Home Forensic Scientist Forensic Science Programs in Montana

Forensic Science Programs in Montana

In the early days of criminal justice, decisions were made based on hunches, intuition, and experience. While experience and intuition still play a role in solving crimes, there has been a significant push in recent years to focus more heavily on the role of forensic and biological evidence. As the field of forensic science has become more complex and technologically advanced, it has become much easier for investigators and prosecutors to get the answers they need.

Wondering if forensic science degrees can help you get started on the path to a career in criminal justice?

Learn more now by contacting criminal justice programs in Montana.

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

Forensic science is a widespread specialty used throughout the United States.  As a result, many of the country’s rural and remote areas have invested in high-tech facilities and equipment that provide space for analyzing forensic evidence.

In Montana, legislators are pushing to open a state morgue in the city of Billings (Spokesman, 2017). This facility would include refrigerated storage for evidence, staff multiple medical examiners and forensic science technicians, and provide much more space for forensic and biological evidence.

With more space and specialized equipment, criminal justice facilities throughout the state could benefit from faster turnaround times and more efficient evidence processing procedures.

Forensic Science Degrees in Montana

Here’s the deal…

As you learn how to become a forensic scientist in Montana, you may find that there are several degree options that you can compare.

If you have never studied at the postsecondary level, you may want to get your foot in the door by earning a certificate or Bachelor’s degree in forensic science. Those who have already completed an undergraduate degree may benefit from the advanced study options offered by graduate forensic science programs.

Compare course requirements and practical training options to decide on the degree that fits your career goals.

Certificate in Forensic Studies

  • Forensic Science – Beyond the Crime Lab: This course looks at the many ways in which forensic science techniques can be used outside of traditional employment options within crime labs. You may learn how to work at crime scenes, within research facilities, and in law enforcement agencies.

  • Introduction to Forensic Science: In this class, students explore the history of forensic science while looking ahead to the future. You may learn about recent advances in this field and learn how the standards for this field have changed over time.

A Bachelor’s degree is much more lengthy than a certificate program. While you may earn a certificate in less than one year, you need approximately four years to complete a Bachelor’s degree in forensic science. Plan on earning at least 120 credits by the time you graduate.

Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science

  • Fundamentals of Forensic Science: Explore key terminology, ideas, and theories used in the field of forensic science.

  • Criminal Justice System: Even if you work outside typical criminal justice legal settings as a forensic science technician, you must know how to navigate the system and what the standards of the system area. This course provides a broad overview of the criminal justice system as a whole.

  • Forensic Research Seminar: Research is constantly changing in this field. This course looks at the latest studies in forensic science to provide insight into new techniques, tools, and procedures.

  • Use and Abuse of Drugs: While working with evidence, you may need to understand the effects of drug use. The content of this course focuses on the use of prescribed and illegal drugs.

  • Forensic Science Crime Lab: Hands-on experience is essential in this field, and in crime lab courses, you get to work with top-of-the-line crime lab equipment while getting experience with evidence samples.

  • Introduction to Criminology: This introduction to criminal psychology explores the factors that lead to crimes being committed.

If you start a graduate degree after completing your Bachelor’s degree, you’ll need approximately two to three years of study to earn the required 30 to 40 credits. This type of degree looks at the critical thinking skills needed to take on leadership roles. You may also get more practical experience with complex crime cases.

Graduate Courses in Forensic Anthropology

  • Principles of Forensic Anthropology: Learn about the tenets of forensic anthropology to understand how this field combines forensic science with archeology.

  • Forensic Science in Crime Labs: Explore the role of a forensic anthropologist in today’s crime labs.

  • Dental Anthropology: Dental records are a helpful tool when solving crimes and processing evidence. This course looks at the use of dental records to identify victims.

  • Ethnographic Field Methods: While working at crime scenes, you may need to analyze evidence on-site before processing it. This class explores some key techniques.

  • Bioarcheology: While archeology is typically used to understand ancient cultures and populations, its tenets can also be used in the solving of crime. That’s the main focus of this graduate-level class.

Ready to jump into this field and start earning a forensics degree? Let Montana schools help you!

Here’s how…

Use our list of programs to reach out to schools in your area today.

Working as a Forensic Scientist in Montana

Here’s the best part…

There are plenty of benefits that may come with studying the field of forensic science. One of the biggest benefits of this field is the fact that the skills you develop can be used in many different job positions.

In Montana, you may actually need to use your skills to cover different job titles; remote communities often combine tasks and responsibilities to save money and make the most of funding. Whether you choose to work in a lab setting, pursue a community-based law enforcement career, or focus more heavily on the research aspects of forensic science, you may have several options to consider.

Many graduates find themselves enjoying the time they spend in crime labs. If you feel most fulfilled when working directly with evidence samples and forensic science technology, you may want to become a forensic science technician. The average salary for a Montana forensic science technician is $57,390 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). There is no job growth data available for Montana, but as a general rule, demand for techs is expanding across the United States (O*Net, 2017).

Those who want to explore the world of law enforcement may be able to combine their interests in a criminal investigation career. Criminal investigators work with suspects, victims, and community members while taking crime reports and investigating evidence. However, they also use their knowledge of forensic science to protect evidence and process it properly. On average, Montana criminal investigators earn $75,130 per year (BLS, 2017). By the year 2024, job openings may increase 5% in this field (O*Net, 2017).

Coroners are crucial to the functioning of criminal justice agencies all over the country. You must be able to work independently in this role, since many rural counties only have one or two examiners on hand at any given time. The average salary for a Montana coroner is $58,350 per year (BLS, 2017). Between 2014 and 2024, job openings for coroners may increase 9% (O*Net, 2017).

Find a forensic science program that fits your experience and education today.

 Request information from some of the best forensic science colleges in Montana to learn more.