Why This Matters


    Forensic psychologists primarily work with individuals in the criminal justice system, which may include evaluating competency for trial, counseling crime victims, and working with juvenile offenders.

  • EARN $80,000+ PER YEAR

    The average psychologist makes $81,040 per year, with the top 10% of workers in this field earning over $133,890.


    Most states require psychologists to have a PhD or PsyD degree in order to become licensed and practice as a full-fledged psychologist. A master’s in forensic psychology is a key career stepping stone.

Our Research

This list features some of the best online Master’s in Forensic Psychology programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. The programs on our list have been accredited by reputable organizations, such as the Higher Learning Commission and Middle States Commission on Higher Education, that assess the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of colleges and universities.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online Master’s in Forensic Psychology programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 16 Master’s in Forensic Psychology Programs

Best Master's in Forensic Psychology Programs 2023
Intelligent Pick
University of North Dakota
Most Flexible Admissions
Southern New Hampshire University
Best Public Institution
University of California at Irvine
Best Private Institution
NSU College of Psychology
Best Research Institution
Arizona State University
Best Christian Institution
Liberty University
Most Affordable
Oklahoma State University at Center for Health Sciences
Best Faculty
Saint Leo University
Best Accelerated Program
University of Louisiana Monroe
Most Flexible Start Terms
Northcentral University

University of Central Florida

UF Forensic Science

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Adler University

What You Should Know About This Degree

While a master’s degree in forensic psychology will give you valuable skills necessary for a career as a forensic psychologist, it is not considered a terminal degree in the field. In order to obtain a state-issued psychology license and become eligible for most jobs, you will need to earn either a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology. At this stage, it’s important to consider how this additional commitment of time and money will fit into your lifestyle, budget, and career.

You should also think about whether you will pursue a PhD or PsyD, and research the requirements for any programs you may want to attend. This will help ensure that you select a master’s program that meets the requirements for your doctoral program of interest. Otherwise, you may have to take prerequisite coursework before enrolling in the doctoral program of your choice.

While most of the programs on our list are offered online, look carefully at all of their curricula, as some do have in-person requirements for residencies, capstone projects, or internships. If you are selecting an online program that requires occasional in-person attendance, make sure that this fits into your schedule and budget.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Masters Forensic Psychology programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? For some programs, you must have an undergraduate degree or undergraduate coursework in psychology, criminal justice, or a related field in order to qualify for admission. Check the admissions requirements for programs before applying to make sure you have the right academic background.
  • Does this school have an accelerated master’s-to-doctorate track? Because a doctorate degree is generally required for psychologists, some schools allow students to apply their master’s-level coursework towards their doctorate program. If you are planning to obtain your doctorate from the same school as your master’s, find out if they offer this option, as it can save you time and money in the future.

Throughout your research process, you should also keep track of schools’ admissions procedures and deadlines, to ensure that your application process is smooth and stress-free. You should also consider your options for financing your graduate education. This can include loans, scholarships, assistantships, and tuition benefits from your employer.