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Forensic Science Programs in Arizona

 Focusing your criminal justice study on one aspect of this growing field can help you enjoy numerous benefits throughout your career. If you plan on staying in Arizona after graduation, you can tailor your education to the specific needs of your community and state criminal justice agencies. 

Furthermore, you can select courses that directly relate to your interests and long-term professional goals. If you are interested in working with the technology and research that drives the field of criminal justice forward, forensic science may be the specialty for you. 

 Are you ready to pursue a career in forensic science? Arizona schools are ready to help you get started. Compare degree options below and request information from schools that interest you. 

What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Arizona?

Those who work in forensic science may collect evidence, analyze and process evidence, securely store specimens, and testify as experts when cases go to court. Since DNA evidence is such an essential part of many cases nowadays, this specialized area of study is growing rapidly.

In fact, the forensic technology market is expected to expand 12.7% by the year 2025 (Grand View Research, 2018). This significant increase is due to the improvement of efficiency, value, and potential in forensic technology.

One of the main benefits of studying forensic science is the wide variety of career paths you can explore after graduation. Some of the options available to forensic science graduates include law enforcement, forensic science technician positions, and criminal investigation.

Forensic Science Degrees in Arizona

 The core concepts and theories of forensic science are applicable to many career paths, which is why there are programs at various degree levels in Arizona. To select the right degree for you, consider how much education you have had up to this point and how long you plan on staying in school.

You should also look at what is typically required for entry-level professionals in your career path, and whether or not you plan on advancing education in the future.

The shortest forensic science program in Arizona is a Certificate of Completion. This option includes 18 credits spread out across six courses. Most students complete this program in one or two semesters. Since this is such a short program, courses are extremely specialized to the forensic science specialty.

The credits completed at this level may be transferable to an associate or bachelor’s degree program in the future.

Certificate-Level Forensic Science Courses

  • Rules of Evidence
  • Evidence Technology and Fingerprints
  • Criminalistics: Physical Evidence
  • Criminalistics: Biological Evidence
  • Police Photography
  • Criminal Investigation

The next step up from a certificate is an associate degree. This two-year program explores forensic science within the context of criminal justice, advancing your overall education with general education courses in various topics.

You need at least 60 credits to graduate, although schools may require additional credits as needed. Many colleges with associate-level programs have agreements with four-year institutions that allow students to transfer credits to a bachelor’s degree program.

Associate Degree Coursework in Forensic Science

  • Substantive Criminal Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Evidence Technology and Fingerprints
  • Criminalistics
  • Police Photography
  • Procedural Criminal Law
  • Criminal Investigation

To get various types of experience with forensic science procedures, techniques, and tools, you may consider earning a bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor’s programs in forensic science tend to delve into the physical science aspects of this field, tying chemistry and biology into forensic science. This is a four-year program that includes no fewer than 120 credits. Like associate programs, bachelor’s programs include general education courses.

Bachelor’s Degree Forensic Courses

  • Criminology
  • Research Methods in Criminology
  • Crime and Justice
  • Forensic Evidence
  • Forensic Investigation
  • Biological Evidence
  • Physical Evidence

 While comparing forensic science programs, explore each school’s program outcomes. These outcomes play a big role in which courses are required by each school. By looking into the program’s learning outcomes, you can see how you are expected to progress throughout your degree.

You may also narrow down your list of schools by focusing on programs that are most relevant to your career path.

Hands-on experience requirements vary between Arizona schools. If you attend an online program, you may participate in online laboratory work that allows you to simulate different procedures and techniques. In-person programs typically have extensive laboratory requirements.

If you are ready to explore opportunities in the field of forensic science, discover how to become a forensic scientist and request information from Arizona schools below.

Working as a Forensic Scientist in Arizona

 With the right training from local forensic science schools, you may have the freedom to try out different career paths after graduation. Forensic science technicians generally work in crime laboratories. While they may not spend much time at crime scenes, they may process collected evidence and use it to create a timeline of a crime.

Depending on the needs of each county or city, forensic science technicians may report to crime scenes to collect evidence firsthand or take photographs. The average salary for a forensic science technician in Arizona is $57,600 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Job growth may increase 17% by 2026 (CareerOneStop, 2017).

Each county, in addition to many cities, villages, and suburbs, has one or more coroners to respond to deaths as they occur. As a coroner, you can gather evidence and DNA samples from victims for laboratory processing. Job growth may hit 15% by 2026 (CareerOneStop, 2017).

Criminal investigators and law enforcement officers tend to work in similar situations and settings. They may be the first professionals to respond to crime scenes and figure out exactly what has occurred at a crime scene. Criminal investigators in Arizona claim an average income of $79,380 per year, while law enforcement officers report a mean salary of $65,810 each year (BLS, 2017).

In both career paths, you need a strong understanding of criminal justice principles in addition to specialize experience with forensic science. This may involve attending a police academy or completing other on-the-job training as needed.

With the variety of forensic science programs in Arizona, you may be ready to start or further your career with an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or certificate.

Use the list of schools below to compare options and get in touch with nearby programs.

Online programs may not be available in all areas.