Forensic Science Programs in Maryland
What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Maryland?
When you're choosing a criminal justice career, picking the right field of study is key. Over the decades, criminal justice has developed an extremely strong structure that assigns specific duties to different settings and professionals at various levels of study. If you choose to go into the field of forensic science, it's important to have an eye for detail, a passion for physical science, and the mental temerity to work with serious, violent crime.
Are you up to the challenge of an exciting career in forensic science?
Make your first move now by contacting forensic science schools in Maryland.
What's the benefit…?
There are many ways in which forensic science is directly applicable to Maryland's changing criminal justice system. One of the highest priorities in this state is stopping human trafficking, particularly the trafficking of children (Frederick News Post, 2017).
Unfortunately, technology can make crime easier, just as it can make it easier for professionals to solve crime. Child trafficking has become much simpler and more straightforward with the growth of the Internet. Forensic science professionals can use their expertise in digital crime, computer forensics, and physical evidence to save children and catch perpetrators, stopping one of the most serious criminal epidemics to sweep New England.
Forensic Science Degrees in Maryland
Whether you want to work in a lab, in the community, or in research, it all starts with education. Compare different types of degrees and diplomas to figure out which program best suits your learning goals and needs.
An Associate's degree in forensic science is a natural choice for new high school graduates and those who want to get experience in this field before committing to a Bachelor's degree. Plan on spending two to three years in school to earn an Associate's degree.
Associate's-Level Courses in Forensic Studies
- Forensic Psychology (3 credits): This course looks into the causes of crime, criminal motivation, and criminal psychology to help professionals better understand the mindset of perpetrators and victims.
- Forensic Aspects of Death Investigation (3 credits): Investigating a victim's death is a huge part of your daily work as a forensic scientist. Build a core knowledge of hands-on techniques and skills in this class.
- Fire and Arson Investigation (3 credits): With property crimes on the rise across the United States, it's essential that forensic investigators know how to identify intentional damage and find the cause.
- Physical Identifiers (3 credits): Physical identifiers make it easier for forensic technicians to learn about unknown victims. You may learn about dental records, bone structure, bone aging, and other biological markers of age, gender, and race.
- Basic Accident Investigation (3 credits): The theories taught in this course show students how to properly begin an investigation of a vehicular accident.
A Bachelor's degree involves four to five years of study, providing students with a more extensive education in many aspects of forensic science.
At this level of study, you should anticipate spending a fair amount of time in the lab. You may even be required to complete an internship, which can help you get valuable work experience in a local crime lab or criminal justice agency.
Bachelor's Degree in Forensics
- Investigative Forensics (3 credits): This course shows you how to use important forensic science techniques to contribute to investigations, including those looking at violent crime and property crime.
- Criminal Procedure and Evidence (3 credits): Get an overview of the criminal investigation procedure and learn more about how evidence fits into it.
- Crime Scene Investigation (3 credits): The first step of an investigation is often the analysis of a crime scene. What you do here matters; proper collection and handling of evidence is key to the future of an investigation.
- Cyber Crime and Security (3 credits): Learn more about how technology can make it easier to commit, track, and solve crime.
- Medical and Legal Investigations of Death (4 credits): While your work may stop at the physical examination of a body, the ramifications of your investigation go much further. In this course, you learn more about how physicians and legal entities use the information gathered during forensic examinations.
After earning a Bachelor's degree in forensic science, you may choose to take your education to the next level with a Master's degree. Generally, a Master's degree requires two to three years of study beyond an undergraduate degree.
Graduate Courses in Forensics
- Forensic Pathology (6 credits): This course covers the techniques used to determine the cause of death. You should learn how to examine a corpse and collect evidence.
- Forensic Autopsy (3 credits): Building on the previous pathology class, this course looks at the process of conducting an autopsy, submitting results, and answering questions for criminal justice professionals.
- Medicolegal Death Scene Investigation (3 credits): Examining the scene of a death requires several different skills. In this course, find out how to get the evidence needed for medical and legal professionals at a crime scene.
- Systemic Pathology (3 credits): Systemic pathology is a field that looks at the body systems and their relation to a person's death. You may use systemic pathology to understand the course of a disease and an individual's cause of death.
This is a great time to learn more about forensic science degrees and how they can put you on the path to a new career.
Reach out to Maryland schools for more information.
Working as a Forensic Scientist in Maryland
Here's what you are waiting for…
After learning how to become a forensic scientist and developing your hands-on skills in the lab, you may be ready to put your new techniques to work at a Maryland crime lab, criminal justice agency, or research center. By comparing job openings at different facilities, you can find out which careers best suit your level of education and experience.
Many new graduates choose to work as forensic science technicians, since this career makes full use of the laboratory skills gained during a degree. Demand for forensic science technicians is growing; O*Net anticipates a 12% increase in job openings between 2014 and 2024 (2017). The average salary for a forensic science technician in this state is $64,760 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
Another popular option to consider is criminal investigation. Criminal investigators play a number of roles within this industry, taking on forensic science tasks and law enforcement tasks. This may be an excellent way to use your knowledge of forensic science while also working in the investigative side of criminal justice. In Maryland, criminal investigators bring in an average of $96,410 per year (BLS, 2017). Demand for criminal investigators may swell 11% between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2017).
Coroners are typically employed at the city or county level to perform autopsies, gather evidence, and analyze evidence to determine a cause of death. This career path requires the ability to work independently and handle different types of cases while remaining calm. Maryland coroners earn, on average, $71,210 per year (BLS, 2017). O*Net predicts a 16% boost in demand for coroners between 2014 and 2024 (2017).
As you look into different careers in forensic science, note that this field changes rapidly in response to new technology and research. Furthering your education with training events and seminars may help you keep your skills relevant and up-to-date.
Discover what a forensic science degree may do for you and how it can change your career.
Take the first step and get in touch with Maryland schools to learn more about your options.
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