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Forensic Science Programs in Oregon

Why is the field of forensic science one of the most crucial in the world of criminal justice? It is directly responsible for many important discoveries in long-running cases, and as a result, forensic science has helped suffering victims and families find peace. This field continues to change substantially from year to year, with new technology allowing professionals to process evidence more quickly, get accurate results with less evidence, and compile reports for readability.

Is a career in forensic science in your future?

Explore different educational options now by reaching out to forensic science Oregon programs.

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

Forensic science is primarily known for the assistance it provides in murder cases and other violent crimes, but it is also used to solve property crimes and other cases. With a recent uptick in hate crimes in several states, forensic science has been an invaluable resource for criminal investigators.

In a recent case in Oregon, a man attacked an employee of a Middle Eastern restaurant and beat him with a pipe (Statesman Journal, 2017). In other cases, the crime hasn’t been discovered until the perpetrators were long gone. Thanks to forensic science, professionals can still find and charge the people responsible.

Forensic Science Degrees in Oregon

As you start to check out forensic science schools in Oregon, you may find that you can study this field at several different levels of education. To determine which type of degree best suits you, look into each program’s learning outcomes and goals.

These program outcomes should clearly outline what you are expected to learn by graduation, which proficiencies you should develop as a student, and what professional roles you may be prepared for by the end of your education.

For new students, an associate degree may be a convenient option. This two-year degree offers introductory forensic science coursework and up to 30 credits of general education classes in topics like English, mathematics, and physical sciences. This degree may give you the opportunity to apply for entry-level positions or work toward a bachelor’s degree in the future.

Associate-Level Forensic Science Classes

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs
  • Arrest, Search, and Seizure
  • Juvenile Criminal Justice Process

If you are certain about your choice to work in the field of forensic science, you may save time with a forensic science bachelor’s degree. This undergraduate degree lays a solid foundation for your new career by offering up to 60 credits of general education coursework and up to 70 credits of forensic science coursework.

Many schools require all students to complete an internship prior to graduation, which may help you put your newly gained skills to work. In an internship, you can use the feedback you get to become a stronger criminal justice professional and meet the needs of local employers. From start to finish, bachelor’s forensic science degrees typically last four to five years.

Bachelor’s Degree Coursework

  • Principles of Biology
  • Fundamentals of Toxicology
  • Environmental Forensic Chemistry

Graduate forensic science programs are not open to everyone, but they are an excellent option for those who have ambitious long-term goals in the world of forensic science. A bachelor’s degree is mandatory for acceptance to a graduate program.

A bachelor’s in forensic science or criminal justice may be advantageous, but you may still be accepted to a graduate program with a bachelor’s degree in another field. Over a period of roughly two years, you earn 30 to 40 graduate credits while studying challenging advanced topics in forensic science. As part of your education, you may go through an internship or practicum course.

Graduate Courses in Forensic Science

  • Crime Scene Investigation and Reconstruction
  • Forensic Pattern Analysis
  • Forensic Serology
  • Research Methods in Forensic Science

You know that the field of forensic science can benefit the people in your community and improve the outcomes of criminal justice agencies, so why not learn how to become a forensics scientist now?

Check out our list of Oregon forensic science programs and request more information to begin.

Working as a Forensic Scientist in Oregon

In Oregon, the need for criminal justice professionals is growing. Job growth rates are generally in line with national averages, but salaries tend to be somewhat higher than national averages. How can you give yourself a fair shot when you start looking for jobs? Prepare ahead. As a student, get an internship at a prestigious criminal justice agency and use your time to exceed expectations and make connections with leaders in your industry. Since you may already have experience with forensic science technology, you may have an advantage over other job seekers.

Many graduates find that they thrive in a laboratory setting. If this is the case for you, look into becoming a forensic science technician. Techs are an important part of today’s criminal justice agencies, dedicating their time to processing and analyzing evidence accurately. Demand is high in this field; O*Net expects job openings for forensic science technicians to increase 24% between 2014 and 2024 (2017). The average salary for an Oregon forensic science technician is $63,610 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).

Those with aspirations of working in law enforcement may find their calling as criminal investigators. Often one step above police officers, investigators must be able to handle evidence appropriately when they arrive at crime scenes. In Oregon, criminal investigators bring in an average of $84,500 per year (BLS, 2017). This field has seen fairly steady growth, with an expected 2% boost in job openings by the year 2024 (O*Net, 2017).

If you can handle exceptionally gory or unusual crimes, you may serve your community as a coroner. Coroners spend extensive periods of time with cadavers, so they must be able to keep calm and maintain a high level of quality of work. Oregon coroners earn an average annual income of $65,780 (BLS, 2017). O*Net predicts a 9% boost in job openings in the years between 2014 and 2024 (2017).

Criminal justice relies on forensic science professionals. If you’re ready to become one of them, make your move now and get in touch with Oregon forensic science schools.