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Forensic science internships with law enforcement agencies, private forensics firms, and research facilities may be available to advanced forensic science students in their third or fourth year of school. These include paid and unpaid opportunities that may run over summers or during the school year. Students can usually find more information about forensic science internships through their department offices, which commonly maintain a list of internships with openings for the benefit of current students. Forensic science organizations may also list internships in their publications.
Some forensic science internships are more like temporary jobs. Students can take an internship over the summer or make arrangements to schedule work and classes around each other. They receive pay and work on a variety of tasks for their employers. Other internships are part time and unpaid, although some may come with housing or other forms of assistance. Students who need paid internships may have fewer opportunities to choose from and may want to apply for grants to subsidize unpaid internships.
At law enforcement agencies, forensic science internships are open to students who are progressing well in their training. The agency can place students with a variety of forensic technicians and professionals. Students may have an opportunity to work in the field as well as the lab and can also perform important tasks like collating data and organizing reference collections. Some agencies provide internships as a backdoor to employment, and may consider these career-track opportunities.
Private forensics firms may also accept interns. These firms perform analysis of forensics materials on contract from customers like law enforcement agencies and civilians. Some of them have access to highly advanced equipment as well as very specialized personnel. Forensics students with an interest in activities like DNA matching may find such internships worth pursuing. They can also provide valuable experience for employment applications, whether interns plan on working in the private or public sector.
Research internships may also be available. Forensics researchers at colleges and universities need assistants to help them with their work and may take on interns as part of their contractual obligation to provide education to students of the school. Students with an interest in forensic science internships that are more research-oriented can talk to their instructors about current projects. If the professor needs an assistant, she can provide the student with information about how to apply to join the team.