Top 5 Forensic Psychology Bachelor's Online

A guide to the best forensic psychology bachelor's degrees in 2024.

Are you fascinated by the inner workings of the criminal mind? Do you want a rewarding career that combines psychology and criminal justice? If so, a bachelor's degree in forensic psychology may be the perfect starting point for your educational journey.

This guide will highlight the best online bachelor's degrees in forensic psychology. We'll also explore the forensic psychology curriculum, the costs and benefits of this program, potential career outcomes, advanced degree options, and more.

What makes our rankings valuable?

Most degree rankings rely heavily on National Center for Education Statistics data, measuring school-wide rates for student retention, graduation, acceptance, etc. The NCES has good data, and we use it too; however, we go further to analyze the current and future demand for the skills and credentials gained. We also list actual tuition costs and delve deep into value and flexibility to consider dual-degree, accelerated, and distance learning options.

The Best Online Forensic Psychology Bachelor Degrees
Rank School Program
1 Arizona State University B.A. in Psychology + Forensic Psychology Major
2 Southern New Hampshire University B.A. in Psychology + Forensic Psychology Concentration
3 Maryville University Online Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology
4 Louisiana State University Online B.S. in Psychology + Forensic Psychology Concentration
5 Bay Path University Online Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology Bachelor's Degree Curriculum

A well-designed undergraduate forensic psychology program will include various classes in psychology, science, law, and criminology, such as:

Forensic Science

This course teaches the scientific principles and techniques used in criminal investigations, including crime scene evidence collection and analysis and the interpretation of forensic evidence. Forensic psychology is vital to this course as it explores the psychological aspects of criminal behavior and how they are revealed through forensic evidence.

Juvenile Justice System

JJS training examines the legal and social responses to juvenile offenses, including the history and evolution of juvenile justice systems and the debate between rehabilitation and punishment. Forensic psych students investigate the psychological factors that contribute to juvenile delinquency and how behavioral interventions can prevent and help youth offenders.

Social Psychology

This part of your forensic psychology bachelor’s program explores the role of social factors in shaping human behavior and cognition, including social influence, group dynamics, and interpersonal relationships.

Victimology

This class examines the impact of crime on victims, including the psychological and physical effects of victimization and the criminal justice system's response to victims. Forensic psychology students will examine the psychological factors that contribute to victimization and how they inform victim-centered interventions.

Ethics in Criminal Justice

This course addresses moral and ethical dilemmas that arise in the criminal justice system, including the use of police force, the punishment of criminals, and the use of informants. Forensic psychology factors into criminal justice ethics by exploring the ethical considerations in conducting psychological assessments, treatments, and research with offenders.

Theories of Personality

This part of the program introduces students to different personality theories, including psychodynamic, behavioral, humanistic, and cognitive approaches. Forensic psychology explores how personality factors can contribute to criminal behavior and how personality assessments can be used in forensic evaluations.

The Best Online Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology

We chose the top five online forensic psychology bachelor degrees based on numerous factors, including the relevance of the curriculum, school reputation, program features, value, and flexibility.

Here are our picks for the best forensic psychology bachelor’s you can take online in 2024:

1. Arizona State University

ASU’s B.A. in Psychology with a Major in Forensic Psychology features a career-focused curriculum that combines essential psychology courses with specialized topics like abnormal behavior, forensic assessment, and the psychology of juries. Students gain deep insights into the psychological aspects of the legal system, plus valuable research and data analysis skills. Forensic psychology bachelor graduates can pursue behavioral health or social work careers or use this program as a stepping stone towards advanced education for roles like forensic psychologist.

  • Format: Online or On-Campus
  • Tuition Cost:
    • AZ Resident: $45,232 (4 years @ $11,308 per year)
    • Out-of-State: $54,048 (4 years @ $13,512 per year)
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

2. Southern New Hampshire University

SNHU offers a B.A. in Psychology with a Forensic Psychology Concentration that develops adaptable, emotionally intelligent, and growth-oriented professionals. It aligns with the American Psychological Association's guidelines for undergraduate psychology majors, providing scientific inquiry, communication, and critical thinking skills. SNHU has campus and online learning options and a top-tier transfer policy of up to 90 credits, which can substantially reduce your study time and expenses.

  • Format: Online or On-Campus
  • Tuition Cost: $39,600 (120 credits @ $330 per credit)
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

3. Maryville University

Maryville’s Online Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology seamlessly blends psychology, criminology, and social science studies. This balanced approach is complemented by an equal emphasis on criminal justice courses, a strong focus on scientific methodology and research, and the practical application of knowledge throughout the program. Students will take marketable courses, including abnormal psychology, psychological testing, forensic psychology, multicultural policing, juvenile delinquency, and critical thinking in social science.

  • Format: Online
  • Tuition Cost: $67,200 (128 credits @ $525 per credit)
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

4. Louisiana State University

LSU's Online B.S. in Psychology with a Forensic Psychology Concentration offers an in-depth education in psychology and forensic science. It develops advanced critical thinking and analytical skills, covering human behavior, psychological disorders, and the intersection of psychology and law. Graduates are well-equipped for careers in criminal and civil investigation, forensic interviewing, and more. LSU is the only major university to offer an online Bachelor of Science in Forensic Psychology, providing students with the skills and credentials to enter the burgeoning field of forensic science.

  • Format: Online
  • Tuition Cost: $47,880 (120 credits @ $399 per credit)
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

5. Bay Path University

Bay Path's Online Bachelor's in Forensic Psychology focuses on developing psychological expertise for rehabilitation and community services. Students delve into critical aspects of criminal justice and legal psychology, including insanity pleas and juvenile delinquency, preparing them for careers in mental health, criminal justice, or the legal system. This self-paced online program also lays a strong foundation for graduate degrees in forensic psychology and other specializations, with a generous transfer policy of up to 90 credits.

  • Format: Online
  • Tuition Cost: $49,200 (120 credits @ $410 per credit)
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Jobs You Can Get with a Forensic Psychology Bachelor's Degree

Earning a bachelor's in forensic psychology can open up many career opportunities in law enforcement, corrections, victim services, and related fields.

Here are some jobs you can get with an undergraduate forensic psychology degree:

Victim Advocate

Victim advocates assist crime victims through emotional support, advocacy in legal proceedings, and referrals to other services. Forensic psychology knowledge is useful in this role as it involves the application of psychological expertise to help victims deal with trauma.
  • Salary: $56,018

Crime Scene Investigator

Crime scene investigators collect and analyze physical evidence from crime scenes to help solve crimes. Forensic psychology provides insight into the behavior of perpetrators, victims, and witnesses, which can be invaluable when interpreting the evidence collected at a crime scene.
  • Salary: $77,495

Probation Officer

Probation officers work with people who have been convicted of crimes and are serving probation or community supervision. Forensic psychology helps POs understand the psychological factors that may have contributed to the individual's criminal behavior and develop strategies to combat recidivism.
  • Salary: $47,216

Police Officer

Police officers are charged with maintaining public safety and enforcing the law. Forensic psychology is vital in policing as it helps officers better communicate with and manage individuals with mental health or behavioral issues and provides insight into the motivations behind criminal behavior.
  • Salary: $62,000

Juvenile Court Counselor

Juvenile court counselors work with young people who have been accused or convicted of crimes, providing guidance and support to help them navigate the legal system and address underlying concerns. Forensic psychology is key in the juvenile justice system as it helps counselors understand the developmental, emotional, and cognitive influences of the behavior of young people in the criminal justice system.
  • Salary: $66,079

Forensic Scientist

Forensic scientists analyze physical evidence to link it to a crime and often provide expert testimony in legal proceedings. Forensic psychology helps these scientists understand the context of the crime and the behavior of the individuals involved, which can help inform the analysis of the physical evidence.
  • Salary: $70,294

Average salaries for forensic psychology careers courtesy of Salary.com.

Advanced Degrees in Forensic Psychology

If you want to pursue a graduate program after completing your online bachelor's in forensic psychology, several continuing education options are available.

Popular advanced degrees in forensic psychology include:

Master's in Forensic Psychology

Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in forensic psychology delve deeper into the theories, concepts, and principles of the field, preparing students for sought-after roles in the legal system, law enforcement, and corrections.

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs in clinical psychology offer rigorous hands-on training and are the minimum requirement to become a psychologist in most states. Graduates of clinical psychology doctorates can specialize in forensic psychology and work in numerous settings such as psychiatric hospitals, correctional facilities, and courtrooms.

Master's in Criminology

Criminology master’s programs focus on the interdisciplinary study of crime and criminal behavior, providing a comprehensive understanding of the criminal justice system, forensic science, and the psychology of criminal behavior.

Masters in Social Work

An M.S.W. provides advanced skills in counseling, crisis intervention, and case management, enabling graduates to work with individuals who have undergone trauma or been involved in the criminal justice system, among other areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is forensic psychology?

Forensic psychology is a scientific field that applies psychological principles and techniques to the legal system. It involves understanding criminal behavior, analyzing evidence, and working with law enforcement and legal professionals to mitigate and solve crimes.

What's the difference between a B.A. and a B.S. in Forensic Psychology?

The main difference between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Forensic Psychology is that the BA program typically focuses more on the social and behavioral aspects of psychology, while BS programs typically include more coursework in natural sciences like biology, chemistry, and neuroscience.

Graduates with a B.A. in Forensic Psychology may be better prepared for careers that involve working directly with people, such as victim advocacy, case management, and counseling. They may also be better equipped to work in criminal profiling and victim services.

Graduates with a B.S. in Forensic Psychology will be better suited for careers that involve research and analysis, such as forensic assessment, crime analysis, and research in forensic psychology. B.S. grads may also be better equipped to work in forensic science, criminal investigations, and law enforcement.

What's the best online forensic psychology bachelor's program?

According to our analysis, Arizona State University has the #1 online bachelor's degree in forensic psychology for 2024.

What degrees do I need to become a forensic psychologist?

The path to becoming a forensic psychologist requires undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate training. Here's a detailed breakdown of the forensic psychologist education requirements.

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