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What is an Forensic Psychology?

Forensic psychology in Oklahoma integrates the study of psychological principles with the law and criminal justice system. Accredited Oklahoma universities offer specialized online or on-campus degree programs in forensic psychology that are designed to equip students with the skills to analyze criminal behavior, contribute to investigations, and understand the psychological aspects of legal processes. Various universities in Oklahoma offer Master of Science in Forensic psychology that are available entirely online, providing flexibility for working professionals.

For those at the undergraduate level, programs such as the online Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology lay the foundational knowledge necessary for a career in the field. Graduate pathways, like a Master of Science in Psychology with a focus on forensic psychology, are targeted at preparing students for intelligence analysis and criminal investigation roles. Beyond obtaining the degree, awareness of licensure requirements and career opportunities is essential for graduates to successfully navigate the field upon completion of their studies.

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Forensic Psychology Programs

Forensic psychology integrates the practice of psychology within the realm of criminal justice. When you delve into forensic psychology programs in Oklahoma, you'll explore how psychological principles can be applied to legal issues.

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Foundations of Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology is a discipline that sits at the intersection of psychology and the legal system. You will find that the emphasis of forensic psychology programs is on understanding criminal behavior and applying that knowledge to criminal investigations. If you choose to study forensic psychology, your education will equip you with the skills to assess individuals involved in the legal system - which includes suspects, victims, and witnesses.

As a forensic psychologist, your roles may vary widely, ranging from conducting evaluations in criminal cases to participating in child custody assessments. Moreover, you're likely to engage in the analysis of criminal behavior, which aids in creating profiles for law enforcement agencies. A vital component of your work could also involve providing expert testimony in court, where your psychological expertise will help the judiciary better understand the mental aspects of criminal activities.

At least one institution in Oklahoma offers a Master of Forensic Science program with a concentration in forensic psychology, where the curriculum is designed not just to prepare investigators but also to make them proficient in various ancillary activities. These include victimology, psychological autopsy, and pre- and post-arrest consultation.

Nurtured by Oklahoma’s academic environment, you will have the opportunity to pursue higher education in forensic psychology that emphasizes practical skills and sound theoretical knowledge. The programs typically do not aim to produce clinical or counseling psychologists but rather focus on the application of psychology within a forensic setting.

Online Forensic Psychology Degrees

Choosing the right educational format and understanding the online learning landscape are crucial to your success in forensic psychology programs in Oklahoma.

What to Choose Between Online or On-campus Platform

When selecting a forensic psychology degree, you must decide whether an online or on-campus program fits your lifestyle and learning preferences. Some universities in Oklahoma offer degrees in forensic psychology entirely online, which means you can complete your degree without having to attend classes in person.

Format Description
Online Flexible, convenient, can be completed from anywhere
On-campus Structured, face-to-face interactions with faculty and peers - traditional college experience

Consider your current commitments: online courses provide greater flexibility if you are balancing work or personal responsibilities. In contrast, the on-campus experience often offers more direct networking opportunities and structured learning environments.

Online and Distance Learning Options

When pursuing an online forensic psychology degree, you'll find a variety of courses available to fit your schedule and interests. Programs typically include core psychology courses alongside specialized forensic psychology subjects. In bachelor's programs, you have the option to minor in forensic psychology – though full majors in this field are less common at this level, adding to your psychology studies with courses focused on the application of psychology in the legal system.

For graduate programs, like a Doctor of Forensic Sciences, you can expect more advanced and applied training in the field. Graduates are often aiming for professional non-research-oriented roles within forensic psychology, though they may also have access to research positions.

Online Educational Pathways for a Forensic Psychology Degree in Oklahoma

Oklahoma offers various degree programs in forensic psychology, catering to different educational levels and career aspirations. Each program is designed to equip you with the expertise needed for the unique intersection of psychology and the legal system.

Online Associate Degree in Forensic Psychology (AS)

While comprehensive forensic psychology programs typically begin at the bachelor’s level, an associate degree is an undergraduate degree that may serve as a good steppingstone. You can earn an associate degree in psychology, counseling, social work, criminal justice, or another related field to determine if this is the role you are interested in. These programs can offer foundational knowledge in criminal justice and basic psychology principles. You could start at a community college and then transfer credits to a four-year institution. It takes two years to complete an associate degree, but this also includes most – if not all – of your general education courses, allowing you to get into a bachelor’s with a head start if you continue your education.

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Online Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Psychology (BS)

A bachelor’s degree is a possible entry point into the field of forensic psychology, though there are few degrees at this level that focus on this specialization. Mostly, you will find bachelor’s in psychology or counseling, but there are a few options focused on forensic psychology. A bachelor’s program typically spans 120 credit hours and can cover core psychology topics and specialized subjects like criminal behavior. Institutions can offer comprehensive bachelor’s programs where you'll engage with courses such as Forensic Psychology and The Psychology of Sport and Human Performance.

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Online Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology (MS)

To further specialize and gain access to counseling and other high-level roles, you’ll need to earn a master’s degree in forensic psychology. Oklahoma’s universities offer a 32-credit hour, non-thesis online Master of Science with a concentration in forensic psychology. This program focuses on criminal behavioral analysis and prepares you for investigative roles, but it is not geared towards clinical or counseling psychologists. There are other options available, so be sure to do your research when you start looking for a program.

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Online PhD in Forensic Psychology (PhD)

If you're aiming for the pinnacle of academic achievement, a PhD in forensic psychology prepares you for high-level research and teaching roles, as well as forensic psychologist roles. PhD opportunities in Oklahoma often involve in-person research components; however, many institutions offer hybrid formats.

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Online Forensic Psychology Certifications

In addition to degrees, certifications can enhance your credentials. These offer specialized training in aspects of forensic psychology and typically require less commitment than full degree programs. You might find online certification courses that focus on niche areas like forensic assessment or expert testimony.

Funding Your Education

Pursuing a degree in forensic psychology requires a significant financial investment because of the many years of education required. Understanding the types of financial aid available and how to access scholarships can help manage the costs associated with achieving your academic goals.

Financial Aid Options

You have a variety of financial aid options at your disposal when funding your forensic psychology degree. You should begin by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can provide access to federal loans, grants, and work-study funds. Federal loans offer fixed interest rates and flexible repayment plans.

Grants, which don't require repayment, are often awarded based on financial need. For example, the Pell Grant is designed for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. As for work-study, it allows you to work part-time while studying, helping to cover education expenses.

State Aid

Many states offer their own aid programs, including scholarships and grants for residents attending local institutions. Check with Oklahoma's state education website or contact your university's financial aid office to learn about state-funded opportunities that pertain to your degree.


Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on academic or personal achievements.

To locate scholarships tailored to forensic psychology students, you might:

  • Research organizations related to the field, such as the American Psychology-Law Society.
  • Visit scholarship search engines and filter for your specific degree program.
  • Contact the financial aid office at the institution where you are enrolled or plan to enroll as they often have lists of relevant scholarships.

Scholarships can vary widely in their award amounts, but even smaller awards can help mitigate the cost of textbooks, software licenses, or other resources essential for your studies. Keep in mind that scholarships are highly competitive, so apply early and to as many as you qualify for to increase your chances of receiving an award.

Accreditation and Licensure

When pursuing a forensic psychology degree, accreditation and licensure are critical factors that directly influence your professional practice in Oklahoma. These elements ensure that your education meets established standards, preparing you for a career in forensic psychology.

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Accrediting Bodies and Entities

The foremost accrediting body for forensic psychology programs is the American Psychological Association (APA), which is recognized by the US Department of Education. Although the APA does not accredit master’s-level programs in this field, it does accredit doctoral programs, and attending an APA-accredited program is crucial if you plan to become a licensed psychologist.

To practice as a forensic psychologist in Oklahoma, you must hold a doctorate in psychology from an accredited institution and successfully complete the licensure requirements as mandated by the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

These requirements include:

  • A passing score on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)
  • Completion of a certain number of supervised practice hours, as specified by state law
  • Passing the jurisprudence examination specific to Oklahoma's laws and regulations on psychological practice

Ensure that your program is accredited by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The regional accreditor for Oklahoma is the Higher Learning Commission.

When choosing a forensic psychology program, verify that it aligns with Oklahoma's licensure requirements by consulting the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners of Psychologists’ guidelines. Accredited online programs typically provide the necessary foundation in forensic psychology theory, research methods, and ethical practice, setting the stage for professional licensure and a successful career in the field.

Potential Careers and Salaries for Graduates

Forensic psychology integrates the practice of psychology within the realm of criminal justice, and your degrees can open the door to various career paths. With a focus on both psychological principles and legal understanding, these professions can put you at the frontline of case analysis, mental health support, and legal advisement. Here are just some of the roles you might have access to throughout your academic and professional career.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker:

Job Description: As a mental health and substance abuse social worker, you'll focus on helping clients cope with, and recover from, addiction or mental health issues, which often intersect with the legal system. Your work may also involve creating rehabilitation plans, overseeing client progress, and providing support in a clinical setting.


  • Master’s degree in counseling, Growth Potential 18% (Much faster than average)
  • Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs
  • Counsel clients in individual or group sessions to assist them in dealing with substance abuse, mental or physical illness, poverty, unemployment, or physical abuse
  • Collaborate with counselors, physicians, or nurses to plan or coordinate treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs
  • Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress with respect to treatment goals

Median Salary: $63,870

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School Psychologists:

Job Description: In school environments, psychologists play a critical role. Your expertise helps assess and support the mental health needs of students, working closely with parents, teachers, and administrators. This role may involve creating strategies for improving student academic performance and social behavior within the educational framework.


  • Master’s or Doctoral Degree, Growth Potential 6% (Faster than average)
  • Diagnose and implement individual or schoolwide interventions or strategies to address educational, behavioral, or developmental issues that adversely impact educational functioning in a school
  • Design classes and programs to meet the needs of special students
  • Compile and interpret students' test results, along with information from teachers and parents, to diagnose conditions and to help assess eligibility for special services
  • Interpret test results and prepare psychological reports for teachers, administrators, and parents

Median Salary: $91,990

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Clinical and Counseling Psychologist:

Job Description: Clinical and counseling psychologists may apply their skills in various settings including private practices, hospitals, and courts. You might conduct psychological assessments, provide therapy, or even serve as an expert witness during criminal trials.


  • Master’s Degree or PhD
  • Assess, diagnose, and treat mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observation, interview, and psychological tests
  • Interact with clients to assist them in gaining insight, defining goals, and planning action to achieve effective personal, social, educational, or vocational development and adjustment
  • Conduct assessments of patients' risk for harm to self or others
  • Counsel individuals, groups, or families to help them understand problems, deal with crisis situations, define goals, and develop realistic action plans

Median Salary: $106,600

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Education, Guidance, and Career Counselor and Advisor:

Job Description: Education, guidance, and career counselors assist students in making educational and career decisions. They provide counseling on academic and career planning, help with college and job applications, conduct assessments to identify interests and skills, and offer guidance on personal and social development. They can work in schools, colleges, and career centers.


  • Master's Degree, Growth Potential 5% (Faster than average)
  • Advise and assist students and provide educational and vocational guidance services
  • Provide crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur at schools
  • Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, administrators, and other professionals to discuss children's progress, resolve behavioral, academic, and other problems, and to determine priorities for students and their resource needs
  • Identify cases of domestic abuse or other family problems and encourage students or parents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals

Median Salary: $66,990

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the admission requirements for a forensic psychology degree?

Admission requirements at the master’s level typically include a completed application, official transcripts, and proof of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. You might also need to submit GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Specific criteria can vary by program, so it's crucial to check with the institution for their unique requirements.

Are there colleges and universities that offer accredited forensic psychology degrees in Oklahoma?

Yes, there are accredited institutions in Oklahoma offering forensic psychology degrees. Accreditation ensures the quality and recognition of your degree. Options may include Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma Baptist University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and more.

Is it beneficial to obtain certifications after completing a forensic psychology education?

Obtaining certifications can be beneficial, enhancing your knowledge and improving job prospects. Certifications reflect your commitment to professional development and specialized knowledge in areas like criminal behavior analysis.

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