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20 Best Online Schools for Forensic Psychology

By BCS Staff
February 2021 

Forensic psychologists analyze and conduct research related to the study of criminals, crime, and investigation. An earned bachelor’s degree is often the minimum requirement for entry-level positions in the field. However, most forensic psychologists have acquired a master’s degree in the field.

The job outlook for forensic specialists, including forensic psychologists, is expected to grow over the next seven years. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase of 12% job growth through the year 2026, resulting in more than 5,700 new jobs. To help set you apart from your competition, a master’s degree in forensic psychology or closely related discipline may be necessary. That’s why Best Choice Schools went on the hunt for the best online schools at which you can earn a master’s degree in forensic psychology. 

Ranking Methodology:
This ranking was created to find the top accredited colleges and universities offering online graduate forensic psychology degree programs. We began by compiling a list of all universities offering just such a program. Then, we used the points-based system below to determine the top 20. All tuition and other data was taken from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator, and is accurate as of February 2021. In the event of a tie, the institution with the lowest graduate tuition was awarded higher placement on our list. 

Student to Faculty Ratio:
12:1 and lower: 5 points
13:1 to 15:1: 4 points 
16:1 to 20:1: 3 points 
21:1 and higher: 2 points 

Out-of-State Graduate Tuition (Annual): 
Under $10,000: 5 points
$10,001 – $20,000: 4 points 
$20,001 – $30,000: 3 points 
$30,001 – $40,000: 2 points 
$40,001 and higher: 1 point

Applicants Admitted:
25% and Fewer: 3 Points
26% to 49%: 2 Points
50% and More: 1 Point

Overall Graduation Rate:
50% and Above: 3 points 
25% – 49%: 2 points 
24% and Below: 1 point 

20-Year Net Return on Investment (ROI): 
10% and Above: 5 points
8% – 9%: 4 points 
6% – 7%: 3 points 
4% – 5%: 2 points 
3% and Below: 1 point 

Below is our list of the top 20 best online schools for forensic psychology degrees (2021).

Table of Contents

#20. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
top schools for forensic psychologyOnline Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Chicago, Illinois 
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $20,610
Total Points: 8

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is one of our top forensic psychology schools online. It offers a M.A. in Forensic Psychology that is a non-licensure track. Students have the option of enrolling part-time or full-time, and may complete the degree in two to four years. All courses are delivered online. Topics covered include ethics and professional issues in forensic psychology, social psychology and aggression, and trauma and crisis intervention. Admission does not require GRE scores, but does require official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and essays. Specific preparatory coursework is also recommended for those without a bachelor’s degree. The institution is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and is an active member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology.

#19. Capella University
capella-universityOnline Master of Science in Clinical Psychology w/ a specialization in Forensic Psychology

Minneapolis, Minnesota
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $14,767
Total Points: 8

Capella University is one of the few online forensic psychology schools to offer a master’s in clinical psychology with a forensic psychology specialization. All courses are delivered online and offered in ten week durations. A total of 55 credits are required for graduation. Topics covered include issues and trends in forensic practice, introduction to psychopathology, and survey and research methods. Fifteen credits may be transferred into the specialization from an outside accredited institution. Capella is accredited and has been ranked in previous years by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national institution.

#18. Northcentral University
northcentral-universityOnline Master of Science in Forensic Psychology 

La Jolla, California
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $16,983
Total Points: 9

One of the best online forensic psychology degree schools on our list is Northcentral University. The university is recognized for its low student-to-faculty ratio and affordable graduate tuition. The school offers a master’s in forensic psychology degree that may be completed entirely online, in just 20 months. A total of 10 courses are required to satisfy the 30-credit-hour requirement, and the program offers flexible start dates. Admission requires no GRE or GMAT examination. Northcentral has earned recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best national university. Several online graduate programs have also earned rankings. 

#17. Grand Canyon University
grand-canyon-universityOnline Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

Phoenix, Arizona
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,175
Total Points: 9

Grand Canyon University is one of our top picks for forensic psychology schools online due to the affordable graduate tuition and low student-to-faculty ratio. Grand Canyon offers an M.S. in Forensic Psychology that can be completed entirely online. Courses run eight weeks in length, and include criminal behavior theories, ethical issues in psychology, and psychology and the legal system. Grand Canyon is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. Also, several of the school’s graduate programs have earned rankings and recognition.

#16. National University
national-universityOnline Master of Forensic Sciences 

La Jolla, California
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $15,480
Total Points: 10 

National University earns a spot on our list of best online forensic psychology schools due to the affordable graduate tuition and low student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to 1. Students may earn a master’s in forensic sciences with specialization options in criminalistics or investigation. Courses are administered online and include several forensic psychology classes like criminal profiling, forensic psychology, and major case investigation. A supervised research project is required, and can be tailored toward career goals in forensic psychology. National University is recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best regional university in the West. Also, several of the graduate criminal justice and related programs have earned rankings by U.S. News.

#15. Southern New Hampshire University
Online Master of Science in Psychology: Forensic Psychology

Manchester, New Hampshire
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,810
Total Points: 11

One of the top online schools for forensic psychology degrees on our list is Southern New Hampshire University. The school offers an online M.S. in Psychology with forensic psychology specialization. All classes are delivered online and taught by university professors. Classes and content are available to students 24/7, adding to the convenience of the distance learning program. Admission does not require GRE or GMAT scores, but an earned bachelor’s degree in psychology or related field from an accredited institution is needed. Southern New Hampshire University is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as one of the best regional universities in the North. 

#14. Tiffin University
tiffin-universityOnline Master of Science in Criminal Justice: Forensic Psychology

Tiffin, Ohio
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,600
Total Points: 11

Tiffin University offers an online master’s in criminal justice with a concentration in forensic psychology. The institution is one of the best online forensic psychology degree schools on our list due to affordable graduate tuition costs and a low student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to 1. All classes are delivered online and taught by faculty members with relevant working experience in the field. In fact, the same professors who instruct on campus also teach online. For those interested in earning a doctoral degree, the program is designed to prepare students for continuing education. Tiffin is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the Midwest. The school and its graduate programs are accredited.

#13. University of Houston – Victoria 
Online Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Victoria, Texas
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $13,934
Total Points: 12

University of Houston – Victoria earns a top ranking on our list due to factors like the highly affordable graduate tuition rate. The school offers a master’s in forensic psychology that is open to qualifying students with an earned bachelor’s degree. All courses are delivered online and include advanced forensic psychology, advanced social psychology, and theories and issues in psychotherapy. University of Houston – Victoria has been ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the West.

#12. Liberty University
Liberty University--Top Ten Universities for Senior YearOnline Master of Science in Criminal Justice w/ a specialization in Forensic Psychology

Lynchburg, Virginia 
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $7,980
Total Points:  12

Liberty University’s top-ranked online degree program includes a M.S. in Criminal Justice with a specialization in forensic psychology. The 36-credit master’s degree can be completed entirely online in about a year and a half. Students take a variety of interesting courses, including Crisis Intervention in Law Enforcement, Psychology and the Legal System, and Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offender, to name but three. 

#11. Arizona State University
ASU-Top Ten Online Universities You Can Start AnytimeOnline Master of Science in Forensic Psychology 

Tempe, Arizona 
School Profile 
Out-of-State Tuition: $6,384
Total Points: 12

New to our list in 2021 is Arizona State University, which offers an online M.S. in Forensic Psychology. The 33-credit hour degree consists of 11 courses, each lasting just 7.5 weeks. Students graduate with a solid overview of forensic psychology, which is ideal for a doctoral degree, career advancement, or even just personal interest. Two seminars in criminal justice and courts and sentencing are required to complete the degree, as is a capstone in forensic psychology. 

#10. Trine University
Online Master of Science w/ a major in Criminal Justice 

Angola, Indiana 
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $39,450
Total Points: 
 13

Trine Online, as it’s known, offers a M.S. in Criminal Justice that is designed especially for those working in law enforcement, corrections, fire safety, or related fields. The degree covers topics like criminology, psychopathology, and child welfare, and so covers a lot of the same ground that a traditional degree in forensic psychology would. Completing the degree requires 30 credit hours, or 10 courses, and can be completed entirely online. 

#9. University of Cincinnati
university-of-cincinnatiOnline Master of Science in Criminal Justice 

Cincinnati, Ohio
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $24,532
Total Points: 13

University of Cincinnati is one of our best online forensic psychology degree schools due to its high graduation rate, affordable graduate tuition, and student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to 1. The school offers a master’s in criminal justice with optional concentrations that allow students to explore areas of forensic psychology like analysis of criminal behavior. Admission requires no GRE for qualified applicants. Students are assigned an enrollment advisor who helps provide information regarding admissions requirements. It is possible to transfer up to nine semester credit hours if graduate-level criminal justice courses have been taken at an accredited institution. University of Cincinnati is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best universities in the nation. Additionally, its online criminal justice graduate programs have been ranked as high as #11!

#8. Oklahoma State University
Online Master of Science in Forensic Sciences: Forensic Psychology

Stillwater, Oklahoma 
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $21,034
Total Points:
13

Oklahoma State University offers a M.S. in Forensic Sciences with a specialization in forensic psychology. The degree can be completed entirely online the first year, but may require a couple on-campus laboratory courses the second year. The 30-credit program includes courses on psychology and criminal justice, plus seminars, and an optional thesis. 

#7. Nova Southeastern University
nova-southeastern-universityOnline Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $19,665
Total Points: 13

Nova Southeastern University makes it on our list of forensic psychology schools online thanks in part to a low student-to-faculty ratio and affordable graduate tuition. The institution offers a 36-credit online master’s in forensic psychology program designed for working and busy students who cannot step away from their day job to attend traditional classes. Admission requires two academic or professional letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and a statement of goals or purpose. U.S. News and World Report has ranked the institution as a top 200 school nationally. Several of the school’s online graduate programs have also earned recognition.

#6. University of Louisiana at Monroe
university-of-louisiana-monroeOnline Master of Science in Psychology w/ a concentration in Forensic Psychology

Monroe, Louisiana
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,590
Total Points: 13

University of Louisiana is one of our selected top online forensic psychology degree schools due to its low graduate tuition and lower than average student-to-faculty ratio. The College of Business and Social Sciences offers a master’s in psychology with forensic psychology concentration. The program may be completed entirely online with convenient distance learning classes. Admission to the program requires an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a minimum GPA of 2.75 on undergraduate studies, and adequate scores on the GRE. The public institution is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national university, and several of the school’s online graduate degrees have earned recognition.

#5. Missouri State University
missouri-state-universityOnline Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice 

Springfield, Missouri
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,476
Total Points: 13

Missouri State University is among our top online forensic psychology degrees schools due to the above-average graduation rate and highly affordable tuition for graduate students. The school offers several online master’s degree programs, including the master’s in criminology and criminal justice. A child forensic psychology certificate is also available, which emphasizes education necessary for protecting the integrity of child interviews in criminal cases. Classes are taught by industry professionals with first-hand experience in forensic settings. U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution in the top 100 best regional universities in the Midwest, and in the top 20 of public schools.

#4. Touro University Worldwide 
Online Master of Arts in Psychology w/ a concentration in Forensic Psychology

Los Alamitos, California
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $9,000
Total Points:
 13

Touro University’s online program includes a M.A. in Psychology for which students may choose to concentrate in forensic psychology. Six start dates are available throughout the year, and the degree takes only one year to complete if pursued two courses per term. Each class is taught by professors with real-world experience, and courses cover topics like law and psychology, criminal behavior, and assessment in forensic psychology as it relates to crime.

#3. University of North Dakota
university-of-north-dakotaOnline Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Grand Forks, North Dakota
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,434
Total Points: 14

University of North Dakota is one of the top online schools for forensic psychology degrees on our list due to the affordable graduate tuition, and low student to faculty ratio of 17 to 1. The school offers a master’s in forensic psychology degree program designed to be completed in two years and entirely online. All classes are delivered as recorded lectures with only one on-campus visit required throughout the duration of the program. Also, for those interested in a PhD in forensic psychology, the program serves as preparation toward the doctoral degree, which is also offered by the institution. The university is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national institution. Also, several of the school’s online graduate programs have earned recognition.

#2. Saint Leo University
saint-leo-universityOnline Master of Science in Criminal Justice w/ a specialization in Forensic Science 

Saint Leo, Florida
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $7,296
Total Points: 14 

Saint Leo University is on our list of online schools for forensic psychology degrees due to its affordable graduate tuition and low student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to 1. Saint Leo offers an M.S. in criminal justice with a forensic science specialization. This makes it the ideal online degree for those interested in forensics and forensic psychology. Admission to the program requires completion of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school as among the top regional universities in the South. 

#1. Concordia University
concordia-university-saint-paulOnline Master of Arts in Human Services: Forensic Behavioral Health

Saint Paul, Minnesota
School Profile
Out-of-State Tuition: $8,550
Total Points: 15

Concordia University makes our list of top forensic psychology schools online due to its affordable graduate tuition and low student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to 1. Concordia offers a master’s degree in human services with a forensic behavioral health concentration that can be completed entirely online. Classes are seven weeks in length and cover topics like forensic behavioral health law, human services, risk assessment, and special populations. A total of 36 credits are required for completion of the degree. Concordia is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as one of the best regional universities in the Midwest.

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