Forensic science is a dynamic field that coalesce knowledge of the law, a sound understanding of the physical sciences, and a strong intuition. Whether you want to collect evidence from crime scenes, process and interpret evidence, or try to piece together crime timelines, a Bachelor’s degree in forensic science may be the right choice for you. Also, for all who enjoy puzzles and problem-solving, forensic science careers can provide a rewarding and impactful career.
By definition, Forensics is “the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of a crime.” In other words, these professionals engage the crossroads of law enforcement and science. Moreover, they help solve crimes by processing and analyzing varied types of evidence, including biological, chemical, and digital. People interested in examining biological samples such as blood can opt to become technicians or DNA analysts as their forensic science careers. For some, studying cyber-security may be an option as it is aimed at preventing computer-based crimes, track down malicious hackers, and recover digital evidence. Many others, who love to play with digits, may consider becoming forensic accountants to detect fraud and expose white-collar crimes.
Whatever field of Forensic science may interest you, acquiring basic skills in forensic science can earn a certificate, an associate degree or bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s-level students may be able to choose an area in which to specialize.
Forensic science programs characteristically cover crime scene investigation, court procedures and criminology. Furthermore, at the associate’s and bachelor’s degree levels, students are required to take foundational courses in subjects such as biology, chemistry and mathematics. Hence, prerequisites for an associate’s degree include a high school diploma and taking college assessment tests. Also, bachelor’s degree prerequisites include standardized test scores, a personal interview, and courses in chemistry and mathematics.
Certificate in Forensic Science
A certificate in forensic science helps you learn how to apply science to answer legal questions through the analysis of evidence. The program emphasizes on what information is revealed by examining physical evidence that the investigators find at the crime scene. Moreover, students get hands-on lab work learning and may opt for a participation in internship programs. Majorly, classes consist of:
Forensic science introduction
A certificate in forensic science opens door to take entry-level employment opportunities in the field. However, most certificate programs are geared toward individuals who are pursuing related undergraduate degrees or are already working in the field of criminal justice or law as:
Associate Degree in Forensic Science
Associate degree helps students build a strong foundation in biological sciences, chemical sciences and mathematics. Students learn the basics of forensic science and legal proceedings and also have to develop skills in public speaking and report writing. Therefore, areas of concentrations may be available in forensic computer science, forensics accounting or crime scene investigation. Classes consists of lectures and practical in topics including:
Technical writing for forensic science
Anatomy and physiology
This two year undergraduate program help graduates to work in various forensic science positions; although, many decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the field. Thus, an associate degree holder may work as:
Crime lab assistant
Latent print analyst
Medical examiner assistant
Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science
Bachelor’s degree programs in forensic science are tailored to help students look at different types of crimes, understand what types of evidence are collected from crime scenes, and know how to interpret and collaborate information that is gathered from crime scenes. Moreover, a bachelor’s degree in Forensic science makes students gain extensive training in forensic science, which enables them for workforce entry or graduate-level studies in specialty forensics. Undergraduate students can concentrate in general areas of forensic chemistry or forensic biology. Additionally, forensic science undergraduates are expected to develop excellent oral and written communication skills and build strong critical-thinking abilities. The program let students participate in lectures and lab work as well as internships. Thus, forensic science undergraduates take courses in:
Crime scene investigation and photography
To improve their employability as forensic scientists with advanced degrees, many undergraduates decide to pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D. in forensic science or a related field. Forensic scientists can earn voluntary certifications through industry organizations, including the American Board of Criminalistics and the American College of Forensic Examiners.