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The Best Online Forensic Psychology Master’s Programs

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The Best Online Forensic Psychology Master’s Programs
RankSchoolLocation
1University of California, IrvineIrvine, California
2Oklahoma State UniversityStillwater, Oklahoma
3Nova Southeastern UniversityDavie, Florida
4Arizona State UniversityTempe, AZ
5Liberty UniversityLynchburg, VA
6Southern New Hampshire UniversityHooksett, NH
7University of North DakotaGrand Forks, ND
8University of Louisiana MonroeMonroe, LA
9Capella UniversityMinneapolis, MN
10Walden UniversityMinneapolis, MN

This is a ranking of the 10 Best Online Forensic Psychology Master’s Programs in the U.S. Graduates with a Masters in Forensic Psychology will be well-prepared for careers in a range of fields that benefit from an interdisciplinary understanding of Forensic Psychology.

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With most programs offering coursework in both psychology and applied psychology in the legal system, students can graduate to work as jury consultants, expert witnesses, victims’ advocates, law enforcement advocates, and case managers across the country.

A forensic psychologists isn’t out there solving crimes or treating patients, but instead most spend their time understanding criminals and their behavior to better help law enforcement and corrections in disciplining and rehabilitating criminals and the communities their actions affect.

These universities’ masters programs give interested students who have already completed their undergraduate degree a chance to learn professionally from renowned faculty and the most advanced research. Most programs last around two years and are completed with a capstone or thesis.

Next Step: Get Online Degree Information for Forensic Psychology Master’s Programs

The Best Online Forensic Psychology Master’s Programs

Ranking Methodology:

This ranking was formulated for students, to assist students in navigating their education options for online Master’s Degrees in Forensic Psychology. As such, we chose ranking factors of online master’s programs, a comprehensive curriculum in Forensic Psychology (with an emphasis on teaching the science behind Forensic Science), variety of courses, awards, and academic reputation.

1.University of California, Irvine

Irvine, California

The Master’s of Legal and Forensic Psychology program at UC Irvine takes a truly interdisciplinary approach with collaboration between the Departments of Psychological Science and Criminology, Law and Society. All students focus on the intersection of psychology and legal issues. They will learn how to incorporate psychological principles, theories, and their own research and that of world class forensic psychologists to better understand and implement legal processes.

The program at UC Irvine, aside from offering top rate classes from renown professors allowing students to pursue their own research and service opportunities, also works collaboratively with the Center for Psychology and Law.

Credit requirements: 48 credit hours

Selection of required courses:

  • Legal Reasoning
  • Memory and the Law
  • Violence and Psychopathy

Law and Behavior: Compliance and Enforcement

Students complete the program with a capstone

Online instruction style: Synchronous and asynchronous aspects. Online entirely except for a one week in-residence introductory course.

Program length: Two years

Start dates: Fall

Admissions and transfer credit information: The admissions team looks for applicants with a prior bachelor of arts or science from an accredited institution. Admissions will be based on achieving over a 3.0 GPA across previous coursework, past transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and a personal history statement.

Accreditation: The entirety of the University of California Irvine is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

2.Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Oklahoma State University’s Forensic Sciences program offers a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology that can be earned with both online and lab courses over two years. The first year of courses may be taken entirely online (or on campus), with the second year including both online courses and potential on-campus lab courses.

The online Master’s in Forensic Psychology degree program benefits early professionals who are hoping to advance in death scene professions. The program does not result in licensure for clinical practice in psychology.

Credit requirements: 39 credit hours

Selection of required courses:

  • Questioned Document Examination
  • Theory and Practice of Forensic Handwriting Examination
  • Fire Dynamics in Forensic Investigations
  • Computer Fire Modeling
  • Ethics in Forensic Leadership

Students complete the program with a capstone in Forensic Psychology. The program requires thesis defense and publication, but with permission from the track lead, some students with special interests can pursue a non-thesis degree.

Online instruction style: Synchronous and asynchronous aspects

Program length: Two years, with seven years maximum allowed

Start dates: Fall and spring

Admissions and transfer credit information: The admissions team looks for applicants with a prior bachelor degree in the recommended areas of sociology or psychology.
Applications are considered year-round on a space-available basis.

Accreditation: Oklahoma State University’s forensic sciences department is accredited The American Academy of Forensic Sciences

3.Nova Southeastern University

Davie, Florida

The College of Psychology at Nova Southeastern University offers several career-focused undergraduate and graduate study options including online programs and graduate degrees that lead to licensure or certification.

The online Master’s in Forensic Psychology degree provides students with a solid foundation in psychological principles and how to operate within the legal system of an investigation.

The non-clinical curriculum benefits working professionals seeking to advance in the field.

The degree does not lead to certification or licensure.

Credit requirements: 36 credit hours

Selection of required courses:

  • Introduction to Forensic Psychological Science
  • Psychopathology, Personality Disorders, and Behavioral Interventions in Forensic Settings
  • Methods and Tools of Psychological & Violence Risk Assessment
  • Evaluation, Methodology, and Psychological Research
  • Ethical Concerns and Multicultural Issues in Forensic Psychology
  • Best Practices and Policies for the Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System

Students complete the degree with a three-credit capstone course.

Online instruction style: Asynchronous

Learning enrollment options: Full-time and part-time

Start dates: fall, winter, and summer

Admissions and transfer credit information: Applicants must complete an online registration form. The registration form requires a Statement of Professional Goals, two letters of recommendation, and all prior official transcripts.

Accreditation: Nova Southeastern University (NSU) has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

4.Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

Arizona State University’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences provides numerous undergraduate and graduate level degree programs.

Students in the online Master of Science in Forensic Psychology degree program learn to apply digital forensics to real-world scenarios. Through the study of criminal law, criminal behavior, the diagnosis/treatment of mental health disorders, and legal decision making, the program shows how mental health issues and human behavior relate to crime and the legal system.

The online Master’s in Forensic Psychology degree program benefits professionals seeking to advance their careers or personal interests, or pursue graduate studies. The program does not result in licensure for clinical practice.

Credit requirements: 33 credit hours

Selection of required courses:

  • Advanced Legal Psychology
  • Advanced Forensic Psychology
  • Advanced Correctional Psychology
  • Psychopathology

Students complete the program with a capstone in Forensic Psychology

Online instruction style: Synchronous and asynchronous aspects

Program length: One to two years

Start dates: Six total, two fall options, two spring options, and two summer options

Admissions and transfer credit information: The admissions team looks for applicants with a prior bachelor or master degree in psychology, criminal justice, social science, or any other related field from an accredited institution.
Applicants must submit official transcripts from previous institutions and at least two letters of recommendation.
Admissions only considers applicants who have obtained a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 credit hours of their bachelor or master program.

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission provides Arizona State University with accreditation.

5.Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Liberty University, an evangelical liberal arts institution, provides students a wide array of online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates.

The online Masters of Science in Criminal Justice degree with a Forensic Psychology specialization provides students the knowledge and skills to comprehend the laws and legal practices of the criminal justice system while applying their knowledge of social-cognitive psychology.

Students study subjects and trends in criminal justice, the fundamentals of forensic psychology, the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders into society, and human resources management in criminal justice organizations.

Credit requirements: 36

A selection of courses:

  • Fundamentals of Forensic Psychology
  • Psychology and the Legal System
  • Crisis Intervention in Law Enforcement
  • Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders

Students in the online program create a theses proposal.

Admissions and transfer credit information: Candidates need a regionally or nationally accredited Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. Candidates need to submit an admission application and unofficial college transcripts.
Online students can transfer in up to 50 percent of a Master’s degree total content.
Liberty University has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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6.Southern New Hampshire University

Hooksett, NH

Southern New Hampshire University’s online Forensic Psychology program lets students with different career goals, whether they aim to end up in the courts or in correctional facilities, learn cutting-edge theories and apply them hands-on over their degree progress.

While you earn your MS in Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology at Southern New Hampshire, you earn your psychology degree with an in-depth understanding of research, analysis and assessment of human behavior in your area of interest.

While this program does not lead to licensure or certification in Forensic Psychology, it does prepare students for competitive admission to doctoral-level coursework or other graduate programs.

Credit requirements: 36 credit hours

Selection of required courses:

  • Cognitive Processess
  • Ethical Practice in Psychology
  • Intersection of Law and Psychology
  • Theories of Personality

Online instruction style: Asynchronous aspects

Program length: 15 months or more

Start dates: Five graduate terms start dates throughout the year.

Admissions and transfer credit information:

A bachelor’s degree in psychology or a bachelor’s degree in another field with coursework in introduction to Psychology, Social Science statistics and research methods in Social Science are required for admission.

No GRE or GMAT required for admission.
Applicants must submit official transcripts from previous institutions and their online application.

Accreditation: Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

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7.University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND

The School of Graduate Studies at the University of North Dakota provides more than 120 degree and certificate programs.

The online Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology provides students with a solid foundation in psychological theories and their application to the justice system.

The curriculum requires one on-campus visit for students to participate in a two-week Capstone Experience. As part of the experience students meet professors they have worked with online, network with local professionals who deal with forensic issues, and present a cumulative research paper.

Credit requirements: 30 credit hours

Selection of required courses:

  • Advance Social Psychology
  • Psychology and Law
  • Behavior Pathology
  • Diversity Psychology

Students complete the program with the Capstone Experience Project

Learning enrollment options: Part-time only

Program length: Two years

Start dates: fall and spring

Admissions and transfer credit information: Students must have a previous undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
The admissions team does not require GRE scores for this program.
Students must submit official transcripts for evaluation.

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission provides the University of North Dakota with accreditation.

8.University of Louisiana Monroe

Monroe, LA

The College of Business and Social Sciences offers numerous career-oriented degrees to undergraduate and graduate students.

Students in the online Master of Science in Psychology program have the option of a Forensic concentration.

Students in this graduate program gain a thorough understanding of field relevant information including how deviant behavior manifests, how to properly use tests and assessment measures, and counseling strategies as they apply to criminal justice.

The curriculum does not require a thesis, however students interested in pursuing doctoral level studies should strongly consider completing a thesis.

Credit requirements: 36 credit hours

Selection of required courses:

  • Psychopathology
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Proseminar in Criminal Justice
  • Advanced Theories of Crime and Delinquency
  • Counseling in Criminal Justice
  • Sociology of Law
  • Minorities, Crime, and Criminal Justice

Start dates: fall and spring

Courses run for eight weeks in duration.

Admissions and transfer credit information: Students must display a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Students who do not meet this criterion must also submit GRE scores.
Students must submit official transcripts for evaluation.

Accreditation: University of Louisiana at Monroe received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

9.Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

The Harold Able School of Psychology offers a wide variety of programs from certifications through doctoral level studies.

The online Master’s in Psychology degree with a Forensic Psychology concentration provides students knowledge and experience with trends in criminal behavior, research and evidence-based practices, and psychology and the law.

Credit requirements: 55 quarter credits

Selection of required courses:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Tests and Measurements
  • Psychology and the Law
  • Issues and Trends in Forensic Practice
  • Techniques of Forensic Practice
  • Inferential Statistics
  • Ethics and Multicultural Issues in Psychology

Learning enrollment options: Full-time or part-time

Program length: Six 10-week quarters

Start dates: Fall

Admissions and transfer credit information: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA average of 2.3 or above. Admissions also require official bachelor’s transcripts.
Admissions accepts up to 15 credit hours for transfer students.

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission provides Capella University with accreditation.

10.Walden University

Minneapolis, MN

Walden University’s online forensic psychology program lets students focus on their specific interests inside the field to tailor their coursework with top-rate professors with specializations in those exact areas. They offer 10 specializations in various areas of forensic psychology that let you enhance your real-world knowledge alongside the general program coursework.

While you earn your MS in forensic psychology at Walden, you can earn up to half of the necessary coursework credits for their PhD program in forensic psychology, should you choose to continue your studies.

Credit requirements: 33 credit hours

Selection of required courses:

  • Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue
  • Understanding Violence, Risk, and Threat Assessment
  • Psychological Aspect of Cyber Crimes
  • Victimology
  • Criminal Investigative Analysis and Profiling

Online instruction style: Synchronous and asynchronous aspects

Program length: Two years or more

Start dates: Several throughout the year, including a winter start date.

Admissions and transfer credit information:

A bachelor’s degree or higher is required for admission.
Applicants must submit official transcripts from previous institutions and their online application.

Accreditation: Walden has been accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.