There has been an influx of accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science degrees that have become available in the past few years. This is a direct result of the field requiring professionals to have an advanced understanding of their expertise, which is currently only available in the form of a graduate degree. And while many professionals are qualified to handle their workload, a graduate degree can and will open new doors for them in terms of professional opportunities.

Many professionals who are interested in earn a graduate degree in the field work full-time, making a traditional program a difficult, if not impossible, option for them. They need programs that are flexible, affordable, and can be completed in a short amount of time in order to maximize their investment. And the programs listed on the school provide all that and more, with each course of study lasting just two years or less when students study part-time.

Methodology

This ranking would not have been possible without the information provided by the National Center for Education Statistics and the College Navigator database. A group of 25 schools was identified just by searching for the term “online Master’s in Forensic Science.” From there, information such as tuition rates and degree completion timelines were considered. The final 20 schools were chosen based on their in-state graduate tuition rates.

Ranking Low-Cost Accelerated Master’s in Forensic Science

20. LaSalle University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Online Master of Science in Economic Crime Forensics

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Economic Crime Forensics from LaSalle University offers two degree concentrations.

Website

Tuition: $30,060

Students interested in economic crime and forensics are offered the chance to earn an accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science that focuses on this discipline. This degree features two concentrations: Corporate Fraud and Network Security, both of which can be completed as a wholly online course of study. Designed to be completed by part-time students in two years, this curriculum focuses on providing asynchronous and synchronous lectures, projects, and labs through the school’s learning management system. Courses run in the traditional academic term format and it is possible to graduate within two years just by taking two courses every term, including summer sessions. Students will find that the majority of this curriculum focuses on corporate and economic fraud. Graduation requirements include a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework, an integrative capstone, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Litigation Support Practices and Procedures, Leadership Assessment and Evaluation, and Computer Digital Forensics.

19. West Virginia University

Morgantown, West Virginia

Master of Science in Forensic and Fraud Examination Online

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Forensic and Fraud Examination from WVU requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $29,790

West Virginia University delivers an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science with a dedicated focus on fraud examination. This degree is perfect for students who are interested in becoming forensic accountants or working for federal agencies as a forensic analyst. The curriculum provides a pathway to sit for the Certified Fraud Examiner exam. This is a low-residency online program; students will have two separate two-day residencies on campus during their degree plan. These days are set aside for workshops and on-hands training in the field. All other coursework requirements are completed either asynchronously or synchronously on the school’s virtual platform; courses run in 16-week sessions. Students who take two courses per term and also attend summer sessions will be able to complete the degree in two years. This degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework, team projects, two residencies, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Decision Analysis for Business Executives, Advanced Analytical Techniques, and Financial Statements Analysis.

18. Utica College

Utica, New York

Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity, Computer Forensics Specialization

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Cybersecurity in Computer Forensics from Utica College offers five degree specializations.

Website

Tuition: $28,950

The accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science that is available from Utica College was designed to prepare students to become cybersecurity forensic analysts. This program is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the United States Department of Homeland Security. The curriculum was designed specifically for working adults and can be completed in two years as a part-time plan of study. There are five specializations available for this degree: Intelligence, Computer Forensics, Malware Analysis, Electronic Crime, and Cyber Operations. While 95 percent of this degree is completed online, students will have to participate in one campus residency; this residency is three days long and takes place in a student’s first semester. Professionals can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Principles of Cybercrime Investigations, Cyber Intelligence, and Advanced Topics in Computer Forensics.

17. The University of New Haven

West Haven, Connecticut

MS in Investigations Online

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Investigations from the University of New Haven offers three degree specializations.

Website

Tuition: $26,700

The University of New Haven provides students with a one-year Master’s in Forensic Science online that is built to be a multidisciplinary degree. The program comes with three specializations: Criminal Investigations, Financial Crimes Investigations, and Digital Forensics Investigations. Students who wish to study more than one area may choose to complete a graduate certificate in a separate area. The program and all of its concentrations are 100 percent available online. Instead of attending campus, students will complete all of their coursework online through the school’s virtual portal. All courses are delivered in a four-week format, meaning that students can complete the degree in less than a year just by taking one course at a time. Students will find that each concentration comes with the ability to sit for certification in that area. This degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Internet Vulnerabilities and Criminal Activity, Topics in Investigations, and Network Security Data Protection and Telecommunications.

16. Northcentral University

San Diego, California

Online Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Forensic Psychology from Northcentral University can be completed in 20 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $25,850

Students at Northcentral University are provided with a one-of-a-kind accelerated Master’s in Forensic Science that focuses on the field of psychology. This program is built for professionals who wish to work in the criminal justice system as a forensic psychologist. However, this degree alone will not license students to practice as a psychology professional. This degree is customized to work for busy professionals; there are 52 start dates a year, students work alone through asynchronous sessions, and courses run in eight-week sessions. Students who take one course every term will be able to complete this degree in 20 months; students who take two or more may be able to complete the degree in less than a year. Students will be expected to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive oral exit exam. Sample courses include Psychological Evaluation and Treatment of Offenders, Forensic Psychology in Correctional Settings, and Diversity and Forensic Psychology.

15. The University of Maryland University College

Adelphi, Maryland

Online Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation from the University of Maryland University College is available 100 percent online.

Website

Tuition: $24,984

The University of Maryland University College delivers an accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science that can be completed in two years. Students will find that this degree focuses on cybersecurity and the forensic investigation procedures that help to maintain the laws in America. The successful completion of this degree leads to a pathway to take any of the four following certification exams: EnCase Certified Examiner, Certified Cyber Forensics Professional, AccessData Certified Examiner, and EC-Council Certified Incident Handler. This is a 100 percent online degree; hybrid courses are available as well for students who live in the area. The curriculum is sequential in nature, meaning that students will have to complete the core courses prior to moving into free electives. Students can expect to complete their coursework through the school’s virtual portal; courses run in the traditional 16-week academic term format. This degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Digital Forensics Response and Analysis, Digital Forensics Technology and Practices, and Advanced Forensics.

14. Stevenson University

Owing Mills, Maryland

Online Master of Forensic Science

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online Master of Forensic Science from Stevenson University offers two degree concentrations.

Website

Tuition: $24,120

The accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science that is available from Stevenson University was designed with working professionals in mind. This program of study can be completed in two years. There are two concentrations available for this program: Biology and Chemistry. Students will need to choose one prior to moving into the curriculum, which is delivered 100 percent online with no residency requirements. Students will complete their coursework, with the exception of their practicum, online through the school’s learning management system. This is a rigorous course of study with courses following the 16-week academic term format and requiring mock trial practices, research projects, and more. Students who can complete two courses per term, including summer sessions, will be able to graduate within two years. Graduation requirements for this degree include 36 credit hours of coursework, a mock trial practice, a practicum, a research project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Forensic DNA Computer Apps, Trace Evidence, and Physical Evidence at Crime Scenes.

13. Champlain College

Burlington, Vermont

Online Master of Science in Digital Forensics

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Digital Forensics requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $23,850

Champlain College offers students a one-year online Master’s in Forensic Science that was built to prepare students to become professionals in the digital forensics field. This program is delivered wholly online, has no residency requirements, and can be completed in one year when students take two courses every term. The coursework necessary for graduation can be found on the school’s virtual portal and is designed to be on-demand to ensure that students never have to set aside time to participate in live classes. Courses last eight weeks and with six terms available every year, students can reasonably complete this degree in less than a year. Students can expect to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive oral exit exam. Sample courses include Scripting for Digital Forensics, Legal Principles of Digital Investigation, and Digital Investigation for Civil Litigation.

12. National University

San Diego, California

Master of Forensic Sciences Online

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online Master of Forensic Sciences from National University offers two degree specializations.

Website

Tuition: $23,220

The accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science provided by National University that was designed specifically for students with a bachelor’s degree in laboratory sciences. This degree offers two specializations: Criminalistics and Investigation. Students will note that this is a mostly online degree; residencies are required throughout the degree plan for immersion and workshop purposes. Most courses are available online through the school’s learning management system and are delivered asynchronously and synchronously on a 16-week format. Students who take two courses every term and attend summer sessions will be able to graduate within two years. This degree requires 54 quarter credit hours of coursework, a research project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Major Case Investigation, Forensic Pathology, and Criminal Profiling.

11. Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Online Master of Science in Psychology, Concentration in Forensic Psychology

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Psychology in Forensic Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University can be completed in 15 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $22,572

Southern New Hampshire University is home to an accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science that can be completed in as little as 15 months. Students will find that this 100 percent online program has no residency requirements and features five start dates each year. Courses are available asynchronously and in 10-week terms, making it possible for a student who takes two courses every term to graduate in 15 months. The program also features small class sizes, a national network for career advice and internship opportunities, and a state-of-the-art virtual portal that offers all the resources that an online student would need. This degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Psychology in the Courtroom, Social Psychology, and Ethical Practice in Psychology.

10. DeSales University

Center Valley, Pennsylvania

Online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, Digital Forensics Concentration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MA in Criminal Justice in Digital Forensics from DeSales University requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $22,350

The accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science that is available from DeSales University is focused on criminal and digital forensics. This degree was built to be offered wholly online and can be taken part-time or full-time; students generally graduate within two years when they study part-time. Courses are asynchronous or synchronous and are delivered via the school’s learning management system. Sessions last for 16 weeks and students who take two courses every term and attend summer school one term will be able to complete the degree in two years. Students can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, the Master Project Seminar, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Digital Investigation and Evidence Collection, Ethics in Criminal Justice, and Advanced Criminology.

9. Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Forensic Psychology Concentration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Criminal Justice in Forensic Psychology from Liberty University can be completed in 18 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $20,340

Liberty University provides students with an accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science that can be completed in just 18 months. Students at this school will find that this program was built to help working professionals gain valuable knowledge and insight into their fields while ensuring that they are prepared for taking on more advanced roles. The curriculum is available 100 percent online with no residency requirements. Courses are delivered asynchronously in eight-week sessions, making it possible for a student who takes just two courses per term to complete the degree in 18 months. Students will be required to complete a thesis and an oral defense of their thesis for graduation. Other requirements include a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive oral exit exam. Sample courses include Human Resource Management in Criminal Justice Organizations, Criminal Justice Program Evaluation, and Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders.

8. Saint Leo University

St. Leo, Florida

Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Forensic Science Concentration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Criminal Justice in Forensic Science from Saint Leo University requires 33 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $18,975

The accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science at Saint Leo University combines an online education with hands-on learning provided by experienced professionals. This degree was built specifically for working professionals who are interested in finding a degree that takes less than two years to complete. This program is comprehensive and can be found entirely online; all courses are available asynchronously and synchronously through the school’s learning management system. Sessions run in 16-week blocks. Students who choose to study at least two courses during every term and complete one summer term will be able to graduate within two years. Students can expect to complete a minimum of 33 credit hours of coursework, the Applied Project in Criminal Justice Administration, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Forensic and Medicolegal Death Investigation, Advanced Forensic Science, and Crime Scene Investigation and Management.

7. Arizona State University

Tucson, Arizona

MS in Forensic Psychology Online

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Forensic Psychology from Arizona State University requires 33 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $18,660

Arizona State University confers a 12-month online Master’s in Forensic Science degree that is completed 100 percent online. This degree was built to prepare students for practical work in the field of forensic psychology or to move into doctoral study. This degree is conferred through asynchronous and synchronous coursework, all of which can be found on the school’s learning management system. Courses run seven weeks long, making it possible for a student who chooses to take two courses every term to complete the degree in less than one year. Most students choose to focus on one course for every term; they graduate in less than two years. This degree requires a minimum of 33 credit hours of coursework, the Capstone in Forensic Psychology, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Advanced Legal Psychology, Psychopathology, and Advanced Forensic Psychology.

6. The University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Online Master of Forensic Science

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online Master of Forensic Science from the University of Florida requires 32 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $18,400

Students interested in a two-year accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science will find what they are looking for at the University of Florida. This degree is delivered 100 percent online and was designed for professionals who are currently actively working in the field of forensics. This degree is science-based; students without a degree in laboratory science will find themselves at a disadvantage in this curriculum. Courses are delivered asynchronously and synchronously through the school’s virtual portal; sessions run for 16 weeks. Students will be able to complete this degree in two years if they study full-time. This degree requires 32 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Biological Evidence and Serology, Principles of Forensic Science, and Applied Statistics for Data Analysis.

5. Nova Southeastern University

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Online Master of Health Science in Forensic Investigative Technology

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online Master of Health Science in Forensics Investigative Technology requires 40 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $17,000

Nova Southeastern University offers students an exciting new two-year accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science. This degree is comprehensive in nature and is found entirely online; there are no residency requirements. Students will complete all of their coursework online through the school’s virtual portal, where courses are delivered asynchronously or synchronously and in a 16-week format. Students should note that this program of study requires a practicum that must be completed in their community under the supervision of an approved preceptor. This is a comprehensive program that requires more from students than most degrees in this field; it is meant for ambitious professionals who already have some experience in the field. Students can expect to complete 40 credit hours of coursework, an integrative capstone, and a comprehensive oral exit exam. Sample courses include Crime Scene, Overview of Crime Laboratory Management, and Forensic Analysis of Trace and Drug Evidence.

4. Florida International University

Miami, Florida

Online Professional Science Master’s in Forensic Science

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online Professional Science Master’s in Forensic Science can be completed in 16 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $14,581

The 16-month accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science that is available from Florida International University is built for professionals who have some experience in the field. This degree utilizes cutting-edge online education tools and technologies and combines it with hands-on experience and courses supervised by experienced professionals. This is a 100 percent online cohort program that delivers the curriculum through the school’s learning management system; courses follow the traditional 16-week academic term format. Students will find that an internship is required for this degree; this will be completed in their community under the supervision of an approved preceptor. This degree requires 32 credit hours of coursework, an internship, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Forensic Biology, Chemistry and Analysis of Drugs, and Forensic Science Leadership.

3. The University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Online Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MA in Forensic Psychology from the University of North Dakota requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $12,122

The University of North Dakota is home to the nation’s most-ranked online Master’s in Forensic Science degree in the nation. This program is designed to be completed in two years and provides students with a flexible curriculum that can be found 100 percent online with no residency requirements. The degree utilizes asynchronous and synchronous courses, online labs, and more, all of which are found through the school’s virtual portal; students will complete their degree in the traditional 16-week format. Students are encouraged, but not required, to complete a practicum or a research project as part of their coursework requirements. Other degree requirements include 30 credit hours of coursework, the Forensic Psychology Capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Advanced Univariate Studies, Advanced Social Psychology, and Foundations of Behavioral Data Analytics.

2. Aspen University

Denver, Colorado

Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Forensic Sciences Specialization

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Criminal Justice in Forensic Sciences from Aspen University requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $11,700

Students who are interested in earning a two-year accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science are encouraged to take a look at Aspen University. This school offers students the chance to earn this degree completely online without ever having to step foot on campus. The program utilizes the school’s learning management system, where courses are delivered asynchronously and synchronously. Students will find that courses are offered in 16-week sessions. Those who study two or three courses every term and attend summer sessions will complete this degree in two years. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and two proctored exams throughout the course of their program. Sample courses include Technology in Law Enforcement, Advanced Corrections, and Crime Scene Investigation.

1. The University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida

Online Master of Science in Digital Forensics

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Forensic Science Online for 2018
The online MS in Digital Forensics from UCF requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $11,090

The University of Central Florida is one of the best accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science programs for students who are interested in digital forensics. This is a wholly online course of study that has a strong focus on computers and digital crime. Students without a background in computer science may be required to take prerequisite courses prior to moving into the program. This degree is delivered through asynchronous and synchronous courses, all of which are offered in 16-week sessions through the school’s learning management system. This degree can be completed in two years when students choose to study part-time. Students can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include The Practice of Digital Forensics, Incident Response Technologies, and Operating Systems and File System Forensics.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Accelerated Online Master’s in Forensic Science Degree?

  • Forensic Scientist
  • Associate Research Scientist
  • Environmental Health Manager
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Forensic Computer Analyst
  • Forensic Pathologist
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Police Detective
  • Forensic Toxicologist
  • Scientific Laboratory Technician
  • Pharmaceutical Forensic Analyst
  • Forensic Medical Examiner
  • Crime Laboratory Analyst
  • Forensic Engineer

How Much Can You Earn in this Field?

The salary range for forensic science varies wildly; currently, the range is $48,000 to $200,000. It is important to note that the range accounts for professionals at entry-level, mid-level, or senior-level positions as well as positions in both the public and private sectors. It also includes professions, such as forensic psychiatrist and medical examiner, that include licensure and medical school. Students are encouraged to look at this range and understand that most of the high-end salaries come with required endorsements and post-master’s education.

What are the Various Disciplines of Forensic Science?

Forensic science is a broad discipline that is best known for its contributions in the criminology field. However, its applications are far more wide-ranging than just criminal justice. Forensic science has its place in the business, government, financial, education, and workplace settings.

The major forensic science disciplines are DNA, biology, toxicology, drug chemistry, biology, polygraph, and forensic accounting. In this industry, professionals will focus on one discipline throughout their career. This is due to both the sheer amount of knowledge it takes to become an expert in one discipline and the fact that the separation of disciplines also allows professionals to be objective in their work.

All forensic scientists, regardless of their discipline, will have an understanding of the natural sciences, critical thinking, reasoning, analytical skills, communication skills, research, academic writing, and interpersonal skills. They will also work within the computer technology field, statistics, modeling, quantitative and qualitative methods, and more.

Forensic science is a key component of not just the criminal justice field, but all fields that require objective scientific investigation to come to a resolution. It takes a dedicated professional to commit to this career and the time and effort they put into building their understanding of the discipline is beneficial to themselves and the people that interact with their work. Now that accelerated online Master’s in Forensic Science degrees are available in a flexible format, more professionals can pursue their dreams of moving into advance work in the field.

This concludes our ranking of the Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Forensic Science Online.