Forensic Science Programs in Tennessee
Technological advances have completely overhauled the field of criminal justice in recent years, a trend that may continue as researchers continue to develop more advanced equipment for the collection and analysis of evidence. This technology has been a boon for criminal investigators and prosecutors, who often have very large caseloads and a limited amount of time in which to close each case. Forensic science saves time, distributes the workload to forensic professionals, and provides more solid evidence for investigators to use in their cases.
Have you ever considered a career in forensic science?
Get more information on your options by contacting forensic science colleges in Tennessee.
What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Tennessee?
The presence of forensic evidence is almost a guarantee in any crime. No matter how careful a perpetrator may be, it is nearly impossible to avoid leaving any trace of your involvement in a crime. This makes it easier for victims to get resolution and closure when a crime occurs. This technology has been particularly important on Tennessee college campuses, where overall crime increased in 2016 (Patch, 2017). The 0.8% increase in crime was primarily attributed to physical assault and fraud cases, both of which leave behind forensic traces of evidence.
Forensic Science Degrees in Tennessee
As you consider which degree is a fit for your career and educational goals, take the time to reach out to multiple forensic science programs in Tennessee. The more information you get from local schools, the more easily you can make an informed decision about which school you wish to attend.
If you’re new to this field and you’re not sure what you would like to do long-term, an associate degree may be a good option. Associate programs include 60 to 70 credits of study and can typically be completed in two years or less. Be ready to get experience in your school’s crime lab, since you should be able to work with equipment independently by the time you start looking for jobs.
Associate-Level Crime Scene Investigation Classes
- Criminal Law and Procedure
- Investigative Photography
- Basic Fingerprint Identification
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Evidence Photography
If you have some experience in this field or you know you want to build a long-term career in forensic science, why not choose a forensic science major for your bachelor’s degree?
A forensic science major makes up half of your four-year, 120-credit degree. The other half is completed in general education courses, during which you build your overall base of knowledge by taking classes in mathematics, physical sciences, English, and other subjects. In your 60 to 70 credits of forensic science coursework, you may explore more complicated concepts, work with top-of-the-line equipment, and develop your overall expertise in the world of criminal justice.
Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science
- Criminal Investigations
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Instrumental Analysis in Forensic Science
- Judicial Process
Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree may not want to earn another bachelor’s degree, particularly if they have studied criminal justice before. If this describes you, consider earning a master’s degree in forensic psychology. This is a more specialized area of forensic science, covering the psychological aspects of criminalistics and providing pathways to helping criminals successfully rehabilitate.
This is also an excellent degree choice if you want to go into the field of criminal profiling. You must already have a bachelor’s degree to pursue a master’s degree, since this degree builds on the knowledge you gain in an undergraduate program. Over a span of two years, you earn between 30 and 40 credits to get your master’s degree.
Graduate Courses in Forensic Psychology
- Psychology of Criminal Behavior
- Psychology and the Legal System
- Maladaptive Behavior and Psychopathology
- Forensic Psychological Assessment
With our list of forensic science schools, it’s easy to request information from local programs and choose a degree that suits you.
Get started now by contacting Tennessee criminal justice programs.
Working as a Forensic Scientist in Tennessee
Upon completion of your associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree, you may be ready to throw yourself into the job search and find out what local employers are hiring. In fact, you may want to take this step before you graduate. The earlier you start applying for jobs, the more quickly you may be able to find a position that is in line with your needs. Keep in mind that many job offers are contingent on completion of a degree, so you should be completely confident about your graduation date before you start this process.
Becoming a forensic science technician is one of the most popular choices for new graduates. This role keeps you primarily in the laboratory, which is where you may gain most of your practical experience as a student. In this field, you can do meaningful work and build connections with other criminal justice professionals. In Tennessee, the average salary for a forensic science technician is $47,230 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Currently, there is no job outlook data for this role.
If you like the idea of working in law enforcement, you may opt to become a criminal investigator. Investigators have a more involved role in their cases, often conducting interviews and spending time in the community to gather information. The average annual income for a Tennessee criminal investigator is $62,510 (BLS, 2017). By the year 2024, job openings for criminal investigators may swell 4% (O*Net, 2017).
Graduates who are detail-oriented, good at working in solitude, and highly focused may serve their communities as coroners. It takes a very specific set of skills to become a coroner, since you may need to spend hours with each cadaver to process it, collect evidence, and determine cause of death. Currently, the average salary for a Tennessee coroner is $60,620 per year (BLS, 2017). Between 2014 and 2024, job openings for coroners may increase 12% (O*Net, 2017).
Forensic science degrees may change your career prospects and help you get involved in a field that is growing rapidly.
Take the first step now by getting in touch with Tennessee forensic science programs.
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