Forensic psychologists serve as crucial professional witnesses during processings in the judicial and legal systems. They work in three areas of practice: clinical-forensic, in which they provide psychiatric diagnosis relevant in judicial cases; in civil litigation, such as child custody cases; and in criminal proceedings. They work in a variety of institutions such as prisons, governmental agencies, and law firms, beginning their education with an undergraduate degree in psychology. An online master's degree in forensic psychology and specialized training serve as the minimum requirement for practice. Those who plan to pursue Forensic Psychology Specialist certification by the American Board of Professional Psychology need a doctorate, the requirement for many jobs in this growing field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that psychologists can expect a median pay of $77,030 per year with a 14% faster than average job outlook between 2016 and 2026. The following lists 25 affordable online master's in forensic psychology that many students complete in two years in preparation for an exciting and rewarding career.
We reviewed 43 accredited colleges and universities that offered online forensic psychology master's degrees or related programs like applied psychology and forensic science according to NCES College Navigator. We narrowed the pool to those schools that had received rankings from major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, or U.S. News and World Report. Then, we selected the most affordable of these recognized colleges and universities based on in-state graduate tuition and fees listed by College Navigator.
#10 – Capella University
Online Master's in Clinical Psychology–Forensic Psychology
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,175
A school devoted to working professionals, Capella University offers an online master's in clinical psychology, forensic psychology specialization. During the 55-credit program, learners acquire advanced knowledge in a variety of areas such as psychopathology, forensic practice techniques, and psychology and the law. Capella emphasizes a competency-based model in which students learn skills they can apply immediately. The school helps learners in the online forensic psychology master's degree reduce tuition by transferring up to 15 credits into the specialization. Students further save with scholarships and grants or by choosing the FlexPath, which offers subscription-based tuition that allows learners to compete more credits for a flat rate. Admission requires school transcripts and no GRE.
#9 – University of Florida
Online Master's in Forensic Science
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,737
The University of Florida offers the 32-credit MS in forensic science with four specializations: forensic science, forensic DNA and serology, forensic drug chemistry, and forensic toxicology. Students complete the online forensic psychology master's asynchronously and earn it in two years. Unlike many similar programs, the MS allows students to transfer up to six graduate credits to fulfil the degree requirements. The school's competitive tuition and one tuition for all make the MS in forensic science an affordable option. Admission requires a science degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA in the upper division courses and the GRE. The program admits students year-round.
#8 – Walden University
Online Master's in Forensic Psychology
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,609
A comprehensive virtual college, Walden University specializes in serving working professionals with affordable high-quality degrees. The MS in forensic psychology offers a sweeping curriculum of 10 forensic psychology specializations. These include sex offender behavior, family violence, cybercrimes, and police psychology. All learners complete a general program in addition to their area of specialization, covering general topics such as abnormal and criminal behavior, victimology, and criminal investigative profiling. In addition to competitive tuition rates, US residents receive a $3,000 grant and can transfer up to 24 credits into the online forensic psychology master's degree. Learners may also earn credit for life experiences and CLEP, DSST, or AP. Admission requires no GRE.
#7 – National University
Online Master's in Forensic Sciences
La Jolla, California
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,962
National University offers an online master of forensic sciences specifically designed for professionals in law enforcement and similar fields who would like to upgrade their skills. Students learn advanced scientific methods used to help resolve legal cases. Participants complete 54 quarter units, studying topics such as criminal profiling, forensic psychology, and major case investigations. They also choose between one of two specializations: investigation or criminalistics. The school offers a comprehensive portfolio of financial aid options to help learners pay for the online forensic psychology master's degree, and online students pay no out-of-state tuition. Further, military students receive tuition discounts. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA and no GRE.
#6 – University of Central Florida
Online Master's in Forensic Science
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,872
The University of Central Florida maintains a reputation for rigorous and affordable eLearning options. The school's MS in forensic science provides great flexibility with three concentrations: forensic analysis, forensic biochemistry, and forensic professional. Notably, the forensic professional track of the online forensic psychology master's enrolls working forensic scientists. They develop proficiency in areas such as genetic data analysis, forensic analysis of explosives, and forensic analysis of biological materials. All students at UCF receive assistance from a success coach from day one until they graduate. Admission requires a BS in forensic science or similar degree and the GRE. The program admits students in the fall, spring, and summer.
#5 – Saint Leo University
Online Master's in Criminal Justice with Forensic Science Specialization
Saint Leo, Florida
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,730
Saint Leo University offers a comprehensive portfolio of online degrees, including the 36-credit MA in criminal justice with a forensic science specialization. Learners receive hands-on instruction on how to assist criminal justice agencies with coursework that explores topics such as the collection of physical evidence, use of labs to analyze evidence, and conducting death investigations. The online forensic psychology master's also covers a number of topics that add to forensic psychologists' breadth of competencies in areas such as offender treatment methodology, hostage negations, and fiscal resource management. Saint Leo offers tuition significantly lower than many private institutions. Online learners also pay no out-of-state tuition. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and no GRE.
#4 – Concordia University
Online Master's in Human Services–Forensic Behavioral Health
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,550
Students examine the connections between behavioral health, the criminal justice system, and systems of care while enrolled in the MA in human services–forensic behavioral health emphasis at Concordia University. CSP prepares human service professionals in conjunction with the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies. The 36-credit online program includes the study of risk assessment in human services, psychopathology in human services, and ethical and legal considerations. CSP's competitive in-state tuition for all, and discounted rates for active duty personnel, help make the degree one of the most affordable online master's degree programs in forensic psychology. Admission requires no GRE.
#3 – University of North Dakota
Online Master's in Forensic Psychology
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,461
The MA in forensic psychology at the University of North Dakota trains forensic scientists able to use psychological theory and skills in the criminal justice and civil court systems. The 30-credit part-time program offers learning flexibility and the opportunity to complete the degree in two years. Students study advanced psychological theories; develop advanced evaluation, analytical, and statistical skills; and acquire a deep understanding of the nation's legal system. They learn how to apply all of this knowledge in real-world contexts such as expert witness testimony and assisting lawyers in putting together a jury and preparing for trial. Applying to this affordable online forensic psychology master's degree requires no GRE.
#2 – University of Louisiana
Online Master's in Psychology–Forensic Track
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,005
The MS in psychology at the University of Louisiana offers a forensic track. Students in the 36-credit program examine a broad number of topics such a neuropsychology, personality and social psychology, and quantitative methods for research. The concentration examines psychopathology, crime and delinquency, and psychological assessment. With the approval of the department head, learners in the online forensic psychology master's engage in direct study focused on areas of interest. ULM works to keep tuition affordable and charges no out-of-state tuition for online learners. All students also qualify for ULM's payment plan. Admission requires a minimum 2.75 GPA and the GRE.
#1 – Liberty University
Online Master's in Psychology
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,000
One of the nation's top Christian colleges, Liberty University offers an MS in criminal justice with a concentration in forensic psychology. The 36-credit online program integrates knowledge of laws and the criminal justice system and social-cognitive psychology. Students learn directly from experts in both fields, acquiring knowledge of forensic psychology fundamentals, criminal justice, and how to rehabilitate and reintegrate criminal offenders into society. The affordable online forensic psychology master's degree teaches learners how to provide expert testimony, assess various mental states to determine an individual's competency, and how to work on child custody cases. Students pay no out-of-state tuition and benefit from a tuition freeze. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and no GRE.