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Master’s in Forensic Science Programs

If you have a bachelor’s degree, you may be looking for a way to start or further your career in the field of criminal justice. A master’s degree in forensic science may be a good move for you if you’re interested in the scientific component of physical evidence and the reasoning needed to interpret that evidence.

A master’s degree in forensic science may help you discover some of the most advanced evidence collection techniques in the industry while assisting you in strengthening your intuition. You may work in a laboratory setting, explore rare types of crime and how to identify them, and apply advanced scientific principles to the world of criminal justice.

The advanced education you get in this field can be used in many ways. As a forensic science professional, you may capture bits of evidence that would have otherwise gone unnoticed, process clues that make or break cases, and ensure that the right perpetrators are brought to court. If you’re ready to study forensic science at the graduate level, contact master’s degree programs in your area.

Curriculum for Master’s in Forensic Science Programs

Forensic science is a fairly involved field, so earning a master’s degree in this field may require intensive study and laboratory experience. Some programs are shorter in length, lasting just 30 to 40 credits. Others are more rigorous, requiring you to complete over 50 credits. Because of the variability in course length, you may spend between two and three years in school earning a master’s degree in forensic science.

The curriculum for your master’s degree may start with core forensic courses, including Fundamental Concepts of Forensic Science, Analytical Methods, Scientific Evidence, and Homicide Crime Scene Investigation. The completion of these courses can help you develop a base set of skills that you need to study more advanced topics.

Some of the more advanced topics you may take in this degree cover DNA evidence, criminalistics, and forensic technology. Courses in these categories include Molecular Techniques, Survey of Forensic Sciences, and Microscopy Microanalytical Methods. You may be expected to take several laboratory courses, including Practical DNA Typing and Forensic Sciences Instrumental Lab. To some extent, you may be able to shape your own graduate school experience and schedule courses that fit your long-term career goals. Courses that may be available, depending on which school you attend, include Forensic Computer Science Investigation, Analysis of Non-Human DNA, and Forensic Fire/Arson Investigation. You may create your schedule with the help of an academic advisor.

Career Outcomes and Salary Information with a Master’s Degree in Forensic Science

With a master’s degree in forensic science, you may be able to begin one of a variety of available career paths in criminal justice. You may have to tailor your degree to your eventual career path by deciding whether you want to work in the lab, in crime scenes, or in the public eye.

If death and homicide are two of your main interests in forensic science, you may wish to become a coroner. As a coroner, you can investigate deaths that happen in your jurisdiction, rule out foul play, and find each person’s cause of death. Across the country, coroners report an average salary of $67,879 per year as of 2017. Jobs in this field are expected to increase by 5-9% through 2026 (O*Net, 2017).

You may prefer to work directly with evidence, with crime scenes, and with various substances that may turn up in the course of a criminal investigation. This may make you a good fit for a forensic science technician role. The average salary for a forensic science technician is $57,850 per year (O*Net, 2017). You may see jobs in this field increase by 15% through 2026 (O*Net, 2017).

Ready to jump into the field of forensic science with a master’s degree? Contact master’s in forensic science programs today to learn more!