By BVS Staff
Forensic Psychology is an interdisciplinary field that combines elements of psychology, criminal justice, and law. That means that to become a forensic psychologist, you'll need to take classes in abnormal psychology, criminal behavior, legal studies, and more. The knowledge you'll gain in such courses will enable you to apply the principles of psychology in court, interrogation rooms, and other legal environments.
People who have a bachelor's degree in this field can pursue a variety of careers, ranging from social work and victim advocacy to corrections and law enforcement. And although pursuing a four-year degree can be expensive and time-consuming, it is possible to earn a cheap online forensic psychology degree without completely disrupting your daily life. For proof, check out the schools listed below.
The 10 Best Online Criminal Psychology Degrees Ranking Methodology
For this ranking, we focused on public and private (non-profit) colleges and universities that offer undergraduate (bachelor's) forensic psychology programs online. Because the focus of this list is on affordability, we only considered programs with average* tuition rates of $25,000/year or less.
*For public schools, we calculated the average value of their in-state and out-of-state rates.
Unfortunately, there are a limited number of online forensic psychology degree programs available. Therefore, we could not compile a pool of options large enough to justify a multifactorial ranking system in which we'd score colleges and universities based on a list of specific considerations.
So instead, we ranked the programs solely according to their affordability. See below for the best cheap online criminal psychology degrees, ranked from most to least expensive.
Cheap Online Forensic Psychology Degree Programs Ranked
10. Midway University
Online Bachelor's Degree in Psychology
Officially, Midway University doesn't offer a forensic psychology program online. However, its BA in Psychology offers a nearly equivalent academic experience thanks to some targeted elective options. Not only can you take a class in forensic psychology, but you can also study "Kinesic Interviewing," which teaches you to analyze suspects' body language and facial expressions in criminal interrogations. You'll also pick up relevant skills in core classes on abnormal and social psychology, personality and adjustment, and the psychology profession. In addition, you'll have a chance to acquire hands-on experience in forensic psychology through a practicum and research-oriented capstone class.
Average Tuition & Fees: $23,950/yr
9. Liberty University
Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Criminal Psychology
If you're more interested in the criminal rather than psychological aspects of forensic psychology, check out Liberty University's BS in Criminal Justice. The core classes address all the traditional subjects, including criminology, corrections, the judicial process, and criminal investigations. But you can also get a side of behavioral analysis by adding a concentration in criminal psychology. This 15-credit cognate covers abnormal psychology, crisis intervention, behavior management, and more. In the end, this is one of the top online forensic psychology degrees for students who primarily want to focus on criminal justice studies.
Average Tuition & Fees: $21,310/yr
8. Faulkner University
Online Bachelor of Science in Forensic Psychology
Faulkner University's BS in Forensic Psychology covers criminal and psychological topics in a relatively equal measure. When you first enroll in this accredited forensic psychology program online, you'll focus mainly on psychology. The major requirements include classes in developmental and social psychology, behavioral statistics, and research. Later on, you'll delve into the forensics side of the field through required classes like "Criminology" and "Criminal Behavioral Analysis." Plus, you'll get to pick four forensic psych electives from unique options like "Interview and Interrogation," "Criminalistics," and "Constitutional Law." Finally, you'll put your skills into practice as you complete a three-credit internship and capstone research project.
Average Tuition & Fees: $20,970/yr
7. Purdue University
Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Forensic Psychology
At Purdue University, you'll gain the skills you need for a successful career in law enforcement and public safety. At the same time, you'll also pick up valuable knowledge in forensics - thanks to concentrations in both Forensic Psychology and Crime Scene Investigation. Even within the core coursework, this top online criminal psychology degree offers classes in forensic psychology, criminal investigation, and criminology. If you go for the four-course Forensic Psych track, you'll add to this knowledge by studying topics like abnormal psychology and crisis intervention. You might also consider adding an elective from the CSI track; interesting options include "Forensic Fingerprint Analysis" and "Forensic Chemistry and Trace Evidence Analysis."
Average Tuition & Fees: $19,393/yr
6. Arizona State University
Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Forensic Psychology)
Although it's technically a BS in Psychology, Arizona State University's program is much more interdisciplinary than its title would suggest. Required core courses range from "Intro to Psych" to "Intro to Criminology" and "Psychology and Law." The curriculum also offers plenty of flexibility. For example, while all students must take "Neuroscience Focus Area" courses, you can fulfill these credits from a long list of options covering memory and cognition, psychopharmacology, human sexuality, and more. As a student in ASU's affordable forensic psychology program online, you'll also get to take niche electives like "Correctional Psychology" and "Crime and Forensic Mental Health."
Average Tuition & Fees: $19,082/yr
5. Western Kentucky University
Online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology
Western Kentucky University is one of just two schools on this online criminal psychology degrees ranking to offer a BA in Criminology. And although WKU doesn't officially offer a forensics-focused concentration, it probably should. That's because the criminology program's approved electives cover all the topics you'd expect from a forensic psych curriculum, including abnormal psychology, family violence, drug abuse, victimology, and more. Many of the program's core courses - such as "Social Deviance" and "Juvenile Delinquency" - will likely also be of interest to aspiring forensic psych majors. Note that WKU's degree doesn't require an internship or capstone project; you only need to complete a one-credit "Senior Seminar" in your final semester.
Average Tuition & Fees: $17,857/yr
4. Eastern Kentucky University
Online Psychology Bachelor's Degree - Forensic Psychology
In contrast to its western counterpart, Eastern Kentucky's program puts a strong emphasis on general psychology. The core curriculum even requires students to complete one course each from four classic subdivisions of the field: biological, cognitive, developmental, and social psychology. As such, EKU's cheap online forensic psychology degree is ideal for those who want to work in social services or behavioral analysis rather than directly in law enforcement. Even if you choose the Forensic Psych track, your classes will focus on topics like adolescent development and the psychology of personality, but not criminal investigations.
Average Tuition & Fees: $13,808/yr
3. University of South Florida
Online Criminology Degree
One of the unique features of the University of South Florida's criminology degree completion program is that it's largely comprised of electives. That is, you'll only need to take 12 credits of core courses but 24 credits of approved electives. Thanks to this flexibility, it's easy to turn USF's program into an accredited online criminal psychology degree. By choosing classes like "Patterns of Criminal Behavior," "Victimology," "Abnormal Behavior," "Criminal Investigation," and of course "Forensic Psychology," you can get a complete education in all things forensic psych - just without the official degree title!
Average Tuition & Fees: $11,867/yr
2. Louisiana State University-Alexandria
Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology
It's almost surprising that Louisiana State University at Alexandria doesn't offer a forensic psych concentration within its BS in Psychology. Why? Because roughly 80% of the program's approved electives are in criminal justice topics. And given that the curriculum requires you to take 21 credits of electives, it would be nearly impossible to graduate from this program without essentially earning an accredited online forensic psychology degree. Even the core coursework covers typical criminology-related topics like abnormal and social psychology, personality, and drugs and behavior. Add in electives like "Juvenile Delinquency," "Criminology," and "Probation and Parole," and this program becomes a no-brainer for students interested in the intersection of criminal justice and human behavior.
Average Tuition & Fees: $10,346/yr
1. Colorado State University-Global Campus
Online Bachelor's Degree in Applied Social Sciences: Criminal Forensics Specialization
Colorado State University doesn't just offer a cheap online criminal psychology degree - it's also one of the most unique on this ranking. Officially, graduates of CSU's program would earn a Bachelor's in Applied Social Sciences with a specialization in Criminal Forensics. But as far as the coursework goes, this degree could rival any other on this list for the variety and comprehensiveness of its curriculum. Core courses span a range of useful topics (e.g., "Human Development" and "Evaluation of Research and Theory in the Social Sciences") while specialization classes take a deep dive into the world of crime. This, of course, includes a class in forensic psychology, but also ones in criminal investigation, forensic interviewing, and more.
Average Tuition & Fees: $8,400/yr
Thanks for reading our ranking of the 10 top cheap forensic psychology programs online!