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How do I Choose the Best Forensic Science University?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 16 June 2018
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The best forensic science university has four main items: accreditation, distinguished faculty, graduate programs, and research opportunities. A forensic science university is usually part of a much larger university, offering courses in a broad range of fields and subjects. Forensic science is a specialized field that studies the collection of evidence and analysis. The results of that analysis can be used to answer a specific question or be evidence in a court of law.

People who report the highest satisfaction when attending a forensic science university are detail-oriented, focused, and enjoy working independently. This field of study has become quite popular in the last five to ten years, due to the depiction of forensic scientists in the popular media as quasi-detectives in a very glamorous role. The reality is quite different, with very little interaction between the forensic scientist and the law enforcement officers.

Accreditation is a process of independent review by a third party. During the review, the agency investigates the academic and administrative policies of the school. These policies are compared against a minimum standard. Courses completed at an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary educational institutions. In addition, an accredited school can offer government student aid, which is a very important fee assistance program.

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Look at the quality of faculty or instructors when looking for the best forensic science university. Most schools post the biographies of their staff on their websites or in their promotional material. Review the academic credentials, published works, research work, and industry experience. All of these items are critical to their expertise in this field.

Schools with a graduate program are able to attract a higher quality of faculty, due to the ability to practice research and teach courses at a more senior level. Graduate programs should include both a master and doctoral degree program. Explore the different types of degrees offered and the level of support available.

Research opportunities are critical when looking for the best forensic science university. The ability to become involved in ongoing research in this field greatly increases your knowledge and employment opportunities. Talk to the enrollment counselor and determine if undergraduate students are eligible to work on research projects. Any experience or exposure to pure research is central to the role of a forensic scientist. These opportunities are rare, but will provide a huge advantage when looking for graduate programs or opportunities to publish your own research.

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Discuss this Article

backdraft
Post 3

I wish someone would make a show about what forensic science work is really like. As you can probably tell, the forensic scientists you see on TV are pretty far removed the real thing. A true forensic scientist will probably never shoot a gun or look a murdered in the eyes. In fact, most forensic scientists don't even work in law enforcement.

I suspect that there will never be a TV show about real forensic scientists because the reality is that their work is kind of boring.

chivebasil
Post 2

It is hard to say what the best university for forensic science is because there are lots of facets to forensic science and some universities are better than others. You will need to decide what area of the science most interests you and then look for programs that have a strong emphasis in that area.

Some schools stress crime scene investigation, others are more geared to the medical aspect. There is not one perfect forensic science program because they all have a different focus.

summing
Post 1
It is definitely worth it to do some research before choosing a forensic science college. The explosion in the popularity and interest in forensic science has lead many universities to hastily establish programs. I am not saying that all or even most of them are bad but there is definitely a lot of variation in quality.

You want to find a long established and prestigious program that has a proven record of training quality forensic scientists.

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