One of the best forensic psychology degrees will put you in a great position to prosper in the field and beyond.
Forensic psychology is one of the most fascinating professional fields in existence. It merges technical legal training and psychology expertise to judge the conditions of suspects, witnesses, and juries. Forensic psychologists are instrumental in determining the viability of insanity pleas, rendering their judgment invaluable to the legal system. Learn about the intricacies of the field with one of the 10 Best Bachelor’s in Forensic Psychology.
Forensic psychologists have many duties, including in the evaluation, assessment, treatment, and consultations of suspects and professionals in the legal process. Additionally, they research the intersection of psychology and the law to find new theories and ideas to propel forensic psychology forward and reduce crime.
Some forensic psychologists become educators. They can educate anybody from law enforcement units to university students, depending on their expertise and preferred teaching environment. While forensic psychology may seem like a limited field, it has many applications. And as a growing profession, it has space for you to join it.
What Is a Forensic Psychology Degree?
So, are you interested in forensic psychology? And, if you’re reading this post, are you considering pursuing your degree online? Online degrees have many benefits: flexibility, affordability, and ease of access are just a few of them. So what comprises an online forensic psychology degree?
Thanks to the experts behind distance learning platforms, online forensic psychology degrees aren’t very different from their in-class companions. Students learn about the foundations of psychology and forensic psychology, the legal doctrine behind the field, and the ethics of forensic psychology. Because this degree is at an undergraduate level, students diversify their curriculum with electives and general education requirements.
Each online forensic psychology program has unique requirements. Hence, there are no general requirements that we can report. But we can tell you a few critical details about applying to these programs. Most schools will require you to have completed high school or gained a GED. Additionally, most ask for official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and application essays. Some but not all schools may ask you to engage in a video or phone interview.
Careers for Forensic Psychology Majors
Most forensic psychology majors become forensic psychologists. Forensic psychologists most frequently work in mental hospitals, jails and prisons, private practices, educational institutions, local governments, and state governments. The duty of forensic psychologists differs depending on the workplace. Still, the umbrella of work remains the same: The understanding of how psychology motivates a crime and how insanity may affect the criminality of a suspect.
You should note that forensic psychology is a long path. Almost every state, court, and educational institution requires forensic psychologists to hold a Ph.D. or Psy.D. to practice the profession. Thus, you should only commit to forensic psychology if you’re willing to spend several years at school beyond the bachelor’s level.
But you can make your decision at any time. Thankfully, a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology is useful. Alone, it won’t enable you to be a forensic psychologist, but many employers value the degree because it displays a level of critical thinking and scientific learning that most programs don’t.
Forensic Psychology Salary Potential
It takes a lot of money, effort, and passion to get a doctorate. And it’s fair to say that, as a Ph.D. or Psy.D., you should perhaps earn more than people who spent five fewer years and $100,000 less on their education. Unfortunately, forensic psychologists don’t make as much as dentists, surgeons, and engineers. But they do make an appropriate salary for a profession that almost exclusively comprises doctoral graduates.
As with every profession, your salary will increase as you gain experience and credentials in the field. According to PayScale, the average forensic psychologist earns $69,514 per year, which is above the 50% average. But there is wide variance within the salary range.
The top 10% of forensic psychologists make over $102,000 per year, while the bottom 10% of earners make less than $39,000 per year. Note that the bottom 10% comprises entry-level or part-time workers. You will certainly make more than $39,000 soon after entering the profession.
What Are the Best Forensic Psychology Degrees?
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Arizona State University
Average Net Price
Arizona State University is one of the largest universities in the world, and its distance learning program is as robust as its campus offerings. The school offers an excellent Bachelor of Science in psychology program with an emphasis in forensic psychology. Note that the school offers a Bachelor of Arts in forensic psychology, but this program is preferable because of its two lab requirements and statistical training. The online program comprises 39 classes that each take 7.5 weeks to complete.
Some notable classes that Arizona State University students in this program take are Correctional Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to Statistics, Statistical Methods, and Substantive Criminal Law. In addition to the legal and psychology classes, students enroll in general education courses to gain a well-rounded education.
Graduates from this program have become forensic psychologists, behavioral health specialists, counselors, clinical health psychologists, and more. Because this program is foremost a psychology degree, you should enroll here if you’re still undecided about whether you want to pursue forensic psychology.
Eastern Kentucky University
Average Net Price
Eastern Kentucky University offers one of the best and most affordable forensic psychology programs in the country. Like the last entry, EKU offers a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology. At $409 per credit hour and only $250 per credit hour for active service members, this program is a steal. And it’s 100% online with six start dates per year.
Eastern Kentucky University’s program is notable for its willingness to accept up to 90 transfer credits. With its liberal transfer policy, students only need to complete 30 credits at EKU to graduate from its program. In this time, students can also complete a minor or choose from one of many undergraduate certificates.
Students in EKU’s online forensic psychology program receive many benefits. Some of them are free online tutoring with the PASS Tutoring Program, a personalized study plan, and free career service assistance. Students can also engage in online research opportunities with the acclaimed faculty of this program.
Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire
Average Net Price
Once more, Southern New Hampshire University offers an excellent Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a concentration in criminal psychology. SNHU offers perhaps the most affordable undergraduate forensic psychology program in the country, charging only $320 per credit. And with no SAT or ACT requirement, SNHU proves to be an accessible option for GED holders and high school graduates. Like EKU, students can transfer 90 credits to SNHU.
Students in this online program take fascinating classes, including Forensic Psychology, Criminal Psychology, Social Psychology, Counseling Process and Techniques, and Social Crime and Violence. The university requires a few math courses, but students with an excellent understanding of math can receive credits for what they already know.
Graduates from Southern New Hampshire University remain at the institution to obtain a master’s in forensic psychology. While a master’s degree neither provides you with the credentials to practice forensic psychology nor is a requirement for doctoral programs, the program is a great jump-off point for graduates who wish to work in social services or alongside forensic psychologists with a doctorate.
Average Net Price
Are you a religious Christian who doesn’t want to stray far from your roots in faith as you pursue your other goals? If so, consider Liberty University’s online Bachelor of Science in psychology with a concentration in criminal psychology. This program emphasizes science and legal-backed theories in an atmosphere that encourages a Christ-like learning method.
Some courses that Liberty University students take are Social Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Psychology of Criminal Behavior. While the Christian undertones may not be apparent in these courses, Liberty University is careful to choose professors who incorporate Christian thinking into their teaching.
Students can transfer 90 credits to Liberty University from community colleges or four-year institutions. Another notable statistic is that most Liberty University students graduate in three-and-a-half years, which is a half year quicker than the minimum requirement of many universities in America. Thus, if you want to expedite your learning, Liberty University is a good option for you.
National Louis University
Average Net Price
Students enrolled in National Louis University’s Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice program can major in criminal justice administration or forensic social justice. Business-minded students can supplement their studies with a concentration in entrepreneurship. This program is 100% online, but students living in the Chicago area who are enrolled in the forensic social justice major can take courses in a hybrid format if they wish.
Some courses in this program are Criminology, Research Methods in Criminal Justice, Courts and Criminal Justice, and Criminal Investigations. Note that this program emphasizes criminal justice above forensic psychology; if you’re interested more in forensic psychology, consider another program on this list.
Students must also take dozens of general education courses. Some notable classes on the list of general education options are Basic Art Appreciation, History Across the Globe, Foundational Sociology, Creating Professional Identity, and Introduction to Psychology. These courses will provide you with the knowledge you need as an ethical citizen and the context you need to prosper in your career.
Purdue University Global
Average Net Price
Purdue University offers an excellent Bachelor of Science in criminal justice online program with a concentration in forensic psychology. This option is ideal for students who are torn between a criminal justice and forensic psychology career.
Besides the four courses in the forensic psychology concentration, this degree isn’t psychology-focused. Thus, you may want to double-check the requirements of your preferred doctoral program before enrolling at Purdue. Remember, though, that you can always take prerequisite courses for doctoral programs at your local community college.
Some notable courses available to Purdue University students are Psychology for Law Enforcement, Crisis Intervention, Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to the Criminal Justice System, and American Government.
Purdue University offers courses in ten-week terms, and they tell students to expect to work in their courses for between 15 and 18 hours per week. Compared to many programs, this time commitment is relatively small. Students can also choose between four start dates: July 1st, July 29th, August 26th, and September 16th.
Florida Institute of Technology
Average Net Price
The Florida Institute of Technology’s Bachelor of Arts in applied psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology is a 100% online program that will fit your needs. The program focuses on the intersection of the psychology of human behavior and the legal system. But the program also focuses extensively on the liberal arts, creating a well-rounded curriculum.
Some core applied psychology courses in this program are Social Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Research Methods in Applied Psychology, and Mastering eLearning. Students in the forensic psychology program supplement these courses with Victim Studies and Advocacy, Forensic Clinical Psychology, Integrated Theories of Crime, and Psychology of Leadership.
Graduates from the Florida Institute of Technology’s forensic psychology program have gone onto work in mental health centers, businesses, prisons, and law enforcement agencies. Given the applied psychology focus of the degree, this program prepares you for excellent doctoral programs and many jobs as a bachelor’s degree holder.
New England College
Henniker, New Hampshire
Average Net Price
New England College’s 100% online Bachelor of Arts in psychology program focuses on the many sides of psychology, including forensic psychology. While the program doesn’t feature a concentration or minor in forensic psychology, it does include a forensic psychology class. And it offers many of the same courses included in forensic psychology-focused programs. If you’re interested in the psychology aspect of the profession more than the criminal justice side, this program is perfect for you.
The NEC curriculum combines general education courses with classes focusing on the theory and science of psychology. Some general education courses are History of Political Thought, Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning, Environmental Science: A Global Concern, and Survey of American Literature. Psychology-focused classes are Introduction to Psychology, Statistics for the Social Sciences, and Issues in Professional Practices: Psychology.
Graduates from this program have become childcare center directors, social service managers, clinical psychologists, occupational therapy assistants, and more. As long as you’re interested in psychology and the well-being of others, you’ll find many suitable positions after graduating from New England College.
St. Louis, Missouri
Average Net Price
Maryville University offers the only online Bachelor of Arts in forensic psychology program on this list. The curriculum emphasizes the relevance of psychology in understanding social services, behavioral research, and the legal system. Students can choose from three start times per year, allowing the flexibility to control the terms of their education. And applying students don’t need to worry about entrance exams or application fees.
Some notable courses in this program are Multicultural Psychology, Biological Psychology, Criminal Behavior, Introduction to Criminal Investigation, and Human Cognition. Students must also take literacy, humanities, and social science courses to graduate from the program.
Students with financial needs will find appropriate accommodations from Maryville University. In 2019, the university awarded $53 million in scholarships and financial aid to almost every Maryville student that applied for aid or scholarships. Some noteworthy scholarships available to first-year students are the Barat, Mouton, and Duchesne Scholarships, which each award over $10,000.
Union Institute and University
Average Net Price
Union Institute and University offers an excellent online Bachelor of Arts in psychology program. Students at Union choose a concentration in addictions studies, forensic psychology, or holistic psychology. Classes begin every eight weeks, and students can choose to enroll full-time or part-time. And notably, Union Institute and University accepts up to 90 transfer credits.
The university offers some of the most exciting courses in any psychology program. Some notable classes are Abnormal Psychology: Explorations through Film, The Helping Relationship, Personality Theories: Frameworks of Understanding in Psychology, and Community Psychology: Cultural and Global Perspectives. Students also take elective courses, which include options like Drugs in Society, Forensic Science Management, and Emerging Trends in Forensic Science.
At $545 per credit hour, Union Institute and University isn’t the most affordable option on this list. But it’s not terribly expensive, either. And for the courses you see above, the extra money you pay per credit may be worth it, especially considering the many scholarships available to students.
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