Best Schools for Crime Scene Investigation: Overview of Options

Read about the best schools for crime scene investigation programs. Learn about the course and degree options at three noteworthy universities, and find a table with at-a-glance information about other schools in the U.S. that provide training for future crime scene investigators.

School Overview

Crime scene investigation is a field of study that involves the documentation and examination of physical evidence, such as fingerprints and DNA samples. The three schools below include a national university, regional university and top public school that offer master's degree programs in crime scene or forensic science.

1. The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

School Highlight: The crime scene investigation program at The George Washington University offers elective courses in forensic psychiatry and firearms and toolmark.

As of 2015, The George Washington University (GWU) ranks 54th among national universities, as reported by US News and World Report. GWU's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Crime Scene Investigation and a Certificate in Forensic Investigation. Course topics include forensic photography, homicide investigation and the biological aspects of forensic science.

2. West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV

School Highlight: West Virginia University's graduate program in forensic and investigative science includes a 420-hour summer internship with prestigous employers such as the United States Secret Service and forensic laboratories all over the world.

In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked West Virginia University (WVU) 93rd among top public schools. The Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission accredited program combines traditional chemistry and biology coursework with laboratory-based instruction. These lecture-based and experiential learning experiences have students partake in courses focusing on trace evidence, microscopy, pattern evidence and laboratory management. Additionally, students are required to complete an independent research project under faculty supervision for graduation.

3. Marshall University in Huntington, WV

School Highlight: Forensic science graduate program offers four areas of study.

Marshall University (MU) is a public institution that U.S. News & World Report ranked 46th among regional universities in the South for 2015. MU offers an M.S. in Forensic Science with an emphasis on crime scene investigation. Students complete training exercises in the university's mock crime scene house, to prepare for real-life investigative situations. Internship opportunities are available in DNA analysis, forensic chemistry and computer forensics.

Top Crime Scene Investigation Schools in the U.S.

School Name Distinction Location
Columbia College Crime scene investigation certificate program Columbia, MO
Florida Southwestern State College Internship opportunities available through the crime scene investigation program Fort Myers, FL
Florida State University, Panama City Offers a certificate program in underwater crime scene investigation Panama City, FL
Missouri Western State University Forensic investigation program offers online courses St. Joseph, MO
Towson University Master of Science in Forensic Science degree program has flexible class scheduling for working professionals Towson, MD
University of California, Riverside Crime Scene Investigation Summer Academy offers intensive study in forensic science Riverside, CA
University of Central Florida Certificate in undergraduate crime scene investigation available through the Department of Criminal Justice Orlando, FL

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