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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 27 Classes Start: July 29

Earn Your MS in Forensic Psychology

  • $637/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 psychology 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.

8 Types of Psychology with Real-World Perspective

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.

What You'll Learn

  • Tailored theories and methods specific to forensic psychology settings
  • Legal considerations and impacts in the field
  • Roles and duties of forensic psychologists
  • Intersections between psychology and criminal behavior
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving

How You'll Learn

At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.

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, jobs under the forensic psychology umbrella could include determining a defendant’s mental competency, helping to develop a suspect’s psychological profile or assessing a witness’s credibility.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. Upon graduation, you'll have the skills needed to take your next step.

Job Growth

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for psychologists will grow by 6% through 2032.1

Salary

As of 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual wage of $85,330 per year for psychologists.1

Understanding the Numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Where Could You Work?

Common industries that employ forensic psychologists, according to the BLS,1 include:

Court Systems

Act as the go-between for criminal courts and local police departments. Determine the mental capacity of defendants and credibility of witnesses.

Probation Departments

Work closely with those who've recently been released from jail by providing aid and resources to help ensure they do not re-offend.

Government

Conduct research and analyze trends in criminal behavior. Develop psychological profiles for suspects.


Law Enforcement

Specialize your skillset to stand out on police academy applications, in training and for future promotion opportunities. 

Victim Advocacy

Help crime victims maneuver the legal system with the least amount of trauma possible. Educate victims on their legal rights, and assist them through questioning and court procedures.

Juvenile Justice

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. 

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Forensic Psychology Degree Concentration

Get the Skills You Need

Kelcey KennedyKelcey Kennedy '19 '21G

"I wanted to be able to work with inmates to rehabilitate them back into society. I now have that opportunity."

Courses & 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 learn how psychological theories apply to criminal behavior and its effects on individuals and society. You'll gain familiarity with the history and use of common assessment techniques in legal settings. You'll think critically, deepen respect for diversity and apply appropriate professional ethics to various situations.

When you graduate from SNHU's forensic psychology master's program, you'll leave with the knowledge you need to begin or continue a career in the field.

Focus on Forensics

In this concentration, you'll learn from knowledgeable instructors in courses such as:

  • Forensic Psychology - This course provides you with foundational knowledge of the forensic psychology field, including its historical roots and current trends. You'll 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 how 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 legal rulings that impact 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.

If you don't have a background in psychology or a related field, you may need to take up to 3 foundation courses. For those who do not meet the minimum requirements, the following courses may be required:

  • Foundations of Psychology
  • Foundations in Statistics
  • Foundations in Research Methods

Note: This program does not prepare you for state licensure.

Learn from Experts in the Field

It's important to note that the courses in this concentration are taught by instructors with professional credentials and relevant, real-world experience.

Dr. Vanessa Holtgrave with the text Dr. Vanessa Holtgrave

Dr. 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.”

Kimberly Custodio with the text Kimberly Custodio

"Assessment for Forensic Psychology really stood out to me," said Kimberly Custodio '18 '21G. "We got to evaluate cases that varied from drug abuse to child abuse and write recommendation reports. It felt like I was receiving hands-on training without sitting in a classroom. This class was highly enjoyable, and I learned a lot while going through it."

Custodio, who balanced her degree program with her career as a sailor in the U.S. Navy, also noted how impactful her instructors were in helping her find success.

"I don't think I can praise the instructors enough," she said. "The knowledge and experience [they] brought to the virtual environment was beyond amazing."

University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education 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.

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 $1,911 $637 $9,555 
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.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs:
Course Materials ($ varies by course). Foundational courses may be required based on your undergraduate course history, which may result in additional cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

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