Why This Matters

  • THE U.S. HAS 2.3 MILLION PEOPLE IN PRISON

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

  • CHOOSE FROM OVER 15 POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS

    You’ll need an advanced degree to qualify for the best-paying jobs, like director of nursing, oncology coordinator, and chief healthcare technology officer.

  • PREPARE FOR A PSYCHOLOGY DOCTORAL DEGREE

    Most states require psychologists 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

For this list, we looked at both Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) degrees in forensic psychology. MA degrees typically have a more humanities-focused approach, while MS degrees are rooted in scientific and research principles.

Although there is no specific accreditation for master’s in forensic psychology programs (the American Psychological Association only accredits doctoral programs in psychology), all of the programs on our list are at regionally accredited institutions. This accreditation ensures that the programs meet the highest standards of quality in education.

We reviewed both online and on-campus programs for this list, to get the largest range of top-tier programs. We then evaluated each program on the basis of course strength, cost, flexibility, faculty, and reputation, and gave them an Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. The top picks for best master’s in forensic psychology are highly regarded, flexible, and affordable. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 83 hours to write this article
  • 131 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 432 education programs we compared

The Top 16 Master’s in Forensic Psychology Programs

Best Online Master's in Forensic Psychology Degree Programs
01
University of Louisiana Monroe

intelligent score 99.37

Award Intelligent Pick

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Intelligent Pick

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department School of Behavioral & Social Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit $696.43 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 318-342-1036

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Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
University of North Dakota

intelligent score 97.67

Award Most Affordable

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Most Affordable

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department Departments of Psychology

Estimated Cost per Credit $343.00 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission, HLC

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 800-225-5863

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Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
University of California, Irvine

intelligent score 96.79

Award Best Alumni Network

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

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No

Award Best Alumni Network

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 52 credits

Department Departments of Psychological Science and Criminology, Law and Society

Estimated Cost per Credit $599.75 per credit

accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges, WASC

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 949-824-4611

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Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 52 credits

01
California Baptist University

intelligent score 95.89

Award Best Master of Arts Degree

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Master of Arts Degree

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 57 credits

Department College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit $765 per credit per credit

accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges (

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 951-343-4487

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 57 credits

01
University of Denver

intelligent score 91.42

Award Best in the West

Rankings


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Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the West

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 16 credits

Department Graduate School of Professional Psychology

Estimated Cost per Credit $713 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 303-871-3736

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Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 16 credits

01
Nova Southeastern University

intelligent score 91.1

Award Best in the Southeast

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the Southeast

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Psychology

Estimated Cost per Credit $860 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 954-262-7563

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Liberty University

intelligent score 90.55

Award Best Master of Science Degree

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Master of Science Degree

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department Department of Psychology

Estimated Cost per Credit $565 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 800- 424-9596

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Saint Leo University

intelligent score 88.8

Award Best Catholic University

Rankings


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Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Catholic University

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master in Criminal Justice - Forensic Science

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Education & Social Services

Estimated Cost per Credit $666.38 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 800-334-5532

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master in Criminal Justice - Forensic Science

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
University of Central Florida

intelligent score 88.56

Award Best Public Research University

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Public Research University

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Forensic Science

Required Credits to Graduate 32-34 credits

Department College of Science

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State: $327.32 per credit; Out-of-State: $1,151.72 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 855-903-8576

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Forensic Science

Required Credits to Graduate 32-34 credits

01
Arizona State University

intelligent score 85.98

Award Best in the Southwest

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the Southwest

Delivery Format Online

Programs Online Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 33 credits

Department Department of Psychology

Estimated Cost per Credit $633.00 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission, HLC

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 866-277-6589

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Online Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

Required Credits to Graduate 33 credits

01
Best in the Northeast
Southern New Hampshire University
01
Most Flexible Start Terms
Northcentral University
01
Best Christian Institution
Grand Canyon University
01
Most Specialization Options
Capella University
01
Best Private Research University
George Washington University
01
Best in the Midwest
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

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.