Forensic psychology is a fascinating area of study. It brings the fundamental principles of psychology and applies them to our legal system, helping law enforcement and the justice system make important decisions. This is a challenging yet important career, and if you think you have what it takes, you need the right experience and the right attitude. But first of all, you need to enroll in a master’s in forensic psychology online to launch your career.
ARTICLE NAVIGATION: Who Should Pursue a Forensic Psychology Master’s Program? | What to Expect from a Master’s in Forensic Psychology Online | What is the Cost of a Master’s in Forensic Psychology Online? | Career Expectations of a Forensic Psychologist | Top 11 Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology Under $28,000
Who Should Pursue a Forensic Psychology Master’s Program?
To be a successful forensic psychologist, you not only need a forensic psychology degree; you also need the right traits and mindset. Strong communication skills, for example, are an important aspect of this career field. No matter what your specific job title, you will be interacting with people every day, and your career could include regular speaking with inmates, victims, lawyers, judges, police officers, and more.
Critical thinking is also important. In this career, you have to look at so many different aspects, including psychological science and the complex legal system. It’s important to have a mind that can juggle all of these aspects at once.
A strong attention to detail is also critical. This career requires you to observe, note, and communicate many of the smallest, seemingly insignificant details, so people who can naturally focus on tiny specifics are more likely to succeed.
This career often includes regularly speaking in court, serving as a witness or giving context to certain crimes. The legal system is, by its very nature, a combative environment, and opposing attorneys will often attempt to discredit your honest work by personally attacking you or your expertise. You have to realize that this is part of the job and an unfortunate byproduct of the legal system; you can’t take it personally and you can’t let impact your important work.
What to Expect from a Master’s in Forensic Psychology Online
To complete a master’s in forensic psychology online, you should expect roughly two years of education, although this can be longer if you are taking classes only part-time. The credit load is usually about 30 to 40 credit hours.
These programs generally come in either a master’s of science (MS) or a master’s of arts (MA). A master’s of science degree will focus largely on scientific aspects of the profession, including research and analysis, as well as consulting. The master’s of arts will focus more on counseling and the development of psychological profiles, although there can be a lot of overlap between the two.
So what will you study? Overall, the programs will focus on the intersection between psychology and the legal system. You’ll have a deep understanding of psychology principles, and you’ll have a basic understanding of the framework for the criminal and civil court system.
What is the Cost of a Master’s in Forensic Psychology Online?
Note: The pricing we used to make this list of forensic psychology colleges is based on in-state tuition and student fees at the time of writing this article. Pricing will inevitably change from year to year and even by semester, so the numbers provided may have been adjusted. For current information and further details on tuition, you must contact the respective school.
A forensic psychology degree doesn’t need to be expensive. While there are certainly high-priced options from top-brand universities, there are also affordable options, many of which are available from institutions that you already know.
How much you pay for an online degree in forensic psychology depends on many factors, including whether or not you are eligible for in-state tuition. Basically, in-state residents are eligible for more-affordable tuition rates; the general thought is that tax payers in the state contribute to the institution (for public universities), so residents should enjoy a lower rate.
For many of the institutions that offer a forensic psychology degree, the in-state and out-of-state tuition is the same. For example, the University of North Dakota, which as a master of arts in forensic psychology, is available (according to our research) at $17,664.90 for both in-state and out-of-state students. However, the University of Houston-Victoria is available for in-state students at $27,647.76, while out-of-state students will pay over $54,000.
Student fees are also a part of the overall cost. Usually, these range from about $500 to $1,000 depending on the institution and the overall coursework you are taking. The lowest student fees come from Purdue University Global, which only charges $420 in student fees. The highest student fees are from Northcentral University, which charges over $2,500 in fees; the second most is the The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, which charges just under $1,200 in student fees. As you can see, there is a large disparity in fees, so it’s important that you research this aspect of the total costs before enrolling in classes.
Career Expectations of a Forensic Psychologist
After graduating with a degree in forensic psychology, you can expect a strong career and a high-quality income. Although they do not separate data for forensic psychologists specifically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides information on psychologists in general, a group that includes forensic experts.
According to the BLS, psychologists across the board earn a median income of $80,370 per year. This is a strong income, and well above the national median for all careers, which is just shy of $40,000. The top 10% in the psychology field earn salaries over $132,000, so there is certainly opportunity to grow both professionally and financially.
Some groups do provide information specifically related to forensic psychologists. Payscale, an online information resource that provides data on careers and salaries, says that forensic psychologists earn an average of $70,287 annually, with an hourly wage of about $34.00.
Payscale also provides data on salaries based on how many years of experience a forensic psychologist has. At less than one year, Payscale says, the average salary is around $51,000. With 5 to 9 years of experience, the average jumps to $82,000 a year, and if someone has 20 years or more in the profession, they can expect a salary average of $92,000. Payscale’s information is based on a small sample size compared to the BLS, but it still provides perspective in the career and the potential outcome for graduates.
So working as a forensic psychologist is rewarding financially, but how is the job market? After all, it’s really no use going into a career that has high average salaries if the chances of landing a job are slim. But apparently there will be work for forensic psychologists. The BLS says that the number of jobs for psychologists will grow by 14%, but this is for the psychology field as a whole. But it seems reasonable to assume that forensic psychologists will grow as well; as more focus is placed on the rehabilitation of criminals as opposed to punishment, forensic psychologist could play a role in this change.
Top 11 Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology Under $28,000
While you should not base your educational decisions entirely on pricing, the total price of a program is, to put it bluntly, a big deal. With the exception of a house, your education is likely the single-largest expense you will ever make, so you need to look at all the option for forensic psychology colleges and find a master’s in forensic psychology that will fit your needs.
University of North Dakota
Total Cost (In-State): $17,665
With a tuition just over $17,000 for in-state students, the University of North Dakota’s master of art in forensic psychology is one of the best programs for budget-minded graduate students. Not only will you receive a world-class education, which is offered entirely online, you’ll enjoy an affordable cost that allows you to further advance your career and your life.
Consisting of 30 credit hours (roughly two years to complete), this program develops your understanding of psychological theory, making you a strong contributor to the civil and criminal court system.
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Touro University Worldwide
Total Cost (In-State): $18,200
Tuoro University, a Jewish-sponsored non-profit institution, offers a master’s in psychology that has a concentration in forensic psychology. This is a fast, affordable, convenient option for your education, as it can be completed in 1 year if you are a full-time student. It teaches some of the most modern principles and theories in psychology, refining your skills while preparing your for a variety of work settings, including the legal system.
In this program, you will learn about the intersection between law and psychology, criminal behavior, and how to use psychology to assess crimes. With affordable tuition, 100% online classes, and a curriculum that prepares you for a successful career, this is one of the top options for your education.
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Grand Canyon University
Total Cost (In-State): $20,880
This affordable master’s in forensic psychology online is a fast and convenient way to complete your education. This program gives you a strong foundation of human psychology blended with a deep understanding of our legal system. The program covers a variety of topics that include both social and cultural psychology. Students learn about biological and cognitive issues that impact behavior, and develop an understanding for the causes and results of crime.
Grand Canyon University helps you become a well-rounded contributor to the field of forensic psychology. With that in mind, the program includes writing projects, and discussions with peers to make a well-rounded forensic psychology degree.
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Total Cost (In-State): $21,090
Post University is one of the most respected forensic psychology colleges in the country. Based out of Connecticut, this college offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate programs, including many online degrees. The master’s of science in counseling and human services is one of the many excellent degrees provided by Post University, and this degree can be completed with a focus on forensic mental health counseling.
This program is offered 100% online and includes both traditional coursework and hands-on practice. The focus of this program is human services and counseling, but with the concentration on forensic mental health counseling, you’ll have the theoretical and analytical skill needed to provide services to adults and juveniles in the justice system. Concepts include criminal behavior, psychopathology, and forensic assessments.
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Southern New Hampshire University
Total Cost (In-State): $22,722
When you want to complete a world-class education at an affordable cost, and do so entirely online, the master’s of science in psychology with a focus on forensic psychology from Southern New Hampshire University is a wonderful option. This program is available 100% online, and covers topics that include personality development, psychology in the courtroom, and the ethical practice of psychological principles.
One of the top advantages for this program, besides the excellent price and great education, is that there are multiple terms starts throughout the year. You can complete the degree at your own pace, and you are not confined to the traditional restraints of a typical fall-through-spring school year.
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Florida National University
Total Cost (In-State): $25,340
As one of the leading programs in the United States of forensic psychology, this education gives students the knowledge and experience they need to be strong contributors to the field. Students learn to apply their craft where it is needed most, including the courts and law enforcement settings. Graduates are also qualified to service areas like child welfare and treatment facilities.
Classes in this 100%-online program include criminal psychology, substance abuse, victimology, and clinical psychology assessments. The course covers a total of 36 credit hours, making this a well-rounded yet affordable master’s in forensic psychology program.
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Total Cost (In-State): $26,480
Walden University offers a variety of concentrations for their masters in forensic psychology program. Students can focus on important issues like family violence, police psychology, terrorism, and victimology. With so many concentrations, this school allows you to choose the discipline that best fits your career goals.
If you want an education that is primed for the 21st century, a master’s in forensic psychology online with a concentration in cyber crimes is a great choice. You’ll have a world-class understanding of the latest psychological principles, and you’ll learn to apply these principles to online issues, including cyberbullying, human trafficking and cyber stalking. Classes in this program include the psychological aspects of cyber crime and technological solutions to these issues. This is just one of the many excellent forensic science master’s program available from Walden University.
With an affordable price tag and a focus on the latest issues in psychology, this program prepares you for a rewarding career in the exciting field of forensic psychology.
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Purdue University Global
Total Cost (In-State): $27,265
This highly-recognized school offers five different concentrations for their master’s in psychology degree, which is available entirely online. Students can choose general psychology, addictions, applied behavioral analysis, industrial psychology, and (of course) forensics psychology.
While the program is entirely online, you’ll have the chance to learn from experts who are experienced in the field of psychology. All of the professors working with this forensic science master’s program possess doctorate-level degrees and have relevant industry experience. Purdue Global University has the resources to deliver a world-class education but still focuses on focused learning. This program takes about 10 weeks and generally requires 15 hours per week.
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Total Cost (In-State): $27,320
This engaging and affordable master’s in forensic psychology online program allows you to apply psychological principles to a forensic setting. Students who graduate from this program are equipped to work in the justice system, the courts, or within law enforcement. It’s offered in a fully-online format, which allows you to complete your education in a manner that fits your needs.
The program is available with three electives that help deepen your understanding of forensic psychology and how it can be applied to the legal system. Northcentral University is dedicated to making your education more accessible, so they have included weekly course starts. You will also enjoy a one-on-one learning model to deliver individualized mentoring.
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Total Cost (In-State): $27,635
Earning a master’s degree clinical psychology with a specialization in forensic psychology from Capella University will help you become an expert in the field. This course is available entirely online, so you have the convenience and flexibility you deserve. The specialization in forensic psychology helps you better understand the criminal mind, and it teaches you to use research and evidence-based practices to contribute to the legal system.
This program features five core courses and 6 specialization courses that prepare you for a career in forensic psychology.
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University of Houston-Victoria
Total Cost (In-State): $27,648
If you are interested in becoming a licensed mental health worker in the field of forensics, this program is a great option. It prepares students for forensic psychology jobs in a program that consists of 63 credit hours. The curriculum is broken into three parts: core classes, concentration requirements, and practicum for a comprehensive learning experience.
In this program, you will take classes that include research methods, personality assessments, addiction counseling, and more.
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Launch Your Career in Forensic Psychology Today!
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