Schools for Aspiring Forensic Chemists

Dec 05, 2019

Forensic chemistry programs teach students how to apply scientific processes to physical evidence in an effort to aid criminal investigations. Degree programs typically range from the associate's to master's levels. Read on to learn about important considerations for selecting a school for your forensic chemistry education.

Forensic chemistry and forensic science programs for aspiring forensic chemists are available at some 2- and 4-year schools. Only a limited number of schools offer accredited programs in this field, but there are both undergraduate and graduate-level programs available.

Schools with Forensic Chemistry Programs

These schools offer training in forensic chemistry:

College/University Location Institution Type Degree Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
Holmes Community College Goodman, MS 2-year, Public Associate's $3,110 in-state, $5,690 out-of-state
Alabama State University Montgomery, AL 4-year, Public Bachelor's $11,068 in-district, $19,396 in-state, $15,656 out-of-state
Chestnut Hill College Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $36,180
Lamar University Beaumont, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's $8,373 in-state, $18,333 out-of-state
Northern Michigan University Marquette, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,729 in-state, $16,225 out-of-state
Palm Beach Atlantic University West Palm Beach, FL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $31,450
Saint Edward's University Austin, TX 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $45,428
Southern Wesleyan University Central, SC 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $25,476
University of Mississippi University, Mississippi 4-year, Public Bachelor's $8,660 in-state, $24,614 out-of-state
Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC 4-year, Public Bachelor's $3,926 in-state, $7,926 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

When reviewing schools that offer forensic chemistry programs, consider the following:

  • Choose a school that offers a forensic chemistry program accredited by a field-specific organization, such as the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) or the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).
  • Look for a school that offers internships that allow students to gain hands-on experience with technologies and practices used in the field.
  • Determine whether the school provides state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for use in lab work.
  • Explore research opportunities offered through the school. This is especially important for students who are considering academic careers in the field.

Associate of Science in Forensic Chemistry

An Associate of Science in Forensic Chemistry program is typically used as a foundation for earning an advanced degree, such as a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in Forensic Chemistry.

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry

Some bachelor's degree programs require an internship in a crime laboratory or a medical examiner's office. In addition to core coursework in the sciences and criminal investigation procedures, some programs offer classes involving report writing and documentation of research findings.

Master of Science in Forensic Science

Some graduate degree programs in this field are primarily research-based and require students to develop and produce a thesis relevant to the area of study; other programs prepare students to practice in the field.

Accredited forensic chemistry and forensic science programs help students get the hands-on training they need to be ready for careers as forensic chemists, whether they plan to work in the field or engage in lab research.

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