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This list covers graduate-level forensic psychology programs that prepare students for careers in criminal justice and public psychology. Degrees offered include Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology, Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology, Master of Science in Forensic Psychology, Master of Science, and Master of Arts in Forensic Mental Health Leadership. Students can choose from in-person, online, and hybrid learning formats.

Accreditation is given to forensic psychology programs that uphold high academic standards and offer curricula that prepare graduates for the criminal justice workforce. Schools on our list are accredited at the national or regional level by accreditors such as the American Psychological Association (APA), National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 65 hours to write this article
  • 68 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 175 education programs we compared

The Top 20 Master’s in Forensic Psychology Degree Programs

Best Master's in Forensic Psychology Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

When choosing a psychology career, it’s important to determine whether you want to work within the legal system or provide psychological services to the general population. If you’re interested in counseling individuals and families and behavioral therapy, you might want to pursue a master’s in clinical psychology. While both degrees have a strong impact on society, forensic psychologists specialize in psychology and the law and work with governmental agencies, law enforcement, and other areas of the criminal justice system. Clinical psychologists assist patients with mental health and other behavioral issues. If you’re unsure of which area you’d like to specialize in, you might pursue more general study with a master’s in psychology. Also, most states require future psychologists to have a doctorate in order to obtain a state license to practice.

The job outlook for forensic psychologists is consistent with that of other occupations; however, due to high competition in the field of psychology, it’s helpful for graduates to earn certifications that demonstrate their expertise to potential employers. Certifications approved by the American Board of Professional Psychology include Certified Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist, Forensic Psychology, Rehabilitation Psychology, School Psychology, and Couple & Family Psychology.

What’s Next?

Ask yourself these questions when researching master’s in forensic psychology programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Students who wish to pursue a master’s in forensic psychology must hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Some programs also require a minimum GPA and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? A master’s program in forensic psychology takes one to two years of full-time study to complete. The programs on this list require a minimum of 16 credits and a maximum of 63 credits to graduate.

Application requirements and deadlines are different for each program. Check with the school’s admissions department or visit the program’s webpage to find more detailed information.

Obtaining a master’s degree requires a financial investment, and you should consider how you’ll cover the costs. Look into financial aid such as loans, grants, and scholarships, which can help you reduce tuition fees and other program costs.