Colleges that Offer Forensic Science Degree Programs

Forensic science is the process of collecting and examining evidence used in a criminal investigation. Degrees in this field are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level and combine elements of biology and chemistry with U.S. law.

How to Select a Forensic Science School

When selecting a forensic science school, it's important that students understand what they can do with the various degree levels. A Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science is most often required for entry-level employment. Students can also pursue a B.S. in Pre-Forensic Science, which entails a chemistry or biology major and prepares students for graduate study.

Students may also want to consider a bachelor's to master's degree program. These accelerated degree programs often cater to students' undergraduate coursework. If a student has majored in biology as part of his or her pre-forensic curriculum, he or she can be on track for a master's degree specialization in forensic biology. Master's degree programs also offer specialties in forensic chemistry or forensic toxicology.

When searching out the appropriate program, it's important for students to find one that's accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission. This commission sets the standards for forensic science education in the United States. Coursework guidelines could also be aligned with the DNA Advisory Board, the American Board of Forensic Toxicology and the Scientific Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs.

Students may also want to find a school which offers clinical courses and is affiliated with local forensic science laboratories. Some schools may also house on-campus laboratories with industry-standard equipment, such as stereo microscopes, DNA sequencers and spectrometers. Instructors may be either professors or criminal law professionals.

Largest Schools by Overall Student Enrollment

College/University Student Population Institution Type
University of Central Florida 50,121 4-year, Public
Michigan State University 46,510 4-year, Public
Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus 44,406 4-year, Public
Florida International University 38,759 4-year, Public
Riverside Community College 36,146 2-year, Public
City College of San Francisco 34,868 2-year, Public
University of Maryland - University College 34,172 4-year, Public
Pima Community College 34,136 2-year, Public
East Lost Angeles College 34,065 2-year, Public
Virginia Commonwealth University 32,044 4-year, Public
University of California - Davis 30,568 4-year, Public
Indiana University - Purdue University-Indianapolis 30,300 4-year, Public
West Virginia University 28,840 4-year, Public
University of Nevada - Las Vegas 28,600 4-year, Public
Long Beach City College 26,927 2-year, Public
Palomar College 26,805 2-year, Public
Utah Valley University 26,696 4-year, primarily associate's, Public
St. Petersburg College 26,659 4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Palm Beach State College 25,122 4-year, Public
Fresno City College 24,783 2-year, Public

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