Ready to put your love of psychology to use making a difference in your community? Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology program is your opportunity to apply the science of the mind in the court and corrections systems, social services, and private sector to help protect society from crime.
This 128-credit online program brings you experiential learning opportunities and coursework in three distinct areas — psychology, criminal justice, and social science — to give you a comprehensive understanding of the modern forensic psychology landscape. If you’re brave enough to pursue a career in this exciting field, we’re here to help you get started.
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Why Earn a Forensic Psychology Degree Online?
If you have an interest in studying human behavior and analyzing the intricacies of legal cases, then a career in forensic psychology may be for you.
Forensic psychology online degree students study human psychology as it pertains to the law. Because of their deep understanding of human behavior and criminology, bachelor’s degree graduates are well-positioned for careers in fields such as law enforcement and social services. You may choose to work your entire career in these fields having earned a bachelor’s degree, or you may opt to pursue a master’s degree or doctorate to unlock the most prestigious positions — and highest salaries — this discipline has to offer.
What Can You Do with a Forensic Psychology Degree?
Forensic psychologists apply their clinical psychology skills to any number of situations connected to crime and the law. For example, forensic psychologists may play a major role in legal proceedings, helping to determine the objectivity of potential jurors or the validity of insanity pleas. They may take a hands-on approach to crime solving, collaborating with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices to analyze violent criminals at large, examine evidence from crime scenes, and evaluate suspects’ histories. Forensic psychologists may also work in mental health facilities and prisons, giving input on patient or inmate behavior, or as victim advocates, offering support and social welfare services to people victimized by crimes.
Forensic Psychology Career Opportunities
Because forensic psychology has applications in many areas, job prospects in this field are broad and varied. Completing your online bachelor’s in forensic psychology at Maryville can help qualify you for roles such as:
- Community service specialist
- Forensic psychologist
- Forensic social worker
- Jury consultant
- Police officer, detective, or criminal investigator
- Probation/correctional counselor
- Probation/correctional officer
- Social and community service manager
- Social science research assistant
- Victim advocate
In settings such as:
- Corrections and probation
- Law enforcement
- Social services
Find out more about BA in Forensic Psychology careers.
What Is the Median Forensic Psychology Degree Salary?
With your online bachelor’s in forensic psychology, you can build a foundation to pursue careers with median salaries such as:
Probation officer or correctional treatment specialist
Social and community service manager
Forensic social worker
Police officer, detective, or criminal investigator
Social science research assistant
*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020; **PayScale.com, August 2021
Build the Skills to Succeed in Forensic Psychology
Maryville’s online bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology blends foundational social sciences, such as human development, sociology, and various disciplines of psychology, with criminal theory and investigation, psychological testing, and professional skills, such as critical thinking and research methodology.
Students complete a 135-hour internship in their chosen setting, as well as a senior project capstone experience. Both components help prepare you for the world of psychology and criminal justice.
That means you get to explore an area of interest hands-on — whether it’s probation and corrections, substance abuse clinics, or government agencies — and learn what it takes to succeed in that role while building valuable experience for your resume.
Through the capstone experience, you’ll team up with a faculty member and your fellow students to take part in a research project that gives you a firsthand look at how the fields of psychology and criminal justice are progressing.
Why Choose Maryvillefor Your Forensic Psychology Degree?
Maryville University has been connecting motivated professionals with industry expertise since 1872. We focus on teaching first and foremost, employing renowned faculty members who value experiential learning, especially in the forensic psychology program.
Here at Maryville University, 96% of students who complete our online undergraduate programs find a new career in their chosen field or enroll in advanced education programs within six months of graduation.
Maryville meets highstandards:
Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology Curriculum
Because forensic psychology has applications in so many areas of the legal and criminal justice system, a diverse foundation of forensic and psychological knowledge is paramount for forensic psychology graduates. That’s why Maryville’s online bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology curriculum includes electives and courses in general education, psychology, and criminal justice, in addition to a social science research sequence and 135 to 150 hours of practicum experience.
Full-time students with eligible transfer credits may be able to complete the online bachelor’s in forensic psychology program in less than two years.
Psychology Core Courses (27 credits) — Strengthen your understanding of human psychology through a series of courses in critical thinking, abnormal psychology, social psychology, testing, forensic psychology, cognition, and more.
Criminal Justice Core Courses (27 credits) — Learn the principles of criminal justice theory and procedure with a series of courses covering topics including corrections, criminal behavior, police psychology, juvenile delinquency, investigations, and multicultural issues.
Social Science Research Sequence (18 credits) — The social science research sequence includes a series of courses designed to help students gain an interconnected understanding of how to craft research, analyze results, and present findings.
Internship (3 credits) — Personalize your internship based on your specific area of interest.
Electives (14 credits) — Round out and customize your education with your choice of electives.
Get Started on Your Graduate Education with Early Access
At Maryville University, you can get a head start on your graduate degree while earning your online bachelor’s in forensic psychology through our Early Access program.
With Early Access, you can earn up to 12 credits that count toward your master’s degree and your bachelor’s. Credits you earn through Early Access are charged at the undergraduate tuition rate, meaning you can save time and money on your graduate education.
To qualify for Early Access, you must be a current Maryville undergraduate student and have completed at least 75 credit hours with a GPA of 3.25 or better. If you qualify and have not yet completed your elective requirements, we invite you to contact your academic advisor to explore Early Access and learn more about some of our exciting online graduate programs.
You can get more out of your online bachelor’s in forensic psychology by pairing it with one of the following master’s degrees:
Master of Health Administration (MHA): Choose from four concentrations: Senior Services, Population Management, Data Management, and Healthcare Strategies.
Master of Business Administration (MBA): Tailor this program to align with your career goals. Select from 12 concentrations, including Health Administration and General Management.
Master of Arts in Management and Leadership: This program is designed to help you prepare for a senior-level management position in your desired field.
Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership: Learn to lead through an immersive curriculum that gives you the opportunity to study theory, gain practical experience, and earn relevant professional certifications.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with an online bachelor's degree in forensic psychology?
Forensic specialists work on the front lines of important cases, interacting closely with victims and offenders and conducting valuable research used by law enforcement.
Completing your online bachelor’s in forensic psychology degree at Maryville helps you qualify for roles in law enforcement, social services, corrections and probation, and other settings.
Popular careers for Maryville forensic psychology graduates include:
- Forensic psychologist
- Police officer, detective, or criminal investigator
- Probation/correctional officer
- Social and community service manager
- Victim advocate
Find out more about BA in Forensic Psychology careers.
What is the median salary for graduates of a forensic psychology degree online program?
The median annual salary for professionals holding a bachelor’s in forensic psychology degree from a U.S. higher education institution was about $61,000 as of August 2021, according to PayScale.
Is the online bachelor's degree in forensic psychology accredited?
Yes. Maryville University proudly holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Maryville has maintained accreditation from the HLC since 1941, and this status was most recently reaffirmed in 2015.
How long is the online bachelor's degree in forensic psychology program?
Most students complete the online bachelor’s in forensic psychology degree in four years or less. Full-time students with eligible transfer credits may be able to complete this program in less than two years.
How does Early Access work for the forensic psychology degree online program?
With Early Access, students in our online bachelor’s in forensic psychology program can get a head start on earning a graduate degree by taking graduate-level courses that count toward their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Furthermore, graduate-level Early Access courses are billed at the undergraduate tuition rate — so students save time and money.
Our Master of Health Administration (MHA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts in Management and Leadership, and Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership are among the many Maryville graduate degrees that offer Early Access options for students enrolled in our online bachelor’s in forensic psychology degree program.
If you’re interested in participating in the Early Access program, you should apply one semester before you plan to start taking Early Access courses. To apply, you must have completed at least 75 credit hours and have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher. Through the program, you can earn up to 12 credit hours toward your master’s degree. Our advisors can help you select your Early Access courses, which must be taken one at a time.
Learn more about the Early Access program
How does this program differ from the criminal justice/criminology degree?
While forensic psychology and criminal justice are both rooted in the observation of crime as a social phenomenon, there are important differences. Forensic psychology delves deep into the human psyche with the goal of bettering society by shedding light on the causes and effects of crime. Criminal justice, on the other hand, is centered on developing an understanding and appreciation of the legal and societal dynamics related to criminality, the law, and law enforcement. Popular careers for forensic psychology graduates include forensic psychologist, victim advocate, and probation or correctional specialist. Graduates of criminal justice programs often go on to serve as police officers or detectives, computer forensics investigators, or DEA agents.
Apply to the online bachelor’s in forensic psychology degree program at Maryville University.
With a BA in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology, you can pursue some specific careers in criminal justice or mental health. If you want to work as a psychologist, you'll need to complete an advanced degree. Becoming a forensic psychologist requires a doctoral-level education.What is the best degree for a forensic psychologist? ›
Education for Forensic Psychologists
You must earn a doctorate, either a doctor of philosophy (Ph. D.) in psychology or a doctor of psychology (Psy. D.) to become a forensic psychologist.
- Meet Education Requirements for Licensure in Arizona. ...
- Completing 1500 Hours of Supervised Internship Experience. ...
- Applying for Examination and Licensure in Arizona. ...
- Pass the Arizona Clinical Psychology License Examination. ...
- Begin a Forensic Psychology Career in Arizona. ...
- Renew Your License Every Two Years.
Is a Master's in Forensic Psychology Worth It? Yes, a master's degree in forensic psychology is worth it for many students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, life, physical, and social science jobs are set to grow at 5% over the next 10 years, faster than the average for all occupations.What GPA do you need to be a forensic psychologist? ›
Most graduate programs in forensic psychology look for a high score on the GRE, a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and volunteer or paid experience in the field. All psychology programs require you to do an internship.Is a BS or a BA better in forensic psychology? ›
A BA opens up opportunities in fields like criminal justice and social work, while a BS prepares learners for more research-based, clinical professions. Many psychology bachelor's degrees prepare students for specializations, like organizational psychology and forensic psychology.Can I get into the FBI with a forensic psychology degree? ›
Forensic psychologists have the option to use their skills in the service of the public good. For example, they may work as special agents for the FBI. The Bureau is actively seeking individuals with a background in counseling or psychology, according to the FBI's website.Is a BA the same as a BS? ›
Generally, a Bachelor of Arts focuses on the humanities and arts while a Bachelor of Science emphasizes math and science. June 18, 2021, at 9:51 a.m.Which is better criminal psychology or forensic psychology? ›
Criminal psychologists are more focused, looking only at the perpetrator and aspects of the crime itself. Forensic psychologists do not profile criminal suspects or create behavioral profiles of perpetrators. Those tasks fall to criminal psychologists.What is the fastest growing branch of forensic psychology? ›
Answer and Explanation: The fastest-growing branch of forensic psychology is considered correctional psychology. Correctional psychology is the application of psychological theory and treatments to the currently incarcerated population.
Crime Scene & Laboratory Setting: Some forensic psychologists play an important role in criminal investigations, and spend their time analyzing crime scenes and evidence to conclude a criminal's actions, and/or how they committed a crime.How do I start a career in forensic psychology? ›
- Complete a Bachelor's Degree Program in General or Forensic Psychology. ...
- Complete Graduate and Post-Graduate Education Leading to a PhD in Psychology or a PsyD. ...
- Complete 3000 hours of Supervised Professional Experience. ...
- Submit Application for Licensure to take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.
A minimum of three years of evidence supervised practice where the trainee can provide evidence of applying psychology appropriately in forensic practice. An HCPC-accredited doctoral programme that includes practice placements and a third year research thesis.Is it hard being a forensic psychologist? ›
Becoming successful in this field is not easy. However, for those with the energy, stamina, and critical thinking skills, it can be a rewarding occupation. A few tips: Apply for forensics-related internships, such as at forensic hospitals, correctional facilities, and community mental health settings.What are the risks of being a forensic psychologist? ›
You might develop the inability to sleep, body aches and pains, and even experience bouts of depression and anxiety as a result of this very difficult and challenging line of work. This is not work for the faint of heart, either. Many forensic psychologists work on court cases and appear as expert witnesses.What is the highest paying jobs in forensic psychology? ›
|Job Title||Annual Salary||Hourly Wage|
- As a forensic psychologist, you can often work long hours. ...
- It can take time and commitment to become a forensic psychologist. ...
- It can be an incredibly dangerous and stressful career as you will have to work with criminals, whilst working to meet deadlines and ensuring that all decisions and procedures are fair.
The job outlook for certain niches within psychology and forensic psychology is expected to grow by 14% through 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.What is BS psychology major in forensic? ›
The concentration in forensic psychology within the BS program in psychology combines general training in psychology with specialized coursework in criminal law, criminal behavior, the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, and legal decision-making.How much do forensic psychologists make in the FBI? ›
Forensic Psychologists working for the FBI can earn a salary range of $99,000 and $129,000 per year. Supervisory Criminal Profilers can earn $140,000 per year.
To become a criminal psychologist, you must first earn a bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field, followed by a master's degree in psychology. This completes the minimum requirements necessary to use the title “psychologist” and to begin work with patients on a clinical basis or offer clinical opinions.Can I become a clinical psychologist with a BA in psychology? ›
A bachelor's degree (B.A/B.Sc) in Psychology will help you explore the many aspects that psychology has to offer. However, you cannot become a psychologist right after your graduation. You need to study further for that.Is criminal justice or psychology better? ›
While criminal justice majors work more in law enforcement and prevention, psychology majors focus on the psychological precursors to or aftereffects of crime. There are benefits to each type of major as far as the types of jobs you can pursue, so deciding between them may come down to personal preference.What job is most like criminal minds? ›
“Of all the TV crime shows, Criminal Minds comes closest to depicting real forensic psychologists—if you take away the private jet,” said Dr. Beyer. A clinical psychologist by training, Dr.Is a forensic psychologist a criminologist? ›
Although criminology and forensic psychology are both used to prevent crime, the nature of the concentrations determines the area of focus for the career. Criminology focuses on studying crime while forensic psychology helps stymie repeat offenses through psychological evaluation and counseling.Does the CIA hire psychologists? ›
As a Clinical Psychologist working for the CIA, you will have an opportunity to participate in a diverse range of clinical psychology duties throughout your career, to include conducting assessments, providing clinical intervention, offering consultations throughout the organization, and training our highly motivated ...Do employers prefer a BS over a BA? ›
The short answer is no. Employers and graduate school admissions officers rarely care which type of Bachelor's degree you were awarded. They care far more about which major you pursued, where you went to school, the fact that you have a bachelor's degree at all, and how you performed in your classes.What pays more a BA or BS? ›
Bachelor of science graduates earn more—at first
The technical skills often associated with a BS are in high demand. For the first 10 years of experience in the field, BS degrees have the edge.
In short, no. There's no type of bachelor degree that's seen as "better" or harder to earn by all employers and grad schools. Both BA and BS degrees require hard work and skills across multiple areas.How many hours a week does a forensic psychologist work? ›
A forensic psychologist's workday depends on where they practice. "I work in a forensic hospital, and so I work 40 hours per week," says Kathy Ronan in Alabama. She spends extra time in court. Psychologists who run their own practices are free to work as few or as many hours as they wish.
A degree in Forensic psychology can open an array of career opportunities. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for Psychologists are expected to grow by almost 14% by 2026.Who is the most famous forensic psychologist? ›
When it comes to forensic science and psychology, Dr. Henry Lee is among the most well-known names in the world. Dr. Lee is widely regarded as a leading expert in his profession due to his involvement in several high-profile criminal cases, such as those involving O. J.What are three 3 subspecialties of forensic psychology? ›
For our purposes, forensic psychology will be divided into five subspecialties: (1) police psychology, (2) psychology of crime and delinquency, (3) victimology and victim services, (4) legal psychology, and (5) correctional psychology.What is the best state to live in for a forensic psychologist? ›
Salary and Career Outlook
Major metropolitan areas usually provide more job opportunities for forensic psychologists than rural areas. Top-paying cities include Denver, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., and top-paying states include Oregon, California, New York, and Louisiana, according to PayScale.
While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $187,000 and as low as $22,000, the majority of Entry Level Forensic Psychologist salaries currently range between $41,000 (25th percentile) to $99,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $139,500 annually across the United States.What are the 4 roles of a Forensic Psychologist? ›
The roles assigned to the Forensic Psychologist are the clinical role, the experimental role, the actuarial role, and the advisory role. The clinical role focuses primarily upon a scientific determination of the mental state of the offender.What skills do you need to be a Forensic Psychologist? ›
- knowledge of psychology.
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach.
- analytical thinking skills.
- the ability to understand people's reactions.
- sensitivity and understanding.
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure.
Obtaining a BPS accredited Masters in Forensic Psychology, followed by a BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology Stage 2 (which requires a minimum of 2 years supervised practice in which you need to show evidence of applying psychology in forensic practice). Obtaining a doctorate.What school has the best forensic psychology program? ›
- University of Denver. Denver, CO. ...
- CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice. New York, NY. ...
- Washington University in St Louis. ...
- University of North Dakota. ...
- Kean University. ...
- Florida Institute of Technology. ...
- Arizona State University Digital Immersion. ...
- Saint Elizabeth University.
Major metropolitan areas usually provide more job opportunities for forensic psychologists than rural areas. Top-paying cities include Denver, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., and top-paying states include Oregon, California, New York, and Louisiana, according to PayScale. Experience also influences compensation.
Work in the Intersection of Psychology and Law
The online Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology is offered through the LSU Department of Psychology and the LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences.
The fastest-growing branch of forensic psychology is considered correctional psychology. Correctional psychology is the application of psychological theory and treatments to the currently incarcerated population.What state has the highest demand for forensic psychologists? ›
|Total Forensic Psychologist Jobs:||270|
|Highest 10 Percent Earn:||$129,000|
- Forensic Medical Examiner. Perhaps the highest paying position in the field of forensic science is forensic medical examiner. ...
- Forensic Engineer. ...
- Forensic Accountant. ...
- Crime Scene Investigator. ...
- Crime Laboratory Analyst.
By illustration, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2022) shows that between 2021 and 2031, careers in forensic science tech are projected to grow 11 percent; private investigation and detective work, 6 percent; and information security, an astonishing 35 percent nationally.Are forensics in demand? ›
Employment of forensic science technicians is projected to grow 11 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 2,500 openings for forensic science technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade.
- New Mexico.
- West Virginia.
How long does it take to be a forensic psychologist? Most forensic psychology positions require a doctoral degree. Most professionals in this field spend four years on their bachelor's degree, two years on their master's degree, and four years on their doctorate.How much does a forensic psychologist make in Louisiana? ›
The average Forensic Psychologist salary in Louisiana is $64,144 as of January 26, 2023, but the range typically falls between $57,933 and $71,716.Where can a forensic psychology degree take you? ›
Forensic Psychologists also work in rehabilitation units, secure hospitals, social services, and university departments. Some also go into private consultancy.
- Complete your education. The minimum requirement to become a forensic psychologist is to complete your bachelor's degree. ...
- Get a master's degree. ...
- Gain relevant work experience. ...
- Earn a doctoral degree. ...
- Critical thinking. ...
- Communication skills. ...
- Clinical research. ...
- Attention to detail.