There are a number of online certificates, associates or bachelors degrees that qualify you to become a forensic scientist. To receive free information on enrollment and financial aid information from the top online forensic science schools, click the “More Info” buttons below:
BS in Justice & Forensic Science
|American Intercontinental University – Students looking to start a career in forensic science find that American InterContinental University’s accredited Forensic Science Bachelor’s degree program allows students to get their forensic’s career started at an affordable cost.
AS in Criminal Investigations
|Everest University Online – Everest University offers an Associates in Criminal Investigation degree that is a nationally accredited forensic science program which gives students the practical skills and knowledge necessary to begin their forensics career upon graduation.
BSCJ in Crime Scene Investigation
|Kaplan University – Kaplan University’s fully accredited Forensic Science Bachelor’s degree provides students with the skills they need to begin their career in the forensic science industry. All of Kaplan’s degrees are affordable and their schedules are designed to be flexible for the working student.
BS in Forensics
|Ashford University – Ashford University – Ashford University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Social and Criminal Justice with a Forensics specialization that focuses on homicide investigation, evidence gathering, criminal profiling, criminal law, and forensic evidence.
MS in Forensics
|Saint Leo University – Saint Leo University – Saint Leo University’s online Forensic Science program will prepare students to assist in criminal justice agency operations and further their career in law enforcement.
Forensic Science Schools Database Search
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Types of Degrees for Forensic Scientists
Forensic science positions typically require a bachelor’s degree to work in the field but can also find work with a graduate degree. Knowledge and understanding of legal procedures also can be helpful, as can certification. These are the two most common degrees for the forensic sciences.
- Bachelor of Science: This four year degree provides students with a basic foundation in science, anatomy, and laboratory based forensics. Types of degrees can be in investigative forensics, criminal justice, and even biology.
- Master of Arts or Science: A graduate degree, it can be used to enter the world of forensics as a crime scene investigator, forensic psychologist, criminal justice, and even forensic investigation.
Requirements to Receive a Degree in Forensic Science
There is no standard certification or registration for forensic scientists, but those entering a government or private industry may be asked to pass an exam. The American College of Forensic Examiners lists all of its certification tests online. There are five different levels of certification for a medical investigator, and the first requires a minimum Bachelor’s degree or five years experience in the field.
Other organizations that offer certification and membership include the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the American Board of Criminalistics, and the International Association for Identification.
Consider When Choosing a Forensic Science School
Be sure to check the The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to see if the school you choose has been accredited by the Department of Education. Another interesting footnote is to see if your school can help you get an internship, which can be of great help when seeking a career in forensic science.
According to the BLS, careers for forensic science technicians are expected to increase much faster than the average with a 31 percent growth from 13,000 to 17,000. Employment is generally found in the state and local government, but can be found in a variety of other areas such as hospitals, security services, and even consulting.
Schools Offering Forensic Science Degrees
Approximately 30 schools offer a bachelor’s degree program in forensic science, with another 25 offering a four year degree in science with an emphasis on forensic science or criminology. Here are a few examples.
- Walden University: Accredited by the Higher Commission of Learning, it offers an MS in Forensic Psychology and BS in Health Studies and another in Criminal Justice.
- University of Maryland: This school is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Investigative Forensics and even allows you to minor in related fields.
- Kaplan University: Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, they have several degrees for forensic scientists. Degrees are available in criminal justice at the Associate, Bachelor, and Master levels and the university even offers a Crime Scene Technician certificate.
Career and Salary for Forensic Scientists
In May 2008 the average salary of a forensic science technician was $49,860 and often include benefits and the opportunity for overtime pay. The highest paid techs worked for the Federal Executive Branch and earned an average of $90,150, while the lowest paid were those who worked for psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals earning $45,890.
Specialty areas of forensic science also include firearms investigation, fingerprinting, pathology, jurisprudence, investigation, odontology, toxicology, or even forensic accounting.
Useful Links for Forensic Scientists
- American College of Forensic Examiners: Stop here to learn more about the forensic certifications they offer. You can also take courses online, get the latest news, and several different forensic related media.
- American Academy of Forensic Sciences: Memberships are available in this leading organization for Associate, Trainee, or Student. You can also get many other useful resources such as videos on forensic science, a list of schools for forensic science, and even job openings.
- American Board of Criminalistics: Learn more about their Forensic Science Assessment test by visiting the site, and you can even get a study guide. Other resources include certification information, a newsletter, and ethics center.
- A Career in Forensics: Hall Dillon of the U.S. Department of Labor takes you through the world of forensic scientists. Learn more about the job and its specialties by reading this short essay.
- The FBI Academy: Learn more about the forensic education they teach here by checking out the FBI Specialized Lab Training and many other areas of specialty. There is even a citizen’s academy for those who live in the Quantico area.
- Forensic Science Technicians: This is the Occupational Employment Statistics offered by the U.S. Department of Labor. It contains more information on employment and wages, and can even tell you more about forensic science careers by state.