Forensic Science Degree Programs in Alaska
What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Alaska?
The criminal justice industry has undergone massive amounts of change in recent decades. These changes have impacted how almost every part of this field functions.
New research has changed how criminal justice professionals solve and prevent crime, while developments in psychology have helped correctional professionals treat prisoners ethically and fairly. However, it’s likely that no specialty has changed as much as forensic science.
The evolution of forensic science has made it easier to solve more complex crimes in less time, ensuring that victims get the justice they deserve. When you decide to study forensic science in Alaska, you can become an important part of the state’s overloaded criminal justice system.
Considering a career in forensic technology? Learn how to become a forensic scientist by contacting Alaska programs today.
Although technology makes it easier to process evidence and interpret it, it still takes time and training to handle evidence correctly. As a result, Alaska has a backlog of over 3600 untested rape kits that go back more than 20 years (Alaska Dispatch News, 2016).
Prompt processing of evidence is key to protecting victims’ rights and helping investigators solve as many crimes as possible.
Depending on how far you take your education, you may be interested in pursuing a number of criminal justice careers. Forensic science graduates may go on to work as forensic science technicians, law enforcement officers, or criminal investigators, among other options.
>Forensic Science Degrees in Alaska
Choosing the correct degree for your career goals is essential. You must also take into account your current level of education and experience. If you are looking into postsecondary education for the first time, you may get a comprehensive, well-rounded education in a Bachelor’s degree program.
Depending on how long it has been since you graduated high school, you may need to provide high school transcripts and GPA information. You may also need strong references from employers. Due to the nature of this field, most programs require completion of a background check before acceptance.
A Bachelor’s degree includes no fewer than 120 credits, although some schools do require close to 130 credits. After meeting your institution’s general education requirements, you start preparing for your career by taking forensic science courses.
Commonly Required Bachelor’s-Level Forensics Courses
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Forensic Research
- Law Enforcement
- Professional Practice in Forensic Science
- Forensic Chemistry
- Microscopic Examination of Firearms Evidence
Your program’s learning outcomes and goals show you what you should be working toward each semester.
At the undergraduate level, you may focus on a broad understanding of criminal investigation, application of forensic chemistry, forensic toxicology ideas, the scientific method, data collection, and experiential learning. Since this field requires a strong set of laboratory skills, you may need to complete an internship prior to graduation.
If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, you may be ready for the challenges of a Master’s degree in forensic science. While a background in criminal justice, law enforcement, or a physical science may be helpful, you may qualify for admission to a program with a different type of Bachelor’s degree.
It is likely that you will need to meet specific undergraduate course requirements. This ensures that you have the scientific background needed to study forensic science at the graduate level.
Graduate degree programs are generally intended to be completed over a two-year period, during which time you earn about 30 credits. You should delve into more complicated aspects of forensic science, including anthropology, forensic medicine, entomology, criminalistics, biological evidence, and DNA analysis.
Master’s-Level Forensic Science Courses
- Forensic Toxicology
- Principles of Forensic Science
- Biological Evidence and Serology
- Topics in Forensic Science
- Toxicology of Chemical Weapons
- Forensic Analysis of DNA
- Blood Distribution and Spatter
Program outcomes at this level tend to be more dependent on the physical and legal applications of forensic findings, which is why laboratory hours and internship experiences are crucial for Master’s degree students.
By the time you graduate, you may need a thorough understanding of DNA analysis techniques and applications, how biological evidence is and is not used in court, how blood spatter is used when evaluating a crime scene, and how forensic toxicology comes into play.
Whether you‘re at the right stage for a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree, this is an excellent time to learn all about the technology that drives forensic science. Reach out to forensic science schools below to compare your options.
Working as a Forensic Scientist in Alaska
The tenets of forensic science are applicable to a wide variety of criminal justice careers, particularly if you combine them with a general background in criminal justice.
If you are interested in working on the front lines of criminal justice, you may look into becoming a law enforcement officer. In Alaska, law enforcement officers claim an average income of $77,230 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Job openings in this field are expected to swell 2% by the year 2024 (O*Net, 2016).
Another option to consider with a Bachelor’s degree is criminal investigation. Demand for criminal investigators may increase 6% through 2024 (O*Net, 2016). The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average income of $112,000 per year in Alaska (2016). This position may require previous experience or extensive hands-on experience, which is another benefit of completing an internship as a student.
If you are analytical and careful in your work, you may consider becoming a coroner. Coroners work all hours of the day and night to process evidence, ensure that suspicious deaths are investigated, and preserve evidence for further analysis. In Alaska, they claim a median income of $73,590 each year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Between 2014 and 2024, job openings may see a 2% boost in Alaska (O*Net, 2016).
Forensic science technicians are the backbone of any crime lab. Their extensive knowledge of the physical sciences, different types of evidence, and Alaska law can ensure that specimens are carefully and properly processed, analyzed, and preserved.
Colleges with forensic science programs should give you plenty of preparation for this role and expose you to the latest technology to come out of forensic labs.
The need for criminal justice professionals is growing in Alaska, particularly in rural and remote areas where crimes may go unsolved for weeks or months.
Discover how you can make your community safer for residents by getting in touch with forensic science programs in Alaska.
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