Get Matched With Forensic Psychology Programs

Overview of a Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology

This multidisciplinary major takes includes some psychology and some criminal justice. A licensed forensic psychologist delves into the “whys” and “mentality” of a crime and seeks to understand the human mind and human behavior. Forensic psychology students and learners can expect to take such required classes as Intro to Criminal Justice, as well as Forensic Mental Health Law, Forensic Psychology, Forensic Science, the Criminal Justice System, the Legal System and Court Systems, Criminal Behavior, Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology, Advanced Forensic Psychology, Criminal Psychology, Criminal Justice Administration, Research Methods, and a senior seminar capstone course focused on your forensic psychology degree program. The courses you take will vary depending on the university and forensic psychology program you choose; students may choose between degrees, dual degrees, and certificate programs in clinical psychology and criminal justice, a degree in forensic psychology and law, and more options that will allow you to specialize your forensic psychology degree program or to specialize a criminal justice degree with a forensic psychology concentration.

Once students graduate from their bachelor's in forensic psychology degree program, they may be required to take part in graduate training and gain a master's degree or doctoral degree in order to practice in some areas of forensic psychology. As you register for your psychology classes, you may get the idea that your major is also part criminal justice program - and you’re right. The work they do means that many forensic psychology careers revolve around crimes and criminal evidence, and work within the criminal justice system. These include work as forensic science technicians if you end up in the laboratory side of the law enforcement/criminal justice system, or work as a psychologist or forensic psychologists if students complete higher-level forensic psychology degrees.


As with any other topic, you have to consider the pros and cons. You’ll experience some really good outcomes from a bachelor's in forensic psychology degree, along with some you may not like much.

  • As you begin getting farther and farther into your major, you’ll begin to see that you’re going to make a difference to the families of crime victims.
  • Your bachelor's degree will give you greater access to the field of psychology, allowing you to delve deeper into understanding human behavior as well as diagnoses and treatment.
  • Because of your greater level of education and responsibilities, you should be able to command a higher income.
  • This level of degree in psychology will give you access to a greater variety of positions and certificate programs, and the chance to change what direction your career is taking if you want to do so.


  • When you graduate, you may have thoughts of being assigned to a murder or other type of crime even though you’re still new to this field. Even with a bachelor's in forensic psychology degree, that likely won’t happen right away. Instead, you’re more likely to get a job as a law enforcement officer, criminal investigator, or probation officer. While you’ll be able to use some of what you’ve learned, you’ll really feel the gap between what you expected and what you’re doing. Students will need a master's degree in psychology to work as licensed forensic psychologists. A doctoral degree might even be necessary eventually.
  • When you begin your career, students may work as forensic science technicians, a court liaison, laboratory assistant, correctional officer, or researcher. Your best opportunity to begin working as a forensic psychologist is to return to school and earn your master’s in forensic psychology. Expect your supervisor to encourage you to return to school to earn your master’s in forensic psychology. Completing your master’s or higher in forensic psychology is a better assurance you’ll actually work in this field.

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Top 15 Best Online Bachelors in Forensic Psychology


Arizona State University

Score: 83.17

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $12,051
    • Out-of-State: $32,193
  • Net Price: $14,808
  • Acceptance Rate: 90%
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 80,065
  • Undergrad Students: 65,492
  • Graduate Students: 14,573
  • Grads Salary: $77,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 19:1
  • Arizona State University

Maryville University of Saint Louis

Score: 80.04

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $27,166
    • Out-of-State: $27,166
  • Net Price: $26,757
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 9,959
  • Undergrad Students: 5,809
  • Graduate Students: 4,150
  • Grads Salary: $82,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Maryville University of Saint Louis

DeSales University

Score: 79.11

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $44,800
    • Out-of-State: $44,800
  • Net Price: $29,104
  • Acceptance Rate: 77%
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,991
  • Undergrad Students: 2,225
  • Graduate Students: 766
  • Grads Salary: $79,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • DeSales University

Eastern Kentucky University

Score: 78.68

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $10,130
    • Out-of-State: $20,820
  • Net Price: $10,806
  • Acceptance Rate: 64%
  • Retention Rate: 77%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Total Enrollment: 14,324
  • Undergrad Students: 12,072
  • Graduate Students: 2,252
  • Grads Salary: $69,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Eastern Kentucky University

Kean University

Score: 77.47

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $13,426
    • Out-of-State: $21,076
  • Net Price: $10,747
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Total Enrollment: 12,884
  • Undergrad Students: 10,845
  • Graduate Students: 2,039
  • Grads Salary: $71,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Kean University

Bushnell University

Score: 77.05

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $34,740
    • Out-of-State: $34,740
  • Net Price: $23,787
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Total Enrollment: 699
  • Undergrad Students: 509
  • Graduate Students: 190
  • Grads Salary: $78,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 12:1
  • Bushnell University

Union Institute & University

Score: 73.6

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $14,330
    • Out-of-State: $14,330
  • Net Price: $28,463
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Total Enrollment: 787
  • Undergrad Students: 481
  • Graduate Students: 306
  • Grads Salary: $80,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 6:1
  • Union Institute & University

Touro University Worldwide

Score: 72.03

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $14,600
    • Out-of-State: $14,600
  • Net Price: $17,068
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,249
  • Undergrad Students: 413
  • Graduate Students: 1,836
  • Grads Salary: $61,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 8:1
  • Touro University Worldwide

Bay Path University

Score: 71.31

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $37,227
    • Out-of-State: $37,227
  • Net Price: $18,502
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,465
  • Undergrad Students: 1,315
  • Graduate Students: 1,150
  • Grads Salary: $67,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Bay Path University

University of Providence

Score: 70.61

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $29,018
    • Out-of-State: $29,018
  • Net Price: $22,318
  • Acceptance Rate: 95%
  • Retention Rate: 67%
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Total Enrollment: 955
  • Undergrad Students: 593
  • Graduate Students: 362
  • Grads Salary: $79,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 7:1
  • University of Providence

National Louis University

Score: 68.28

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $12,345
    • Out-of-State: $12,345
  • Net Price: $14,769
  • Acceptance Rate: 92%
  • Retention Rate: 61%
  • Graduation Rate: 31%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,525
  • Undergrad Students: 3,984
  • Graduate Students: 3,541
  • Grads Salary: $77,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • National Louis University

Grand Canyon University

Score: 67.43

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $17,450
    • Out-of-State: $17,450
  • Net Price: $21,939
  • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Total Enrollment: 101,816
  • Undergrad Students: 66,769
  • Graduate Students: 35,047
  • Grads Salary: $70,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 20:1
  • Grand Canyon University

Liberty University

Score: 65.57

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $21,222
    • Out-of-State: $21,222
  • Net Price: $29,913
  • Acceptance Rate: 99%
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 96,709
  • Undergrad Students: 48,906
  • Graduate Students: 47,803
  • Grads Salary: $63,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Liberty University

Purdue Global

Score: 63.58

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $10,110
    • Out-of-State: $14,421
  • Net Price: $6,785
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 17%
  • Graduation Rate: 20%
  • Total Enrollment: 45,125
  • Undergrad Students: 33,510
  • Graduate Students: 11,615
  • Grads Salary: $83,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 26:1
  • Purdue Global

Walden University

Score: 62.96

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $12,498
    • Out-of-State: $12,498
  • Net Price: $20,510
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Retention Rate: 31%
  • Graduation Rate: 32%
  • Total Enrollment: 42,312
  • Undergrad Students: 6,298
  • Graduate Students: 36,014
  • Grads Salary: $84,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 21:1
  • Walden University

Associae vs. Bachelor's

What Forensic Psychology Bachelor’s Degrees are Available Online?

You’ll have a big choice about where you may go to school. If you choose a well-known, all-online program, the name of that degree may differ from another forensic psychology program.
These degrees may be called:

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Forensic Psychology)
    This degree is in psychology, with a concentration in forensic psychology. This means you’ll take all of the required courses for a certificate. These hours are on top of other required courses in your psychology degree. In this program, you’ll be required to take additional lab courses and advanced statistical training. You’ll benefit with a deeper knowledge in the neuroscientific and biological areas of this psychology specialization.

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  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Forensic Psychology)
    Look carefully at the areas of focus in both of these degrees. Where the BS degree focused on the “science” of the degree, this BA gives you generalized training in psychology, along with specialized classes in criminal behavior, criminal law, legal decision-making, and the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. You’ll be exposed to the material you’ll need when you’re assigned to work on a criminal case. Expect to learn about the different roles for psychologists in the legal system.

Admission Requirements

Submit your high school transcripts from an accredited high school. This transcript should show that you received your diploma. If you have earned your GED, submit proof of this. The same details will be required if you have completed an associates in forensic psychology.

If you are coming from a non-English speaking country, you’ll need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Or you can take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Passing scores on both are required.

Submit your SAT or ACT scores. If you have an Individualized Education Program certificate or a high school certificate, these certificates will not be accepted.

How long does it take to earn a Forensic Psychology Bachelor's?

Most bachelor’s programs in forensic psychology require between 120 and 128 credit hours to graduate. This means about four years in the program if you take 15 credits per semester. If you choose to take 12 credits per semester, then you will be in school for about five years.

The credits are made up of your general education courses, psychology core courses, criminology or criminal justice courses and, at some schools, a social science research sequence of classes, general electives, and an internship. That sounds like a lot, but it is achievable if you register for classes in the right sequence.

Potential Careers in Forensic Psychology with a Bachelor’s

  • Psychology Assistant:
    In this role, you’ll carry out either experimental or clinical work while a licensed psychologist supervises you. As an example of the work you might do, expect to help in diagnosing clients, designing and executing experiments, or administering psychological tests. In this field, you will work with clients who have been accused of crimes.
    Average annual salary: $37,000
  • Victim Advocate:
    Your role is to assist crime victims in finding resources they need, filling out needed paperwork, and attending court hearings. You will also provide emotional support for victims as they come to terms with what happened to them. You could run support groups for crime survivors or you may work at a crisis center.
    Average annual salary: $35,000
  • Investigative Researcher:
    Your role includes researching records and documents, interviewing witnesses, and writing reports on your findings for lawyers or others you work with. You may freelance or be employed by a lawyer. This role is an excellent internship opportunity.
    Average annual salary: $46,000

    Find Online Most Forensic Psychology Schools

  • Forensic Case Manager:
    You help people who are currently behind bars to find the support systems they need once they are released from prison. You help them to meet their recovery goals and establish and meet their re-assimilation goals. You’ll connect them to community resources and set up any mental health services they may need.
    Average annual salary: $36,800
  • Probation Officer:
    In this role, you’ll work with those who have been recently released from prison, helping them to stay on-track to meet their post-release goals. This job role is highly challenging, but with your forensic psychology knowledge, you’ll be able to help clients with their rehabilitation when things get difficult for them. This may include finding a place to live, or a job.
    Average annual salary: $41,500

Salary by Occupation

Occupations Entry-Level Mid-Career Late-Career
Victim Advocate $33,900 $38,400 $41,400
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor $40,500 $50,200 $59,000
Forensic Psychologist $50,600 $82,100 $93,900
Psychology Researcher $76,900 $89,800 $100,500

Options to Advance

An online master’s in forensic psychology is an excellent idea if you plan to rise in your career. In the criminal justice and legal systems, your role is vital in assisting judges, lawyers, and other legal professionals to understand the psychological “whys” of a crime. You’ll be called to testify in civil, criminal, and family court hearings.

Your work will take weeks and months as you try to solve crimes. Your master’s degree will give you the support you need in your profession.

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As a graduate of a doctoral program in forensic psychology, you’ll help law enforcement determine who committed a crime. You may be asked to detail how a crime victim has suffered either neurological or psychological damage. Before a criminal defendant goes to trial, you may evaluate that person’s mental competence to stand trial. If you have a companion degree in law, you’ll be particularly valuable in the criminal setting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there actually bachelor’s in forensic psychology?

Yes! Though a master’s in forensic psychology might be the ideal final degree to earn, you really can start off your academic career in this field, even in your undergraduate degree. This could give you a head start on your later courses by allowing you to delve more deeply into the field early in your academic career, but you should also be aware that this specialization early on might make it difficult to shift to a different field later on.

What if I choose not to earn a master’s later? What might my options be

Those who choose not to continue on to earn a master’s can still find many fields in which they can succeed including law enforcement as a police officer, probation officer, detective, investigator, etc. If you don’t want to move into this type of field work, then you might instead work as a crime analyst or research assistant in the field that you are most interested in. You could also move into lab work if you spent time in labs in your undergraduate career and are willing to earn some certifications. Or you could find yourself working as a government employee in an interesting field. No matter what you decide to do with your bachelor’s degree, you will always have the option to return to the classroom and either continue your journey into forensic psychology or shift your focus to a career that holds more interest for you.

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