Forensic Science Degree

Forensics is the application of biological knowledge and laboratory techniques to civil and criminal law. It uses physics, chemistry, biology, and other scientific methods for identification, recognition, and examination of physical evidence. It is an important part of the judicial system by providing scientific information to investigators and court staff. Colleges with forensic science programs..

Various online and campus based programs offer forensics degrees. These include associate, bachelor, and master's level degrees. An increasing number of online institutes offer degrees in this field these days. The online nature of these programs suits the needs of busy professionals who demand flexible and self-paced learning schedules. These programs may also be less expensive than traditional campus-based programs. Another benefit of online programs is that students may log into their school's system from any location where they have an internet connection to watch lectures, download assignments, and hand in completed assignments.

Bachelor of Science in Forensics
This degree program is designed for students who wish to collect, analyze, and process various types of biological evidence linked to legal and other investigations. The program provides extensive training to students in the collection and examination of biological data in both field and laboratory settings. It may also simulate actual crime scenes by bringing mock crime situations to students. These may include, for instance, mock crime scenes to determine cause and time of death using the physical evidence collected.

The program may consist of about 120 credit hours of course work. However, the exact credit requirements may vary between programs. Apart from core courses in forensics, students may be required to complete general education requirements. These may comprise of courses such as history classes, effective communication, critical thinking, global perspective, and psychology or sociology. The course list might include the following courses:

  • English Composition
  • Human Physiology and Anatomy
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Calculus Applied in Biomedical Sciences
  • Principles of Criminal Law
  • General Biology
  • Genetics
  • Path Physiology
  • DNA Analysis
  • Toxicology
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Biochemistry
  • General Physics
  • Crime Scene Processing
  • Crime Scene Processing Lab
  • Instrumental Analysis
  • Physical Evidence
  • Senior Capstone in Forensic Science

Please note that the above curriculum is typical for many programs, but is bound to vary by different degrees between institutes.

Careers in Forensics
Graduates forensics degrees may find employment in various state, local, and regional laboratories, attorney's offices, private firms, military centers, federal agencies, and colleges and universities. The common career areas include the following:

  • Forensic Science Technician
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Forensic Consultant
  • Environmental Investigator
  • Police Officer
  • Drug Analyst
  • Drug Tester
  • Forensic Tesearcher
  • Academics

Forensic science technicians perform crime investigation by collecting and analyzing physical evidence. They may specialize in either crime scene investigation or laboratory analysis. The median annual salary of forensic science technicians was $52,840 in May 2012 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Also, the employment of these professional is expected to grow by 6% from 2012 to 2022, according to BLS. As more and more precision is required in analyzing scientific data used in courts and other investigations, the demand for forensic science technicians is likely to be significant in future.


Q:What will be my career options after an online forensics degree?

A:You will have a number of career choices after completing an online forensics degree. Graduates can opt for different careers such as forensic science technician, crime scene investigator, forensic consultant, environmental investigator, police officer, and drug analyst. Other related careers in the field include drug tester, forensic researcher, and professor.

Q:Can you tell me how to be a forensic scientist?

A:Joining the field of forensic science requires at least an associate or bachelor-level degree. You can pursue an associate or bachelor degree in forensic science, criminal law, chemistry, or any relevant field. Apart from college education, you may need to acquire formal training on-the-job. Forensic scientists must display sound knowledge of law as well as science.

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