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.

Best U.S. Schools for Crime Scene Investigation Programs

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

As of 2011, The George Washington University (GWU) ranked 41st among national universities, as reported by Washington Monthly. 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. Students can also take electives in forensic psychiatry and abuse investigations.

2. West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV

In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked West Virginia University (WVU) 89th among top public schools. Graduate students pursuing an M.S. in Forensic and Investigative Sciences train at the university's large crime scene instructional complex. They also complete courses in trace evidence, microscopy and laboratory management. Additionally, students write a research-based thesis and take a comprehensive exam in preparation for graduation.

3. Marshall University in Huntington, WV

Marshall University (MU) is a public institution that U.S. News & World Report ranked 39th among regional universities in the South for 2012. 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, part of Marshall's Forensic Science Center, to prepare for real-life investigative situations. Internship opportunities are available in DNA analysis, forensic chemistry and computer forensics.

List of Ten Good Crime Scene Investigation Schools in the U.S.

School Name Distinction Location
Columbia College Crime scene investigation certificate program Columbia, MO
Edison State College Internship opportunities available through the crime scene investigation program Fort Myers, FL
Florida State University, Panama City Under water crime scene investigation courses Panama City, FL
The George Washington University University Police Department internship program Washington, D.C.
Marshall University Forensic science graduate program offers four areas of study Huntington, WV
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
West Virginia University Forensic automobile investigations provide access to three crime scene houses and a garage Morgantown, WV

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