In this article, we profile the top 25 most affordable online master’s in forensic studies programs of 2019.

Forensic science technicians, similar to the characters in your favorite crime shows, aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing crime scene evidence. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of forensic scientists and technicians is projected to grow 17 percent through 2026. Employment growth is expected as local and state agencies hire additional forensic science specialists to process increasing and backlogged caseloads. With demand comes the need for qualified specialists. Thankfully, affordable master’s in forensic studies online programs are offered by top ranked institutions. These programs allow students to work while earning their graduate degree.

Top 25 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Forensic Studies Programs Methodology

We looked at approximately 50 colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offered at least one master’s in forensic studies online degree program. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: Accreditation from regional or national governing bodies, school or program rankings from at least one major publication like U.S. News and World Report, and affordable graduate tuition and fees of less than $41,000 per year. Of note, twenty-four of the twenty-five programs on our list cost less than $21,000 annually. We listed our top 25 programs according to raw affordability.

Below is our list of the most affordable online master’s in forensic studies programs of 2019.

#25 – William James College

Online Master’s in Forensic and Correctional Counseling

Newton, Massachusetts

Website

William James College - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Full-time and part-time programs available! William James College – Master’s in Forensic Studies online programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $40,520

William James College offers a part-time and full-time master’s in forensic studies online program that emphasizes forensics and correctional counseling. The program is designed for counselors to be trained specifically to work as treatment specialists involved in the criminal justice system. Core curriculum includes classes in clinical skills, lifespan development, professional issues and ethics, and theories of counseling and psychotherapy. Forensic and correctional counseling courses include criminal behavior, mental health and counseling in the legal system, and trauma – theory and treatment. A practicum must be completed to satisfy degree requirements. It is important to note that not all classes are delivered online, though some courses may be available via distance education. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school among the top graduate schools and psychological health institutions in the country.

#24 – Nova Southeastern University

Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Website

Nova Southeastern University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Two specialization tracks! Nova Southeastern University – Master’s in Forensic Psychology online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,620

The online master’s in forensic studies and psychology program at Nova Southeastern University consists of 36 credits and provides students with insight into the intersection of law and psychology. Two tracks allow students to specialize in different areas of forensic psychology, including legal system or mental health workers and first responders. Core courses for both pathways include introduction to forensic psychological science, methods and tools of psychological and violence risk assessment, and psychopathology and behavioral interventions in forensic settings. Admission requirements include two professional or academic letters of recommendation, statement of goals, and official transcripts. U.S. News and World Report ranks Nova #191 in best national universities.

#23 – DeSales University

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice – Digital Forensics

Center Valley, Pennsylvania

Website

DeSales University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
DeSales University’s online master’s in forensic studies is 100% online!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,160

One of the more affordable online forensic degree programs on our list is offered by DeSales University. This fully online graduate program provides the basics of criminological theory and practice while concentrating studies in the field of digital forensics. All courses are online and can be taken full-time or part-time. These courses include encryption techniques, examination of evidence, latest forensic tools, and web-based investigations. Requirements for admission include a bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by one of six regional accrediting bodies, a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0, background or interest in the field of criminal justice, and three letters of recommendation. U.S. News and World Report ranks DeSales #55 in best regional universities in the North.

#22 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

Southern New Hampshire University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
No GRE or GMAT! Southern New Hampshire University’s master’s in forensic studies online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,810

One of the most affordable online forensic psychology degree programs on our list is offered by Southern New Hampshire University. This fully online program requires no GRE or GMAT for admission and allows students to earn their degree in just 15 months. Students take two courses each ten-week term and move at an accelerated pace to meet degree requirements. Courses include cognitive process, ethical practice in psychology, forensic psychology, intersection of law and psychology, measurement and assessment, research methods in psychology, and theories of personality. U.S. News and World Report ranks Southern New Hampshire #112 in best regional universities in the North and #1 in most innovative schools.

#21 – Northcentral University

Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology

San Diego, California

Website

Northcentral University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
No GRE or GMAT required for admission to Northcentral University’s master’s in forensic studies online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,917

Northcentral University offers an affordable online forensic psychology degree program that can be completed 100 percent online. This 30-credit hour program consists of ten courses and takes approximately 20 months to complete. Admission requires an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Also, the program has no GRE or GMAT exam requirement. Classes have weekly starts designed to fit the busy schedules of working students. These classes include ethical principles in research and academics, forensic psychology, and research methods in forensic psychology. While Northcentral is not ranked by U.S. News and World Report, the school is recognized as an unranked top national university. Also, several online graduate programs have received top 200 rankings.

#20 – Saint Joseph’s University

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website

Saint Joseph's University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
1.5 years to complete! Saint Joseph’s University – affordable master’s in forensic studies online degree program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,992

Saint Joseph’s University offers a master’s in forensic studies online program that emphasizes criminal justice. The program is fully online and offers five concentrations in behavior analysis, behavior management, federal law enforcement, homeland security, and intelligence and crime analysis. Choosing the crime analysis concentration prepares students for research in crime prevention and the contemporary functions of strategic, tactical, and operational intelligence. The program takes approximately 1.5 years to complete. U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution #12 in best regional universities in the North. Also, the online graduate criminal justice programs rank #28 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#19 – University of New Haven

Online Master’s in Investigations

West Haven, Connecticut

Website

University of New Haven - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
100% online with concentration options – University of New Haven – master’s in forensic studies online programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,690

One of the most affordable online master’s in forensic studies programs on our list is the online master’s in investigations at University of New Haven. The program is 100% online and offers unique concentrations in criminal investigations, digital forensics, and financial crimes. With the one-year ten-course program, students earn a degree at an accelerated rate. Classes include contemporary topics in investigations, criminal procedure, investigations, supervising and managing the investigative unit and process, and survey of forensic sciences. Several graduate certificates are also offered. U.S. News and World Report ranks University of New Haven #93 in best regional universities in the North and #62 in best value schools.

#18 – National University

Online Master of Forensic Sciences

La Jolla, California

Website

National University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Fully online – National University’s master’s in forensic studies online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,480

National University offers online forensic degree programs including the Master of Forensic Sciences. The program is grounded in the study of basic human anatomy, components of death investigation, and the analysis of disease and trauma. Classes are delivered fully online and run four weeks. These courses include advanced forensic toxicology, crime scene investigation, forensic serology and DNA, and trace evidence. The highly specialized professional degree is ideal for law enforcement, lab personnel, investigators, and others seeking to upgrade their skills. U.S. News and World Report ranks National University as a top regional college in the Midwest. Also, several graduate programs have been recognized and ranked by major publications like U.S. News.

#17 – Champlain College

Online Master’s in Digital Forensics

Burlington, Vermont

Website

Champlain College - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
100% online – Champlain College – master’s in digital forensics online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,310

Champlain College’s master’s in forensic studies online program emphasizes digital forensic science. The program is offered 100% online, and classes are delivered in eight-week sessions. Courses include digital forensic science, digital investigation for civil litigation, incident response and network forensics, legal principles of digital investigation, and scripting for digital forensics. Admission to the program requires a minimum 2.5 GPA and undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. There is no GMAT or GRE requirement. U.S. News and World Report ranks Champlain #81 in best regional universities in the North and #59 in best value schools. Also, Champlain ranks #5 in most innovative schools.

#16 – University of Florida

Online Master’s in Forensic Science

Gainesville, Florida

Website

University of Florida - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Ranked and affordable – University of Florida – master’s in forensic studies online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,737

University of Florida offers an online master’s in forensic studies that consists of 32 credits and specialization options. Classes are delivered online, and enrolled students may earn their degree while working at their own pace. Four specialization options include additional focus in forensic DNA and serology, forensic drug chemistry, forensic science, and forensic toxicology. Courses cover a series of core topics, such as applied statistics for data analysis, biological evidence and serology, forensic toxicology, and special topics in forensic science. U.S. News and World Report ranks UF #35 in best national universities and #91 in best value schools. Also, several online graduate programs rank among the top 10 and top 20 programs.

#15 – Ashford University

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

San Diego, California

Website

Ashford University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
The online criminal justice degree at Ashford University offers courses in forensics.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,540

The criminal justice degree at Ashford University includes studies found in many online master’s in forensic studies programs. In fact, the online graduate degree program is designed specifically to prepare individuals wanting to go into fields of criminology. Students take courses that help develop skills in cybercrime, forensics, and victimology. The program consists of 39 credits and courses that run six weeks in length. Students are required to take one course at a time to earn their degree. Courses for the optional forensic science specialization include advanced forensic science, crime scene investigation and management, and introduction to forensic science. Ashford is an accredited institution that has earned recognition from U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school is recognized as a top regional university in the West.

#14 – Arizona State University

Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Arizona State University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Only 11 courses – Arizona State University’s online master’s in forensic psychology.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,134

For individuals seeking online forensic psychology degrees, Arizona State University offers an award-winning program. The program consists of 11 courses, all of which are delivered online, that run 7.5 weeks in length. Courses include capstone in forensic psychology, research methods for forensic psychology, and seminar in criminal justice. Admission requirements include an earned bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology, criminal justice, social science, or a closely related field. The degree must have been earned from an accredited institution. ASU is ranked and accredited. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #115 in best national universities. Also, the online graduate criminal justice programs, including the master’s in forensic psychology, ranks #6 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#13 – CUNY John Jay College

Online Master’s in Forensic Science

New York, New York

Website

CUNY John Jay College - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Fully accredited & affordable! CUNY John Jay College’s master’s in forensic studies online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,212

Cuny’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers several master’s in forensic studies online degree programs, including forensic science, digital forensics and cybersecurity, and forensic psychology. The forensic science master’s program is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). Courses include advanced instrumental analysis, advanced criminalistics, forensic DNA technology, fundamentals of forensic toxicology, and physical and biological evidence. Several optional subspecialties can also be explored, including criminalistics, forensic toxicology, or molecular biology. The institution is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks CUNY-John Jay College #139 in best regional universities in the North and #46 in top public schools.

#12 – Florida International University

Online Master’s in Forensic Science

Miami, Florida

Website

Florida International University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Ranked and accredited – Florida International University’s master’s in forensic studies online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,097

Florida International University’s online master’s in forensic studies is an innovative program designed to enable students to pursue advanced training in forensic science. The 16-month cohort-based program offers online courses with practical hands-on learning opportunities. Courses include forensic analysis, forensic biology, forensic science leadership, organizational behavior, and organization information systems. Admission requirements include an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a 3.0 GPA in upper-level coursework. FIU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school #187 in top national universities and #100 in top public schools.

#11 – Trine University

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

Angola, Indiana

Website

Trine University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Trine University’s master’s in criminal justice is a fully online program that explores forensic studies.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,900

One of the most affordable online forensic degree programs on our list is the master’s in criminal justice at Trine University. The program is open to adults with bachelor’s degrees and provides education and preparation for both pre- and mid-career individuals serving their communities in court, criminal justice, corrections, or law. Classes are delivered online and include applied statistics for criminal justice, criminal justice policy formation and analysis, planning and program evaluation, research and writing for professional success, and the American system of justice. U.S. News and World Report ranks Trine #24 in best regional colleges in the Midwest and #19 in best value schools.

#10 – University of North Dakota

Online Master’s in Forensic Psychology

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Website

University of North Dakota - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
30 credits required! University of North Dakota’s master’s in forensic psychology online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,697

University of North Dakota’s online forensic psychology degree programs include a master’s designed for working students. The master’s in forensic psychology takes two years and can be completed by taking part-time online courses. A total of 30 credits are required for the degree. Courses include advanced social psychology, behavior pathology, forensic psychology, psychology and the law, readings in psychology, and special topics in psychology, including eyewitness testimony and psychology in the courtroom. To be admitted to the program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution #205 in best national universities and #112 in top public schools.

#9 – University of Central Florida

Online Master’s in Forensic Science

Orlando, Florida

Website

University of Central Florida - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Three concentrations offered in the master’s in forensic studies online program at University of Central Florida.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,872

University of Central Florida offers an online master’s in forensic studies that consists of 32-34 credits. The program is designed for both practicing professionals and full-time students, though can be completed entirely online. Three different concentrations are available. These concentrations include forensic analysis, forensic biochemistry, and forensic professional. Students are able to select an area they are passionate about and take additional courses. To be admitted to the program, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school among the top institutions. In fact, U.S. News ranks UCF #165 in best national universities.

#8 – Saint Leo University

Online Master’s in Forensic Science

Saint Leo, Florida

Website

Saint Leo University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies online programs
Saint Leo University’s master’s in forensic studies online program is ranked with U.S. News and World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,498

Saint Leo University’s online master’s in forensic studies is a criminal justice degree with a forensic science specialization. The program can be completed entirely online by taking courses via distance learning. These courses include advanced forensic science, crime scene investigation and management, ethical issues in criminal justice administration, introduction to forensic science, legal issues in criminal justice administration, and research methods in criminal justice. Admission to the program requires an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a competitive undergraduate GPA. U.S. News and World Report ranks Saint Leo University #47 in best regional universities in the South.

#7 – Emporia State University

Online Master’s in Forensic Science

Emporia, Kansas

Website

Emporia State University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Emporia State University’s master’s in forensic studies online program offers two concentrations.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,374

While the Emporia State University forensic science graduate program is not a full master’s in forensic studies online degree, several courses are offered via distance learning and can be taken in addition to the on-campus classes. The master’s in forensic science offers two concentrations in biology and chemistry, which require on-campus lab sessions. Courses offered within the program include biological and physical evidence, criminalistics, forensic science, and molecular techniques for forensic scientists. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and have adequate training in the concentration areas. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Emporia State among the top institutions. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school #106 in best regional universities in the Midwest and #29 in top public institutions.

#6 – Liberty University

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice – Forensic Psychology

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
100% online! Liberty University’s master’s in forensic studies online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,333

The online forensic psychology degree at Liberty University consists of 36 credit hours and takes, on average, 1.5 years to earn. Classes are delivered 100% online and run eight weeks in length. These courses cover topics like administration of justice organizations, criminal justice integration, crisis intervention in law enforcement, fundamentals of forensic psychology, psychology and the legal system, and rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders. Admission requirements require a regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0. There is no GRE or GMAT score requirement. U.S. News and World Report ranks Liberty #230-#301 in best national universities.

#5 – University of Alabama

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

Birmingham, Alabama

Website

University of Alabama - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
University of Alabama – Master’s in Criminal Justice Online is a non-thesis degree with forensic studies classes.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,100

University of Alabama’s online forensic degree programs, including the master’s in criminal justice, can be earned 100% online. The program is designed to mirror the in-person non-thesis plan degree. Applicants are required to submit a completed online application and fee, transcripts from all post-secondary institutions, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Evidence of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university is also required. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank University of Alabama among the top institutions. In fact, U.S. News ranks UAB #157 in best national universities and #80 in top public schools.

#4 – Stevenson University

Online Master’s in Forensic Studies

Stevenson, Maryland

Website

Stevenson University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Requires a bachelor’s for admission – Stevenson University’s master’s in forensic studies online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,040

Stevenson University offers a forensic science master’s degree online designed for working adults. Classes are delivered entirely online and taught by accomplished faculty with both real-world and academic experience. Some of the required courses cover topics such as forensic journal research and review, forensic studies, foundations of justice, investigative techniques, litigation theory and practice, special topics – election law, and white-collar crimes. To be admitted to the program, applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and have a 3.0 GPA. Also, official transcripts and a personal statement are required. U.S. News and World Report ranks Stevenson #81 in regional universities in the North.

#3 – East Carolina University

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice

Greenville, North Carolina

Website

East Carolina University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Ranked and affordable – East Carolina University’s master’s in forensic studies online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,485

East Carolina University’s online forensic degree programs include the master’s in criminal justice. This criminal justice degree can be completed entirely online and offers additional certificates in security studies and criminal justice education. For those interested in forensic studies, classes and electives may be taken. These classes cover topics in forensics and criminal investigations. Some of the core courses required for the program include criminal justice principles, principles of criminal justice administration and management, program evaluation, and seminars in criminal behavior and research methods and statistical interpretation. U.S. News and World Report ranks ECU #194 in best national universities and #106 in top public schools.

#2 – Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

Online Master’s in Forensic Science Administration

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Website

Oklahoma State University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
Almost entirely online – Oklahoma State University’s master’s in forensic studies online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,291

One of the most affordable forensic science master’s degree online programs on our list is offered at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences. The online master’s program offers three specialization areas, including arson and explosives investigation, forensic document examination, and forensic science administration. Minimal on-campus activities may be required for the arson and explosives track. The campus is home to a large forensic toxicology lab and 320-acre explosives range facility. Admission to the graduate online program requires an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Oklahoma State has received recognition and rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school recently ranked as a top regional college in the West.

#1 – Aspen University

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice – Forensic Sciences

Denver, Colorado

Website

Aspen University - Top 25 Most Affordable Master's in Forensic Studies Online Programs 2019
#1 most affordable master’s in forensic studies online program – Aspen University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,140

Aspen University’s master’s in forensic studies online degree program offers a graduate degree in criminal justice and concentration in forensic sciences. A total of 12 courses are offered online, and 36 credits are required to satisfy degree stipulations. Some of the online courses include advanced criminal law, advanced criminal procedure, expert testimony and ethics, forensic science, human relations management, and technology in law enforcement. To qualify for admission, applicants must submit a completed online application, hold a bachelor’s degree from an institution that is accredited by a CHEA accrediting body, and provide military documentation (optional). Aspen University is the most affordable school on our list.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a master’s in forensic studies online degree?

We’ve all seen criminal investigators at work on our favorite crime dramas, and while CSI has put a glamorous spin on the job, duties of crime scene investigators and forensic science technicians are fairly routine. Forensic science technicians and criminal investigators collect evidence and analyze crime scenes using various types of laboratory analysis. Most forensic scientists work in a lab while some investigators visit crime scenes within their jurisdiction.

General forensic techs are often referred to as crime scene investigators or criminalists. The job details vary, but the primary duties include collecting evidence and analyzing crime scenes. Evidence collected at the scene of a crime is brought back to a laboratory for analysis.

At the crime scene, forensic specialists may take photographs, collect evidence, and make sketches of the setting of the crime. Evidence is collected, brought back to a lab, and further analysis takes place. Findings are recorded, evidence cataloged and preserved, and the crime scene is often reconstructed.

Forensic chemists and forensic biologists primarily work inside a laboratory and use chemicals and lab equipment when analyzing evidence. DNA samples are studied, and experts in specialized fields, such as toxicology and odontology, are often consulted.

All forensic scientists and technicians are responsible for preparing and writing reports based on their findings. Often, these specialists are called to testify in court about their investigative findings and lab work.

What is the job outlook for those graduating with a master’s in forensic studies online degree?

The employment of forensic science technicians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is projected to grow 17 percent over the next seven years. This is a much faster growth rate than the average of all other occupations, though competition is expected to be strong.

The average growth for all occupations, as listed in the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, is seven percent. As a result, the 17 percent growth rate for forensic science technicians seems impressive. However, the occupation is small, and the quick rate of growth will likely result in only about 2,600 additional jobs through 2026. Since the job market is small, competition for these openings will be strong. According to BLS, applicants with a master’s degree and specialized training in forensics will have the best opportunities.

Job openings are expected due to the growing caseloads for state and local governments. A backlog of cases will demand more technicians be hired to handle and process evidence. Also, as new advances are made in crime scene technology and science, skilled techs will be needed to implement these advances within existing agencies. These needs, especially as courts put a greater value on the evidence used in trials, will require the hiring of highly skilled technicians. This means an advanced degree and specialization within the field of forensic studies will make you a more marketable candidate than your competition.

How much money can I make with a master’s in forensic studies online degree?

PayScale, a global compensation research organization, reports the average pay for a forensic scientist is $53,824 per year. Of course, this is the median pay. The lowest ten percent earn over $36,000 and the highest ten percent earn over $90,000. Experience greatly impacts earnings, and the pay by experience trend is positive. This means that the more experience a forensic scientist has, the more earnings they will make.

Forensic psychologists earn a median salary of $65,403, as reported by PayScale. The highest earners bring in an average of $102,000 per year. The lowest ten percent of earners see $39,000 per year. Similar to the forensic scientist occupation, there is a positive trend for experience. The more experience a forensic psychologist has, the higher the average compensation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the 2018 median pay for forensic science technicians is $58,230. The lowest ten percent earned less than $34,600 and the highest ten percent earned more than $97,200.

Forensic scientists–chemists and biologists working in crime labs–earn more money on average than technicians. Their training is often specialized and requires a unique skillset that technicians do not always have. BLS reports chemists earn a median pay of $78,330. The pay by experience trend for forensic chemists is also positive.

How long does it take to earn a master’s in forensic studies online degree?

The time to completion for a master’s in forensic studies online degree varies according to school and program requirements. While programs vary, our research indicates an average time of 24 months once the student has matriculated. However, some programs on our list can be completed in less time. Fast-paced programs take as little as 16 months.

The primary factor in determining program length is the enrollment level chosen by the student. Full-time enrollment often requires more than one class taken a time, while part-time allows students to space out their classes and take one at a time. Most programs allot five to seven years for students to complete their master’s in forensic studies degree, which provides flexibility for busy and working students. Also, added flexibility among part-time programs allows students to take time away from studies without a penalty. Students do not need to stop out for a term, but rather do not enroll in classes until the following term.

Some of the master’s in forensic studies online programs on our list offer students varying enrollment levels each semester. This flexible enrollment allows students to enroll as a part-time student one semester and a full-time student the next. Flexible enrollment is often seen among online programs, but cohort-based programs require consistent enrollment.

What are the admission requirements for master’s in forensic studies online degree programs?

Admission requirements for most master’s in forensic studies online degree programs vary by institution. Highly selective programs require graduate test scores, competitive undergraduate GPAs, and letters of recommendation. The minimum requirements for most of the programs on our list include an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university.

In addition to an accredited bachelor’s degree, some online forensic studies programs require applicants submit official transcripts. Most schools suggest a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, though some programs will accept lower grade point averages. Top-ranked institutions and programs require at least a 3.0, and in some rare cases, a 3.5 may be required.

GRE or GMAT scores are not always required for admission to a master’s in forensic studies online program; however, top-ranked institutions will ask for GRE scores. Also, depending on the program, classes in criminal justice, biochemistry, or statistics may be required prior to enrollment. Science courses are generally prerequisites for graduate level forensic science programs.

It is common for master’s in forensic studies online programs to require two to three letters of recommendation, academic or professional, and a completed online application. Also, the application will ask for a statement of purpose or letter stating the applicant’s goals.

BCO Staff
May 2019

Related:

This concludes our list of the top 25 most affordable master’s in forensic studies online programs of 2019.