2019 Best Master's in Forensic Psychology Online Programs

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These seven universities are the top-ranked online forensic psychology schools in the country. Top-ranked University of California-Irvine has an impressive median salary for graduates of $127,000. Students can earn a Master of Legal & Forensic Psychology for $13,975 per year. Second-ranked Arizona State University is a similarly affordable option, offering an MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology for $10,574 annually. Graduates of forensic psychology master's programs at Arizona State University report earning a median salary of $104,728.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about SR Education Group.

Find an Online Degree:
Rank School Annual Tuition Median Salary
#1 #1 University of California-Irvine $13,975 $127,000
#2 #2 Arizona State University $10,574 $104,728
#3 #3 University of North Dakota $6,060 $99,015
#4 #4 Nova Southeastern University $13,590 $79,814
#5 #5 Liberty University $13,560 $71,987
#6 #6 Southern New Hampshire University Online $13,794 $70,212
#7 #7 Concordia University - Saint Paul $8,550 $50,400
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo. Updated 2018.
  • Annual Tuition: $13,975
  • Median Salary: $127,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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The University of California, Irvine was founded in 1965 as a public, research university committed to providing academic opportunities for community-based people. Today, it has expanded that goal to include distance learners through its virtual degree programs. The university's highly competitive Master of Legal Forensic Psychology is offered fully online with a mandatory one-week on-campus introductory course for prospective students. It is among the top online MLFP programs in the nation and is renowned for its premier research institution and commitment to academic achievement. Prospective students must include a resume, Statement of Purpose, three letters of recommendation, and must have an undergraduate minimum GPA of 3.0. The online program lasts two years and is designed for working professionals and busy students.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,574
  • Median Salary: $104,728
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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ASU Online is Arizona State University's top-ranked web-based platform for distance-learning students across the world. The program offers ASU's premier education through self-paced degree programs perfect for professionals seeking to advance their careers and students unable to attend traditional on-campus classes. The digital platform administers ASU's online Master of Science in Forensic Psychology, which is a 33-credit hour program. The program encompasses 11 seven-and-a-half week courses, such as Advanced Legal Psychology, Psychopathology, and Seminar in Criminal Justice. To be admitted, students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of their undergrad or a related master's program. Students must also submit transcripts and personal statements in order to exhibit a commitment to ASU's rigorous MFP program.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,060
  • Median Salary: $99,015
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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The University of North Dakota was founded in 1883, before the official establishment of North Dakota as a state in the union. Known for its premier liberal arts programs, UND offers opportunities for distance learners through its online programs, offered across educational levels. UND's top-ranked Master of Forensic Psychology program is offered as a fully online, asynchronous degree plan formatted for distance learning students, complete with proper web-based resources. The degree program teaches students to combine the world of psychological services with the field of law and service. Courses offered included Advanced Social Psychology and Behavior Pathology, and graduates are prepared for careers in juvenile facilities, state forensic units, civil courts, trial consulting, and more.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,590
  • Median Salary: $79,814
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Nova Southeastern University is a non-profit college located in Davie, Florida with 150 programs offered through 18 academic departments. It began offering its first online courses in the 1980s and has shifted to providing full degree plans through its virtual campus geared toward the needs of working professionals and distance learning students. The Nova Southeastern University online Master of Forensic Psychology program offers two specializations for students: Forensic Psychology in the Legal System and Forensic Psychology for Mental Health Workers, First Responders and Disaster Teams. Both plans consist of 36-credit hours broken down between specialization coursework, core credits, and a three-credit hour capstone course. Eligibility is determined on a holistic basis.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,560
  • Median Salary: $71,987
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC and TRACS
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Nonprofit, private Christian college Liberty University is one of the largest in the world with over 100,000 currently enrolled students. With programs offered both residentially and through its online platforms, Liberty is a highly selective institution, only accepting 22 percent of applicants. Among its online degree plans is the Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Forensic Psychology, which is a 36-credit-hour program based on the foundational aspects of psychological research and the intricacies of the legal system. Active-duty law enforcement agents and first responders receive a 25 percent tuition discount at Liberty, which also provides college credit for training and work experience. By studying in a top-ranked, selective program led by an expert staff, distance learning students can expect a quality education through Liberty University.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,794
  • Median Salary: $70,212
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NECHE
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Southern New Hampshire University is an accredited private, nonprofit university with over 90 percent of its 73,000 students enrolled through its online programs. SNHU has grown to become one of America's fastest growing universities and premier distance-learning institutions. The university offers an online Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology, which seeks to provide an in-depth understanding of the intersectional world of law and psychology. Upon graduations, students may seek careers in local, state or federal criminal justice departments helping solve crimes, or may pursue other opportunities in the judicial system. This degree offers a perfect blend of affordability, convenience, and efficiency with minimal admission requirements (no GRE or GMAT).

  • Annual Tuition: $8,550
  • Median Salary: $50,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Concordia University is a small, private liberal arts college in St. Paul, Minnesota that serves as an affiliate of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's Concordia University System. The university hosts a plethora of online degree plans including a Master of Arts in Human Services with an emphasis in Forensic Behavioral Health. This program consists of 36 credits and emphasizes the relationship between behavioral psychology and criminal justice. Each course is seven-weeks long and is available in a completely online format. While this program is offered at a fraction of the price of an on-campus program, the value is exceptional. Ninety-five percent of grads from the CSP program receive job offers with an average salary of almost $58,000, within a year of graduation.

Online Master's in Forensic Psychology Overview

Program Requirements

Applicants to an online master's in forensic psychology program should hold a bachelor’s degree with a behavioral or social science major. Programs require completion of 36 to 44 credits, which usually takes two years. Some schools may require applicants to submit GRE scores, personal statements, and/or transcripts from their bachelor's degree program.


The master’s curriculum emphasizes theory, research, and the practice of forensic psychology. Core coursework covers areas such as abnormal behavior, criminal behavior, ethical issues and professionalism, forensic assessment techniques, forensic psychology research, maladaptive behavior and psychopathology, professional and ethical issues, psychology and the legal system, and psychology of criminal behavior. Specialization areas may include forensic applications in community settings; juvenile justice, delinquency, and development; mental health applications; and program planning and evaluation in forensic settings. Master's programs usually incorporate a capstone course or field experience. In some cases, students are required to take a comprehensive exam to ensure students have mastered course content.

Graduates of the master's program may earn a professional counselor license or work as a forensic consultant in the legal system, but students who wish to become a licensed psychologist will need to continue their education at the doctoral level. Other career options for graduates include case manager, clinical and program director, court liaison officer, expert witness, forensic treatment specialist, jury consultant, law enforcement advocate, researcher, and victims’ advocate. Occupational settings for master's graduates include community corrections offices, correctional facilities, government agencies, law enforcement agencies, and victims’ advocacy programs. Master's programs are also good preparation for doctoral programs in criminal justice, law, and forensic psychology.

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