Forensic Science Programs in Mississippi
What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Mississippi?
The field of criminal justice is one of the most important industries in the United States. Every community, no matter how large or small, relies on criminal justice professionals to maintain order, prevent crime, and solve crimes as they arise. Choosing to study the field of forensic science may put you in a great position to contribute to this industry and improve life in your community.
This is your opportunity to learn how to become a forensics scientist and use evidence to solve complex crimes.
Get more information on your options now by contacting forensic science MS schools.
You may find that this is the best time to begin a career in forensic science. Mississippi’s criminal justice industry is in the middle of massive overhaul, leading to an increase in demand for professionals in different areas of specialty. Reforms focus on stopping recidivism and solving crimes more quickly (Jackson Free Press, 2017). The latter is heavily reliant on forensic science; the speed of a case is determined by how promptly evidence is gathered and processed.
With advances in forensic science, professionals can push evidence through on a tighter timeline and give investigators the analysis they need for a strong court case.
Forensic Science Degrees in Mississippi
In Mississippi, schools offer several types of forensic science degrees. New students may choose to begin with an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree. The former is a two-year program that may prepare you for entry-level careers in forensic science. The latter is a four-year program that lays the foundation for graduate study and provides more in-depth education in various aspects of forensic science.
Associate’s-Level Classes in Pre-Forensic Chemistry
- Forensic Evidence (3 credits): Learn how to classify different types of forensic evidence. This allows you to more quickly process and analyze evidence.
- Analysis of Evidence (3 credits): Explore different techniques for analyzing evidence. You can use these techniques to decide which equipment is best for each type of evidence and keep your lab running smoothly.
- Fundamentals of Forensic Science (3 credits): This introductory course provides a broad look at forensic science. You may learn about the terminology, tools, and equipment used in this industry.
Bachelor’s Degree Coursework in Forensic Science
- Forensic Biology (3 credits): Find out how to apply the principles of biology to the field of forensic science. This may include biological evidence, such as bodily fluids and skin samples.
- Forensic Laboratory Policies and Procedures (3 credits): Learn how to work efficiently in a laboratory setting in this course. You cover common policies, procedures, and protocols followed by forensic science laboratories.
- Crime Scene Documentation (3 credits): This course covers the process you should follow when you arrive at the scene of a crime. Proper documentation is key for accurate analysis of evidence and constructing a proper timeline.
- Criminal Investigation (3 credits): Explore the process of investigating a crime. In particular, you should focus on the role that forensic evidence plays in the criminal investigation process. This knowledge may help you work as part of an investigative team.
- Criminal Justice Ethics (3 credits): Develop a strong sense of ethics to guide you in your criminal justice work. This course should also cover common ethical concerns and issues that come up in forensic science careers.
- Forensic Analysis (3 credits): Being able to process evidence is important, but it’s even more essential to know how to analyze it. Cover proper analysis techniques and practice them in your lab hours.
Beyond the Bachelor’s degree level, you may want to further your education with a Master’s degree. Graduate study explores the complex, high-level issues that arise in forensic science, giving you the knowledge you may need to become a leader in your industry.
Graduate Courses in Forensic Science
- Statistical Analysis (3 credits): This course is key in any graduate-level criminal justice program. It shows you how to analyze numbers and statistics to determine whether or not they are significant. This streamlines the evidence analysis process and helps you create more complete reports for investigators.
- Molecular Spectroscopy (3 credits): In this course, look into the field of forensic chemistry. Student learn how light is absorbed by molecules. Absorption rates are used to determine the timing of a crime, the setting in which it occurred, and what conditions it occurred under.
- Topics in Forensic Science (3 credits): With content that changes each semester, this class looks into the most commonly asked questions in forensic science and provides evidence-based answers.
- Forensic Expert in the Courtroom (3 credits): Depending on which career path you follow, you may be called to the stand to provide expert testimony. Learn how to conduct yourself professionally and answer questions in a way that is appropriate for legal settings.
- Quality Assurance for Forensic Scientists (3 credits): Minimize the risk of errors by checking your quality of work on a frequent basis. This class shows you how to watch for errors and prevent them from occurring.
The field of forensic science information is growing, making this an excellent time to get involved.
Compare degree options by contacting Mississippi schools today.
Working as a Forensic Scientist in Mississippi
Throughout Mississippi, demand for forensic science professionals is on the rise. This is particularly true in the state’s many rural areas. Rural areas often have difficulty finding and retaining criminal justice professionals, which can lead to backlogged cases. If you’re willing to work in a rural part of Mississippi, you may find that you have several options when it comes to work settings, job titles, and benefits.
One of the most common job titles for a new graduate is forensic science technician. Forensic science technicians are required to have a strong knowledge of laboratory protocols, evidence analysis techniques, and the ability to work efficiently in stressful situations. In Mississippi, forensic science technicians bring in an average salary of $51,420 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Through the year 2024, O*Net expects job openings for forensic science technicians to increase 18% (2017).
Criminal investigation is another field in which you may be able to use your forensic science knowledge and experience. Investigators are often heavily involved in crime scenes, so their knowledge of evidence processing must be flawless. Currently, criminal investigators earn a mean income of $56,570 per year in Mississippi (BLS, 2017). This field is growing steadily, with an anticipated 5% increase in job openings between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2017).
Coroners fill a critical role in criminal investigations. In addition to handling deaths by natural causes, they must analyze bodies that die of unnatural causes. The evidence they gather is essential to many criminal investigations. In Mississippi, coroners claim a mean salary of $53,020 per year (BLS, 2017). A 6% boost in demand may occur by the year 2024 (O*Net, 2017). In Mississippi, coroners may be employed by a county or city. In a rural area, it’s more likely that you may work within the entire county. In these cases, you may be expected to travel as part of your work.
Now that you know what it takes to become a forensic scientist, take the first step and get more information on schools near you.
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