Advanced masters programs in forensic psychology provide graduates with a very specific set of skills and knowledge in their particular field of study. Large company's and employers will seek out individuals with a master's degree in forensic psychology. By having an advanced degree, you will make yourself more marketable and be able to obtain a more competitive earning potential. This type of degree will enable you to advance your career and salary in your field of forensic psychology through career advancement and transferable skills to a new company.

Graduate Degree Benefits:

  • Become an industry leader
  • Increase career opportunities
  • Increase earning potential
  • Become more marketable
  • Strategic and critical thinking skills

Career Options with a Masters in Forensic Psychology:

  • Forensic Psychology Manager in Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) - $99,940
  • Forensic Psychology Manager in Offices of Other Health Practitioners - $133,660
  • Forensic Psychology Manager in Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services - $116,210
  • Forensic Psychology Manager in Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) - $101,410
  • Forensic Psychology Manager in Individual and Family Services - $100,640

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Forensic Psychology Managers, on the Internet at (visited March 24, 2022).

Graduate Degree Types for Forensic Psychology Concentrations:

  • M.S. in Forensic Psychology
  • M.A. in Forensic Psychology
  • MSc in Forensic Psychology

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:


You should expect to spend at least two years going to school full-time to earn your forensic psychology Master's Degree. Though, some universities have specialized programs that allow their students to accelerate their degree program. These students are able to complete the forensic psychology master's degree in 16-18 months. If you choose to attend school part-time for any reason, it could take longer to complete your degree.

No matter how you choose to attend, you'll have to complete around 36 to 54 credit hours to graduate with a master’s in forensic psychology degree. These credit hours include specialty programs for your field to build specialized, high-level skills and knowledge in a defined subject area.

Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.

When you know that you want to major in forensic psychology, you should find out if the colleges and universities you're most interested in carry this major. You should check the academic catalogs of each university to verify which ones do carry a forensic psychology specialty and verify with your state's department of education that the colleges you're considering offer the appropriate graduate forensic psychology education program you need for your field.

If a university you're considering doesn't carry a master’s in forensic psychology major, then it's time to cross that school off your list. Keep checking the other schools. For those that do have a forensic psychology major, begin looking over their programs so you get a better idea which university interests you the most.

Before you declare a major in forensic psychology, you should have an idea of what kind of timeframe you're looking at. If you are going for your master's (M.S. or M.A.) degree in forensic psychology, you will need to complete 36 to 54 credit hours over two to three years. Typically, a master's degree program in forensic psychology will take you around 2 years and you will have to finish your bachelor's first and the apply to the MBA Program of your choosing. Some of the courses you will find in a typical forensic psychology master's degree program are:

  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Introduction to Genetics and Evolution
  • Foundations of International Psychiatry
  • Confronting Gender Based Violence
  • Introduction to Computers and Office Productivity Software
  • Anticipating Your Next Battle, in Business and Beyond
  • Confronting Gender Based Violence: Global Lessons for Healthcare Workers
  • An Interdisciplinary Introduction

These days fewer and fewer students graduate in two years. In fact, the government now sets the bar at a three-year term from starting an advanced graduate program to completion. Accredited masters programs in forensic psychology, on the other hand, are more likely to graduate in 18 months to 2 1/2 years. That is because those programs are more competitive, and studies have shown that students in highly competitive programs have more success with graduating in two years (or less.) Keep it mind there are also other determining factors that play a role in how long it takes to graduate like full time vs part time, funding for college, working at the same time (can potentially decrease how many credit hours you can take) etc. A good goal to shoot for is to graduate within 2 to 3 years.

Accreditation is an important part of selecting a school for forensic psychology graduate education. Much depends on accreditation and the type of accreditation. There are two main types of accreditation; regional and national. Regional accreditation agencies work with research-based schools, private schools, public schools, and some for-profit schools. National accreditation works primarily with for-profit and career-related education.

Regional Accreditation

There are two types of regional accreditation; they are forensic psychology program accreditation and institutional accreditation. Institutional accreditation uses a group of states as the base to compare the school with other colleges and universities; the group of states comprises the region assigned by the Department of Education.

Programmatic Accreditation looks at specific programs or parts of a college or university. This type of accreditation has the same type of respect and acceptance as regional accreditation for institutions. Regional employers and other educational institutions regard regional accreditation as proof of high-quality education.

National Accreditation

National accreditation has a Faith-based branch and a career- related education branch. Faith-based institutions have a different set of standards that recognize the role of faith in instruction. The for-profit branch of national accreditation covers the special purpose and non-traditional schools such as vocational schools. The career-related education requires standards that place appropriate weight on general knowledge and education. Some regionally accredited schools do not accept credits from career-related schools.

Did you know that your salary is not always just based on what level of degree you received, but it also could be based on what school you attended? Many employers actually have their own rankings and rating systems of schools. That is to say, if you received your degree from a college that was accredited by a low rated agency, your salary may actually be decreased by a certain percentage where a high-ranked, well-known, accredited school, can raise that mark significantly.

How much a forensic psychology master's degree costs depends upon the school and the state. An associate's degree at a community college may cost roughly $7,500, while an associate's degree from a private college may cost $14,500 or more. A master's degree in forensic psychology may range from approximately $40,000 for two years for in-state residents at a public university, and $140,000 or more for students attending private colleges. Online school tuition also varies, but students do not have to pay for housing, meals or transportation, and costs are generally lower because online classes can cost less for a college or university to operate. To determine the actual costs of your education, perform a budget analysis and investigate all the costs involved with earning a graduate degree in forensic psychology at a school you wish to attend.

You can't afford to take time to redraft your resume, write attention-grabbing cover letters, schedule job interviews, practice your interview skills, or parry salary offers. Not when you're student-teaching and getting ready to graduate.

That is why most universities and colleges have offices where career and placement service professionals can help you with all of the above. If your resume needs to be updated or even totally rewritten, they will help you. If you need to brush up on your interview skills, they can assist you.

Some campuses even hold professional development workshops. These may include networking skills, resume writing, and interviewing skills.