A bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology can lead to an exciting and lucrative career, and the demand for skilled employees is particularly high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for forensic science technicians is projected to grow by 27% by 2024.
If you’re interested in a career in forensics, consider earning your forensic psychology degree online. Our guide will help you consider your options to find the best degree program for you.
What are the Best Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology Programs?
Northwest Christian UniversityEugene, OR
Admissions Rate 68%
Default Rate 5%
Retention Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 53%
Online Enrollment 32%
NCU offers an online forensic psychology degree that prepares undergraduate students for entry-level positions or further study at the master’s level. The curriculum includes a variety of courses on foundational criminal justice and psychology topics. After completing prerequisite requirements, students enroll in advanced courses on topics like psychometrics, juvenile justice system, and the psychology of trauma. NCU does not charge an application fee and only requires students to have a high school diploma or GED with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered. This program is ideal for adult learners and boasts a generous transfer credit policy. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Distance learners have access to a variety of grants and scholarships, including the Oregon Opportunity Grant, which provides generous funding for in-state residents.
Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester, NH
Admissions Rate 92%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 58%
Online Enrollment 88%
SNHU was founded in 1963 and got its start granting associate degrees. Today, the school offers a full range of degrees, including a wide variety of distance learning programs. One example is the online bachelor's in forensic psychology, an interdisciplinary program that emphasizes research and critical thinking skills that are needed to assist in criminal investigations. The curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as cognitive psychology, the American legal tradition, and sociology of crime and violence. The school offers a variety of professional development opportunities to distance learners, including engagement in organizations like SNHU Psychology Club and Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. SNHU offers the same online tuition rate to all distance learners, regardless of residency. There are also discounts for active military personnel and their spouses.
Arizona State University-TempeTempe, AZ
Admissions Rate 83%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 86%
Graduation Rate 66%
Online Enrollment 2%
ASU boasts one of the best online forensic psychology degree programs in the country in terms of innovation and career development. This degree combines legal studies with a focus on mental health, providing students with the tools needed to perform psychological examinations of criminal defendants. This 120-credit program includes advanced courses on topics like criminal behavior, legal policy, and research methodology. Students must complete at least 30 credits of coursework at ASU to graduate. Online classes last almost eight weeks, with several entry dates offered throughout the year. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. They also have access to the school's various services and resources, such as online tutoring, career services, and study abroad options.
Eastern Kentucky UniversityRichmond, KY
Admissions Rate 71%
Default Rate 13%
Retention Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 41%
Online Enrollment 21%
EKU offers a bachelor of science in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology that can be completed entirely online. This program includes a comprehensive curriculum and prepares graduates for entry-level positions in crime analysis and victim advocacy. Graduates are also prepared to pursue further education at the graduate level. The curriculum includes major courses on topics like adolescent and adult development, abnormal psychology, and behavioral therapy. Courses in this forensic psychology degree online are delivered asynchronously online in eight-week sessions, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Distance learners enjoy access to financial aid, online tutoring through the PASS platform, and unique opportunities for joint student-faculty research.
New England CollegeHenniker, NH
Admissions Rate 98%
Default Rate 10%
Retention Rate 57%
Graduation Rate 34%
Online Enrollment 57%
Based in Henniker, New Hampshire, NEC offers a large catalog of remote academic programs, including an applied forensic psychology online degree. This bachelor of arts track teaches students about the roots of criminal behavior through combined study in criminal justice principles, psychological fundamentals, and the interconnections between the two fields. The curriculum includes coursework on topics such as victimology and criminal investigations, as well as 48 credits of electives which include internships and courses on several other topics. Online courses are delivered synchronously, ensuring that students receive live individual feedback from instructors and can participate in virtual discussions and study groups with their peers. Distance learners at NEC have access to a variety of resources, including one-on-one admissions guidance from enrollment and student services representatives and post-graduation plans through the Office of Career and Life Planning.
Union Institute & UniversityCincinnati, OH
|Admissions Rate N/A||Default Rate 6%||Graduation Rate 29%||Online Enrollment 60%||
UI&U was founded in 1964 by psychologist Dr. Samuel Baskin. Therefore, it shouldn't be surprising that the school offers a variety of academic programs in the field, including one of the most accessible forensic psychology programs online. This bachelor of arts curriculum includes courses on a variety of topics, such as research methods, abnormal psychology, and emerging trends in forensic science. Courses are delivered asynchronously online, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. All distance learners pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Many students earn their bachelor's degree in less than two years, thanks to the school's flexible course offerings, no on-campus requirements, and generous transfer credit policy that allows students to apply up to 90 credits earned at another accredited institution towards their degree.
Faulkner UniversityMontgomery, AL
Admissions Rate 57%
Default Rate 14%
Retention Rate 57%
Graduation Rate 21%
Online Enrollment 20%
Faulkner offers a variety of distance learning programs that boast accelerated class schedules for those who want to accelerate their rate of degree completion. One of these online bachelor’s in forensic psychology that prepares graduates for entry-level positions in fields like criminal behavior analysis, forensic research, and criminal assessment and rehabilitation. This program consists of 50 credits in core coursework and 71 credits in major requirements, which includes internship and capstone research components. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Applicants must submit official transcripts, and those who have graduate high school in the past five years must provide ACT or SAT scores to be considered. All distance learners have access to financial aid and a variety of student services, including career preparation workshops.
Florida Institute of Technology-OnlineMelbourne, FL
|Admissions Rate N/A||Default Rate 13%||Online Enrollment 100%||
FIT's distance education program provides a number of degree options in the social and natural sciences, including an online bachelor’s in forensic psychology. This program is grounded in a liberal arts core and covers fundamental topics in applied psychology and how it relates to human behavior in various legal environments. This 121-credit curriculum includes courses on experimental psychology, integrated theories of crime, and victim studies and advocacy. Students can also customize their degree through a variety of free electives. Distance learners have access to conventional academic resources like tutoring, as well as help from Career Management Services for planning their future. This planning may include pursuing an entry-level career in law enforcement or earning a graduate degree in a similar subject.
What Will I Learn in an Online Forensic Psychology Program?
Forensic psychology programs online don’t follow a “one size fits all” approach; the curriculum varies from school to school. Students should check with their prospective school to ensure they offer a particular course or concentration that interests them. The following, however, is a sample of a few of the basic courses a student can expect to encounter during their program.
- Introduction to Psychology: This course provides the background and frameworks of mental processes and behavior. Students explore the basics of research and examine a summary of various specializations within the field of psychology.
- Criminal Psychology: This course explores criminal behavior from a psychological perspective. Students apply psychological methods to discover the origins of criminal urges and intent.
- Cognitive Psychology: By studying mental processing, students learn the research and theory of thinking, memory, and language. Related pathologies are also covered.
- Abnormal Psychology: Students learn the differences between healthy cognitive and emotional processing, and various patterns of the disordered brain. Focus is on etiology, assessment, and treatment techniques for psychological disorders.
What can I do with an Online Forensic Psychology Degree?
Graduates from online forensic psychology degree programs have many exciting and lucrative career options to choose from. Depending on their individual interests and expertise, graduates may work as victim advocates, forensic interviewers, probation officers, crime analysts, or case managers. The following chart outlines these careers and their median salaries.
A victim advocate works for nonprofit organizations or governmental entities, such as a police department. They participate in crisis intervention with victims, often of domestic violence. A victim advocate helps victims escape abuse and connect them to necessary resources such as housing, medical care, and legal support.
Median Salary: $34,947
A forensic interviewer interviews and collects pertinent information from victims of physical and sexual abuse. These employees work well with children, as the victims are often minors. A forensic interviewer approaches uncomfortable subjects with sensitivity, yet asks difficult questions. They have excellent communication skills and an appreciation for confidentiality.
Median Salary: $38,276
A probation officer investigates persons accused of serious crimes in order to make recommendations to the court regarding to sentencing. Individuals on probation work with a probation officer to ensure they do not violate the terms of their probation.
Median Salary: $41,299
A crime analyst studies data to establish patterns and predict trends in criminal activity. They provide this information to police and other law enforcement personnel to prevent crime. They also assist members of their community in need of outreach support.
Median Salary: $46,461
Case Manager, Social Services
A case manager works with the community to develop personalized plans of assistance. They evaluate an individual’s needs and connect them to resources that alleviate their concerns. A case manager requires highly developed interpersonal and communication skills.
Median Salary: $37,643
Job Outlook and Salary
Graduates of forensic psychology programs online are well-positioned to secure gainful employment, as the field is expected to significantly grow in the next decade. Employers are looking for well-educated, enthusiastic employees to fill these new positions, and an online bachelor’s in forensic psychology is excellent preparation for a variety of careers.
Robust job growth in the field often means that an employee can command an attractive salary, but the specific career, industry, and geographic location in which they work will also impact one’s earnings.
|Employment, 2014||Projected Employment, 2024|
Salary Growth by Experience
As with many other fields, graduates of an online forensic psychology program can expect their salaries to increase over time as they gain more experience in their field. The following chart illustrates how median salaries change with experience.
To determine the best online bachelor’s in forensic psychology programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the best online bachelor’s in forensic psychology programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.