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Fatima Salem Pease talking with a woman with text Fatima Salem Pease '19

Master's in Forensic Psychology Online MS in Psychology Concentration

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Register By: July 24 Classes Start: July 26

Earn Your MS in Forensic Psychology

  • $627/credit (36 credits total)
  • No application fee or GRE/GMAT scores required
  • Transfer up to 12 graduate credits
  • Experiential learning opportunities
  • Master the intersection of psychology and law
  • Learn from faculty with real-world experience

Master's in Forensic Psychology Online Program Overview

Forensic psychology is a discipline at the intersection of psychology and the criminal justice system. With the Master of Science (MS) in Psychology degree with a concentration in Forensic Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University, you’ll gain the knowledge to work within this dynamic field. A forensic psychology concentration prepares you to work within the criminal justice system, along with a wide range of social service organizations. You’ll learn valuable skills like critical thinking and research while you get an overview of the forensic field and the inner workings of the criminal mind. The forensic psychology concentration also covers critical areas such as ethics and diversity.

Although this program and concentration do not lead to licensure, it opens doors to careers in places such as the court system, legal offices, correctional facilities, police departments and governmental agencies.

In the forensic psychology concentration, you'll learn how to:

  • Adapt psychological theories and methods in forensic psychology settings
  • Evaluate the impact of the law on the field of forensic psychology
  • Understand the roles and duties of a forensic psychologist

See Yourself Succeed in Forensic Psychology

Choosing a Master of Science with a concentration in Forensic Psychology adds value to your degree by giving you professional skills in an area with a wide range of career options. It also sets you up to make a difference for others with your understanding of what influences anti-social behavior and how crime impacts individuals and society.

Our online format for this degree concentration allows you to participate in the coursework, while learning when it works best for you, without sacrificing collaboration and support. We also help you succeed with a variety of aids, including dedicated advisors, online tutoring and a writing center. Additionally, the instructors who teach within the SNHU forensic psychology concentration love sharing their expertise with their students, and come from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences within the forensic psychology field.

8 Types of Psychology with Real-World Perspective

The study of psychology can be personally and professionally rewarding. Among the many concentrations in the field you can find diverse opportunities to learn about how people interact with one another in relationships, in the workplace and more.

Career Outlook

An online Master's in Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology will help prepare you for a multitude of career paths within the justice system. While this degree concentration doesn't result in licensure, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, examples of responsibilities underneath the forensic psychology umbrella include determining a defendant’s mental competency, helping to develop a suspect’s psychological profile or assessing a witness’s credibility.

Here are some additional career options:2

  • Probation departments - In probation departments, you'll work closely with those who've recently been released from jail by providing aid and resources to help ensure they do not re-offend.
  • Law enforcement - While a degree in forensic psychology isn't required to apply to the police academy, earning your online degree in forensic psychology could be beneficial during your application, training process and any future promotions.
  • Victim advocacy - As a victim advocate, you'd be responsible for helping crime victims maneuver through the legal system with the least amount of trauma possible. You'd be responsible for educating the victim on their legal rights, being present for law enforcement questioning, attending court with the victim and more.
  • Court liaison - Working as a court liaison within the criminal justice system means acting as the go-between for criminal courts and local police departments.
  • Jury consultant - Being responsible for jury selection research means working closely with legal teams to determine the best possible jurors while assisting with jury-related questions and concerns as cases move forward.
  • Juvenile offenders counselor - In this position, you'd work directly with juveniles in the criminal justice system, evaluating complaints and managing the overall process, to help put juveniles on the path to success.

The broad skill set that you'll gain in the MS in Psychology program applies to these areas of expertise and many more. As of 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual wage of $80,370 per year for psychologists, though this could vary depending on your specific field and the amount of education you've received.1 The forensic psychology concentration equips you to work anywhere that psychology intersects with criminal behavior and the legal system. It also prepares you to earn a doctoral degree if you wish to pursue further education in the forensic psychology area.

Kathy Edwards with text Kathy EdwardsAnd, while forensic psychologists generally hold a PhD or Psy.D. degree, many careers are open for master’s level clinicians as well, says SNHU adjunct faculty member Kathy Edwards.

"Typical careers involve conducting forensic assessments for the courts system – such as a person's competency to stand trial or in custody assessments," she said, "but opportunities exist in police psychology, prison psychology and consulting, for example, as an expert witness."

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Forensic Psychology Degree Concentration

Curriculum

With the forensic psychology concentration, you'll learn to apply psychology research and theories to real-world contexts. By earning SNHU's forensic psychology degree, you'll gain competence in many areas, including the following:

  • Familiarity with the ways in which psychological theories apply to criminal behavior and its effects on individuals and society
  • Familiarity with commonly used assessment techniques in legal settings and the historical context behind them
  • The ability to apply critical thinking skills to assess a variety of outcomes and determine an appropriate course of action
  • An understanding of the ways in which forensic psychology professionals can influence legal proceedings
  • Respect for diversity and the ability to view situations through an empathic lens
  • The ability to apply appropriate professional ethics to various situations
  • Knowledge of the role played by forensic psychology professionals

It's also important to note that the courses in this concentration are taught by instructors with professional credentials and relevant, real-world experience. In this concentration, you'll learn from knowledgable instructors in courses such as:

  • Forensic Psychology - This course provides you with foundational knowledge of the forensic psychology field that you'll need as you move through the program. This includes its historical roots and current trends, with a focus on the evolution of practical and research-based approaches in clinical settings.
  • Assessment for Forensic Psychology - This course introduces you to topics in forensic assessment, including historical context, relevant theories, techniques, tools and procedures. Here, you'll use contemporary assessment approaches to gain practical insights on issues such as criminal justice and family and child custodial law. You will also be required to consider ethical, multicultural and age-based variables while interpreting case-based results.
  • Intersection of Law and Psychology - This course focuses on where the legal system and psychology meet. It covers the forensic psychologist's role, and their challenges and dilemmas within the legal system. In this course, you'll explore to what degree psychologists can impact court proceedings by providing expert testimony and by determining the mental states of the witnesses or the accused. You'll also review current event policies that could have an impact on the well-being of incarcerated persons.
  • Psychology in the Courtroom - In this seminar, you'll apply your learnings from the three previous concentration courses to gain a full understanding of the forensic psychologist's role in the courtroom. You will also demonstrate detailed mastery of the concentration content through a comprehensive project.

Dr. Vanessa Holtgrave with the text Dr. Vanessa HoltgraveDr. Vanessa Holtgrave, an adjunct faculty member who teaches courses in this concentration, says, “I teach PSY-626-Psychology in the Courtroom, which is a complex and exceptionally interesting course about expert witness testimony and admissibility of evidence. Students from various backgrounds (law enforcement, public defenders and victim advocates) have found this class to be both thought-provoking and essential to the program.”

After deep-diving in this concentration, it's safe to say you'll be prepared for whichever path you choose, be it furthering your education even more, or pursuing one of the many available career options in the forensic psychology field.

Dr. Holtgrave adds, “As a forensic psychologist, I believe it is important that our students be given a comprehensive educational experience by competent professionals during their time in the program. This ensures that students are knowledgeable about the breadth and depth of forensic psychology and the careers that are available.”

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 15 credits 
Degree/Certificates $1,881 $627 $9,405 
Degree/Certificates
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)
$1,410 $470 $7,050 

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.

Additional Costs:
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

References