What You Should Know About This Degree
Colleges and universities that offer a program in criminal justice often provide forensic science or crime scene investigation as a specialization within criminal justice. In some cases, the degrees offered will be separate, although there may be considerable overlap between the two. By choosing to specialize in forensic science, students can focus on the application of science to understand a crime scene and prepare for a career examining crime scenes.
Whichever educational path you choose, it’s important to look for a program that is accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education, which gives an institution and its graduates credibility with other institutions and employers.
Certifications and licenses are not typically required to enter the field of forensic science or crime scene investigation. A number of licenses and certifications are available to help credential many types of technicians, but credentials can vary widely from one jurisdiction to another.
The job outlook for those who earn a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or crime scene investigation is positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of forensic science technicians is projected to grow 14% over the next decade.
Here are some questions to ask when researching online bachelor’s in forensic science and crime science investigation programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? Admission into bachelor’s degree programs requires a high school diploma or equivalency. Schools may also expect prospective students to meet a minimum GPA requirement to be considered for enrollment. Check the program’s admissions requirements before applying to confirm that you meet their qualifications.
- Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? For online programs, synchronous courses meet at designated times, but students attend remotely. Asynchronous courses do not meet at specific times, allowing students to access lessons according to their own schedules. Many programs offer both types of courses.
As you research programs, you should make note of application deadlines and keep track of the application materials you must submit for each program. You can usually find this information on the school’s website or by contacting their admissions department.
Financing your education is also an important consideration. Make sure to submit financial aid applications on time and explore other sources of funding such as scholarships, grants, and tuition benefits from your employer.