Forensic Science Programs in Minnesota
Forensic science first became widely understood as a criminal justice field with the advent of crime scene investigation shows that outlined the type of technology that might someday be available in this field. While the shows were ahead of their time in terms of technology, the field of forensic science is starting to catch up.
New tools and equipment make it possible to analyze smaller and smaller amounts of evidence, making it possible for criminal investigators to solve more complex crimes with less evidence.
Considering a criminal justice career?
Discover which forensic science degrees are a good fit for you…
Start by contacting Minnesota forensic science programs today.
What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Minnesota?
The demand for forensic science professionals has increased substantially in recent years, thanks to a growing reliance on forensic evidence by investigators and prosecutors. The evidence backlog can build quickly, leaving cases languishing without any forward movement.
In fact, in Minnesota, there are thousands of untested sexual assault kits that are sitting on crime lab shelves (WC Tribune, 2017). The state has a high demand for forensic science technicians and other skilled science professionals who can properly process and analyze these kits. Increasing the amount of forensic professionals in Minnesota could lead to justice for a greater amount of victims.
Forensic Science Degrees in Minnesota
Part of learning how to become a forensic scientist is choosing a degree that’s a good fit for you. For example, in Minnesota, there are many established forensic science programs that offer degrees at undergraduate and graduate levels.
By comparing schools and visiting campuses, you can figure out which degree best suits your needs.
Those interested in starting their postsecondary education with a forensic science program may choose to earn a certificate or an Associate’s degree. Both of these options are fairly short in duration, typically lasting between one and two years in total. You may get an introduction to important forensic science concepts and prepare for more in-depth study at a later date.
Certificate in Forensic Science
Crime and Justice in America (3 credits): Take an eagle-eye view of criminal justice in America to understand the history of this field, its long-term goals, and the importance of forensic science.
Survey of Forensic Science (3 credits): This intensive course looks at core forensic science techniques and helps you build your skill set in preparation for entry-level jobs.
Forensic Microscopy (3 credits): The use of a microscope makes it easier to analyze and interpret evidence. Learn proper analysis techniques in this course.
Forensic Document Examination (3 credits): Forensic science isn’t just about biological evidence; it also involves looking at documents and figuring out how they contribute to the overall body of evidence.
Associate’s-Level Forensic Science Classes
Crime Scene Technology (3 credits): Explore the technology used at crime scenes to collect, transport, and analyze evidence. You may also learn how evidence is preserved to avoid decay.
Crime Scene Safety (3 credits): Avoid unintentionally harming yourself or others with the safety techniques taught in this class.
Latent Fingerprint Development (3 credits): This course covers the process of lifting fingerprints from other surfaces and processing them in a crime lab.
Fingerprint Classification (3 credits): Learn how to identify fingerprints and group them in such a way that different prints from the same finger are grouped together.
Biological Evidence (3 credits): Students learn more about evidence gathered from victims, perpetrators, and cadavers in this hands-on laboratory course.
If you want to jump straight into an undergraduate program, you may want to earn a Bachelor’s degree in forensic science. On average, this degree requires four years of full-time study. From there, you may move on to a Master’s degree.
Bachelor’s Degree Coursework in Forensic Science
Forensic Psychology and the Law (3 credits): Learn about the specialized field of study known as forensic psychology, which helps you get a clear understanding of a perpetrator’s motivation, thought process, and state of mind. This course also looks at the legal aspects of this field.
Forensic Fingerprint Examination (3 credits): Develop your fingerprint analysis skills. You may cover different techniques for latent fingerprint development and grouping.
Forensic Firearm Examination (3 credits): Find out how to analyze firearms to figure out if they were used in a crime and what role they may have played in a victim’s death.
Forensic Anthropology (3 credits): This course looks at biological markers used in anthropology. You may learn how to identify victims based on bone structure, dental records, and decay of remains.
Graduate Courses in Forensic Psychology
Maladaptive Behavior and Psychopathology (3 credits): Understand what forces drive a perpetrator to commit crime and which types of diagnoses are typically correlated with high crime rates.
Psychology and the Legal System (3 credits): Explore the role of psychology in the legal system and learn about the limits of this science in legal settings.
Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychology (3 credits): Delve into the most recent issues of forensic psychology as they arise in criminal justice cases.
Forensic Psychological Assessment (3 credits): Build skills for analyzing and assessing a patient.
Learn how to become a forensics scientist with training from a Minnesota school.
Take the first step now by reaching out to schools in your area.
Working as a Forensic Scientist in Minnesota
By the time you finish your certificate or degree, you should already be well-educated in different careers in forensic science. The roles that you may consider are based on how much education and experience you have, where you live in Minnesota, and what type of connections you have in this field.
Some career paths highly value experience, so you may need to start with an entry-level position and work your way up to a more demanding role.
Many who study forensic science want to continue their work in a laboratory setting. If you work best in a laboratory, consider becoming a forensic science technician. This field is growing rapidly; O*Net anticipates a 23% increase in job openings between 2014 and 2024 in Minnesota (2017). On average, forensic science technicians earn $56,570 per year in Minnesota (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
If you have a background in law enforcement, you may want to move up in your current career and use your forensic science education in a new way. Becoming a criminal investigator may be the right choice for you. Criminal investigators who understand forensic science can accurately and efficiently collect and analyze evidence. In Minnesota, criminal investigators bring in an average salary of $73,600 per year (BLS, 2017). The job outlook for criminal investigators is expected to remain stable through 2024 (O*Net, 2017).
Some graduates opt to become coroners. This is slightly different from other forensic science careers. While you do need to work as part of a team at times, you may spend most of your time working alone. You should be self-motivated and precise in your work if you want to work in this role. Coroners are often the first to gather evidence from corpses and figure out whether a victim died due to natural or unnatural causes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average salary of $72,870 per year in Minnesota (2017). Job openings may increase 4% by 2024 (O*Net, 2017).
Start working toward your ideal career now by finding a school that offers a forensic science major.
Use our list of Minnesota programs to get in touch with schools that fit your career goals.
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