Best Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology

by TBS Staff

Updated October 3, 2022

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Forensic psychology degrees combine practical, technical training in criminology and forensics with traditional psychology education.

Psychology offers many specializations that prepare graduates to pursue rewarding work in growing fields. One such concentration is forensic psychology, a subfield that combines criminology with the psychological analysis of human behavior.

For psychologists in general, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an employment growth rate of 14% — double the national average for all professions. A degree in forensic psychology can put you on track for this calling, especially if you are interested in working in law enforcement.

Read on for our ranking of the best online bachelor's in forensic psychology programs, plus statistics on salary rates in the field.

Featured Online Schools

The Best Online Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology Programs

#1 Best Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Manchester, Southern New Hampshire University offers many top-ranked bachelor's programs. The private college supports distance learners across 35 online bachelor's degree programs. The bachelor's in forensic psychology is an attractive option for students seeking to advance in the forensic psychology field.

The program curriculum enables flexible study. Learners work with their academic advisor to ensure their studies suit both academic and professional goals. Enrollees can choose electives, minors, and other modifications to individualize their studies.

Undergraduates pay a tuition rate of $30,756 at the school. Students at the accredited institution can pursue funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships.

Southern New Hampshire University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 106,762

Total Online Programs: 84

Online Bachelor's Programs: 35

Admission Rate: 88%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Accepted

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,756
Out-of-state
$30,756
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
113,514
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#2 Best Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology

Maryville University

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

As a leader in online education, Maryville University supports 7,651 distance learners across 52 remote degree programs. The college offers 23 fully online bachelor's degree programs to undergraduate students. The bachelor's degree in forensic psychology is a wise choice for learners seeking competitive, flexible study applicable to a career in forensic psychology. Students in the forensic psychology program can complete classes at their own pace, with the option for part-time enrollment.

Students in the forensic psychology program complete industry-relevant coursework, amounting to 124 credits. This curriculum consists of general education and advanced coursework. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.

A bachelor's degree greatly increases one's earning potential. The college notes a median salary of $44,100 for graduates six years after finishing their studies. Prospective learners can explore funding opportunities, eligibility requirements, and other opportunities by connecting with the Office of Financial Aid.

Maryville University of Saint Louis at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 7,651

Total Online Programs: 52

Online Bachelor's Programs: 23

Admission Rate: 83%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Accepted

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,070
Out-of-state
$26,070
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
10,013
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology

Arizona State University

  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Arizona State University, a public, four-year institution, offers competitive bachelor's degree programs. The public college supports distance learners across 54 online bachelor's programs. The bachelor of science in psychology is a wise choice for students hoping to advance in the forensic psychology field.

The forensic psychology program balances rigor with flexibility, proving beneficial to working professionals, busy students, and other learners. In consultation with their academic advisor, students can modify their course load to suit their needs. Enrollees can explore other educational opportunities, such as minors and elective courses, to customize their studies.

Undergraduates pay a tuition rate of $19,282 at the school. The institution's accreditation status allows students to access funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships. On average, enrollees receive $10,278 in financial aid.

Arizona State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 44,167

Total Online Programs: 126

Online Bachelor's Programs: 54

Admission Rate: 64%

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,867
Out-of-state
$19,282
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
45,073
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology

Bay Path University

  • Longmeadow, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Bay Path University supports highly ranked bachelor's degree programs from its main campus in Longmeadow. The institution prides itself on its leadership in online learning, offering 18 online bachelor's degree programs. The bachelor of arts in forensic psychology supports distance learners.

The degree supports flexible study, meeting the needs of every learner. Majors work with academic advisors to select classes that match their interests and fit their schedule. Students can also modify their classes to suit their career interests.

Undergraduate students can expect to pay $35,081 in tuition. The accredited institution connects students with internal and external funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships.

Bay Path University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,057

Total Online Programs: 31

Online Bachelor's Programs: 18

Admission Rate: 72%

Average Tuition
In-state
$35,081
Out-of-state
$35,081
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
3,324
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology

Touro University Worldwide

  • Los Alamitos, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Touro University Worldwide, a private, nonprofit, four-year school in Los Alamitos, California, boasts a robust online learning community. The forensic psychology program is one of four online bachelor's programs available through the college. Students looking to advance in the forensic psychology field will find the school's bachelor of arts in forensic psychology to be an attractive option. The forensic psychology program provides flexibility to learners from all walks of life through full- and part-time study options.

Students complete industry-relevant classes, gaining broad and specific knowledge of the forensic psychology field. The curriculum features general education and advanced coursework. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize the degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.

Graduates can easily grow their earning potential with a bachelor's degree. Prospective students should contact the department directly before applying, to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other information.

Touro University Worldwide at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,903

Total Online Programs: 14

Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Average Tuition
In-state
$14,400
Out-of-state
$14,400
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,940
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Best Online Bachelor's

Online Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology Degree?

A bachelor's degree in forensic psychology mixes criminal justice studies with psychology, preparing prospective licensed psychologists for further schooling in forensic psychology, and criminal justice majors for employment upon graduation. Some schools offer this niche degree as a concentration within their psychology or criminal justice programs.

Topics covered by a bachelor's degree in forensic psychology include critical thinking, relevant case law and courtroom procedure, and psychological theory and practice. Graduates can use their understanding of criminal psychology and behavior to weigh in on court cases and identify suspects. They also learn the limits of what help they can offer.

Choosing an Online Program

When choosing a forensic psychology school or an online forensic psychology bachelor's program, be sure to consider each program's cost, duration, and residency requirements. You can learn more about how to choose an online degree that fits your unique situation by following the link below.

What Else Can I Expect From a Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology Program?

A bachelor's in forensic psychology covers the basics of clinical psychology, including introductory coursework on human development and counseling methodology. They also investigate legal and ethical issues in forensic psychology and the psychology of criminal behavior.

Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology Curriculum

  • Psychology and Law: This course investigates how theory, research, and practice in psychology relate to the legal system and the law, especially as they pertain to criminal, civil, and domestic dispute issues. Students explore case law surrounding topics like domestic abuse, civil violations, and corporate crime, and learn how psychologists can play a role in ensuring cases are conducted fairly.
  • BioPsychology: In this course, students learn about the physical processes in the brain and nervous system that affect human behavior and mental states. Topics include sensory and motor systems, molecular mechanisms of neurotransmission between cells in the brain, and neurodevelopment. This course often has a lab component.
  • Criminal Behavior: Forensic psychology majors usually take a few courses on the physiological, cognitive, and learning factors behind criminal behavior. Students learn why people choose to commit crimes and how psychological processes like rationality impact abnormal criminal behavior.

Forensic Psychology Careers

A bachelor's in forensic psychology degree provides a strong foundation for a variety of jobs. For some, the degree is a stepping stone toward becoming a licensed psychologist with ABPP certification. Others earn the degree to augment a criminal justice career.

The following list compiles the most popular careers pursued by graduates with a bachelor's in forensic psychology.

Psychologists

Most psychologists working in non-clinical settings are counseling psychologists, helping patients overcome mental, social, and emotional concerns. Specializations within this field include rehabilitation, cognitive-behavioral psychology, and couples and family psychology. All psychologists must earn a doctoral degree and state licensure in order to work as psychologists, and ABPP certification can help them practice in a specific field.

Psychology careers appeal to people who get satisfaction from helping others overcome physical, mental, and social problems or who findr the workings of human behavior and thought fascinating.

Median Annual Salary

$80,370

Projected Growth Rate

14%

Criminal Investigators

Criminal investigators — also called detectives — gather facts and collect evidence to help solve possible crimes. Many of these professionals have at least an associate degree in a discipline like forensic psychology or criminal justice, though some only go through police academy training. Criminal investigators must also complete special training at a police academy and have two years of experience in law enforcement.

Criminal investigation work usually appeals to people with strong research and analysis skills. These professionals spend a fair amount of time cataloging evidence and completing paperwork in an office setting, though they must also conduct onsite visits to crime scenes in order to collect information and interview witnesses.

Median Annual Salary

$83,170

Projected Growth Rate

2.5%

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists focus on serious pathologies in mental and behavioral health. They often work in hospitals or mental and behavioral health facilities, helping people suffering from serious emotional and mental disturbances. Forensic psychology is a subfield of clinical psychology; forensic psychologists often conduct individual and group therapy with incarcerated people and provide expert testimony about criminal psychology in court.

Clinical psychology requires fortitude and empathy to effectively help people cope with behavioral issues and successfully navigate society.

Median Annual Salary

$78,200

Projected Growth Rate

14.7%

Forensic Psychology Professional Organizations

Recent graduates and seasoned professionals alike can benefit from joining professional organizations, which offer networking opportunities, continuing education, and job search assistance. In a niche field like forensic psychology, access to a profesisonal community can help graduates find jobs in forensic psychology.

AP-LS promotes integration of psychology into the practice and understanding of law and legal institutions through education and research. Student members must be enrolled in a social or behavioral science program to qualify. Members receive a newsletter and online access to the journal Law and Human Behavior. ABPP provides specialty certification for doctoral-level licensed psychologists in 15 areas, including forensic, clinical, and police and public safety psychology. Events and conferences open to ABPP-certified professionals include continuing education workshops from the American Academy of Forensic Psychologists. ABPP also offers online resources for networking and referrals. The APA works toward the advancement of psychological science, representing and advocating for over 121,000 members across specialties. Resources available to APA members include continuing education webinars, access to the organization's annual conference, and an array of grants and scholarships tailored to psychology and behavioral science majors.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology Program?

It typically takes four years to earn a bachelor's in forensic psychology. However, your course load influences completion time; part-time students take longer to graduate than full-time students.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology?

A bachelor's in forensic psychology can prepare you for a career in non-licensed work in criminal justice or to pursue a graduate degree in psychology or forensics.

Is a Forensic Psychology Degree a BA or a BS?

It can be either. A BA in forensic psychology explores general education and social sciences, while a BS in forensic psychology is more clinically focused.

Which Psychology Concentration Is the Best?

Every psychology student is different, and what concentration is best for them differs. When selecting a concentration for your psychology bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree, it is best to pick one aligned with your intellectual interests and career goals.

Is a Forensic Psychology Degree Worth It?

A forensic psychology degree might seem like a big investment, but it's the fastest way to gain qualifications for a career in psychology and forensics.


Image Credit: Sladic | Getty Images


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