How do I Choose the Best Forensic Science Programs?

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  • Written By: T. Star, MSA
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 04 March 2018
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Forensic science has been a popular subject in entertainment, and many people are seeking employment in this ever-growing and detailed-oriented career field. With so many people interested in the field, it is more important than ever to look at what forensic science programs are available, and which one might be right for you. The best program is one that is accredited or certified, offers all necessary coursework and training, and fits the needs of its students.

Careers in forensic science require a strong interest in science and mathematics. Attention to detail is vital, as are the ability to work under pressure and strong ethical standards. Forensic scientists may be required to testify in court, so good communication skills are helpful.

Depending on your career goals, you may be interested in forensic science programs at the undergraduate or graduate level. Students who are interested in working in careers such as lab technician or technical analyst may be well served with a degree in chemistry or biology, rather than forensic science. Getting an undergraduate degree in one of these fields may open up more opportunities than a specialized degree such as forensic science. It is usually possible to take elective forensic science courses as part of a science degree.


Most forensic science programs are offered at the graduate level. Graduate degrees in forensic science or criminology often require coursework in criminal justice, statistics, and research methods, and students learn about topics such as trace evidence, ballistics, and DNA profiling. It is important to look carefully at the science focus of each program, as well as the quality and quantity of the school’s offerings.

Forensic science programs are available at schools around the world. Before entering a program, contact the school or local educational authorities to make sure both the school and the program are accredited or certified; although you may be able to get a good education from a non-accredited school, some employers may not consider such a degree valid. More information on accredited schools may be available through national forensic science organizations, such as the American Academy of Forensic Science in the United States.

National forensic science organizations can also be a good place to find more information about networking with professionals in your area. You may be able to find internship opportunities, which can provide experience and connections in the field. These organizations may also be able to direct you toward literature and other information that can help you get a head start on your education.



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