Online Forensic Psychology Graduate Degree Program Overview

Essential Information

Online master's programs in forensic psychology typically have a significant portion of their content based online, but at least a small level of on-campus participation is often required in the form of attendance at seminars or short residencies. These programs can usually be completed in two years for full-time students and four years for part-time students. Some programs integrate in-person experiences, including internships, practicums and capstone projects that students must complete at approved locations. Students may also be required to complete a thesis to earn their degree. Applying to a forensic psychology master's program requires a bachelor's degree in a related social or behavioral science major, with a GPA of 3.00 or above.

Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology

Some schools let students choose a specialization within the forensic psychology field, allowing them to explore their interests and begin preparing for careers in forensic psychology. These could include areas such as mental health, forensics, community psychology, legal systems, investigations, and program planning and evaluation.

Course Topics

The curriculum consists largely of psychology courses, both in forensics and related fields. These programs include very few, if any, electives that are unrelated to forensic psychology. Course topics often include:

  • Psychology of criminal behavior
  • Substance abuse evaluation
  • Sex offender evaluation
  • Psychotherapy
  • Child psychology
  • Psychology research
  • Psychology ethics

How Online Programs Work

Courses may be offered in asynchronous or synchronous formats, combining independent studies with scheduled virtual class activities. In fact, most aspects of forensic psychology degree programs can be completed online, with student-professor communication and assignment transfer being handled by email, online chats and Blackboard systems. Quizzes and exams may also be completed online.

Master's degree programs in forensic psychology focus on the motivations behind criminal behavior; students learn evaluation and treatment techniques to help offenders and victims. While these programs are available online, they usually require some on-campus participation.

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