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Forensic Science Degree

Forensic science is not an individual science. It is the study and application of several diverse sciences for the purpose assisting in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Students who pursue a degree in forensic science, or a related discipline, will learn how science is used to assist in the legal process.

In order to become a forensic scientist, it's typically necessary to earn a bachelor's degree in forensic science, chemistry, microbiology, medical technology, or genetics. If you pursue a degree in a discipline outside of forensic science (ex. chemistry) you'll also need to complete several courses in criminal justice and gain experience working in a criminal lab. Completing an internship in forensic science is also useful for those completing degrees outside of forensic science, as well as forenic science majors. As a forensic science student you can expect to complete coursework in the following areas.

  • Serology
  • Physiology
  • Human Anatomy & Pathology
  • Forensic Analysis of DNA
  • Toxicology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biological Evidence
  • Calculus & Analytic Geometry
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Crime Scene Investigation

If a bachelor's degree in forensic science is the only degree you earn, you'll likely end up working in a lab following graduation. However, a bachelor's degree in forensic science is also a great stepping stone into other sectors within criminal justice and for obtaining a graduate degree.

Students who earn a bachelor's degree in forensic science often go on to complete a master's or doctoral degree. Earning a graduate degree offers student the opportunity to pursue a larger variety of careers and receive higher pay. Highly educated forensic scientists assist police officers and detectives in crime scene investigation. They help collect, process, and analyze evidence, and often serve as expert witnesses during criminal proceedings.

Earning a bachelor's degreee in forensic science is a great degree for those interested in a career as a medical examiners. After completing a bachelor's degree, students are required to earn a medical degree--which requires an additional 7 years of study. Bachelor degrees in criminology or criminal investigation are also good options for students who plan on becoming a medical examiner.

If you're set on earning a degree in forensic science, you should select a program that is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). This organization sets and enforces the standards for forensic science education at the university level in the United States.

Since of much of the work required to complete a degree in forensic science is independent, student can opt to earn their forensic science degree online. Severy schools now offer programs that can be completed entirely via the internet. Most online forensic science programs are comparable to their campus-based counterparts, but offer much more flexibility.

Forensic Science Degrees and Programs

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