You're looking for the best forensic science universities, right?
Great! We've taken the time to make a list of all the best forensic colleges in the US below, so all you need to do is contact them for program details.
Forensic Science Degrees
- Associate Degree in Forensic Science
- Bachelor's Degree in Forensic Science
- Master's Degree in Forensic Science
- Doctorate Degree in Forensic Science
- Graduate Certificate in Forensic Science
CriminalJusticePrograms.com is here to help you decide which forensic science career is best for your future. We provide you with access to the information you need and make it easy for you to contact the top schools for forensic science to obtain program details and get started toward your new career.
Forensic Scientist Job Description
Depending on the type of forensic science you want to practice, different degrees and educational backgrounds may help you become a qualified candidate for jobs and excel in this field. Those in the forensic science profession may be engaged in criminalistics, digital forensics or something else entirely. They may practice general forensic science or be involved in a specific area, such as dental work, pathology, toxicology or physical anthropology.
If these opportunities suit you, request more information from the best forensic science colleges above to get your education started.
How to Become a Forensic Scientist
Regardless of the branch of forensics practiced, a background in chemistry, biology, math, and English can be helpful. Experience in public speaking and note-taking is also an asset. Many top colleges for forensic science offer degrees in forensics ranging from certificates to master's programs and doctorates. The American Association of Forensic Science, through the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission, accredits most reputable degree programs.
The National Institute of Justice, a division of the US Department of Justice, offers guidelines for model undergraduate and graduate forensic science degree programs. According to the American Academy of Forensic Science, top forensic science colleges should offer a curriculum that concentrates on scientific writing, laboratory skills, public speaking, and computer software application training.
Undergraduate students should expect to take 36 to 40 hours of general education courses consisting of language classes, math, humanities, social sciences and writing. Students can also anticipate 34 to 38 credit hours in a natural science core, including general and organic chemistry, biology, physics, calculus, and statistics for science majors.
Those interested in a graduate-level forensic science degree program should first pursue a bachelor's degree in a natural science or forensic science. According to the National Institute of Justice, a typical graduate program will provide students with problem-solving skills, analytical thinking abilities and specialized knowledge.
Many doctoral programs are also available to prepare students for a career as a forensic scientist or researcher. When studying for a career in forensic science at the graduate level, expect to study crime scenes, learn the concepts of physical evidence, understand how law and science intersect, and review the fundamentals of ethics and professional responsibility.
Online Forensic Science Degree
An online degree can be a step toward a great career. When you need flexibility, online learning is an effective way to earn a degree.
Both approaches utilize instructor-led learning, the study of required materials, the completion of assignments, feedback, and tests. While online education doesn't provide the face-to-face relationships of traditional classrooms, in either format the amount of interaction you have with others is up to you.
Choosing a school is an important decision. Whether you decide on a traditional school or an online program, there are a couple of items you'll want to check.
- Accreditation - Confirm the schools is accredited. That tells you they meet the basic academic standards for higher education. You want your degree to be recognized by employers and other institutions.
- Academic Majors - Make sure the school has a good reputation in your field of study.
- Cost - Advanced education can be expensive. Make sure you know all of the costs before you make a decision.
Online Programs: Pros and Cons
- Great flexibility
- Learn at your own pace. You have greater ability to spend more time on concepts and assignments that challenge you and less time on things you find easy.
- Usually more affordable than traditional colleges
- Fewer distractions
- You can often complete the program in less time than a traditional class requires
- Requires self-motivation and self-discipline
- Lack of face-to-face interactions. College campuses are usually very social places.
- You need a fast, reliable, and up-to-date computer and Internet connection.
Forensic science study offers many career paths. Because online classes offer the flexibility needed when trying to balance school, work, and family, it's no surprise many people choose online programs.
Forensic Science Technician Salary and Career Outlook
Below, CriminalJusticePrograms.com speaks with Dr. William Law, Director of Forensic Science Program at the University of Sciences about the realities of a forensic science career. Find out about the "CSI Effect," how long it really takes to analyze evidence and exactly what kind of education will help you break into the field. Dr. Law discusses forensic science careers: fact vs. fiction.
Forensic scientists, or forensic science technicians, aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence. According to the BLS, forensic science technicians earn an average salary of $57,850. This amount is subject to change based on locality and education levels. Review the degree-level pages, such as the Bachelors in Forensic Science page, for more specific salary insights.
Forensic Science Resources
- American Academy of Forensic Sciences
- BLS Statistics - Forensic Science Technicians
- DNA Forensics (Human Genome Project)
- Wikipedia Page on Forensic Science
Featured Schools Accepting Students from Across the US:
Online programs may not be available in all areas.