Colleges for Aspiring Coroners: How to Choose

Coroners may have a variety of educational backgrounds in a variety of fields, including criminal justice, criminology or medicine. Colleges and universities across the U.S. offer degrees in forensic science, criminology and other sciences that can lead to a career as a coroner.

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Coroners are elected or appointed officials who act as administrators during investigations involving a death. Students who want to become coroners can enroll in various programs at public and private 4-year schools.

10 Schools with Coroner Programs

These institutions offer programs for aspiring coroners.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private Bachelor's
Master's
Doctoral
Undergraduate $49,536,
Graduate $31,068
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH 4-year, Private Master's
Doctoral
Graduate $41,137
Columbia College Columbia, MO 4-year, Private Certificate, Associate's
Bachelor's
Master's
Undergraduate $8,240,
Graduate $6,593
Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY 4-year, Private Certificate
Bachelor's
Undergraduate $18,076
Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL 4-year, Private Bachelor's
Master's
Undergraduate $40,426,
Graduate $18,054
University of Toledo Toledo, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's
Master's
Postgraduate Certificate
In-state Undergraduate $9,547,
Out-of-state Undergraduate $18,885
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Public Pathology Residency Not Available
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's
Master's
Doctoral
In-state Undergraduate $13,560,
Out-of-state Undergraduate $36,360
University of South Florida Tampa, FL 4-year, Public Bachelor's
Master's
Doctoral
In-state Undergraduate $6,410,
Out-of-state Undergraduate $17,324
University of Colorado - Denver Denver, CO 4-year, Public Bachelor's
Master's
In-state Undergraduate $8,692,
Out-of-state Undergraduate $23,704

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in coroner schools have several things to keep in mind when selecting their programs.

  • An aspiring coroner's choice in school is partly dependent on local requirements, as well as the student's personal interests, since states may require different educational backgrounds.
  • Those who would like to perform medical examinations for criminal investigations need to complete medical school and residencies in pathology.
  • Students interested in investigative techniques and the legal aspects of crime should consider criminal justice, criminology or forensic science degree programs.

State Training Program for Coroners

State-funded training programs are intended for appointed coroners and provide further training on how to conduct death investigations. Coroners can benefit from programs that involve hands-on learning through controlled scenarios. Training may last between 40-80 hours.

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

Forensic science is an interdisciplinary study in anthropology, science and criminal justice. Internships are also required.

Pathology Residency

Pathology residents may attend crime scenes and learn the marks that different weapons leave, which can be especially helpful for a career as a coroner. Aspiring coroners may look for programs that include rotations in both hospitals and coroner's offices.

There are a number of program options for aspiring coroners to choose from, ranging from undergraduate to graduate studies in pathology, forensic science, criminal justice and criminology. It is also possible to become a medical doctor and pursue a residence in pathology to prepare to enter this career field.

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