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Explore Our Online PhD in Forensic Psychology Program

Our online forensic psychology program can help you develop deeper insight into the nexus between psychology and the criminal justice system, explore mental health issues that may drive criminal behavior, and prepare you to make a social impact as a researcher, teacher, or consultant.

In Walden’s online PhD in Forensic Psychology program, you will explore the systems and programs that strive to create positive change in the legal system and community settings. Broaden your understanding of advanced forensic psychology and examine ways to evaluate programs designed for populations such as the incarcerated, recently released offenders, the mentally ill, and juvenile offenders.

Why Choose Walden?  

Accelerated Journey Option

Automatically waive up to six courses if you have earned a master’s degree in a related field1, shortening you journey to a PhD.

Specialized coursework

Gain a competitive advantage through specialized coursework that is focused on forensic psychology.

Six Specializations

Choose from the General Program or six specializations—including two self-designed options—to align your studies with your specific career goals.

Fast-Track Option

Take additional courses each term and start your dissertation early.

Program Savings

Receive up to a $5,000 Grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on December 13, 2021. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Program Details

Learning Tracks

TRACK I: Choose this track if you have a master's degree in forensic psychology.

TRACK II: Choose this track if you have a GPA of 3.0 on bachelor’s degree or master's degree in another discipline.

FAST TRACK: Walden offers a Fast-Track Option. Students can complete their doctorate in less time by taking advantage of this path. With the Fast-Track Option, students take additional courses and begin their dissertation early to expedite their path through the program.

Curriculum - General Specialization

Admission Requirements

Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.


Four academic residencies

 support your progress at key points in your doctoral journey. Residencies also strengthen your scholarly and professional connections.

Earn Your Master of Philosophy Degree Along the Way

Walden understands the rigors involved with preparing for your doctorate. To signify how far you’ve come on your journey, you will be eligible to be awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree upon completion of program requirements, prior to completion of your dissertation.

Walden is one of a few universities that offer this advanced research master’s degree. Highlight your academic achievement and show employers and others that you possess comprehensive knowledge in your field of study.

Your Doctoral Journey

At Walden, we’ll guide you every step of the way with a comprehensive suite of support resources designed to help you confidently pursue the finish line, including our Doctoral Degree CoachTM. Are you ready to reach a higher level in your field?

Learn more

A Personalized Guide to Completing Your Doctorate

Earning your PhD in Forensic Psychology requires commitment, perseverance, and hard work. You can do it, and Walden is here to help—with our Doctoral Degree Coach™.

  • Map and Track Milestones: Break your research down into manageable, sequential steps. See where you are, what’s ahead, and what you’ve already accomplished—all in one place.
  • Meet Weekly Targets: No more guesswork. Set prompts based on your to-do list and receive reminders and updates directly to your inbox.
  • Connect With Faculty: Stay on the same page and keep your progress on track. With shared access to your dashboard, your chair can easily guide you through your checklists, goals, and timelines.
  • Access Helpful Resources: Quickly find support from the right person at the right time. Our comprehensive resource guide points you in the right direction—no more frustrating searches.

Tuition and Fees

General Program Specialization


Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

Find Ways to Save

Program Savings

Receive up to a $5,000 Grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on December 13, 2021. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now


General Program

Evaluate behavior, analyze seminal works in forensic psychology, integrate principles of advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research related to forensic psychology, and engage in decision-making using relevant ethical codes.

Criminal Justice Self-Designed

This self-designed specialization allows you to create a unique learning program to deepen your knowledge of forensic psychology as well as focus on criminal justice practice and theory.

Crisis Leadership Management

Explore definitions of leadership, major theoretical leadership models, and contextual and situational factors related to leadership and change.

Crisis Response

Discover how you can work with police departments or other law enforcement agencies assisting in officer selection and training, stress management, critical incident stress debriefing, hostage negotiations, and selection of special operations officers.

Legal Issues in Forensic Psychology

In this specialization, you will examine probation and parole services, corrections, and their interaction in the criminal justice system.


The Self-Designed specialization allows you to create a unique learning program to deepen your understanding of forensic psychology.


This specialization allows you to dive more deeply into the experience of the victim as well as that of first responders who may experience vicarious traumatization by working closely with victims.

Program Outcomes

Career Outlook

The title “Dr.” doesn’t just look good on paper—it has the potential to help you unlock more credibility, influence, and opportunities in your career. With a PhD in Forensic Psychology degree, you’ll be academically positioned for more professional autonomy and greater possibilities in this fascinating field.

While many online forensic psychology degree holders seek careers in academia, others pursue paths in private consulting, nonprofit organizations, and research institutes. Make valuable contributions as a teacher, consultant, or researcher and help shape safer communities.

A PhD in Forensic Psychology can academically prepare you to work in settings such as:

  • Private consulting
  • Universities
  • Court systems
  • Government agencies

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of this program, you will be prepared to:

  • Evaluate behavior using psychological theory and research from a forensic psychology perspective.
  • Analyze seminal works in forensic psychology in terms of their relation to education and/or research.
  • Differentiate between advanced legal concepts pertaining to forensic psychology.
  • Integrate principles of advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research related to forensic psychology.
  • Evaluate how assessment elements (psychological assessment, risk assessment, psychological reports) are used within forensic psychology settings.
  • Engage in decision-making using relevant ethical codes (e.g., APA and Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists) in forensic work settings.
  • Promote social change through the integration of principles of forensic psychology in scholarly and/or professional activities.


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FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Forensic Psychology


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