Online Masters Degree In Forensic Psychology
Forensic psychology is a fascinating field that is growing in career options year after year. As a result, more and more people are looking to earn this type of degree. One option that forensic psychology students should consider is getting a master’s degree in the field which will carry with it a whole host of new job opportunities. Once you have graduated, there are several career paths that can earn you up to $72,372 a year.
Forensic psychology used to be a field reserved for law enforcement, but with the growing need for mental health professionals and a lot of new master’s in forensic psychology programs, more mental health practitioners are entering this lucrative career.
Students who are interested in human behavior and the legal system may consider pursuing an Online Master’s In Forensic Psychology. Obtaining a master’s degree can lead to many career opportunities in the field. This list of top forensic psychology programs can help prospective students find a program that fits their career goals.
Online Masters Degree In Forensic Psychology Overview
Forensic psychology means different things to different people. Technically, it’s a subfield of psychology where psychological training is applied to criminal justice and law application. With each university offering their own options for how you prefer to apply for this degree, a forensic psychology master’s degree can take many forms to suit your needs.
Top 25 Online Masters Degree In Forensic Psychology
1. George Washington University
GW is a private school located in Washington, D.C. It offers a master’s degree program in forensic psychology that enables students to examine criminal motivations. This program prepares students for careers in law enforcement, homeland security, and community services.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and the program typically accepts 50 students each fall semester. Candidates must take the GRE general test, except for those who hold a juris doctorate, MD, or Ph.D. Qualified candidates must participate in a faculty interview prior to admission.
GW’s forensic psychology master’s program offers two tracks: applied forensics and applied psychology. Students must take courses in theories of criminal behavior, psychopathology, and research and statistics. They must also complete 250 hours of practicum training to gain practical experience. Correctional institutions, law enforcement agencies, and mental health treatment facilities are examples of internship sites. Read here if you’re interested in Masters In Counseling Online programs.
Location: Washington, DC
2. University of Denver
DU offers a master’s degree in forensic psychology specializing in clinical psychology and law. Students who complete this program are prepared to work in clinical settings as mental health professionals. Graduates typically pursue careers in crisis intervention, victim assistance, and police consultation.
A master’s in forensic psychology can be completed by full-time students in two years. A few notable courses include psychopathology and criminal psychology. Field placements provide hands-on experience to add on to coursework. Students must also complete case consultation and peer supervision as part of their field placement.
The school requires applicants to possess a bachelor’s degree and a minimum 2.5 GPA for admission. A psychology prerequisite course must be completed by prospective students without a psychology background. They must also score at least 660 on the psychology GRE. DU’s program requires all applicants to take the GRE general exam.
Location: Denver, CO
3. Roger Williams University
Bristol University in Rhode Island offers a master’s degree in forensic and legal psychology that prepares students for doctoral programs in research.
The program prepares students in research design, statistical analysis, and clinical assessment.
Taking full-time, the 45-credit forensic and legal psychology master’s degree at RWU takes two years. Among the featured courses are research design, psychology and the law, and clinical assessment. Students must complete coursework as well as directed research and a comprehensive thesis to graduate. Graduates often earn doctorates in clinical psychology, applied psychology, or social psychology. Some work as trial consultants or conduct psychological testing with prison populations.
You must have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as psychology, criminal justice or government. The transcripts must demonstrate satisfactory completion of statistics and research methods. Additional application requirements include the GRE exam results and a research writing sample.
Location: Bristol, RI
4. Marymount University
Marymount University’s master of arts in forensic and legal psychology program, based in Arlington, Virginia, prepares students to use psychological knowledge in the legal system. Students may also apply for an intelligence studies concentration to learn skills for highly competitive careers in the intelligence community.
The 39-credit forensic and legal psychology master’s program at Marymount University prepares students for work in federal agencies. Forensic assessment, research methods, and legal and investigative psychology are common subjects studied by students. Students must also complete 300 hours of internship work as part of this program. To graduate, students must also complete at least 20 hours of research assistance or teaching experience. Check out this guide that contains information to assist you in finding and completing internships.
Because of Marymount’s proximity to Washington, D.C., students can access resources from local agencies such as the FBI. This program also offers study abroad options.
The program at Marymount prefers applicants with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, but it also accepts degrees from related fields. In addition, applicants must pass the GRE general exam. Prospective students pursuing the intelligence studies concentration must complete nine credits per semester during their first year and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Location: Arlington, VA
5. University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks, North Dakota, offers a master of science in forensic psychology. This degree prepares students to work as forensic psychologists.
The forensic psychology master’s program at UND provides students with a solid foundation in psychological principles as well as a thorough understanding of the legal system in the United States. In two years, students typically complete 30 credit hours. Cognitive psychology, behavior pathology, and human nature and crime are among the courses offered. In addition, students must complete supervised field work, faculty-advised research, and a thesis. Many graduates go on to law school or doctoral programs in forensic science or psychology.
The GRE general exam and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2 are required for admission. Prospective students must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a field related to psychology. In addition, applicants must submit a personal statement, a curriculum vitae, and three recommendation letters.
Location: Grand Forks, ND
6. Holy Names University
HNU, a Catholic university in Oakland, California, offers a master’s degree in forensic psychology with an emphasis on restorative justice in the criminal justice system. Graduates usually go on to work as probation officers, restorative justice advocates, or victim advocates.
The 38-credit master’s degree in forensic psychology offered by HNU prepares students for careers requiring legal, forensic, psychological, and cultural competency. This program has a flexible course schedule that allows for easy enrollment. Foundations of counseling, human diversity, and the psychology of criminal behavior are among the notable courses. Students also gain hands-on experience through a required field placement and seminar. For additional learning, the school provides on-campus workshops and lectures from local professionals.
In their admissions essay, prospective students must respond to questions provided by the program. Two recommendation letters are required for applications. Each applicant must attend an interview with the admissions committee for the program.
Location: Oakland, CA
7. Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus
FDU’s Metropolitan campus, a private school in New Jersey, offers a master of arts in forensic psychology that teaches students the fundamentals of forensic psychology in an accelerated time frame.
The forensic psychology master’s program at FDU serves as either a terminal degree or preparation for further graduate study. Students interested in pursuing master’s-level forensic careers can complete this 36-credit degree in less than two years and begin working in the field.
Students must also complete a 300-hour externship and pass a comprehensive exam in addition to their coursework. The program at FDU also includes an optional thesis. Students who want to pursue doctoral studies are encouraged to participate in research and finish this thesis.
To be admitted, applicants must have prior coursework in introduction to psychology, statistics, and abnormal psychology. In addition, they must submit a CV, a personal statement, and two recommendation letters. The GRE exam is not required for FDU’s program.
Location: Teaneck, NJ
8. California Baptist University
CBU, a Baptist school in Riverside, California, offers a master of arts in forensic psychology, preparing students to provide psychological services in the criminal justice system.
As a Christian school, CBU places a premium on faith and spiritual development as part of the educational experience.
Evening courses are available through CBU’s forensic psychology master’s program, allowing students to complete the degree with minimal interruption to their careers. Students typically study biological bases of behavior, criminal profiling, and research methods.
In their second year, CBU students must also complete a nine-month forensic practicum with on-site supervision. The forensic practicum placement is determined by the students’ interests and career goals. In their final semester, students can choose between completing a thesis or a comprehensive exam.
General psychology, abnormal psychology, and research methods are all required courses for CBU’s program. Applicants must also submit a detailed essay in response to questions provided by the school.
Location: Riverside, CA
9. CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
John Jay, one of the region’s top public colleges, offers a master of arts in forensic psychology, which teaches students the fundamentals of applied forensic psychology.
The 42-credit forensic psychology master’s program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice studies both offenders and victims. Psychopathology and research design are required courses. Students can also choose electives in topics like violence and aggression, eyewitness identification, and victimology.
Students can choose between a 300-hour externship under professional supervision and a thesis in addition to coursework. They may also complete both if they so desire. Many graduates go on to obtain doctorates in psychology. Others work in institutions such as prisons, hospitals, and community mental health centers.
Each applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, they must have completed 24 undergraduate credit hours in the social sciences. This includes psychology, experimental psychology, and statistical methods courses.
Location: New York, NY
10. American International College
AIC is a private liberal arts college in Springfield, Massachusetts that offers a master’s degree in forensic psychology. This degree prepares students to study and work in the field of forensics.
The forensic psychology master’s program at AIC prepares students with undergraduate degrees in psychology and related fields for advanced study. Students must complete 36 credits of psychology and criminal justice coursework. Behavioral statistics, ethics in criminal justice, and assessment techniques are all required courses. To earn the degree, students must also complete an externship in forensic psychology.
The AIC program accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. Prospective students must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 in undergraduate courses. Inability to show a 2.75 GPA necessitates an interview with the program director. Applicants may receive the program’s decision up to four weeks after submitting their application.
Location: Springfield, MA
11. Northcentral University
Northcentral University is a completely online school. Its Master of Science in Forensic Psychology program consists of ten courses and 30 credit hours and is expected to take approximately 23 months to complete.
Students learn about human behavior in legal and correctional settings, as well as how to apply psychological principles to offenders and victims. It should be noted that the coursework presented here cannot be used to obtain a license or certification in psychology or counseling. The program concludes with either a capstone project or an internship. The program requires graduates from an accredited college or university. There are no GMAT or GRE prerequisites. Transferring and applying up to 12 graduate-level credit hours to the NCU degree is possible.
Location: SAN DIEGO, CA
12. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s MA in Forensic Psychology program is a hybrid of online courses and what the school refers to as virtual residencies – one-hour webinars and teleconferences.
The program consists of 35 credit hours and is divided into 7.5-week terms with a total of six terms per academic year. The master of arts degree is intended for working professionals who have at least three years of post-baccalaureate experience working in forensic settings. Students must complete a research project that applies program knowledge to a real-world work situation. The master’s program does not lead to a psychology or counseling license. Applicants for the program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 preferred.
Program: MA in Forensic Psychology
Location: CHICAGO, IL
13. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers a Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Forensic Psychology.
The program provides up-to-date information on legal systems, policies, and ethical practices. The master’s program is 36 credit hours long. Courses last eight weeks. Social and Cultural Psychology, Psychology and the Legal System, and Psychopathology of Crime are among the program’s core courses. Applicants for the program must have an accredited undergraduate degree with a GPA of 2.8 or higher. GCU was founded as a Baptist university, and while Christian values are frequently infused in the curriculum, the university is now interdenominational.
Program: Master of Science in Psychology, with Emphasis in Forensic Psychology
Location: PHOENIX, AZ
14. Alder University
Alder University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling with a Forensic Counseling specialization. The online program takes about three years to complete. It prepares graduates to work as counselors and advocates for people involved in the criminal justice or behavioral health systems.
The program also prepares students for certification as counselors. The Social Justice Practicum, which develops and refines skills to engage with communities and become agents of social change, is a distinguishing feature of the Alder program. The supervised practicum and internship, which require 100 and 600 clock hours of work, respectively, are critical components of the master’s program. These hands-on experiences provide students with a strong foundation in forensic counseling as well as knowledge of how to improve communication between individuals and clinicians. Applicants for the program must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, preferably with a GPA of at least 3.0. A statement of intent, a resume, and two recommendation letters are also required.
Program: Master of Arts in Counseling, Specialization in Forensic Counseling
Location: CHICAGO, IL
15. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Science in Forensic Psychology program consists of 36 credit hours.
Students who take two courses per term for ten weeks can finish the degree in 15 months. Assessment for Forensic Psychology, Intersection of Law and Psychology, and Psychology in the Courtroom are just a few of the classes available. The master’s program does not prepare students for counseling or psychology licensure. The degree teaches students about the behavior of people involved in the criminal justice system. Graduates can also use SNHU’s extensive alumni network to find job and internship opportunities. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or another field, as well as courses in psychology, social science statistics, and social science research methods. There are no GRE or GMAT requirements.
Program: Master’s in Forensic Psychology
Location: MANCHESTER, NH
16. University of Florida
The University of Florida’s College of Pharmacy offers a Master of Science in Forensic Science degree.
A Master of Science in Pharmacy with a major in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a concentration in Forensic Science is the full title of the degree. Graduates work in crime labs, medical examiner’s offices, and hospitals, or they teach at a high school. The program consists of 18 credit hours of core courses and 14 credit hours of electives covering a wide range of forensic science topics. The state of Florida will accept up to 15 transfer credit hours for the master’s program. Forensic Genetics, Fingerprint Detection and Identification, and Blood Distribution and Splatter are among the elective courses available. Applicants for the program must have a bachelor’s degree in a science subject from an accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Scores on the GRE are also required.
Program: Master’s Degree in Forensic Science
Location: GAINESVILLE, FL
17. University of Houston-Victoria
In its MA Forensic Psychology program, the University of Houston-Victoria places graduate students in organizations throughout the Texas Gulf Coast community for practicum experience.
According to UHV, many students go on to work at practicum sites after graduation. The master’s program, which consists of 63 credit hours, includes two practicums. One practicum focuses on treatment, while the other on case evaluation. Each one necessitates at least 150 clock hours of supervised work. The master’s degree program consists of 21 credit hours of core courses and 33 credit hours of specialization study. Graduates of the program are prepared for licensure as counselors or psychological associates. Applicants must have completed courses in statistics, research methods, and abnormal psychology as an undergraduate. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, applicants must submit an essay about their motivation for applying and their career goals, a letter of recommendation, and GRE scores.
Program: MA Forensic Psychology
Location: VICTORIA, TX
18. University of Central Florida
The Forensic Science MS degree is offered by the University of Central Florida’s chemistry department. Graduates can pursue careers in crime scene investigation as well as a variety of forensics-based disciplines such as toxicology, statistics, and pathology.
The program is largely defined by two tracks: thesis and non-thesis. The thesis track consists of 32 credit hours of coursework that is research-based. Students can specialize in Analysis or Biochemistry. The non-thesis track is designed for existing forensic analysts with at least three years of professional experience and consists of 34 credit hours. A capstone project is part of the program. In general, applicants for the program must have a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or another physical science, such as chemistry, physics, or chemical engineering. Three recommendation letters and a statement of purpose are included in the application materials.
Program: Forensic Science MS
Location: ORLANDO, FL
19. University of Louisiana at Monroe
A Master of Science in Psychology with a Forensic Track is available at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
The degree is entirely online and consists of 32 credit hours. Although a thesis is not required, students who intend to pursue a doctorate in psychology usually write one. Psychopathology, Law Sociology, and Criminal Justice Counseling are among the courses offered in the forensic track. Applicants for the program must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. At least nine semester hours must be devoted to psychology courses, three of which must be statistics-based. A lower undergraduate GPA may be acceptable if GRE scores compensate.
Program: Master of Science in Psychology, Forensic Track
Location: MONROE, LA
20. Liberty University
According to Liberty University, the Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a Forensic Psychology Cognate degree can be completed in about 1.5 years.
It is available through Liberty University’s Helms School of Government. The degree can lead to jobs as a crime investigator, intelligence analyst, or criminal justice and law enforcement instructor. The program consists of 36 credit hours, half of which will be accepted as transferred hours by Liberty. Students can choose between a thesis and a non-thesis track. Fundamentals of Forensic Psychology, Crisis Intervention in Law Enforcement, and Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders are among the courses offered. Liberty University notes that, as a nonprofit institution, it has not raised tuition for this degree in four years. Applicants for the program must have a bachelor’s degree and a GPA of at least 3.0.
Program: Master of Science in Criminal Justice-Forensic Psychology Cognate
Location: LYNCHBURG, VA
21. Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University offers a Master of Science in Forensic Sciences: Forensic Psychology degree with 39 credit hours of coursework.
It is a two-year program; the first year is entirely online, and the second year includes a few on-campus laboratory courses. Graduates may be qualified for positions in local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies. Depending on the student’s academic and professional goals, the degree can be completed with a thesis or capstone project. The program is not intended to prepare graduates for clinical or counseling psychology licensure. Students pursuing the degree must maintain a GPA of 3.0. A bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as psychology or sociology, is recommended for program applicants. GRE test scores, three recommendation letters, and a statement of purpose are all required.
Program: MS in Forensic Sciences: Forensic Psychology
Location: STILLWATER, OK
22. Nova Southern University
Nova Southeastern University’s MS in Forensic Psychology program is designed to provide graduates with the skills needed to apply psychology in criminal justice settings, social service and child welfare agencies, national security offices, prisons, and treatment facilities.
The program is 36 semester credit hours long and includes two specialization tracks as well as a three-credit capstone that can be either a thesis or a field experience. Many of the students who enter this program have prior professional experience in law, mental health care, or other health-related fields. Others use it as a springboard to a doctoral program. Webinars are held by the program to provide information about the degree and how to apply for it. The degree does not prepare graduates for licensure in psychology, which requires a doctorate. A bachelor’s degree and some undergraduate psychology prerequisites are required, as well as two recommendation letters and a statement of professional goals.
Program: MS in Forensic Psychology
Location: Broward County, Fl
23. University Of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota’s Forensic Psychology MA program consists of 30 semester credit hours and can be completed in two years entirely online while taking classes part-time.
The master of arts degree equips graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to apply psychology principles to civil and criminal justice systems. Graduates can work in positions like assisting lawyers with jury selection and trial preparation. Online students can view recorded lectures and receive remote-learning assistance such as tutoring, academic advising, and technical support. Behavior Pathology, Psychology, and Law are all required courses. Students may choose to participate in supervised field placement in a real-world clinical or community setting. They can also choose to conduct intensive research in areas such as interrogation, eyewitness testimony, and psychology in the classroom. Applicants to the program must have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and a bachelor’s degree in a behavioral or social science major that includes psychology instruction. A personal statement and three recommendation letters are also required as part of the application process. The GRE is not required.
Program: Forensic Psychology Ma
Location: Grand Forks, Nd
24. Arizona State University
As the name implies, the Arizona State University Online Master of Science in Forensic Psychology can be completed entirely off-campus and at the student’s own pace. Eleven courses totaling 33 semester credit hours are offered.
Each class is for 7.5 weeks. The ASU Program on Law and Behavioral Science offers the degree. The degree, however, does not prepare students for professional clinical practice or lead to licensure as a psychologist. Psychopathology and Advanced Legal Psychology are required courses, and Quantitative Analysis and Statistics & Methods are electives. A capstone project, which requires three credit hours, brings everything together. Applicants for the program must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology, criminal justice, social science, or a related field. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required. A personal statement and two recommendation letters are included in the application materials.
Program: Online Master Of Science In Forensic Psychology
Location: Tempe, Az
25. University Of California, Irvine
The Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology (MLPF) program is offered in collaboration with the Departments of Psychological Science and Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine.
It is a structured two-year program that is entirely online, with the exception of a one-week mandatory orientation class held on campus during the first quarter of instruction, which is offered in the fall. Each academic year, students take six courses. Each quarter, there are two online courses. The MLFP combines courses in psychology, forensics, and law. It does not prepare graduates for counseling licensure. Graduates are prepared for careers as jury consultants, expert witnesses, court liaisons, and victims’ or law enforcement advocates. Children and the Law, Forensic Assessment, and Clinical Interviewing and Treatment are just a few of the classes available. At the end of the program, a capstone project is required. Applicants for the program must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Other application requirements include three recommendation letters, a statement of purpose, a personal history statement, and a resume. The GRE is not required.
Program: Master Of Legal And Forensic Psychology
Location: Irvine, Ca
What Is A Master’s In Forensic Psychology?
Forensic psychology can be a confusing topic. It is not a discipline of psychology, but rather it is a set of forensic psychologists who perform work in a variety of criminal justice and legal application areas. If you have an interest in the law, and understanding how our behavior is affected by psychological training, then this might be the path for you.
There are several universities and college programs throughout the country that offer degrees in Forensic Psychology. Before deciding where to enroll for your Masters in Forensic Psychology, you should carefully consider which university is right for you.
Forensic psychology is a very diverse graduate field with many jobs and potential areas for study. If you are interested in forensic psychology, there are several steps you should follow to get started. You should do a little research using the site linked below, many of the schools will not advertise their programs on their websites. I hope this helps.
A master’s degree in forensic psychology usually takes two years to complete. The degree can be completed in a variety of ways, so your timeline depends on the courses you take.
Common courses within the forensic psychology degree include:
- Criminal psychology
- Social behavior
- Cognitive psychology
- Criminal justice
- Psych in the courtroom
- Ethics in psych
- Police Psychology
- Crisis Intervention
What Are The Admissions Requirements?
The admission requirements for a forensic psychology master’s degree are similar to other graduate programs, but they will differ from school to school.
Applicants should have earned or be on their way to earning a bachelor’s degree. Though not required, it is usually preferred that the degree is in a field related to forensic psychology, such as criminal justice, law, psychology, human resources, social work, or public policy. If you have a bachelor’s degree in a different field, you may need to complete psychology prerequisite courses before beginning the master’s program.
Most programs require at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and a GRE test score. Some programs will accept a test score from a comparable graduate-level standard exam like the LSAT, GMAT, or MCAT.
For master’s programs, it’s common to ask for multiple letters of recommendation and relevant writing samples. An application may require previous work, sometimes research-oriented or topically relevant, or a personal essay.
What Are The Concentrations In Forensic Psychology?
A forensic psychology degree is useful in many fields, including law and government, mental health, and government. With today’s broad applications, it’s important to research the type of job you’d like to have and find a school that offers it. If you have an interest in law, consider schools with specific concentrations in criminal justice or courts. If you are interested in working within a government agency as a profiler or examiner, research federal jobs and look for a school with good connections within the government. Schools that offer degrees with concentrations may offer more practical experience than schools without specific specialties.
In addition, some universities do not offer a forensic psychology master’s degree, but rather a master’s degree in psychology or criminology with a forensic psychology concentration.
In this course, students learn the basic skills necessary to provide forensic assessments. Assessing cases of criminal insanity, competency to stand trial, and violence risk is part of the learning process. The course teaches students how to compose assessment records and present them to the court, as well as the legal and ethical issues related to forensic assessment.
If you want to work in the courtroom, a legal concentration will get you there. It will involve evaluating accused parties and witnesses, providing expert testimony, and advising law offices. Some courses you might take include consultation and testimony, psychology and the law, issues in the American legal system, death penalty and mitigation, and field experience in criminal court.
Those who prefer working directly with patients and victims on rehabilitation and treatment might prefer the counselor concentration. The psychology concentration allows you to focus on direct client contact, victim rehabilitation, evaluation, and treatment. These courses might include: victimology, evaluation and treatment of sexual offenders, children and adolescents in the legal system, and people with mental illness in the legal system.
In the corrections concentration students will learn how the principles of forensic psychology can be applied to probation services, correctional facility design, prisons, and juvenile facilities. You may take courses in criminal psychology, psychology of criminal behavior, psychology and treatment of juvenile offenders, interventions and treatment in forensic psychology, and advanced issues in correctional and community counseling.
Police psych/intelligence studies
You can also focus on the application of forensic psychology to criminal investigation. This would involve studying interrogation, investigation, police psychology, and terrorism with the goal of working for a government agency or in the intelligence community. You may take courses in interrogation and interviewing, profiling, investigative psychology, terrorism, and counterterrorism.
Masters In Forensic Psychology Jobs Outlook
There are a few ways to apply for a forensic psychology degree. You can evaluate criminals, treat those who have committed crimes in a correctional facility, and investigate and profile potential criminals, or you can focus on mental health counseling for victims.
A career in forensic psychology would provide an opportunity to explore your interest in crime, and the origins of human behavior. It is a growing field with a lot of room for growth.
There are a wide variety of options for those with a degree in forensic psychology. Since psychology is a broad-based science, you will likely be able to find something that fits your specific interests and skill set.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not report salaries specifically for forensic psychologists, clinical and counseling psychologists earn just over $87,400 a year on average.
Masters In Forensic Psychology Salary
A forensic psychology master’s degree can cost anywhere from $11k to $40k, depending on the program. The salaries for careers you can pursue with this degree vary as well. For example, social workers and victim advocates earn about $35k annually, while clinical psychologists earn about $80k annually. The average salary for public service and government work is lower than that of clinical work or intelligence agency employment.
|CAREER||MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY||STATES WITH HIGHEST EMPLOYMENT LEVEL|
|Correctional counselor/Probation officer||$54,290||California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina|
|Victim advocate/Social worker||$35,060||California, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Ohio|
|Clinical psychologist||$80,370||California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois|
|Investigative/police work||$65,170||California, New York, Texas, Florida, Arizona|
Certifications and Licences
There are several certifications you can complete to gain credibility in the field of forensic psychology, but no specific certification is required. There are, however, certifications offered by the American Board of Professional Psychology for Forensic Psychologists and Advanced Specialty Certificate in Forensic Psychology. Certain degree programs include licensure at the end of the master’s program.
Licensure requirements vary by state. As an example, in Virginia, candidates for licensing in forensic psychology must have a doctorate in psychology. Also required in Virginia are internship hours and passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Licensed psychologists in Virginia must meet continuing education and professional development requirements to maintain their credentials. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology lists licensure information for each state.
Is There Any Scholarships Or Financial Aid Available For Forensic Psychology Students?
There are a few notable forensic psychology scholarships available, and you can also apply for general graduate and psychology degree funding.
APA Dissertation Research Award
30-40 $1,000 grants, with some larger grants of $5,000. The award is intended for graduate students in forensic psychology who are working on a research dissertation.
Melanie Merola O’Donnell Memorial Scholarship
This $2,500 scholarship is available to students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in a field related to mental health.
Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford Grant
Graduate students researching the understanding, prevention, or treatment of traumatic events will receive a $1,500 grant. Applicants must demonstrate affiliation with an educational or charitable institution, such as a nonprofit organization or government agency.
How Can I Become A Forensic Psychologist?
Get a bachelor’s degree in psychology
In order to pursue a career in forensic psychology, an undergraduate degree in psychology or a closely related field is required. This will prepare the student for advanced study, research, and expertise.
Get a graduate degree in forensic psychology
For most forensic psychology careers, you’ll need an advanced degree. After completing a bachelor’s degree in a related field, you can earn a master’s degree in forensic psychology with a specialization.
Get work experience
Most graduate programs include an externship requirement and set you up for real-life experience. You should also take any licensing or certification tests to prove your expertise, and qualify you for the career path you’ve chosen.
Connect with professionals and peers
Once you have completed the required education, start thinking about pursuing a career in forensic psychology. Connect with peers and professionals in a field you admire and start applying for jobs in forensic psychology.
Based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases, the staff of Grad School Hub has compiled the following 10 Best Masters’ in Forensic Psychology for the 2019-20 academic school year. Data from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the United States Department of Labor play an important role in how graduate degree programs are ranked because institutional transparency is essential for deciding which career path is right for you. Based on these data, GSH organizes information into five weighted categories:
- Alumni Feedback: 20%
- Continued Enrollment: 20%
- Degree Selectivity: 10%
- Graduate Expenses: 25%
- Projected Annual Salary: 25%