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Forensic Science Degree Programs in Iowa

What do you value in a career? Do you want to make your community safer, learn something new every day, and be part of a team that works toward common goals?

If you work well under pressure and you enjoy the challenges of working with technology, you may want to learn how to become a forensic scientist and analyze evidence collected from crime scenes, victims, and suspects.

Iowa is home to several two-year and four-year forensic science schools that give you the chance to work with cutting-edge technology.

Request information from programs in your area to get started.

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

The criminal justice industry changes on a near-constant basis, with reform efforts, technology, and research consistently raising the standards for criminal justice professionals. This is particularly true in the area of forensic science, where there is a very small margin of error and carelessness can compromise an investigation.

A local state university was recently awarded $20 million to create a new forensic science lab, furthering the idea that forensic science is the future of criminal justice (Iowa State Daily, 2017). Devoting two to four years to your education could put you in a position to become a leader in this industry and be among the first to learn about new advances in technology.

Forensic Science Degrees in Iowa

 This area of study is growing all the time, so it’s important to create a strong foundation for your future career by choosing a degree that is aligned with your career goals and educational background.

Consider reaching out to multiple schools in Iowa.

By connecting with admissions professionals, receiving information on course outcomes and requirements, and sitting in on classes, you can figure out which school is a good fit for you.

An Associate’s degree in forensic science may be the first step for you, especially if you are just getting started in this field and you’re not sure if it fits with your long-term career goals. On average, it takes two years to complete the 60 credits required for an Associate’s degree.

Many programs at this level emphasize the importance of practical work skills, so you may spend quite a bit of time in laboratory courses and internships.

Associate’s-Level Courses in Forensic Investigations

  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Fingerprint Technology
  • Medicolegal Death Investigation

 The next step up from an Associate’s degree is a Bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate forensic science degrees require no fewer than 120 credits, although some Bachelor’s programs do require closer to 140 credits. This works out to eight semesters of education.

In addition to taking more general education courses, you take more advanced forensic science classes while earning a Bachelor’s degree. There may be additional practical experience opportunities at this level, making it easier for you to perfect your skills and prepare for the job search.

Furthermore, you may learn how to use critical thinking skills in a forensic science setting. This allows you to move beyond general analysis of evidence and think about evidence in terms of criminology, motives, and crime patterns.

Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science

  • Instrumental Analysis
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Criminal Justice Systems
  • Criminal Investigations and Law Enforcement
  • Criminology

 If you want to work in a specialized area of forensic science, a diploma program could be the most time-efficient option for you. Diploma programs require little to no general education, saving between one and two years when compared to Bachelor’s and Associate’s programs.

You may graduate in as little as one year if you go this route. This option lets you move straight into forensic science coursework, aggressively developing your skills and your understanding of criminal justice in increasingly difficult courses.

Diploma Courses in Computer Forensics Specialist

  • Hardware and Software
  • Securing a Linux Environment
  • Offensive Security
  • Installing and Configuring Servers
  • Computer Forensics and Investigations
  • Cyber Crime Projects

 Whether an Associate’s degree, diploma, or Bachelor’s degree is the right choice for you, your journey can start right now.

Get in touch with Iowa forensic science programs to begin comparing schools in your area.

Working as a Forensic Scientist in Iowa

 By the time you graduate from a forensic science program, you should have experience in at least one forensic science work setting. Ideally, you should have work experience in multiple environments and roles, since this may help you adapt to whichever job openings are available.

As you explore careers in forensics, consider where your strengths are and which work skills you have developed as a student.

Many graduates want to begin their forensic science career in the laboratory, since these careers often require the specialized knowledge gained in a forensic science degree.

The average salary for an Iowa forensic science technician is $64,910 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). From 2014 through 2024, job openings for forensic science technicians may swell 23% (O*Net, 2017). If you live in a metropolitan area, you may look for work in a local criminal justice agency or crime lab. If you live in a rural part of Iowa, you may look for openings in your county or at state agencies.

The skills built in a forensic science program are applicable to the field of criminal investigation. This is a popular career path for those with a professional interest in both forensics and law enforcement. In Iowa, criminal investigators claim an average income of $77,040 per year (BLS, 2017). This field is very stable, with an expected 1% boost in job openings by 2024 (O*Net, 2017).

With appropriate experience and training, you may be qualified for a coroner position in Iowa. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average annual salary of $60,680 in Iowa (2017). By the year 2024, demand for coroners may swell 9% across the state (O*Net, 2017). Coroners are often hired by county facilities, although they may be employed directly by the city in metropolitan areas.

A career in forensic science could help you get more enjoyment out of your work every day and make a difference in your local community.

Get started now and contact Iowa forensic science schools.