There are many different paths that you can choose from in forensic science. Depending on your interests, you may find that having a generalized knowledge of forensic science may be the best option for you. Having a degree in forensic science can potentially give you the skill and expertise you need to set yourself apart from others in this field.

Our dedicated experts have tracked down some of the more preferred degree programs in forensic science, which are listed below. Take a look below to see if you could see yourself in any of these programs.

Bachelor's in Forensic Science

The Bachelor's in Forensic Science is one of the most popular fields for students entering into this track. This 4-year on average program prepares students for graduate level learning or direct entry into the field. If you are starting fresh, this is a great place to get introductory knowledge of forensics, as well as the primary skills needed to be an effective professional in this field. Students are likely to take part in courses that focus on criminalistics and criminal psychology, in an effort to introduce students to the people that they will be working against in the field.

Later in the program, students should expect to see courses such as Death Investigations, Cybercrimes, and General Investigative Methods, which can allow students the opportunity to view forensic science from multiple legal viewpoints. The purpose of this program is to properly groom students for a career that involves proper scene investigations, analysis techniques, and in-tune investigative methods. If you are considering a great entry-level degree program that effectively teaches the different collection methods and analysis requirements, than this is a great place to start.

Master's in Forensic Science

Most applicants to the graduate level forensic science programs have completed an undergraduate degree in forensic science. However, some students choose this degree program to complement undergraduate degree programs in Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, or even Anthropology. This degree program is popular since it works well with a large variety of major programs. If you choose forensic science for your master's program, you will find that the curriculum was created to develop more educated methods for criminal investigations and evidence gathering and processing.

Most Master's programs in Forensic Science take around 2 years to complete and consist of 32-35 credit hours. The curriculum in this degree program includes an investigative look into forensic anthropology, drug analysis, toxicology, criminalistics, the environment, and biological evidence. Students that take part in this program should expect to receive a well-rounded education in forensic science so that they can apply their expertise in a wider variety of fields upon graduation.

Doctorate in Forensic Science

The Ph.D. program in Forensic Science is relatively new in the educational realm. This program gives students are more in-depth look into the applications and philosophies of forensic science as a whole, all while requiring that students develop and defend their own research problem. If you decide to go forward to this excellent program, you should expect to take a more proactive approach to the development of a research project that is relevant to your field.

You may be expected to use advanced methods and techniques in the development of a dissertation, which is due prior to graduation. Using the skills developed through previous and current courses, students should be strengthening their investigative abilities at this level. This degree program is designed for the most dedicated forensic science professionals that are willing to take leadership roles during highly tense situations and investigations.

The curriculum in this program is mainly researched based, so that students are given the best opportunity for advancement in fields of academics, laboratory research, or in leadership positions. Most programs offering this degree require students to take part in colloquium courses, which requires physical attendance.

If you have the opportunity to move to this level with your degree program, it is highly recommended due to the lower number of graduates at the Ph.D. level.

Common Coursework in Forensic Science

If you consider the different types of crime that exist in society, you will get an idea of how much knowledge is needed to solve them. Coursework in forensic science includes a wide variety of disciplines that all contribute to a more knowledgeable professional in this sector of investigative sciences. Our team has listed some of the common courses and theories that are taught throughout forensic science degree programs below.

  • Forensic Toxicology – uses chemistry and the knowledge of pharmacology in solving crimes
  • Forensic Genetics – genetic testing and comparisons in forensics
  • Crime Scene Investigation – proper crime scene investigative methods, tools, and protocols
  • Forensic Anthropology – study of the human body, or remains, in connection to a crime
  • Criminal Procedure & Evidence – teaches students about how evidence is used and protected before, during, and after criminal trials, as well as the laws surrounding proper evidence collection
  • Cyber Crime and Security – introduces cyber crimes as well as methods to investigate or prevent them
  • Examination of Firearms – ballistics for use in forensic science
  • Fingerprinting and Microscopic Analysis – fingerprint collection and analysis for use in identifying suspects or connecting suspects to a crime scene

Forensic Science Versus Criminology Coursework

Forensic science and criminology have a lot of the same goals in mind regarding crime. However, the applied nature of forensic science differs from the theoretical approach of criminology on several different levels. The coursework found in forensic science teaches students to physically collect, analyze, and report of actual crime scene evidence in an effort to solve crimes.

Courses in this major include the various methods of evidence collection, proper protocol for testing evidence, and how evidence plays a role in criminal court proceedings. In criminology coursework, students review statistical data, psychological traits, and economical data in an effort to understand why crimes occur, how law enforcement reacts to crime, and what can be done to reduce crime overall. Courses in criminology also focus on the mental characteristics of criminals, the sociological traits of people that commit crimes, and effective measures to providing a justice system that works to prevent crime.

Salary Information and Expected Job Growth

Obtaining a career in forensic science can be an exciting and proud experience. There are many possibilities for employment in this field, ranging from local law enforcement agencies to research facilities across the country. The BLS reports that professionals in forensic science can earn $60,690 on average per year while working in this field (BLS; 2016).

Annual salaries can differ depending on several different factors, including where you choose to work and the amount of time you have worked in forensic science as a whole. Regions of the United States that have a higher concentration of forensic science professionals typically have a few things in common.

First, densely or other highly populated areas with higher crime rates usually require a higher number of forensic science professionals to assist with a higher case load. Second, areas that experience a high percentage of unsolved crimes attempt to find qualified forensic science professionals in order to solve these crimes and possibly thwart future occurrences of criminal activity.

Having this information in mind, consider your location of choice when doing your research to ensure that the job availability is inviting in your chosen area. In a field that is ever-changing due to an increase in technological capabilities and biological identification systems, the growth may only continue to increase in the next decade.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates this field to see a 27% growth over the next 10 years, which is a great factor in helping students decide on choosing this field (BLS; 2015).

Popularity of forensic science degree programs has skyrocketed over the last few years, making this a highly sought after career field for upcoming professionals. The profound interest in crime scene investigation and evidence analysis has increased the number of applicants to open positions and made it even more profitable to obtain higher, graduate-level education.

Most entry-level positions have a minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree, but can be overwhelmed with applicants at that degree level. Pairing graduate level degrees with experience can assist you with obtaining heavily desired positions in forensics, without having to assert yourself above others that are attempting to gain the same positions at a lower degree level. Gaining experience in forensic science can provide for a more profitable career in the future as well as possibly allow for career advancement opportunities within the organization that you currently work.

If this is a career that you are interested in, it is definitely worth the time and effort to obtain a degree and get started in a career you will love.

All Schools with Forensic Science Programs

Programs That May Be Currently Accepting Applicants

Albany State University

Albany
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Alliant International University

Los Angeles
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Psychology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Forensic Psychology
  • Doctor of Psychology in Forensic Psychology

Alvernia University

Reading
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Forensic Science Minor

Arcadia University

Glenside
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Arkansas State University

Jonesboro
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Ashworth College

Norcross
  • Online Career Diploma - Forensic Science

Barry University

Miami Shores
  • Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts

Bay Path College

Longmeadow
  • Bachelor in Science in Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Baylor University

Waco
  • Bachelor of Science in Anthropology
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Forensic Science Minor

Boston University

Boston
  • Master of Science in Forensic Anthropology
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science
  • Professional Studies in Applied Forensic Sciences & Criminal Investigations

California State University Chico

Chico
  • Certificate in Forensic Identification

California State University Fullerton

Fullerton
  • Certificate in Crime and Intelligence Analysis
  • Certificate in Private Investigation
  • Certificate in Threat Assessment and Communication Analysis
  • Online Certificate in Basic Understanding of Forensic Science

California State University Long Beach

Long Beach
  • Basic Applied Forensic Science and Crime Analysis Certificate Program
  • Internet Crime and Identity Theft Certificate Program

California State University Los Angeles

Los Angeles
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with Forensic Science Option
  • Master of Arts in Forensic Anthropology
  • Master of Science in Criminalistics
  • Master of Science in Forensic Psychology

Canyon College

Carmichael
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Applied Police Science
  • Online Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

Cedar Crest College

Allentown
  • Forensic Science Concentration

Central Pennsylvania College

Summerdale
  • Death Investigation Certificate

Central Piedmont Community College

Charlotte
  • Bachelor of Science in Digital Evidence
  • Professional Courses in General Forensics

Chaminade University

Hawaii
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Sciences

Champlain College

Burlington
  • Certificate in Computer and Digital Forensics
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Computer and Digital Forensics

Columbia College

Columbia
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Defiance College

Defiance
  • Digital Forensic Science

Drexel University

Philadelphia
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Duquesne University

Pittsburgh
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science and Law

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Emory University

Atlanta
  • Computer Forensics CCE

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Madison
  • Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
  • Online Certificate in Forensic Accounting

Faulkner University

Montgomery
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Psychology

Ferris State University

Michigan
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton
  • Online Master of Arts in Accounting

Florida Community College

Jacksonville
  • Computer Forensics Technician

Florida International University

Miami
  • Certificate in Forensic Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science
  • Online Masters in Forensic Science

Franklin University

Columbus
  • Associate of Science in Forensic Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Forensics
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Accounting
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Business Forensics
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Forensic Accounting

George Mason Continuing Education

Manassas
  • Online Forensic Computer Examiner Certificate

George Washington University

Washington
  • Forensic Investigation
  • Forensic Investigation Certificate
  • HighTechnology Crime Investigation Certificate
  • Master of Forensic Science in Crime Scene Investigation
  • Master of Forensic Science in Forensic Chemistry
  • Master of Forensic Science in Forensic Molecular Biology
  • Master of Forensic Science in Forensic Toxicology
  • Masters of Forensic Science in High Technology Crime Investigations

Golden Gate University

San Francisco
  • Forensic Accounting Certificate

Guilford College

Greensboro
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Biology
  • Minor in Forensic Science

Hamline University

St. Paul
  • Forensic Sciences Certificate

Heidelberg University

Tiffin
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Hilbert College

Hamburg
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Minor in Forensic Science

Hofstra University

Hempstead
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Houston Community College

Houston
  • Crime & Digital Evidence - Certificate

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Indianapolis
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic and Investigative Sciences
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

ITT Technical Institute

Indianapolis
  • Associate in Science in Criminal Justice
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Cyber Security

John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

New York
  • Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Forensic Science
  • Doctoral Study in Criminal Justice
  • Doctoral Study in Forensic Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Forensic Mental Health Counseling
  • Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Forensic Psychology

Keystone College

La Plume
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Biology

King College

Bristol
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

La Roche College

Pittsburg
  • Criminalistics Certificate

Lock Haven University

Lock Haven
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology with DNA Analysis Option

Loyola University

New Orleans
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Madonna University

Livonia
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Forensic Psychology Certificate of Completion

Marshall University

Huntington
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Forensics
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry
  • Computer Forensics Certificate
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Marymount University

Arlington
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science/Criminal Justice
  • Certificate for Forensic Science/Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice

MassBay Community College

Wellesley Hills
  • Associate in Science in Forensic DNA Science and Biotechnology

McNeese State University

Lake Charles
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute

Erie
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminalistics/Forensic Biology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Anthropology
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology
  • Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Investigations
  • Master of Science in Forensic and Biological Anthropology

Metropolitan State College of Denver

Denver
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
  • Criminalistics Minor

Michigan State University

East Lansing
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Middle Tennessee State University

Murfressboro
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Mount Ida College

Newton
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Mountain State University

Beckley
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

National Center For Forensic Science

Orlando
  • Graduate Certificate in Computer Forensics

National University

Los Angeles
  • Master of Forensic Sciences

Nebraska Wesleyan University

Lincoln
  • Master of Forensic Science

New River Community College

Dublin
  • Associate of Applied Science

New York University

New York
  • Certificate for Forensic Accounting

Northeastern University

Boston
  • Online Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting

Ohio University

Athens
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Oklahoma State University

Tulsa
  • Graduate Certificate in Forensic Examination of Questioned Documents
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Our Lady of the Lake College

Baton Rouge
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Penn Foster Career School

Scranton
  • Online Forensic Computer Examiner Certificate

Pennsylvania State University

University Park
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Philadelphia
  • Certificate of Graduate Study in Forensic Medicine
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Pima Community College

Tucson
  • Crime Scene Management Certificate

Point Park University

Pittsburgh
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Prince George's Community College

Largo
  • Associate of Science in Forensic Transfer Studies
  • Associate of Science in Investigative Forensics

Purdue University

West Lafayette
  • Forensic Entomology Minor
  • Graduate Studies in Computer and Information Technology

Rider University

Princeton
  • Forensic Certificate
  • Master of Accountancy in Fraud and Forensic Accounting

Roberts Wesleyan College

Rochester
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Rosemont College

Rosemont
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

Russell Sage College

Albany
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Sage Graduate School

Albany
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Certificate in Forensic Mental Health
  • Master of Science in Forensic Mental Health

Saint Francis University

Loretto
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry

Saint Joseph's College

Brooklyn
  • Master of Science in Biology

Salem International University

Salem
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville
  • Internship in Forensic Science
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

San Jose State University

San Jose
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Savannah State University

Savannah
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Scottsdale Community College

Scottsdale
  • Crime Scene Investigation Certificate
  • Crime Scene Technology Certificate
  • Pre-Crime Lab Associates Program

Seattle University

Seattle
  • Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Southern Oregon University

Ashland
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice

St. Ambrose University

Davenport
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminalistics
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

St. Andrews Presbyterian College

Laurinburg
  • Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Science

St. Edward's University

Austin
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

St. Petersburg College

St.Petersburg
  • Bachelor of Science in Crime Scene Technology

St. Thomas Aquinas College

Sparkill
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

St. Thomas University

Miami Gardens
  • Biology Major with Forensic Science Specialization
  • Chemistry Major with Forensic Science Specialization

Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken
  • Online Advanced Certificate in Security Management and Forensics

Syracuse University

Syracuse
  • Forensic Science Minor
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Texas Tech University

Lubbock
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Pomona
  • Forensic Science Certificate
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

The University of Baltimore

Baltimore
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Studies

The University of Findlay

Findlay
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

The University of Louisville

Louisville
  • Forensic Anthropology Minor

The University of Tennessee

Knoxville
  • Forensic Science Training and Technology

Tompkins Cortland Community College

Dryden
  • Associate of Arts and Sciences in Computer Forensics

Towson University

Towson
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry
  • Master of Science in Forensic Chemistry
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Trine University

Angola
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

UC Riverside Extension

Riverside
  • Certificate in Crime and Intelligence Analysis
  • Certificate in Crime Scene Investigation

Umass Lowell Continuing Studies

Lowell
  • Online Graduate Certificate in Forensic Criminology

University at Albany

Albany
  • Master of Science in Forensic Biology
  • Master of Science in Forensic Biology
  • Master of Science in Forensic Chemistry

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham
  • Certificate Program in Computer Forensics
  • Forensic Psychology Minor
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

University of Arkansas

Little Rock
  • Crime Scene Technician Certificate

University of Baltimore

Baltimore
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Studies

University of California - Davis

Davis
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

University of Central Florida

Orlando
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Behavioral Forensics Certifcate
  • Computer Forensics Certificate
  • Master of Science in Digital Forensics
  • Master of Science in Digital Forensics
  • Master of Science in Forensic Analysis
  • Master of Science in Forensic Biochemistry
  • Online Master of Science in Digital Forensics

University of Central Oklahoma

Edmond
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

University of Charleston

Charleston
  • Executive Master of Forensic Accounting

University of Florida

Gainesville
  • Online Clinical Toxicology Certificate
  • Online Drug Chemistry Certificate
  • Online Environmental Forensics Certificate
  • Online Forensic Death Investigation Certificate
  • Online Forensic DNA and Serology Certificate
  • Online Forensic Toxicology Certificate
  • Online Master of Science in Drug Chemistry
  • Online Master of Science in Forensic Science
  • Online Master of Science in Forensic Serology and DNA
  • Online Master of Science in Forensic Toxicology

University of Great Falls

Great Falls
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Forensic Investigation Concentration

University of Hawaii

Pearl City
  • Applied Forensic Anthropology

University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Lowell
  • Master of Arts in Forensic Criminology

University of Mississippi

University
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Entomology

University of New Haven

West Haven
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

University of North Carolina

Chapel Hill
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Psychology

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
  • Online Forensic Computer Examiner
  • Online Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology

University of North Texas

Denton
  • Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
  • Certificate in Forensic Science

University of North Texas Health Science Center

Fort Worth
  • Master of Science in Forensic Genetics

University of Rhode Island

Kingston
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a Forensic Chemistry Minor
  • Online Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics
  • Online Professional Certificate in Digital Forensics

University of Southern Mississippi

Hatiesburg
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensics
  • Masters of Science in Forensics

University of St. Francis

Fort Wayne
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry

University of Tampa

Tampa
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Milwaukee
  • Certificate in Death Investigation
  • Certificate in Forensic Science
  • Certificate in Forensic Toxicology

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Virginia's Community Colleges

Dublin
  • Associate of Applied Science in Forensic Science
  • Certificate in Police Science

Waynesburg University

Waynesburg
  • Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Computing
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Weatherford College

Weatherford
  • Associate of Arts in Forensic Science

Weber State University

Ogden
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science - Investigation

West Chester University

West Chester
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Minor in Criminal Justice

West Virginia University

Morgantown
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Certificate in Computer Forensics
  • Continuing Education for Forensic Professionals Program
  • Master of Science in Forensic and Investigative Science

Western Carolina University

Cullowhee
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Anthropology
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Western New England College

Springfield
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry
  • MSA Forensic Accounting & Fraud Investigation Concentration

Western Oregon University

Monmouth
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Chemistry Minor

Widener University

University Place
  • Minor in Chemistry
  • Minor in Forensic Anthropology

York College of Pennsylvania

York
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry

Youngstown State University

Youngstown
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Science