If you are considering colleges with forensic science programs, or related programs such as computer forensics and forensic psychology, please review the actively updated listing of subjects and specific degree programs below, which the ForensicsColleges.com staff will be adding to over time, in an effort to help guide your decision-making by providing detailed information on a growing number of forensics disciplines.
Computer or digital forensics is the study of how technology is used to commit crimes. Computer forensic specialists use computer hardware and software to recover information from machines that could be used in criminal trials.
Crime scene investigation is the field of collecting information from a crime scene for the goal of recreating a crime and using the evidence in criminal trials.
For students interested in a versatile degree, majoring in criminal justice may prove a wise decision. Criminal justice graduates go on to occupy a variety of exciting, impactful positions, becoming private detectives; probation officers; fraud investigators; DEA agents; law enforcement officers; secret service agents; state troopers; fish and game wardens; and criminologists, to name a few of the possibilities.
Criminal profilers use their knowledge of psychology and behavior to determine the motivations of criminals and anticipate crimes based on this “profile.” Crime scene data collection is the basis for informing their theories.
Cyber security is the area of forensics that is devoted to actively protecting information. Cybersecurity specialists use computer hardware and software to track data thieves, thwart e-terrorists and protect sensitive electronic information.
DNA analysis is bringing new meaning to the phrase ‘crime-solving.’ Of course, not every DNA sample results in a wanted outcome, but DNA analysts make their best effort to help assist with and solve cases.
A forensic accountant uses basic accounting and investigative skills to find defects in financial statements that may be indicative of criminal activity. They perform audits on financial and legal files and present their findings in trials.
Forensic anthropologists analyze and apply scientific techniques in order to diagnose posthumous death by violent force or trauma. Skin tissue, bone observation and demographics are key areas of study.
Forensic engineers are individuals that are experts in their field (electrical, mechanical, construction, etc.) that are called to analyze and testify in situations where criminal activity may have occurred relating to this field.
Forensic nurses learn how to identify and treat victims of violent acts such as abuse and rape. Forensic nurses are also trained on how to gather and present evidence of these actions in court.
Forensic pathologists conduct autopsies and post-mortem examinations on individuals whose deaths may have been caused by unnatural circumstances. They also work closely with law enforcement officials and legal teams to provide expert opinions on their findings.
Forensic photographers document a crime scene visually. This work includes taking images of tiretracks, fingerprints, sustained wounds and blood spatter patterns that comply with evidence collection legal standards.
The study of forensic psychology examines how criminals behave and the emotional and mental effects on victims. Forensic psychologists are often asked to present findings in court, especially in cases where mental illness may have caused a violent act.
Forensic science is the general study of how science can be used for legal purposes. Forensic scientists range from biological researchers to chemists and have many specialized skills.
Forensic science technicians complete detailed lab analyses in order to assist law enforcement officials in identifying criminals. These technicians perform blood, weapons and fiber analyses in order to support a criminal investigation.
A career as a mobile forensics expert can be launched by by learning about the file systems and data retrieval process in cellular phones, smart phones, and other mobile devices.
A pathology assistant is able to do most of the work of a pathologist except for diagnosis of a post-mortem patient. Pathology assistants collect samples, perform autopsies and do clerical work in pathology labs.
Forensic Science Degree Programs
Whether you are just getting out of high school or are looking to extend your expertise even further, there are forensics degree programs available to you. We’ll be adding specific undergraduate and graduate degree programs to this list over time, so if you don’t see a particular program of interested listed, please let us know and please check back for detailed information on additional forensic degree program options.
Pursuing a PhD in Forensic Science typically allows students to advance their knowledge in a specific science content area while enabling them to complete a forensic science track or concentration.
There may be a reason why CNN Money ranks the forensic accounting occupation among the best 100 jobs in the U.S. Discover the wide range of masters in forensic accounting programs that are available to help professionals gain insight and training.
This degree is designed for students who already have an undergraduate degree in a biological science (biology, chemistry). It may be necessary to have this degree in order to obtain a job as a state-level or national forensic scientist in many governmental labs.
Students wishing to pursue a career in forensic psychology often find that a master’s degree is an important first step. In this post, you can learn about what it means to apply to and study as part of a forensic psychology master’s program.
Forensic Science Certificate Programs
There are two main types of educational certificates available in the forensic science field. The first is a professional certificate, usually available to those who have completed high school and are considering additional education to get an entry-level job in the field. A good example is the certificate program offered by Loyola University. This is a 20-credit program that is designed to help new students and law enforcement professionals gain a basic understanding of crime scene investigation techniques.
For students who have already completed an undergraduate degree in a biological science or forensics-related area, a post-graduate certificate is also available. These certificates show mastery in a niche area of study within the field of forensic science. National University offers this kind of graduate-level certification program for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree in a related field.
Another type of certification is also available: advanced professional knowledge certifications. These certifications are usually obtained through a professional organization and denote that a new level of expertise has been acquired through continuing education.
Computer Forensics – The Certified Computer Forensic Examiner program is a two-part test that assesses both hardware and software knowledge of digital forensics concepts. When both parts of the test are completed correctly, students are granted CCFE certification.
Combine an interest in finance and accounting with an interest in fraud, legal procedures, and investigations.
Whether you are working as a detective or want to take the first steps toward a career in crime scene investigation, CSI certification programs can provide you with basic knowledge in the field.