Forensic Pathology Schools and Colleges with Program Information

Forensic pathology is a postgraduate field of study open to students who have completed medical schooling. These programs include extensive hands-on training, in addition to supervised rotations and coursework.

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Students may enter a forensic pathology fellowship after completing medical school and a pathology residency. Medical school programs are available at 4-year universities, while residency and fellowship programs may be found at universities, hospitals and clinics.

Schools with Forensic Pathology Programs

Students can train to become forensic pathologists at the following medical schools.

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition (In-state, 2015-2016)*
Pennsylvania State University Hershey, PA 4-year, Public $49,800
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, Public $43,408
University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX 4-year, Public $17,913
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, Public $21,837
George Washington University Washington, DC 4-year, Private $56,140
University of California-Davis Davis, CA 4-year, Public $35,322
Emory University Atlanta, GA 4-year, Private $49,800

School Selection Criteria

The following noteworthy items may be considered when choosing a forensic pathology school:

  • Students should make sure the schools they are considering are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
  • When reviewing medical schools, students may examine the curricula to see if pathology clerkships are included.
  • Since forensic pathology involves determining the cause of death in a variety of circumstances, students should find out if a school has a working relationship with the local medical examiners' offices.
  • Students should explore research opportunities offered by the school to determine whether they are available in pathology-relevant topics.

Medical Schools

Medical school programs typically last four years and are divided into two sections: the pre-clinical and clinical years. During the pre-clinical years, students take lecture-based coursework in biomedical topics. During the clinical years, students complete required and elective rotations in various healthcare facilities.

Residency Programs

Residents in a pathology program attend lectures and work in a variety of clinical rotations, which address the numerous causes of death. The program may span four or more years with the emphasis divided between anatomical pathology and clinical pathology. Lectures and coursework may include supporting topics like law, courtroom procedures and crime scene investigation.

Fellowship Programs

During a 1-year fellowship program, forensic pathology fellows investigate crime scenes and perform autopsies, as well as instruct residents in the proper procedures and record keeping requirements. Some fellowship programs mandate that fellows hold a medical license for the state in which the program is offered. While in a fellowship, individuals may also conduct research in a sub-topic of forensic pathology. Students may undergo training in various subspecialty areas.

For students who want to become forensic pathologists, a medical degree, residency program and fellowship can provide the required training. Prospective students should make sure that the schools they are considering have strong educational offerings in the field.

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