What is forensic science?

Forensic science is a field of science dedicated to the methodical gathering and analysis of evidence to establish facts that can be presented in a legal proceeding.

What should I look for in an online forensic science school?

The best online forensic science schools should possess either regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, you can often recognize top online forensic science schools based on:

  • The school's name and status
  • The school's history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network
In choosing the best online forensic science school for you, you should consider the following factors:
  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online forensic science programs are available?

The following levels of forensic science degree online programs are available:

  • Online Forensic Science Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Forensic Science
  • Online Bachelor in Forensic Science
  • Online Masters in Forensic Science
  • Online PhD in Forensic Science

How long does it take to get an online forensic science degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online forensic science degree depends on the level of forensic science degree being pursued and the pace of the student. Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online Forensic Science Certification Programs - 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Forensic Science Associates Degree - 2 years
  • Online Forensic Science Bachelor Degree - 4 years
  • Online Forensic Science Masters - 2 years
  • Online Forensic Science PhD - 2 to 5 years

What are some examples of online forensic science courses?

Course content in the field of forensic science combine a unique mix of science, law, philosophy, and writing. Advanced reading comprehension skills, critical thinking ability, and a passion for upholding the law are required for students in an accredited online forensic science degree program. Courses include:

  • Forensic Science Fundamentals
    Concepts and doctrines in the areas of criminal and civil law, the roles of the expert, pertinent rules of evidence, and wrongful convictions will be covered. The importance of ethical considerations in forensic science and law is emphasized.
  • Law, Science, and Philosophy
    This course is designed to help students to integrate the scientific knowledge in forensic science studies into the social context of the creation, enforcement, and interpretation of the law.
  • Forensic Chemistry
    Students will learn the basic techniques and instrumentation used in a forensic laboratory. The use of microscopy, IR, visible spectroscopy, and liquid chromatography to analyze hair, fibers, fingerprints, and pharmaceuticals is explored.
  • Forensic Investigation
    The course will identify items commonly found at crime scenes and examine their significance in the investigative and prosecution process. In addition students will discuss the difficulties of presenting transient and non-tangible evidence to a court and jury, as well as explore the vital links connecting crime scene investigation, physical evidence, interviewing, and interrogation.
  • Forensic Drug Analysis
    This course is designed to provide the student with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to perform routine examinations and identification or classification of illicit drugs and chemicals. A thorough knowledge of the chemistry of selected classes of drugs is emphasized.

What areas of forensic science specialization are available?

While forensic science is typically thought of as involving a crime lab and scientific analysis, the field has many different facets, including:

  • Law and Forensic Science
  • Ethics in Forensic Science
  • Firearms and Ballistics
  • DNA Analysis
  • Trace Specimen Analysis
  • Forensic Chemistry

What can I do with a forensic science degree?

Graduates of an accredited online degree program in forensic science have many options for future career paths in all areas of crime and law. Some interesting and lucrative careers include:

  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Ballistics Specialist
  • DNA Analyst
  • Expert Witness
  • Lawyer (with an advanced law degree)
  • Ethicist
  • Trace Specimen Expert
  • Policy Advisor

What is a forensic scientist?

Forensic scientists work to find, analyze, and present evidence for legal proceedings.

What does a forensic scientist do?

Forensic scientists work with investigators, law enforcement officers, lawyers, and judges to understand and manage forensic data in a criminal investigation. Professional forensic scientists might analyze specimens from a crime scene, present their findings as expert witnesses, and communicate with law enforcement on legal proceedings.

How much does a forensic scientist earn?

On average, forensic scientists earn $55,070 per year. Job growth is expected at an above-average rate. New technologies create continuing demand for expert forensic science personnel in law enforcement.

How do I become a forensic scientist?

The path of how to become a forensic scientist takes dedication, attention to detail, and an accredited degree. Typically, forensic scientists work with advanced professionals in the field to gain practical skills, and start as crime scene technicians or legal aids. Often, states require some testing in order to earn advanced positions, and some positions require union membership.

Forensic Science Schools (Campus)

School Certificate Associates Bachelors Masters PhD
Arizona State University
1151 S Forest Ave
Tempe, AZ, 85287
http://www.asu.edu/
X
Ohio State University-Main Campus
190 N. Oval Mall
Columbus, OH, 43210
http://www.osu.edu
X
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL, 32816
http://www.ucf.edu/
X X
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN, 55455
http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/index.php
X
University of Florida
355 Tigert Hall
Gainesville, FL, 32611
http://www.ufl.edu/
X X X
Michigan State University
100 Library
East Lansing, MI, 48824
http://www.msu.edu
X
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
201 Old Main
State College, PA, 16802
http://www.psu.edu/
X X
University of South Florida-Main Campus
4202 East Fowler Ave
Tampa, FL, 33620
http://www.usf.edu
X X X
Florida International University
11200 S. W. 8 Street
Miami, FL, 33199
http://www.fiu.edu
X
University of Maryland-University College
3501 University Blvd East
Adelphi, MD, 20783
http://www.umuc.edu
X
University of Maryland-College Park
1101 Main Administration BL
College Park, MD, 20742
http://www.umd.edu
X X X
Riverside Community College
4800 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA, 92506
http://www.rcc.edu/
X
Pima Community College
401 North Bonita Avenue
Tucson, AZ, 85709
http://www.pima.edu
X
East Los Angeles College
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez
Monterey Park, CA, 91754
http://www.elac.edu/index.htm
X
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
2101 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC, 27695
http://www.ncsu.edu
X
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94112
http://www.ccsf.edu
X
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr
San Diego, CA, 92182
http://www.sdsu.edu
X
Virginia Commonwealth University
910 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA, 23284
http://www.vcu.edu/
X X
Capella University
225 South 6th Street 9th Floor
Minneapolis, MN, 55402
http://www.capella.edu
X X X X
Boston University
One Silber Way
Boston, MA, 2215
http://www.bu.edu
X
University of California-Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA, 95616
http://www.ucdavis.edu
X
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
425 University Blvd
Indianapolis, IN, 46202
http://www.iupui.edu
X
University of Utah
201 Presidents Circle
Salt Lake City, UT, 84112
http://www.utah.edu
X
St Petersburg College
14025 58th Street North
Clearwater, FL, 33760
http://www.spcollege.edu
X
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
4505 S Maryland Pky
Las Vegas, NV, 89154
http://www.unlv.edu
X
West Virginia University
Stewart Hall University Avenue
Morgantown, WV, 26506
http://www.wvu.edu/
X
Utah Valley University
800 W University Parkway
Orem, UT, 84058
http://www.uvu.edu
X
University of South Carolina-Columbia
514 Main St
Columbia, SC, 29208
http://www.sc.edu/
X
Palm Beach State College
4200 Congress Ave
Lake Worth, FL, 33461
http://www.palmbeachstate.edu/
X
Long Beach City College
4901 E. Carson St.
Long Beach, CA, 90808
http://www.lbcc.edu
X
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA, 2115
http://www.northeastern.edu
X X X
Palomar College
1140 W. Mission
San Marcos, CA, 92069
http://WWW.PALOMAR.EDU
X
University of California-Irvine
204 Administration
Irvine, CA, 92697
http://www.uci.edu/
X X X
Hillsborough Community College
39 Columbia Drive
Tampa, FL, 33606
http://www.hccfl.edu
X
University of Illinois at Chicago
601 S Morgan
Chicago, IL, 60607
http://www.uic.edu/index.html/
X
Mesa Community College
1833 W Southern Ave
Mesa, AZ, 85202
http://www.mc.maricopa.edu
X
University of Akron Main Campus
302 Buchtel Common
Akron, OH, 44325
http://www.uakron.edu
X
Fresno City College
1101 E. University Ave
Fresno, CA, 93741
http://www.fresnocitycollege.edu
X X
Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC, 20002
http://www.gwu.edu
X
Auburn University Main Campus
Auburn Alabama
Auburn, AL, 36849
http://www.auburn.edu
X
University of Pennsylvania
1 College Hall 34th and Spruce Sts
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
http://www.upenn.edu
X X
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI, 49008
http://www.wmich.edu
X
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
14th and R St
Lincoln, NE, 68588
http://www.unl.edu/
X
Old Dominion University
5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA, 23529
http://www.odu.edu
X
Northern Arizona University
Knoles Drive Babbitt Administrative Center
Flagstaff, AZ, 86011
http://home.nau.edu/
X X
Weber State University
3848 Harrison Blvd
Ogden, UT, 84408
http://www.weber.edu
X
Eastern Michigan University
1000 College Pl
Ypsilanti, MI, 48197
http://www.emich.edu
X X
Ohio University-Main Campus
E Mulberry
Athens, OH, 45701
http://www.ohio.edu
X
Drexel University
3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
http://www.drexel.edu
X
Fullerton College
321 E Chapman Avenue
Fullerton, CA, 92832
http://www.fullcoll.edu
X
Rio Hondo College
3600 Workman Mill Rd
Whittier, CA, 90601
http://www.riohondo.edu
X
Diablo Valley College
321 Golf Club Rd
Pleasant Hill, CA, 94523
http://www.dvc.edu
X
Southwestern College
900 Otay Lakes Rd
Chula Vista, CA, 91910
http://www.swccd.edu
X X
California State University-Fresno
5241 N Maple Ave
Fresno, CA, 93740
http://www.csufresno.edu
X X
Towson University
8000 York Rd
Towson, MD, 21252
http://www.towson.edu
X X
University of Delaware
46 E Delaware Ave
Newark, DE, 19716
http://www.udel.edu/
X X X
California State University-Los Angeles
5151 State University Dr
Los Angeles, CA, 90032
http://www.calstatela.edu
X
Missouri State University
901 S National
Springfield, MO, 65897
http://www.missouristate.edu
X X
St. John's University-New York
8000 Utopia Pky
New York, NY, 11439
http://www.stjohns.edu
X
Grossmont College
8800 Grossmont College Dr
El Cajon, CA, 92020
http://www.grossmont.edu/
X X
Los Angeles City College
855 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 90029
http://www.lacitycollege.edu/
X
Brevard Community College
1519 Clearlake Rd
Cocoa, FL, 32922
http://www.brevardcc.edu
X
Wright State University-Main Campus
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton, OH, 45435
http://www.wright.edu
X
University of Nevada-Reno
1664 N Virginia St
Reno, NV, 89557
http://www.unr.edu/home/
X X
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Administration Bldg Suite 1070
Birmingham, AL, 35294
http://www.uab.edu
X
University of Missouri-St Louis
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, MO, 63121
http://www.umsl.edu/
X X X
University of Rhode Island
8 Ranger Road
Kingston, RI, 2881
http://www.uri.edu/
X
Eastern Kentucky University
521 Lancaster Ave
Richmond, KY, 40475
http://www.eku.edu
X
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH, 44115
http://www.csuohio.edu/
X
Universidad Del Turabo
Carr. # 189 Km 3.1
Queensbury, PR, 778
http://www.suagm.edu
X X X
University of Central Oklahoma
100 N University Dr
Edmond, OK, 73034
http://www.uco.edu
X X
Edison State College
8099 College Pky SW
Fort Myers, FL, 33919
http://www.edison.edu
X
University of Mississippi Main Campus
Oxford Mississippi
Oxford, MS, 38677
http://www.olemiss.edu
X
Loyola University Chicago
1032 W. Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL, 60660
http://www.luc.edu
X
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX, 75080
http://www.utdallas.edu
X X X X
Harper College
1200 W Algonquin Rd
Palatine, IL, 60067
http://www.harpercollege.edu
X
Camden County College
College Drive
Blackwood, NJ, 8012
http://www.camdencc.edu
X
University of Miami
University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL, 33124
http://www.miami.edu/
X
Columbia College
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO, 65216
http://www.ccis.edu
X
National University
11255 North Torrey Pines Road
San Diego, CA, 92037
http://www.nu.edu
X
CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice
899 Tenth Ave
New York, NY, 10019
http://www.jjay.cuny.edu
X X
University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive # 0001
Hattiesburg, MS, 39406
http://WWW.USM.EDU
X X
University of New Hampshire-Main Campus
105 Main St. Thompson Hall
Durham, NH, 3824
http://www.unh.edu
X X
San Bernardino Valley College
701 South Mount Vernon Avenue
San Bernardino, CA, 92410
http://www.valleycollege.edu
X
University of Massachusetts-Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA, 2125
http://www.umb.edu
X
Erie Community College
121 Ellicott St
Buffalo, NY, 14203
http://www.ecc.edu
X
Youngstown State University
One University Plaza
Youngstown, OH, 44555
http://www.ysu.edu
X
Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus
1011 South Dr 201 Sutton Hall
Indiana, PA, 15705
http://www.iup.edu
X X X X
Baylor University
500 Speight Ave.
Waco, TX, 76798
http://www.baylor.edu
X
Wichita State University
1845 Fairmount
Wichita, KS, 67260
http://www.wichita.edu
X
Tallahassee Community College
444 Appleyard Dr
Tallahassee, FL, 32304
http://www.tcc.fl.edu
X
Golden West College
15744 Goldenwest St.
Huntington Beach, CA, 92647
http://www.goldenwestcollege.edu
X
Marshall University
1 John Marshall Dr
Huntington, WV, 25755
http://www.marshall.edu/
X
Prince George's Community College
301 Largo Rd
Largo, MD, 20774
http://WWW.PGCC.EDU
X
Victor Valley College
18422 Bear Valley Rd
Victorville, CA, 92395
http://www.vvc.edu
X
Hudson Valley Community College
80 Vandenburgh Ave
Troy, NY, 12180
http://www.hvcc.edu
X
Universidad Del Este
Carr. # 190 Esq. Calle 220 Bo. Sabana Abajo
Ludlow, PR, 985
http://www.suagm.edu
X
University of Northern Iowa
1222 W 27th St
Cedar Falls, IA, 50614
http://www.uni.edu
X
University of North Dakota
University Station
Grand Forks, ND, 58202
http://www.und.edu
X X
Illinois Central College
One College Drive
East Peoria, IL, 61635
http://www.icc.edu
X X

Schools by State

Best Cities for Forensic Science Schools