Schools that prepare aspiring criminalists for careers generally provide programs at the bachelor's level, although programs may also be available at the certificate and master's degree levels. A bachelor's degree is usually required for employment as a criminalist according to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS).
Schools With Forensic Science Programs
These schools offer forensic science programs at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*|
|George Washington University||Washington, DC||4-year, Private||Master's, Certificate||$27,851 (graduate)|
|Seattle University||Seattle, WA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$39,690|
|Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Private||Master's||$31,519 (graduate)|
|Gannon University||Erie, PA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$29,258|
|Bay Path University||Longmeadow, MA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$31,785|
|Loyola University||Chicago, IL||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$40,426|
|Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis||Indianapolis, IN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$9,056 (undergraduate), $9,183 (graduate)|
|Hamline University||Saint Paul, MN||4-year, Private||Certificate||$37,886|
|Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY||4-year, Private||Master's||$34,500 (graduate)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Here are some things to consider when choosing a school:
- Students should look for programs that offer at least 24 semester hours in natural sciences at basic and advanced levels.
- Students may want to seek out programs that are accredited by FEPAC (Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission), which will prepare them to become criminalists.
- Students may consider universities that provide crime lab internship opportunities.
- Depending on his or her desired specialization, the student might also look for forensic science programs that include courses in digital forensics and computer science.
Bachelor's in Forensic Science or Criminalistics
Undergraduate, 4-year degree programs require intensive study in math and the natural sciences, including biology, chemistry and physics. They also require courses in specialized forensic sciences and practical criminalistics.
Master's in Forensic Science
Relevant graduate programs, which can also be accredited by FEPAC, usually take two years of study and research to complete, including time spent working on the requisite thesis based on original scientific research.
Aspiring criminalists should look for accredited programs that offer their desired specialization. Other considerations may include program length and the availability of crime lab internship opportunities.