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.
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.