While there isn't a degree program specific to forensic engineering, a bachelor's or master's degree in engineering, along with licensure, is needed to enter this profession. Aspiring forensic engineers could also seek post-graduate certification by the International Board of Forensic Engineering Sciences (IBFES), which requires at least a bachelor's degree and academic studies in physics, chemistry, mathematics and legal topics.
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Top 10 Engineering Schools
The table provides more information about engineering schools.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degree Offered||Tuition (2015-216)*|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, MA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor, Master|| $46,704 undergraduate
|Stanford University||Stanford, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor, Master||$46,320 undergraduate
|University of California - Berkeley||Berkeley, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor, Master||$13,431, in-state, $38,139 out-of-state undergraduate;
$11,220 in state, $26,322 out of state graduate
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor, Master|| $50,665 undergraduate;
|California Institute of Technology||Pasadena, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Master|| $45,390 undergraduate;
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Atlanta, GA||4-year, Public||Master|| $12,204 in-state, $32,396 out-of-state undergraduate;
$13,452 in-state, $27,872 out-of state graduate
|Purdue University - West Lafayette||West Lafayette, IN||4-year, Public||Master||$9,208 in- state, $28,010 out-of-state|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Master|| $13,856 in-state, $43,476 out-of-state undergraduate;
$20,638 in-state, $41,688 out-of-state graduate
|University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign||Urbana, IL||4-year, Public||Bachelor, Master|| $15,054 in-state, $30,214 out-of-state undergraduate;
$15,023 in-state, $28,213 out-of-state graduate
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Master|| $50,277 undergraduate;
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Students interested in forensic engineering programs should consider:
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many licensing boards and graduate programs require a degree from an ABET-accredited school for acceptance (www.bls.gov).
- Curricula should include academic coursework in areas that provide relevant training for post-graduate certification in forensic engineering.
- Prospective applicants might also investigate if a school's career services department has partnerships with corporations that specialize in forensic engineering.
- When considering a school, keep in mind the importance of a program's cooperative internships, which may provide hands-on experience with companies within the forensic engineering field.
Bachelor's Degrees in Engineering
Bachelor's degree programs in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering require advanced sequences in physics and calculus in addition to the engineering curricula. Students can participate in undergraduate research projects to develop tests or predictors for failures in systems or structures.
Master's Degrees in Engineering
Many graduate schools allow students to customize an engineering or forensic science program to integrate the fields. Programs often provide additional flexibility by allowing students to choose research projects or additional advanced coursework rather than a thesis, which could provide a further focus on an interdisciplinary education.
Forensic engineering schools are found at bachelor and master levels. Research opportunities and internships may also be a part of these programs.