Why This Matters

  • EARN MORE THAN $60,000 ANNUALLY

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, forensic science technicians earn a median annual wage of $61,930, which is higher than the national average for all occupations.

  • EXPECT 2,000 MORE JOBS OVER THE NEXT DECADE

    As advancements in technology increase the reliability of forensic information used as evidence in trials, governments expect to hire additional forensic science technicians. Over the next 10 years, the employment of forensic science technicians is projected to grow by 11%.

  • MAKE 60% MORE WITH A BACHELOR’S DEGREE

    When looking at workers across all occupations, those with a bachelor’s degree earn about 60% more per week than those with a high school diploma, highlighting a significant boost in earning potential.

Our Research

This list features some of the best online Bachelor’s in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. The programs on our list have been accredited by reputable organizations, such as the Higher Learning Commission and Middle States Commission on Higher Education, that assess the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of colleges and universities.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online Bachelor’s in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 19 Online Bachelor’s in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation Programs

Best Bachelor's in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Purdue University
01
Best Public Institution
Arizona State University
01
Best Private Institution
Liberty University
01
Best in the East
University of Maryland Global Campus
01
Most Flexible Start Terms
Maryville University
01
Best Faculty
Defiance College
01
Best for Adult Learners
Columbia College at South Carolina
01
Best in the South
University of West Alabama
01
Most Affordable
SUNY Canton
01
Best for Non-Traditional Students
Florida State University
01

Colorado State University Global
01

Utica University
01

Oakland City University
01

UMass Global
01

Hampton University
01

University of Arkansas Grantham
01

National University
01

University of North Carolina at Pembroke
01

Stevenson University

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.

What’s Next?

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.