Forensic Science Major Requirements and Degree Program Options

A Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science teaches students how to use scientific methods to properly collect, assess and report on physical evidence used within the context of the criminal justice field. Learn more about the program here.

Essential Information

Bachelor's degree programs in forensic science emphasize interdisciplinary coursework in anatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology, biology, chemistry and laboratory sciences to teach students how to handle and analyze physical evidence for criminal investigation purposes. Forensic science majors typically choose a track or concentration, such as forensic biology or forensic chemistry. Students also develop knowledge in areas such as criminal justice and police procedures and practice public speaking, to better testify about their work in a court of law.

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Forensic Science

Applicants to a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science program must have a high school diploma. A college or university may require that enrolled students apply to the forensic science major program after completing a certain number of prerequisite science classes. Students are typically required to complete general education courses in the humanities or social sciences, in addition to courses specific to the forensic science major. Common courses include:

  • Forensic evidence analysis
  • Criminal justice
  • Courtroom testimony
  • Criminalistics
  • Forensic chemistry
  • Forensic molecular biology

Popular Career Options

Graduates of forensic science bachelor's degree programs may enter the workforce directly out of college. Most elect to work in crime labs, although some larger police departments hire civilians with science backgrounds to process evidence 'in the field' - that is, at the scene of a crime, and some may find employment with insurance companies. Career options open to students who major in forensic science include:

  • Forensic science technician
  • Crime scene technician

Continuing Education Information

Further study in areas of specialization in forensic science, such as firearm analysis, forensic geology, forensic botany, blood spatter analysis, forensic DNA analysis, forensic radiology and forensic pediatrics are available at the master's degree level. A Master of Science in Forensic Science degree program typically includes classroom work and hands-on lab work developing skills in methodologies used to perform specific kinds of forensic analysis. Master's degree programs may offer thesis and non-thesis options.

Forensic science programs include a variety of physical science and laboratory courses, and students may choose to concentrate their studies in a specific area, such as biology or chemistry. After completing their bachelor's degree, individuals may enter the workplace or further their education through a master's degree program that allows additional options for specializations.

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