program is $6,187 per semester.

At a glance

  • School type: Public
  • Application fee: $70 (U.S. citizens), $115 (international students)
  • Degree credit requirement: 33 credits
  • Program enrollment options: Part-time
  • Featured major courses: Advanced correctional psychology, advanced forensic psychology
  • Available concentrations: N/A
  • In-person requirement: No

University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota’s online Forensic Psychology Master’s degree is a two-year program designed for working adults with backgrounds in law enforcement, military, social services, or hospital care. Online students pay the same tuition fees no matter where they live. You also have access to online student services such as tutoring, advising, library, and technical support.

This program does not require residency, and applicants do not need to submit GRE® scores. Graduates work for organizations such as the FBI, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and multiple state Departments of Corrections. Tuition costs him $660 per credit.

At a glance

  • School type: Public
  • Application fee: $35
  • Degree credit requirement: 30 credits
  • Program enrollment options: part-time, full-time
  • Featured specialized subjects: Psychology and Law, Behavioral Pathology
  • Available concentrations: N/A
  • In-person requirement: No

How to find the online forensic psychology master’s degree that’s right for you

think about future goals

Even if you earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, criminal justice, sociology, or a related field from an accredited university, you must complete a master’s degree, doctoral degree, and state licensing exam before you can work as a certified forensic psychologist. . This process can take up to 10 years, but increases your lifetime income potential and qualifies you to practice clinical psychology.

Even if you don’t plan on pursuing a doctoral-level education, master’s-level forensic psychology courses can help you move towards a career in the behavioral sciences, or in the fields of law, social work, corrections, or law enforcement. can open the door.

Many online master’s degree programs allow you to complete coursework at your own pace within a guided framework, which is ideal if you want to work while attending school. Some universities, like the University of North Dakota, charge the same tuition to all online students regardless of where they live, but at out-of-state public universities, on-campus students often pay higher tuition fees. there is.

Check the requirements for each program to understand what prerequisites and work experience are required.

Understand expenses and financing options

Earning an online master’s degree in forensic psychology from the universities listed in this guide takes two to three years to complete and costs between $19,800 and $21,500 in total tuition.

By comparison, annual tuition and fees for public graduate schools in the state will be $11,554 for the 2022-23 academic year, and about $23,100 for a two-year master’s degree, the National Center for Education Statistics reports. .

You can save money by attending school online, as distance learning waives housing, meal plans, and parking fees. Some schools, such as the University of Arizona, charge online learners additional technology fees or distance learning fees, but these amounts are often a small fraction of the cost of housing.

Online students are also eligible for financial aid and scholarship programs. Federal grants, loans, and work-study programs are available to all students who submit the FAFSA®. Universities and third-party student aid providers may also review FAFSA information to determine how to distribute financial aid, including scholarships.

Should I enroll in an online forensic psychology master’s degree program?

If you have a degree or background in the behavioral sciences and want to combine those interests with the legal field, enrolling in an online forensic psychology master’s degree program may be right for you. You can also pursue a doctorate in forensic psychology, criminal justice, forensic medicine, or law.

Online learning formats are ideal for working adults who want to expand their career opportunities while continuing to earn an income. Consider the following factors before applying:

  • How do I learn? Some people learn better in a classroom environment where they can ask questions and connect with classmates in real time. Online learning environments do not necessarily foster this type of interaction. However, if you study independently or have many obligations at work, the flexible online format is the most convenient option.
  • Are you organized and self-motivated? Online programs allow you to work when you can, but you still have to meet assignments and deadlines. Strong time management and organization skills are required.
  • How much is the budget? Online programs offer access to top-notch professors, tutoring, and career counseling at a lower cost than traditional in-person degrees. Please note that there may be additional costs for computer equipment, Wi-Fi, distance learning fees, etc.

Online Forensic Psychology Master’s Degree Certification

If you want to earn a master’s degree in forensic psychology online, look for an accredited institution. Accreditation ensures that you receive a quality education, and you will be required to attend an accredited institution if you apply for federal financial aid. Employers, doctoral programs, and professional certification agencies also seek candidates with degrees from accredited schools.

Institutional accreditation applies to the entire university, while programmatic accreditation applies to a specific department or degree program. The American Psychological Association accredits degree programs in psychology, but not master’s level forensic psychology degree programs.

The Council on Higher Education Accreditation maintains a searchable directory of accredited educational institutions.

our methodology

We rank 2 accredited nonprofit universities offering online forensic psychology master’s degree programs in the United States in 15 categories in the following categories: reliability, affordability, student outcomes, student experience, and application process. data points were used to score.

Data for these categories were obtained from authoritative resources such as the Integrated Higher Education Data System. Private third-party data sources. and individual school and program websites. Data is current as of January 2023.

We scored schools based on the following categories:

Student outcomes:

  • overall graduation rate
  • Median income 10 years after graduation
  • Graduation rate for Pell grant recipients
  • Internal retention rate
  • Pell Grant Graduation Rate vs. Overall Graduation Rate


  • Average annual net price for students receiving federal aid
  • Median federal student loan debt
  • Percentage of students receiving federal student loan forgiveness
  • Percentage of students with federal loans

Student experience:

  • Student to faculty ratio
  • socio-economic diversity
  • Ranked programs have 100% coursework available online


  • fully certified
  • non-profit status

Application process:

We have listed two US schools that met our ranking criteria.

See the full list of methodologies here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Online Forensic Psychology Master’s Degree

Should I get a master’s degree or a doctorate? What about forensic psychology?

If you plan to become a licensed forensic psychologist in the United States, you will need to earn a doctoral degree in forensic psychology. A master’s degree may be sufficient for certain behavioral science or law careers.

Can a forensic psychologist create six numbers?

yes. Psychologists in the “all other” category, which includes forensic psychologists, earn a median annual salary of $106,420, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Salaries vary by state, experience, and specialty.

What are the highest paying jobs in forensic psychology?

According to the BLS, the highest paid forensic psychologists work in clinical settings and live in California, Texas, Florida, Maryland and New York.

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