29 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology Degree Programs 2019

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29 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology Degree Programs 2019 2019-09-25T03:02:30+00:00

OPD-Most Affordable
By OPD Staff
August 2019

Whether earned online or on-campus, a Master’s in Forensic Psychology degree prepares students for careers in the field of criminal justice. Graduates use psychological methods to analyze the behavior of criminals, and students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to work in higher education, social services, the government, private consulting firms, and corrections. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for psychologists is projected to increase 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations over the same timeframe. However, employment growth will vary by occupation. By earning a Master’s in Forensic Psychology, you will stand out in the criminal justice and psychology fields. Many graduates of on-campus and online graduate programs in forensic psychology continue their education by pursuing doctoral studies, becoming licensed forensic psychologists in clinical practices.

If you are considering pursuing a Master’s in Forensic Psychology, the following list may help. People come up with many reasons to not go back to school, believing graduate degrees are too time-consuming or expensive, or there simply are not any high-quality schools in their area. Those who are balancing work and family obligations may benefit from an online program rather than a traditional on-campus degree as the former tend to offer greater flexibility for working adults. Regardless of the delivery method you choose, if you are thinking about a graduate forensic psychology degree, the list of schools listed below is a great place to start your search.

Methodology

When researching potential schools for master’s degrees in forensic psychology, one of the first things many students look at is the cost of the program. When comparing schools, it is important to realize that not all expensive programs are high-quality, and sometimes, the most affordable programs provide the best education. To determine the top affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology programs, we consulted data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Using the site’s College Navigator tool, we conducted a search for the term “Master’s in Forensic Psychology degree.” We were provided with an initial pool of 40 colleges and universities, and we narrowed down the results to find the top 29 programs, ranked below in order from most expensive to least expensive.

Ranking Low-Cost Master’s in Forensic Psychology

29. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Chicago, Illinois

M.A. in Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The online M.A. in Forensic Psychology can be completed in 20 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $43,068

Known simply as “The Chicago School,” The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a graduate university that specializes in psychology degrees. Educating more than 4,300 students, The Chicago School offers more than 20 degree programs in psychology and related behavioral sciences, including an M.A. in Forensic Psychology. This non-licensure track program offers students the opportunity to develop the skills needed to assist with cases of trauma and crisis intervention, substance abuse, and crime prevention. In as few as 20 months, students learn how to serve as liaisons to law enforcement, social service, and legal agencies, and they develop a deeper understanding of mental health law and issues. The master’s program offers three areas of specialization through guided electives, including Sex Offenders, Law, and Corrections. The Chicago School has been recognized by the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology for distinguished service and outstanding contributions to cultural advocacy and diversity.

28. Roger Williams University

Bristol, Rhode Island

Master of Arts in Forensic and Legal Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Forensic and Legal Psychology requires 33 credit hours of  coursework.

Website

Tuition: $40,815

Located on 140 acres in Bristol, Rhode Island, Roger Williams University was founded in 1956 and named for the theologian and co-founder of Rhode Island Roger Williams. A full-time, two-year program, the Master of Arts in Forensic and Legal Psychology consists of 33 credits and prepares students for doctoral training focused on legal or forensic psychology. Students are trained in statistical analysis and program evaluation, research design, individual and group interventions, treatment planning, the diagnosis of psychopathology, psychological testing, and clinical assessment. Directed research or research practicums are required as well as a comprehensive thesis.

27. California Baptist University

Riverside, California

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Forensic Psychology requires 57 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $40,755

Founded in 1950 as California Baptist College, California Baptist University is a liberal arts university affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention and located in Riverside, California. The online Master’s in Forensic Psychology is a two-year, 57-unit program that prepares professionals with interdisciplinary knowledge of psychology and law to work within the legal system as forensic psychologists. The program educates clinicians, providing them with training to work in the field of criminal justice. Classes emphasize the theories and perspectives of criminal behavior, legal research and reasoning, and the study of criminal investigations. During the second year of study, students are involved in field experiences as well as on-site supervision in a forensic setting such as parole, probation, rape crisis centers, trial consultant firms or with the U.S. Marshals or the FBI.

26. Marymount University

Arlington, Virginia

Master of Arts in Forensic and Legal Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Forensic and Legal Psychology requires  39 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $39,390

Located in Arlington, Virginia, Marymount University is a four-year Catholic university that offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a wide range of disciplines. It is also the first university in the Washington, D.C. area to offer a Master of Arts in Forensic and Legal Psychology. This interdisciplinary program combines studies in public policy, law, and criminal justice as well as many subfields of psychology. Each course incorporates an ethics component, encouraging students to grapple with complicated issues in the field of forensic and legal psychology. Students must complete 39 credits in areas such as criminal behavior, research methods, psychopathology, the American legal system, and forensic assessment. Marymount also offers an optional concentration in Intelligence Studies.

25. Holy Names University

Oakland, California

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Forensic Psychology requires 39 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $33,099

Founded by and affiliated with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, Holy Names University is a private, Roman Catholic university located in Oakland, California. The school offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology degree, a hybrid, 39-unit program based on a philosophy of restorative, therapeutic justice and designed to prepare graduates for pursuing positions as change agents in forensic settings such as court-accountable programs, community advocacy contexts, and correctional settings. It is designed for working adults as all classes are offered in the afternoons and evenings Mondays through Thursdays. Courses include topics such as the psychology of criminal behavior, human diversity in counseling, forensic psychology and the law, and domestic violence assessment and treatment.

24. University of New Haven

West Haven, Connecticut

Criminal Justice, M.S., Forensic Psychology Concentration

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.S. in Criminal Justice in Forensic Psychology requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $32,940

The University of New Haven, located in West Haven, Connecticut, comprises five six degree-granting colleges in engineering, fine arts, arts and sciences, business, eLearning, and criminal justice and forensic sciences. Students can pursue a 36-credit Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in forensic psychology. This specialization is designed for those who are either currently working in or plan to work in the justice system as well as those who are interested in how law and psychology interact in the administration of justice. General program courses include quantitative applications, research methods, and theories of criminal behavior, while concentration courses include topics such as forensic assessment and treatment models, abnormal psychology, and mental health law. In addition to core coursework, students may choose to undertake a six-credit thesis project to partially fulfill some of the degree requirements.

23. Fairleigh Dickinson University

Florham, New Jersey

M.A. in Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Forensic Psychology can be completed in 18 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $30,708

Founded in 1942, Fairleigh Dickinson University operates two main campuses in Florham and Teaneck, New Jersey, and it was the first American university to own and operate an international campus. The school offers a 36-credit Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology that is designed to provide maximum exposure to the broad field of forensic psychology while streamlining a curriculum that allows students to earn their degree within 18 months. Students are exposed to all areas of forensic psychology, including statistics and research methods, criminal behavior, criminal responsibility, clinical practice, and forensic interviewing, evaluation, and assessment techniques, and they gain invaluable clinical experience through a 300-hour externship placement. Students may also choose to participate in forensic research and complete a thesis.

22. Adler University

Chicago, Illinois

Online Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Forensic Counseling

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The online M.A. in Counseling in Forensic Counseling requires a 100-hour practicum and 600-hour internship.

Website

Tuition: $29,900

Formerly The Adler School of Professional Psychology, Adler University operates campuses in Chicago, Illinois and Vancouver, British Columbia, offering degree programs and classes online for more than 1,400 master’s and doctoral students. The school offers a Master of Arts in Counseling with a specialization in forensic counseling that prepares students to provide advocacy and counseling services for individuals involved in the behavioral health systems, court systems, correctional system, and criminal justice system. The program is organized into a cohort format and can be completed in two years of full-time study. Classes are available in partially online, evening, weekend, and traditional classroom settings. In addition to coursework, students must complete a clinical training component that consists of a supervised 100-hour practicum and 600-hour internship. After graduation, students are prepared to sit for certification as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in Illinois and as National Certified Counselors (NCC).

21. Kean University

Union, New Jersey

Forensic Psychology (M.A.)

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Forensic Psychology is designed for students who are currently working in law enforcement.

Website

Tuition: $29,628

Located in Union, New Jersey, Kean University serves its students in the professions, the sciences, and the liberal arts, and it is best known for its programs in education as well as the humanities and social sciences. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College at Kean offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology that focuses on the psychology of behavioral assessment, personality, advanced abnormal psychology, criminal behavior, and more. The program is designed for students who are currently working in law enforcement and those interested in pursuing master’s-level forensic positions or doctoral training in law and/or psychology.

20. Tiffin University

Tiffin, Ohio

M.S. in Criminal Justice With a Concentration in Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.S. in Criminal Justice in Forensic Psychology requires 42 to 43 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $29,400

Founded in 1888, Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in a number of online, off-campus, and on-campus formats, operating three academic schools in criminal justice and social sciences, business, and the arts and sciences. Students may pursue an online Master of Science with a concentration in forensic psychology, a program designed for those interested in the parallel between psychology and criminal justice. The 42- to 43-credit program is available online or on-campus, with classes taught by university professors with years of research, academic, and executive experience in the field. Course requirements include victimology, statistical applications in forensic psychology, psychology and the law, and legal and ethical issues in forensic psychology.

19. University of California Irvine

Irvine, California

Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology requires a one-week, in-residence course prior to beginning the program.

Website

Tuition: $27,948

Located in Irvine, California, the University of California Irvine is a public research university that offers 80 bachelor’s degrees and nearly 100 graduate and professional degrees. The Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology focuses on the intersection of legal issues and psychology with an emphasis on the use of psychological research, theories, and principles to better understand legal systems and processes. This two-year professional program consists of 52 credits of graduate courses, and students are required to attend a one-week, in-residence course prior to beginning the program. Coursework covers areas such as legal reasoning, forensic assessment, children and the law, research methods, psychology and the law, and quantitative methods, and students must also complete a capstone project before graduating.

18. Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

M.S. in Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.S. in Forensic Psychology requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $27,180

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University is an independent research university that enrolls more than 25,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Students may pursue a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology to receive professional training, enabling them to work in a variety of settings such as treatment facilities, social service agencies, criminal justice, prisons, and law enforcement. Students in this 36-credit program must choose one of two specializations: Forensic Psychology in the Legal System or Forensic Psychology for Mental Health Workers, First Responders, and Disaster Teams. Students complete 24 credits of core courses and nine credits of specialization coursework. Core courses include topics such as gender violence, evaluation and methodology, psychology and violence risk assessment, psychopathology, and communication. GRE or GMAT scores are not required for admission, and students may complete the program within two years.

17. Capella University

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology Specialization

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.S. in Clinical Psychology in Forensic Psychology requires 55 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $26,675

Capella University is an online, for-profit institution of higher learning headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota that offers more than 140 undergraduate and graduate specializations and 25 certificate programs. A school devoted to working professionals, Capella offers an online Master’s in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology. This 55-credit program helps students develop advanced knowledge in areas such as psychology and the law, forensic practice techniques, and psychopathology. The program is competency-based, and students can immediately apply the skills they have learned. Students must complete 11 courses, including five core courses and six specialization courses.

16. Northcentral University

San Diego, California

Online Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The online M.S. in Forensic Psychology can be completed in 20 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $26,570

Northcentral University is a for-profit, online university that was established in 1996 and offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in marriage and family therapy, education, business and technology management, and psychology. Students may pursue an accredited online master’s degree in forensic psychology that consists of 10 courses and 30 credit hours. Students may earn their degree entirely online in just 20 months, and while the program does not lead to licensure, it can benefit those interested in working in the criminal justice system. In addition to coursework, students must complete a non-clinical internship near his or her residence.

15. Montclair State University

Montclair, New Jersey

M.A. in Clinical Psychology, Clinical Forensic Psychology Concentration

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Clinical Psychology requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $25,675

Located in Montclair, New Jersey, Montclair State University enrolls more than 20,000 students and offers more than 300 concentrations, minors, and majors. The master’s degree in clinical psychology with a concentration in clinical forensic psychology is a flexible, specialized degree program designed for practicing professionals. Students may focus their studies on the criminal or civil family arena. This program is comprised of four electives and seven required courses for a total of 36 credits covering different aspects of criminal proceedings, forensic psychology, and psychology. Students are also required to complete a six-credit capstone experience in the form of an externship in clinical psychology.

14. Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Master of Science in Psychology With a Concentration in Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.S. in Psychology in Forensic Psychology requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $22,572

Southern New Hampshire University is a nonprofit, private university situated between Hooksett and Manchester, New Hampshire and is one of the fastest-growing universities in the country, thanks to the expansion of its online programs. The school’s online M.S. in Psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology prepares students for careers where law and psychology intersect. Students will gain skills and knowledge in communication, assessment, human behavior, research, and analysis. Coursework for this 36-credit-hour program includes psychology in the courtroom, assessment, ethical practices, personality theories, cognitive processes, social psychology, and research methods in psychology. Courses are taught by instructors with relevant, real-world experience and professional credentials.

13. Post University

Waterbury, Connecticut

Online Master of Science in Counseling and Human Services

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The online M.S. in Counseling and Human Services allows students to develop the clinical, analytical, and theoretical skills.

Website

Tuition: $21,707

Located in Waterbury, Connecticut, Post University was founded as Post College in 1890. Now, the school offers more than 25 undergraduate and graduate programs in online, evening, and day courses. Students may pursue an online Master of Science in Counseling and Human Services with a concentration in forensic mental health counseling. This concentration allows students to develop the clinical, analytical, and theoretical skills required to provide counseling services to adults and juveniles involved in the justice system. Students explore concepts related to victimology, psychopathology and criminal behavior, and forensic assessment as a way to understand how the human services field and judicial system work together. Students may also be able to apply their college credits toward earning their professional certification or licensure.

12. University of Houston Victoria

Victoria, Texas

M.A. in Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Forensic Psychology requires 63 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $20,970

The University of Houston Victoria is a four-year university and one of four member institutions of the University of Houston System. Founded in 1971, the school enrolls more than 4,300 students per year. The school offers a master’s degree in forensic psychology that prepares students to become licensed mental health workers in the field of forensics. The program’s 63-semester-hour curriculum can be broken down into three parts: forensic psychology concentration requirements, core classes, and practicum requirements that allow students to gain hands-on, real-world experience. Students will be exposed to areas such as addictions counseling, crisis counseling, psychopathology, multicultural psychology, intellectual and personality assessment, and group psychotherapy.

11. Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Online Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The online M.S. in Forensic Psychology requires 33 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $20,853

Located in Tempe, Arizona State University is one of the largest public universities by enrollment in the U.S. and is organized into 17 colleges and schools. The online Master of Science in Forensic Psychology program at Arizona State provides an overview of forensic psychology for students interested in additional graduate study, career advancement, or entry into the field for the first time. The program consists of 11 courses that last approximately seven and one-half weeks for a total of 33 credit hours of study. Students must take 12 credit hours in core areas such as psychopathology, correctional psychology, forensic psychology, and legal psychology, and the program culminates in a three-credit-hour capstone in forensic psychology.

10. Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

M.S. in Criminal Justice – Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.S. in Criminal Justice in Forensic Psychology requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $20,340

Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, the Helms School of Government at Liberty University offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in forensic psychology. This fully online program is designed for prospective and current criminal justice professionals and aims to help students understand how psychological factors impact rehabilitation, criminal behavior, and the reintegration of those in the criminal justice system. The program consists of 36 credits of coursework, including a mandatory thesis, which involves three credits of thesis research and three credits of the thesis defense. Courses are available in areas such as rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders, human resource management in criminal justice organizations, and crisis intervention in law enforcement.

9. University of Louisiana Monroe

Monroe, Louisiana

Master of Science in Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.S. in Psychology has no residency requirement.

Website

Tuition: $20,033

Located in Monroe, Louisiana, the University of Louisiana at Monroe is a coeducational university that is a member of the University of Louisiana System. Students may pursue a Master of Science in Psychology with a forensic track. In addition to completing the standard course requirements for the master’s degree, students must also take classes in areas like the sociology of law, counseling in criminal justice, advanced theories of delinquency and crime, psychological assessment, and intelligence testing. The program is available entirely online, and while graduates are not eligible to become licensed counselors, they do develop the skills and knowledge they need to work in the criminal justice system.

8. John Jay College of Criminal Justice

New York, New York

Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Forensic Psychology requires 42 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $19,110

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice was founded as the only liberal arts college with a forensic and criminal justice focus in the country. The school offers a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology which is designed to not only prepare students for doctoral study in psychology but also train practitioners to provide psychology services within the civil and criminal justice systems. The curriculum focuses on treating, evaluating, and understanding both victims and offenders. The program consists of 42 credits, including 39 credits of coursework as well as a three-credit externship with 300 hours of fieldwork or a thesis.

7. Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

Master of Science in Psychology With an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.S. in Psychology in Forensic Psychology requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $18,540

Grand Canyon University is a private, non-profit university located in Phoenix, Arizona. Established in 1949, it is currently the largest Christian university in the world. Grand Canyon offers a Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in forensic psychology that takes a comprehensive look at human psychology and how society responds to criminal behavior. The curriculum consists of self-directed research, collaboration, and discussion, and students must complete 36 credits in order to graduate. A few areas of study include the psychopathology of crime, research methods, statistics, theories of criminal behavior, contemporary and legal issues, and psychology and the legal system. The program culminates with a professional capstone course.

6. Missouri State University

Springfield, Missouri

M.A. in Psychology With Forensic Certification

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Psychology with Forensic Certification provides training specifically for professionals who wish to work with children.

Website

Tuition: $18,457

Founded in 1905 as the Fourth District Normal School, Missouri State University is a public university located in Springfield, Missouri. Missouri State offers an affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology with a certificate in child psychology. Courses include specialized topics in core psychology areas as well as forensic child psychology, cognitive development, and child abuse and the law. The program is the first of its kind, providing training specifically for professionals who wish to work with children. The certificate consists of 12 credits of coursework in addition to the required curriculum for the master’s degree.

5. Concordia University St. Paul

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Master of Arts in Human Services – Forensic Behavioral Health

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Human Services in Forensic Behavioral Health requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $17,100

Concordia University is a liberal arts university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota and a member of the Concordia University System. Affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Concordia was founded in 1893 and currently enrolls more than 5,000 students. The school offers a master’s degree in human services with a focus on forensic behavioral health, a 36-credit-hour program that is available entirely online. This degree focuses on the direct relationship between legal systems, criminal justice, and behavioral health. It is not a counseling/clinical licensed program, but it is offered in partnership with the American Institute for Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS).

4. University of Central Oklahoma

Edmond, Oklahoma

Master of Arts in Psychology – Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Psychology in Forensic Psychology requires 49 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $15,182

Located in Edmond, Oklahoma, the University of Central Oklahoma is a coeducational public university that enrolls more than 17,000 students, making it the third largest postsecondary institution in the state. The 49-credit-hour Master of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology prepares students for careers in criminal investigation and intelligence analysis at the federal, state, and local levels of law enforcement. Students are required to complete core coursework for both the psychology major and the forensics concentration in areas such as psychological science, behavioral neuroscience, and cognitive psychology, and a thesis is required for graduation.

3. California State University Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

California State University Los Angeles

The M.S. in Forensic Psychology requires 33 to 34 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $14,990

The 33- to 34-unit Master of Science in Forensic Psychology includes a nine-month practicum, where students receive on-site supervision and hands-on training in a forensic setting related to their individual career goals and interests. The program is designed for those whose primary interest is studying or working in areas of psychology that intersect with the criminal justice system. Required areas of study include theories and perspectives in criminal justice, individual testing and case study techniques, psychology and the law, and courtroom and legal issues in criminalistics. Students round out the program with a three-credit thesis.

2. University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Forensic Psychology (M.A.)

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The M.A. in Forensic Psychology requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $12,122

Established in 1883, the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota is the oldest university in the state. Ranked as one of the top forensic psychology programs in the country, the Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology at the University of North Dakota prepares students to apply psychological competencies, skills, knowledge, and theory to the criminal justice and civil systems. The program is available online and can be completed within two years of part-time study. Students are required to complete 30 credits of coursework in areas such as psychology and the law, diversity psychology, behavior psychology, advanced social psychology, human factors in cybersecurity, and insider threat analysis. Students must also complete an independent study such as a research project or practicum experience.

1. Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Oklahoma

M.S. in Forensic Sciences – Forensic Psychology

30 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology

The online M.S. in Forensic Sciences in Forensic Psychology requires 39 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $11,599

Located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University was founded in 1890 and enrolls more than 35,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The school offers a Master of Science in Forensic Science with a concentration in forensic psychology that is designed for students seeking a career as a forensic psychologist. Students must complete 39 credits of coursework, and classes can be taken on a full- or part-time basis. During the first year, students have the option of taking courses online or on-campus, but during the second year, all research and laboratory courses must be taken on-campus. The program does not lead to licensure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology Degree?

Graduates who earn a master’s degree in forensic psychology have the skills and knowledge they need to pursue careers in a variety of fields, including the military, higher education, social service agencies, corrections and law enforcement, law offices, treatment facilities and other healthcare settings, and criminal, civil, and family courts. This type of graduate degree also prepares students to become practicing clinical forensic psychologists, a pathway that often requires additional education and training. The career opportunities for graduates are diverse, and a few of the most popular positions include:

  • Police and Detective: Police and detectives gather evidence about crimes and protect people. Some job duties include observing suspects, preparing cases, testifying in court, and writing detailed reports. While educational requirements vary, earning a graduate degree in forensic psychology makes candidates more competitive than their peers.
  • Forensic Science Technician: Forensic science technicians are tasked with helping criminal investigations by analyzing and collecting evidence in laboratories and at crime scenes. To become a forensic science technician, one typically needs to hold a bachelor’s degree in a natural science as well as experience in the field. A candidate with a master’s degree in forensic psychology may garner a higher salary and be more competitive when applying for jobs.
  • Mental Health Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist: Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help individuals and their families to better understand behavioral and emotional problems. They must identify the issue, evaluate the underlying cause, and develop a proper treatment plan to help their clients overcome these obstacles. These types of therapists and counselors generally need a license to practice as well as a master’s degree.
  • Postsecondary Teacher: Postsecondary teachers provide instruction to students beyond the high school level in a wide range of settings. Publication and research is generally required of postsecondary teachers, and while most positions require a doctoral degree, professionals may pursue positions in community colleges with only a master’s degree.
  • Psychologist: Forensic psychologists put their training to use with the goal of helping explain the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral processes of individuals in the criminal justice and legal system. These professionals often work in roles that involve building psychological profiles of suspects, assessing the mental competence of defendants, and establishing witness credibility. Although psychologists typically need to earn a doctoral degree and complete an internship in order to practice, a master’s degree may be acceptable for some related positions in this field.

How Much Can You Earn in This Field?

There are a number of factors that determine the salary of a forensic psychologist. Years of experience, education and training, and the type of position available all influence the income a forensic psychologist might expect. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not yet recognize forensic psychology as its own occupation, according to statistics, psychologists earned an average income of $77,030 per year, or $37.03 per hour, in May 2017. The highest 10 percent earned more than $124,520 per year, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $42,330 per year. The top industries for the highest-paid psychologists include the government, ambulatory healthcare services, hospitals, and elementary and secondary schools.

What Can You Expect From an Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology Degree Program?

Some forensic psychology master’s degrees focus on legal theory and the criminal justice system, while others spend more time on psychological theory. Program details vary according to the program and school chosen. In most cases, students are required to complete a culminating capstone project in the form of either fieldwork or a research paper.

Master’s degrees in forensic psychology teach students skills that they can apply in real-world situations. Courses cover topics like psychological techniques in prisons and the courtroom, ethics, and research methods in psychology. Below is a sample curriculum for a Master’s in Forensic Psychology degree, but actual courses will vary by institution.

  • Current Issues in Forensic Psychology: Throughout this course, students study current issues in the forensic psychology field. Topics covered may include jury selection, risk assessment, profiling, eyewitness identification, and other issues that are often debated in the psychology and legal fields. Those pursuing careers as postsecondary teachers in forensic psychology may find this course particularly useful.
  • Psychology and the Law: Students taking a course in Psychology and the Law will delve into the criminal justice and legal system using a psychological perspective. This course introduces the main methodologies and theories of the field, providing students with the skills they need to pursue advanced study. Students explore forensic psychology through the context of family, criminal, and civil law.
  • Techniques of Forensic Practice: A course in forensic practice introduces students to the different methods they may use to perform forensic activities such as forensic evaluation in order to determine an insanity defense, to evaluate child custody situations, and whether or not he or she is capable to stand trial. This course often includes training in methodology.

Forensic psychology is a rapidly evolving field of psychology that refers to the study of the application of psychological competencies, research practices, and theory in civil and criminal justice systems. While some programs emphasize criminal behavior and psychology, others focus more on the science behind the field. Students interested in pursuing a master’s in forensic psychology may choose from online or on-campus programs to either enter the field for the first time or seek career advancement in their current roles.

This concludes our ranking of the 29 Most Affordable Master’s in Forensic Psychology degree programs.