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Forensic Science Degree

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What is Forensic Science?

Forensic science is the method used to apply various sciences and techniques to evaluate and investigate a crime scene. Individuals pursuing a career in forensic science will be responsible for maintaining a crime scene to collect samples, the proper care of material, the review and testing of samples in a laboratory setting and the evaluation of results in order to solidify evidence and knowledge. Forensic scientists must be strong will due to the exposure to disturbing material, particularly those who specialize in crime scene investigation. Individuals wanting to work in CSI should be prepared to witness disturbing sights.

Educational Requirements

A degree in forensic science prepares individuals to apply scientific methods to the investigation of crime. A forensic science program will provide an education in various sciences along with courses in law, investigation and methodology. Such programs will educate individuals in the gathering and analyses of evidence. An education in forensic science requires an individual to be attentive and meticulous, and able to examine seemingly insignificant material for clues. Degrees in forensic science can range from diplomas to master's degrees, with a bachelor's degree most often pursued for entry level positions.

Courses offered in a forensic science program include:

  • Statistics
  • Criminology
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Court Procedure
  • Criminal Psychology

Employment

A career as a forensic science technician can lead to varying specialties. Forensic science is used in all manner of test procedures that run the gamut from DNA testing to firearms scarring to soil sample examination. A forensic science technician must be careful in how he or she gathers and stores evidence, and may often be called on to offer testimony on procedure or evidence.  

Forensic science technicians are typically employed by local or state governments, but can be found at the federal level as well. Technicians working in evidence gathering will have a abnormal schedule, and will typically be on call day evening, night and weekends. A lab technician will generally work normal hours, but may be on call to review gathered samples if the need arises.

Some specialties available to forensic science graduates include:

  • Lab Forensics
  • Computer Forensics
  • Forensic Pathologist
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Crime Scene Investigator

Job Growth, Salary and Related Occupations

Job growth in Forensic science is expected to increase much over the next decade, much faster than the national average for jobs. This is due to the increased use of forensics in the prevention and solving crimes as well the matching rate of crime to population growth, resulting in an overall increase in criminal activity with little change in percentage. The average salary for a forensic science technician is approximately $52,000 per year.

Individuals interested in forensic science may also be interested in criminologycriminal justice, forensic psychology or pathology.

Colleges that Offer Forensic Science by Number of Graduates

Listed below are the most popular schools in the U.S. that have forensic science programs. Schools can be filtered by clicking the drop-down menu below and selecting a state.

Filter Schools by State:

C = Certificate or Award | A = Associate Degree | B = Bachelor's Degree | M = Master's Degree | D = Doctor Degree (Ph.D.,M.D.,...)

Showing 1-20 of 206 Schools
Phoenix College

Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix College is part of Maricopa Community Colleges, which is one of the largest community college systems in the United States. The college educated many successful businessmen and women in the local community. It is located in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. The college is dedicated to offering an...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $1,854
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (602) 264-2492

Programs Offered

  • Criminal Justice (C,A)
  • Forensic Science (C,A)
  • Fire Protection and Safety Technology (C,A)
  • Fire Science (C,A)

University of New Haven

West Haven, CT

History The University of New Haven was founded in 1920 at New Haven, Connecticut and was originally located on Yale's campus. In 1960 the school moved to it West Haven location. UNH is a private university, and is considered...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $32,750
  • Type: 4-Year Private College
  • Students Enrolled: 5,000 to 9,999
  • Telephone: (203) 932-7000

Programs Offered

  • Law and Justice Administration (C,B,M)
  • Criminal Justice (C,B,M)
  • Forensic Science (C,B,M)
  • Police Science (C,B,M)

Grossmont College

El Cajon, CA

Grossmont College is a two-year community college located in El Cajon, California in the region near San Diego. Grossmont College offers more than 150 academic programs that lead to associate degrees, professional certificates and successful transfer to four-year...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $1,387
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (619) 644-7000

Programs Offered

  • Corrections (C,A)
  • Forensic Science (C,A)
  • Police Science (C,A)
  • Homeland Security (C,A)

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is one of the top research universities in the United States.  It is an urban university, with its two campuses located in the heart of Richmond, Virginia.  The two main campuses for VCU are Monroe Park Campus and MCV...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $9,886
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (804) 828-0100

Programs Offered

  • Law and Justice Administration (B,M)
  • Forensic Science (B,M)

National University

La Jolla, CA

National University is a nonprofit private institution located in La Jolla, California and provides a large number of educational opportunities for students. National University has a yearly student enrollment of around 16,000.Students can select from many areas of study,...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $11,736
  • Type: 4-Year Private College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (800) 628-8648

Programs Offered

  • Law and Justice Administration (M)
  • Criminal Justice (M)
  • Forensic Science (M)
  • Security and Loss Prevention Services (M)

CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice

New York, NY

John Jay is a public school that has a large selection of degrees available for students to choose from. The school is located in New York, NY, in a predominately urban area. John Jay has a yearly student enrollment of approximately fifteen thousand.Here is a list of some of the popular...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $5,759
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (212) 237-8000

Programs Offered

  • Law and Justice Administration (B,M)
  • Forensic Science (B,M)
  • Police Science (B,M)
  • Security and Loss Prevention Services (B,M)

St Petersburg College

Largo, FL

St. Petersburg College (formerly St. Petersburg Junior College) is a state college that ranks among the top 10 community colleges in the Nation. Formerly a two-year institution, it now offers both associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees through its University Partnership...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $3,172
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (727) 341-4772

Programs Offered

  • Corrections (C,A)
  • Law and Justice Administration (C,A)
  • Forensic Science (C,A)
  • Police Science (C,A)

George Washington University

Washington, DC

George Washington University (GW) is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., a short distance from the White House. Students and faculty of GW have the opportunity to work on projects alongside leaders of politics, science, law and many other disciplines. Students also...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $45,780
  • Type: 4-Year Private College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (202) 994-1000

Programs Offered

  • Criminal Justice (M)
  • Forensic Science (M)
  • Police Science (M)
  • Securities Services Administration and Management (M)

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is a nonprofit private graduate level school located in Philadelphia. The yearly enrollment for the school is about two thousand students. Fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, this school awards graduate level degrees...

School Details

  • Type: Graduate School
  • Students Enrolled: 1,000 to 4,999
  • Telephone: (215) 871-6770

Programs Offered

  • Forensic Science (M)

City College of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

City College of San Francisco is a two-year community college. It consists of eleven campuses; the Ocean Avenue campus being the primary. It is the second largest collegiate institution overall and the largest junior and community college in the US. Its motto: The truth...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $1,238
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (415) 239-3000

Programs Offered

  • Forensic Science (C)
  • Police Science (C)
  • Fire Protection and Safety Technology (C)

Pensacola State College

Pensacola, FL

Pensacola State College, located in Pensacola, Florida, was founded in 1948 when it was known as Pensacola Junior College. Pensacola State College was the first institution of higher learning in the Pensacola. Over the years PSC has added more and more campuses and...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $2,704
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (850) 484-1000

Programs Offered

  • Law and Justice Administration (C)
  • Forensic Science (C)
  • Fire Protection and Safety Technology (C)

University of Central Oklahoma

Edmond, OK

About The University of Central Oklahoma, located in Edmond, Oklahoma, is the oldest post-secondary educational institution in the state, having been founded in 1890. The school was originally a normal...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $5,092
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (405) 974-2000

Programs Offered

  • Law and Justice Administration (B,M)
  • Criminal Justice (B,M)
  • Forensic Science (B,M)
  • Police Science (B,M)

Palm Beach State College

Lake Worth, FL

Palm Beach State College (PBSC), located in Lake Worth, Florida, was formerly  called Palm Beach Community College (PBCC). PBSC was the oldest community college in Florida, formerly a two-year institution offering associate's degrees in arts, science, and...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $2,378
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (561) 967-7222

Programs Offered

  • Corrections (C,A)
  • Law and Justice Administration (C,A)
  • Forensic Science (C,A)
  • Police Science (C,A)

Nebraska Wesleyan University

Lincoln, NE

Nebraska Wesleyan University is a liberal arts college that offers an undergraduate education and helps students in developing important skills useful in pursuit of graduate education or employment. A liberal arts curriculum exposes students to a variety of topics and subjects. The school is...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $25,918
  • Type: 4-Year Private College
  • Students Enrolled: 1,000 to 4,999
  • Telephone: (402) 466-2371

Programs Offered

  • Forensic Science (C,B,M)

Duquesne University

Pittsburgh, PA

DU, a nonprofit private institution, offers a large number of degree programs, allowing students to choose which major is right for them. Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the campus resides in an urban setting for students to study in. The Roman Catholic affiliation at the school is an...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $30,034
  • Type: 4-Year Private College
  • Students Enrolled: 5,000 to 9,999
  • Telephone: (412) 396-6000

Programs Offered

  • Forensic Science (B,M)

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV

West Virginia University (WVU) is a public university in Morgantown, West Virginia, offering 193 academic degree programs. The broad range of majors and study programs at WVU include biometric systems, business, community design, study abroad, teacher training,...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $6,090
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (304) 293-0111

Programs Offered

  • Forensic Science (B,M)

Hilbert College

Hamburg, NY

Hilbert College provides a variety of degree programs for students to aid them in their growth and development. The school is located in Hamburg, NY and operated as a private institution. The school's Roman Catholic affiliation is one of its defining characteristics and plays an important role...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $19,440
  • Type: 4-Year Private College
  • Students Enrolled: 1,000 to 4,999
  • Telephone: (716) 649-7900

Programs Offered

  • Criminal Justice (B)
  • Forensic Science (B)
  • Police Science (B)

Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA

Pennsylvania State University is located in University Park. It is a state-related, space grant, land grant public research facility. Also known as Penn State, the school has twenty-four campuses in Pennsylvania. University Park is the main and largest...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $16,444
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (814) 865-4700

Programs Offered

  • Law and Justice Administration (B,M)
  • Criminal Justice (B,M)
  • Forensic Science (B,M)

University of Maryland - University College

Adelphi, MD

The University of Maryland - University College (UMUC) was founded in 1947.  It has many timely and cutting-edge programs that reflect global change. UMUC is headquartered in Adelphi, Maryland, but offers classes in other locations such as Washington, D.C., Europe...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $6,384
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (301) 985-7000

Programs Offered

  • Law and Justice Administration (B)
  • Criminal Justice (B)
  • Forensic Science (B)
  • Fire Protection and Safety Technology (B)

University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

The University of Central Florida is located in Orlando. It is a metropolitan research university of the State University System of Florida. History The University of Central Florida was...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $6,247
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (407) 823-2000

Programs Offered

  • Criminal Justice (B,M)
  • Forensic Science (B,M)

Source: IPEDS Survey 2008-2011: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.