How Do I Get into Forensic Science?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 10 June 2019
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A career in forensic science requires a great deal of education and training in a variety of skills. The exact level of education needed by a forensic scientist depends on the specifics of the position, but all of these jobs require a college degree with a science major. These scientists will also need to develop strong writing, speaking, and people skills to do their jobs well.

The first thing a person needs to do in order to become a forensic scientist is to complete an undergraduate science degree. A number of different degrees can prepare a student for a career in forensic science, including biology, chemistry, physics, and genetics. In many schools, there may also be specialized classes that offer training in the forensic elements of a person's field of scientific study.

Some jobs in forensic science may be open to people with just an undergraduate degree. Other jobs require a master's or a doctoral degree. A medical examiner must have completed medical school and a residency program to qualify to work in forensic science. A forensic engineer or crime scene investigator, on the other hand, may need less education. In order to get into these advanced study programs, forensic scientists must maintain strong grades and perform well on entrance exams.


While still in school, its a good idea for a person who wants to get into forensic science to determine what type of forensics career to go into. This allows a student to take the appropriate classes and to learn the skills that will be needed their chosen jobs. Knowing that an advanced degree will be needed later on can also help an undergraduate student better prepare for the advanced classes that will be required later on.

Aside from a science degree, a forensic scientist must have strong interpersonal and communication skills. Public speaking and essay composition courses are an important part of a forensic scientist's education. The skills learned in these classes are necessary in forensic science because these scientists often need to write clear, well-organized reports and give testimony at public trials as a standard part of their jobs. These scientists also work as a part of a team with investigators and police officers, so interpersonal skills should also be developed through training and coursework.



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