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2023 Most Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Forensic Science

By the OnlineU team | Updated 1/13/2023
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An online master's in forensic science is a law enforcement degree focused on teaching students how to investigate crimes using science, research, and analysis. A range of subjects is taught, including toxicology, botany, and DNA analysis. As with many master's programs, students also develop leadership and communication skills to prepare them for work in administrative and managerial roles. Graduates may go on to work in laboratories or biomedical facilities as technicians or in law enforcement agencies as laboratory managers.

Alternatively, an online master's in forensic psychology explores many of the same techniques but with a focus on the surrounding criminal justice system. You can also check out our overall list of the most affordable online degrees for more inspiration. View our methodology for details about rankings or learn more about us

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Oklahoma State University - Main Campus Stillwater (OK) $5,824
# 2 #2 Stevenson University Stevenson (MD) $11,250
# 3 #3 Saint Leo University Online St. Leo (FL) $11,670
# 4 #4 Arizona State University Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others) $11,910
# 5 (tie) #5 (tie) Champlain College Burlington (VT) $11,925
# 5 (tie) #5 (tie) DeSales University Center Valley (PA) $11,925
# 7 #7 Carlow University Pittsburgh (PA) (and 2 others) $12,726
# 8 #8 University of Central Florida Orlando (FL) (and 7 others) $16,370
# 9 #9 West Virginia University Morgantown (WV) $16,400
# 10 #10 Florida International University Miami (FL) $23,513
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $5,824
Annual Tuition: $5,824
Annual Tuition: $5,824

Oklahoma State University - Main Campus (OSU) is a public university that offers a Master of Science in Forensic Sciences. This degree requires 32 credit hours, which generally takes full-time students at least two years. Students have four areas of emphasis to choose from: (1) Forensic Investigative Sciences, (2) Forensic Psychology, (3) Forensic Biology/DNA, and (4) Forensic Chemistry/Toxicology. Overall, this graduate degree teaches students how to effectively protect the public through the use of new research, emerging technologies, and cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Canvas is the main learning management system (LMS) OSU students utilize to earn their degrees. All non-thesis tracks can be completed fully online. The majority of required credits are devoted to the core curriculum — including classes such as Survey of Forensic Sciences, The Law and Expert Evidence, and Forensic Statistics. Additional credits are required for a final project if students choose the thesis track. Jobs for graduates may include roles as a crime scene technician, lab technician, or DNA analyst.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Average SATs: 1060 -1280
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 821
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 849
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#2
#2

Stevenson University

Stevenson (MD)
Annual Tuition: $11,250
Annual Tuition: $11,250
Annual Tuition: $11,250

Stevenson University (SU) is a private institution with an online Master of Forensic Science requiring 32 credit hours. Typically, students graduate within two years while studying at a full-time pace. The core of the program teaches students how to collect evidence properly by utilizing the proper instruments and technologies.

All online courses at SU are delivered through the Blackboard LMS, which allows students to study fully online and asynchronously (i.e., at their own pace). Among the major requirements are classes such as Physical Evidence at Crime Scenes, Toxicology, and Crime Scene Investigation. Additionally, this remote degree offers two concentration options: (1) Biology and (2) Chemistry.

SU also features two alternative degree programs that feature similar areas of study: (1) a Master of Science in Forensic Investigation and (2) a Master of Science in Forensic Studies. Upon graduation, alumni are prepared to work as crime scene investigators, forensic toxicologists, and forensic chemists.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1190
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 241
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 471
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $11,670
Annual Tuition: $11,670
Annual Tuition: $11,670

Saint Leo University Online (SLU) offers an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Forensic Science requiring 36 credit hours. They recommend students study full time in order to complete this program in approximately two years.

At SLU, students use the Brightspace LMS to access the forensic science program's core online courses, which are taught completely online. Courses are offered both synchronously and asynchronously, depending on the instructor. The curriculum explores the skills and knowledge professionals need to work in the field of forensic science, with course titles such as in Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice Administration, Leadership Applications in Criminal Justice, and Public Policy Making in Criminal Justice. Graduates may earn career opportunities as science reporters, crime scene technicians, and lab technicians.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 8,242
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 4,720
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#4
#4

Arizona State University

Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
Annual Tuition: $11,910
Annual Tuition: $11,910
Annual Tuition: $11,910

Arizona State University (ASU) is a public university offering a Professional Science Master's in Forensic Science that requires 30 credit hours. In general, students complete a master's program in around two years while studying full time.

At ASU, students use Canvas for their remote courses, which are 100% remote. During this master's program, distance learners not only learn advanced forensic science techniques but also the ethics and leadership skills they need to succeed at the professional level. Required classes include Ethics in Forensic Science, Advanced Forensic Psychology, and Biostatistics and Data Management. At the end of the program, students are required to complete an applied project in the area of their choice. Graduates may explore roles as forensic engineers, forensic laboratory directors, and forensic nurses.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Average SATs: 1091 -1301
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 33,410
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 10,843
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#5
#5

Champlain College

Burlington (VT)
Annual Tuition: $11,925
Annual Tuition: $11,925
Annual Tuition: $11,925

Champlain College (CC) is a private institution with a Master of Science in Digital Forensic Science requiring between 30 and 36 credit hours. Students studying full time are likely to complete the degree in just two years. Overall, the core curriculum focuses on digital forensic examination through the utilization of digital devices, data, software, and hardware. Students learn to develop methodologies to analyze devices, evaluate digital forensic methods, and understand the legal structures that surround this field.

CC uses the popular LMS Canvas to deliver online coursework. This learning software allows students to finish their degrees 100% online and at their own pace. Required classes include Information Technology and Security, Digital Forensic Science, and Operating System Analysis. An independent research project in the form of a thesis is also required prior to graduation. Career options for alumni often include roles such as digital forensics analyst, computer forensics investigator, and digital forensics consultant.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Average SATs: 1110 -1320
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,669
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 625
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE

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