US Best Schools For Forensic Science in 2023

schools for forensic science

Undergraduate and graduate degrees in forensic science could lead to many different employment choices, especially if you went to the best schools for forensic science. 

Forensic scientists major in digital forensics, crime scene investigation, forensic psychology, and forensic accounting.

Let’s quickly look at the best forensic science schools, the career prospects, and how much you can learn from the degree.

But before that, you might be interested in Online Master’s Degree: The Best Schools To Study

What Does Forensic Science Mean?

According to the U.S. National Institute of Justice, forensic science is a highly interdisciplinary field that uses concepts from Natural Sciences, such as Chemistry and Biology, as well as Engineering and Computer Science to help law enforcement agencies with criminal case investigations. 

They help authorities through the examination of evidence gathered at crime sites and the findings are utilized to identify a suspect or decide whether or not they committed a crime.

Students who pursue degrees in forensic science learn how to gather, preserve, and analyze various sorts of evidence. 

They spend a lot of time in a crime lab where they learn how to perform an appropriate, unbiased analysis and deliver precise results. 

Also, the theoretical classes will teach you how to examine the methods, ideas, and resources employed in a criminal investigation.

schools for forensic science

What Science Is Basics For Forensic Science?

Chemistry is the basis for forensic science.

You can become a toxicologist or forensic laboratory analyst with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. 

As long as you can assess drug evidence, locate trace blood evidence, and assist police and investigators in identifying drugs and alcohol in blood samples, you’re good to go.

Related: What Can You Do With A Political Science Degree?: Career Opportunities And Tips

What Are The Best Schools For Forensic Science?

Your success in the forensic science field is largely dependent on the school you went to. This is because going to a good school will increase your chances of having a high income.

Below we listed 10 of the forensic science best schools.

1. University Of North Texas

The forensic science bachelor’s degree program at the University of North Texas offers BS degrees in Biochemistry, Biology, or Chemistry along with a forensic science certificate. 

These three-degree programs collectively represent the accepted concept of forensic science. 

Their curriculum includes chemistry, microscopy, lab work, ethics, and forensic science evidence procedures. 

Students must complete 19 credits of forensic science-related coursework in addition to the prerequisites for their bachelor’s degree in order to receive the forensic science certificate.

2. Texas A&M University

The BS in Forensic and Investigative Sciences degree programs at Texas A&M University offers two specializations: Pre-Law and science. 

The program is approved by FEPAC which gives the school the chance to be among the forensic science best schools. 

If you’re looking for a job in the legal or criminal justice field that requires the ability to gather, preserve, and evaluate evidence, A&M’s BS program in forensic science is among the best bachelor’s degree programs in the field. 

3. Towson University

Towson university is no doubt among the best schools for forensic science. No wonder it is one of the 38 forensic science programs to receive the FEPAC accreditation.

The Fisher College of Science and Mathematics offers the Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry at Towson University. 

The degree is focused on three core areas: the General Track, the DNA Track, and the Drug Analysis/Trace Evidence Track. 

To graduate from each forensic evidence chemistry track, you need 120 credits. 

4. Loyola University Chicago

The BS in Forensic Science program at Loyola University Chicago is nationally recognized and FEPAC-approved. 

Classes in this multidisciplinary degree program combine topics from physics, chemistry, anthropology, criminal justice, and physics. 

In addition to the requirements of Loyola’s core curriculum, the forensic science bachelor’s degree program calls for the completion of 88 credit hours of forensic science coursework in both the Forensic Biology/DNA track and the Chemistry track. 

Graduates of this school have a wide range of job choices as forensic science technicians and forensic scientists in the industries of accounting, pharmaceuticals, financial services, and law enforcement.

5. University Of Mississippi

Both FEPAC and the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Chemistry for Life standards have given the University of Mississippi’s BS in Forensic Chemistry their seal of approval. 

The school offers an internship in a crime lab as part of the coursework. 

Graduates are equipped to use the constantly evolving technological tools as specialists in problem-solving. 

Check this out: College Vs. University: What’s The Difference?

6. Penn State University

Penn State University is one of the best forensic science schools for those who want to work in the field of investigation. 

The College Board has accredited Penn State’s forensic science bachelor’s program, and they are encouraged to offer high-quality instruction by FEPAC. 

Both the Chemistry Option and the Forensic Biology Option are available as degree options in forensic degree programs.

7. West Chester University Of Pennsylvania

The Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission(FEPAC) has approved the BS in Forensic and Toxicological Chemistry offered by this school. 

Students who complete this forensic science bachelor’s degree program graduate with a solid foundation in chemistry, laboratory experience, and the forensic expertise needed to succeed in the field.

8. George Washington University

The combined forensic science bachelor’s degree program at George Washington University allows students to earn both a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Master of Forensic Sciences. 

Students in the BS Chemistry program are essentially fast-tracked through a Master’s degree, which establishes a strong foundation for them to finish the curriculum. 

This FEPAC program typically takes 5 years to finish and has coursework that is exemplary of a top forensic science program.

9. West Virginia University

Students who pursue a BS in Forensic and Investigation Science at West Virginia University are prepared to find the point where science and justice meet. 

West Virginia University has the reputation of having the biggest forensic science technician training facility in the US with crime scene investigation houses, a ballistics test center, and a vehicle processing center, 

Three forensic options are available in this program: forensic chemistry, forensic biology, and forensic examiner.

10. University Of Tampa

The University of Tampa’s BS in Forensic Science program offers students the chance to study in the classroom and labs and get practical experience. 

It is accredited by the Forensic Science Educational Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) and is named among the best schools for forensic science. 

This program offers students a foundation in forensic science as well as the legal and scientific concepts that surround it. 

They will also learn to look at crime scene investigation, which includes firearms and patterns, chemistry, and toxicology.

What GPA Do I Need To Be A Forensic Scientist?

You will need a minimum GPA of 3.0 before you can be admitted into the program.

Other requirements are your GRE test results, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE test results for overseas applicants.

Also read: What Is a Good GPA in College? Requirements And Tips.

How Many Years Do I Need For Forensic Science?

It takes two years to earn an associate’s degree in forensic science, four years to earn a bachelor’s, and one to two years to earn a master’s. 

What Subjects Do I Need To Study Forensic Science?

The following subjects are the core of forensic science:

  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Medical laboratory science and
  • Molecular biology

What Skills Do I Need As A Forensic Scientist?

Asides from attending the best forensic science schools, the following skills will set you apart in this field:

  • Thoroughness and attention to detail.
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
  • The ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure.
  • The ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning.
  • Knowledge of public safety and security.
  • Excellent written communication skills.

Also see: How To Improve Your Foreign Language Skills As An International Student

How Do I Become An FBI Forensics?

To be employed as an FBI agent, you will need to undergo a forensic examiner training course, which often requires 2 years.

What Is The Highest Paying Salary For A Forensic Scientist?

Forensic scientists in the US earn incomes ranging from $13,429 to $357,074, with a median pay of $65,075 per year. 

Among forensic scientists, the middle 57% earn between $65,077 and $162,309, while the top 86% earn $357,074.

Attending one of the best schools for forensic science plays a huge role.

What Are The Forensic Science Specializations?

While studying forensic science, you can specialize in any of the following:

1. Cyber Forensics

Here, you will learn how to gather and save evidence from a computer using investigation tactics and specialized tools.

2. Forensic Biology

You will learn how to gather, examine, and use the findings to determine whether biological evidence connects a victim or suspect to a certain scene or incident.

Related: What Can You Do With A Biology Degree?

3. Forensic Psychology 

Teaches students how to apply psychological concepts and techniques to aid prosecutors, defense attorneys, or police detectives in better understanding a criminal case.

4. Forensic Accounting

Teaches students how to investigate potential fraud and analyze data pertaining to an organization’s or person’s finances and transactions using accounting skills.

5. Forensic Chemistry

It teaches students how to use chemical analysis to determine unknown compounds and substances found at a crime scene.

What Jobs Can I Do With A Forensic Degree?

  • Forensic Computer Analyst – 72,000 USD/year
  • Forensic Psychologist – 67,000 USD/year
  • Forensic Scientist – 55,000 USD/year
  • Forensic Chemist – 55,000 USD/year
  • Forensic DNA analyst – 53,000 USD/year

Related: Social Work Salary: How Much Does a Social Worker Make?

Conclusion

Should you become a forensic scientist?

Anyone interested in a career in forensic science should be happy to hear that there will be a 16% increase in employment in this sector between 2020 and 2030. 

So it is safe to say you are on the right track if you’re already in this field or interested in it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Schools For Forensic Science

How do I become a forensic criminologist?

A bachelor’s degree in forensics is the first step you need to take to become a forensic expert. 

We mentioned the 10 forensic science best schools above. 

Do forensic scientists go to crime scenes?

No, forensic scientists are not needed at crime scenes.

Instead, they receive the evidence from the officer in charge, analyze it, and then submit a report with their findings.

Are forensic scientists in demand?

Yes, forensic scientists are in high demand.

In short, it is estimated that the employment of forensic science technicians will increase by 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is quite higher than the average for all occupations. 

Also, there are expected to be 2,500 jobs for forensic science technicians over the next ten years.

Do you need math for forensic science?

Yes, mathematical calculations are frequently used in forensic investigations, much like in many scientific tests and experiments. 

What is the difference between a forensic chemist and a forensic biologist?

Forensic chemists examine non-biological traces of evidence discovered at crime scenes in order to identify unknown materials and match samples to known substances; forensic biologists, on the other hand, specialize in DNA analysis, fingerprints, blood samples, and other biological traits.

Is forensic science more biology or chemistry?

It can be both.

While many forensic scientists focus on a single physical subject, like chemistry or biology, others pursue forensic science degrees that include chemistry or biology as their foundation.

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