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Universities with Majors in Forensic Pathology: How to Choose

Forensic pathology is a medical specialty concerned with identifying the cause of death during an autopsy. Universities do not offer undergraduate majors in forensic pathology, though there are related degrees that can prepare students for medical school, one of several steps required for a career as a forensic pathologist.

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Choosing an Undergraduate Program

Forensic pathology programs aren't offered at the undergraduate level. Training in this medical subspecialty usually takes place during a 1-2-year fellowship program available to licensed physicians who've completed medical school and a post-graduate residency in pathology.

Undergraduate students interested in forensic pathology careers will want to consider bachelor's degree programs that can prepare them for admission to medical school. Prerequisites generally include a year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology and physics courses. Bachelor's degree candidates might also want to seek out a curriculum that can prepares them for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Universities with Related Majors

The universities profiled below are just some of the schools offering majors that might be of interest to prospective forensic pathologists. Their programs include plenty of lab science courses to help students meet medical school admissions prerequisites, and many of them offer opportunities to get a feel for the investigative techniques and procedures used in the field of forensic science.

Ferris State University

This public 4-year school's College of Arts and Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology with forensic biology and pre-medicine concentrations. Both programs include a science core consisting of classes in genetics, ecology and chemistry. The forensic biology option features additional instruction in such areas as forensic DNA analysis, medical parasitology, botany and pathophysiology, while the pre-medicine concentration contains advanced microbiology, genetics, anatomy and chemistry courses.

St. Edwards University

Prospective forensic pathologists at St. Edwards University can take advantage of a forensic science bachelor's degree program with a laboratory emphasis. Coursework combines forensics instruction with a science core designed to prepare students for admission to medical school. Crime scene and death investigation, molecular biology, organic chemistry, forensic chemistry and microbiology are just some of the topics covered in this program. Students can also complete a forensic science practicum.

Missouri State University

Missouri State's Biomedical Sciences Department offers an undergraduate cell and molecular biology program that prepares students interested in forensic pathology to continue their education in medical school. To fulfill elective requirements, the department suggests enrolling in physical anthropology, physiology and human anatomy courses that provide experience working with cadavers. Other required courses cover such areas as human genetics, molecular biology, organic chemistry, physics and virology.

Youngstown State University

The bachelor's degree program in forensic science at Youngstown State offers tracks in chemistry, biology and anthropology. All program options require an internship and coursework in general and organic chemistry, biology and genetics. These topics are covered in greater detail in the chemistry and biology tracks, while the anthropology option allows students to study such areas as biological and forensic anthropology, osteology and archaeology.

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