Online Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

Earning a Master of Science in forensic psychology from Arizona State University can further your career in mental health and criminal justice. In this program, you’ll explore research methods, legal psychology and the treatment of mental disorders to learn how such issues connect with the legal system. This degree provides a foundation for doctoral programs, which are required to become a forensic psychologist.

Learn more

Quick facts

Next start date:

Next start date: 03/11/2024


Total classes:

Total classes: 11

Weeks per class:

Weeks per class: 7.5

Total credit hours:

Total credit hours: 33

Degree questions, answered.

Have questions about the Forensic Psychology (MS)? Fill out this form and we’ll get in touch!

* Indicates a required field

This is a required field.
This is a required field.
This is a required field.
Invalid phone number. Please try again.

What is forensic psychology?

Forensic psychology refers to the intersection of law, human behavior and thought. Professionals in this field utilize their expertise and knowledge to assess individuals and provide psychological insights in civil and criminal matters. Topics in this field influence law enforcement, courtroom operations and correctional facility functions. 

This discipline has broad relevance for individuals working in these fields, as well as those with careers in investigations and mental health. Forensic psychologists may be responsible for determining the impact of biases on courts and conducting assessments to determine if individuals are of sound mind.

The skills you’ll gain in this online master’s of forensic psychology

 

This master’s in forensic psychology provides you with an understanding of how mental health and human behavior relate to crime and the legal field. In this program, you’ll study concepts including criminal law and criminal behavior. You’ll also learn about the processes behind legal decision-making.

Upon graduation, you’ll be skilled in:

  • Applying and understanding behavioral research.
  • Bridging knowledge between the legal and mental health fields.
  • Observing, measuring and analyzing human behavior. 
  • Utilizing research to enforce policy decisions.

Forensic psychologists must have a doctoral degree, and they’ll likely need to complete a post-doctoral fellowship. This master’s degree in forensic psychology can prepare you for certain doctoral programs. However, other programs may require you to have an advanced research background to earn a doctorate. If you want to pursue a doctoral degree, make sure this program is a good fit for future academic programs you’re considering.

Criminal psychology vs forensic psychology: The differences between the two

 

While the fields of criminal psychology and forensic psychology both work with law enforcement to aid in criminal investigations, their roles feature key differences. 

Professionals within the field of criminal psychology counsel and develop psychological profiles on criminals to understand motivations and diagnose mental health conditions. They may also provide expert testimony in the courtroom for criminal cases. 

Differently, forensic psychology encompasses the broad field of psychology within the criminal justice system. Forensic psychologists work with law enforcement to integrate psychology with all legal matters, including civil cases. They commonly provide evaluation on witnesses, select juries and administer mental health evaluations.  
 

Will my diploma say 'online'?

No, Arizona State University’s diplomas don’t specify whether you earn your degree online or in person. All diplomas and transcripts simply say “Arizona State University.”

Master’s in forensic psychology courses

In this program, you’ll complete coursework covering a variety of topics, including forensic and legal psychology, mental disorders and criminal justice issues. An assortment of electives provide you with the ability to focus on specialized areas, such as correctional psychology, women and crime, gangs and more. Courses may include:


Core

Advanced Correctional Psychology


Core

Advanced Forensic Psychology


Core

Advanced Legal Psychology


Core

Advanced Psychology of Criminal Investigation


Core

Fundamentals of Forensic Psychology Research


Core

Psychopathology


Core

Seminar in Courts and Sentencing


Core

Seminar in Criminal Justice


Jobs you could get with a master’s in forensic psychology

This degree can prepare you for certain doctoral programs in forensic psychology or support career growth in related fields, such as mental health and the judicial system. Possible career paths include, but aren’t limited to:

Behavioral health technician

Correctional officer

Criminal investigator

Police officer

Leading faculty in the field of forensic psychology

As an ASU Online student, you’ll get the New College experience anywhere around the globe from the same faculty who teach our courses on campus. Our faculty members are some of the brightest, most innovative academic minds in the world. Their areas of expertise include psychology, anthropology, geography, political science, cybersecurity, forensic science and more. Our mission is to create an environment that prepares students to take their place in the world and pursue careers that benefit their community.

Leading faculty in the field of forensic psychology

As an ASU Online student, you’ll get the New College experience anywhere around the globe from the same faculty who teach our courses on campus. Our faculty members are some of the brightest, most innovative academic minds in the world. Their areas of expertise include psychology, anthropology, geography, political science, cybersecurity, forensic science and more. Our mission is to create an environment that prepares students to take their place in the world and pursue careers that benefit their community.

How to apply

Applicants to the master’s in forensic psychology program must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate School and the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they’ve earned a bachelor's or master's degree in psychology, criminal justice, social science or a closely related field from a regionally accredited institution. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate completion of a psychology, social science or criminology research methods course.

Application requirements

Additional admission information

A world-class research institute for a first-rate forensic psychology education

ASU is a global university recognized for its commitment to innovation, research and high-quality academic programs. Our university has been recognized with peer-reviewed honors from U.S. News & World Report. 

#1


in innovation for 9 consecutive years, ahead of Stanford and MIT.

Top 5


best online bachelor’s programs.

Top 10%


best global universities.

80%


of graduates reported that their experiences at ASU inspired them to explore new career opportunities. 

Tuition calculator

Use our calculator to estimate your full-time or part-time tuition fees for this program prior to any financial aid. Keep in mind that most of our students receive financial aid, which can reduce out-of-pocket costs. Learn more.

Tuition calculator

Use our calculator to estimate your full-time or part-time tuition fees for this program prior to any financial aid. Keep in mind that most of our students receive financial aid, which can reduce out-of-pocket costs. Learn more.

You might also be interested in

Forensic Science (PSM)

Graduate

Forensic Science (PSM)


Psychology (MS)

Graduate

Psychology (MS)


Social Work (MSW)

Graduate

Social Work (MSW)


Legal Studies (MLS)

Graduate

Legal Studies (MLS)