Forensic Science Degree Programs in Delaware
Forensic science is one of the most technologically innovative specialties in criminal justice, which is why it’s responsible for solving so many of the homicide, sexual assault, and other violent crime cases that take place across the country. As researchers investigate DNA and forensic methods, investigators can do even more to solve crimes quickly and accurately.
Considering a career in forensic science?
Learn how to become a forensic scientist by contacting Delaware schools below.
What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Delaware?
Forensic science professionals are also responsible for tracking certain types of crime in Delaware, allowing public health and social services professionals to tackle the issues that have the greatest impact on Delaware residents.
From 2015 to 2016, Delaware saw the amount of overdose deaths due to Fentanyl more than double (Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, 2016). This trend has numerous implications for individuals and families in Delaware; by discovering this uptick in overdoses, forensic scientists ensured that public service professionals can focus on getting addicts the help they need.
Depending on the case and the needs of the specific criminal justice agency, forensic scientists may use physical investigation methods, statistical analysis, or a combination of the two to get answers.
Forensic Science Degrees in Delaware
There are several levels of study within the field of forensic science. At the Associate’s degree level, you may earn your degree in about two years while getting an introduction to the core concepts of forensic science. This type of degree may also focus on the specific skills needed in forensic science labs.
Associate’s-Level Forensic Science Classes
- Introduction to Forensic Science
- Impression Evidence
- Biological and Trace Evidence
- Crash Scene Investigation
- Property and Evidence Management
The next step up is a Bachelor’s forensics degree. This degree requires at least 120 credits, which a full-time student may complete over the course of four years. Bachelor’s-level programs offer a much more in-depth analysis of forensic science concepts.
You may also get the chance to get hands-on experience in a criminal justice laboratory or a criminal justice agency, particularly if your school requires an internship.
Bachelor’s Degree Coursework in Forensic Science
- Crime Scene Processing
- Physical Evidence
- Instrumental Analysis
- Body Fluid and DNA Analysis
To pursue a graduate forensic science degree, you have to meet strict admissions requirements. At this level of study, you must already have a thorough understanding of the criminal justice industry and strong critical thinking skills. Most schools require a Bachelor’s degree. While most graduate programs require a Bachelor’s in criminal justice or a similar field, some are open to students in other specialties.
A Master’s degree typically requires two to three years of full-time study, during which time you earn approximately 30 credits.
Graduate Courses in Forensic Science
- Physical and Biological Evidence
- Fundamentals of Forensic Toxicology
- Advanced Instrumental Analysis
- Forensic DNA Technology
At each level of education, it’s important to prioritize practical work experience. As noted, some schools do require an internship. Even if the program you choose does not require completion of an internship, work experience can be invaluable when you begin your career.
An internship may help you learn about the expectations of local agencies, explore potential employment options, and make a strong first impression on administrators and employers.
Each forensic science program has clearly outlined learning goals and outcomes. As you make progress on your degree each semester, you should get closer to achieving each of these goals. If you’re considering multiple programs, comparing learning goals may help you select a program that is in line with your career goals and your professional priorities.
This is the time to find out how you can use a forensic science degree.
Check out the list of the best forensic science colleges in Delaware below and contact schools in your area.
Working as a Forensic Scientist in Delaware
The job openings that you consider are determined by a number of factors, including your level of education, your geographic location in Delaware, and your career goals. Many graduates decide to become forensic science technicians, since this career path involves spending plenty of time in the lab and using high-end forensic technology. In this role, you may be employed by a government agency, a private laboratory, or a federally owned crime lab.
Others use their expertise to become criminal investigators. It’s especially important to have a comprehensive knowledge of forensic science in this role, since criminal investigators are often the first to encounter and handle crime scenes, cadavers, and forensic evidence.
Between 2014 and 2024, job openings for criminal investigators are expected to increase 7% in Delaware (O*Net, 2016). The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that criminal investigators earn an average salary of $92,710 per year in Delaware (2016).
Another career option that utilizes your knowledge of forensic science is coroner. Coroners process cadavers shortly after death, particularly when someone dies in suspicious circumstances. As a coroner, you may look for injuries, analyze bodies for cause of death, collect forensic evidence, and interpret your findings for the use of criminal investigators and law enforcement officers.
This job can be fairly demanding, since smaller counties often have a limited amount of coroners on staff. This means that you may have to work long hours to ensure that evidence is collected in a timely manner, and you may even work some nights and weekends. On average, coroners earn $73,420 per year (BLS, 2016). By the year 2024, job openings for coroners may increase 5% (O*Net, 2016).
As you gain experience and move up through the ranks, you may be qualified to take on more demanding positions. For example, if you work for a small town or county, you may eventually work with a more populated county, the state of Delaware, or even the federal government.
Discover which forensic science degree fits your skills and interests.
Contact Delaware forensic science schools below to learn more.
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